Not long before Tigers time, the only way an African American could see a golf course, was to carry the clubs of a white man.
The way Tiger leaped into the golfing world in 1996 showed that not only could an African American be competitive in golf, he could be a leader in the sport on and off the fairway.
Over the past fifteen years Tiger Woods, the son of a former Vietnam Veteran, has revolutionised the way golf is perceived and played on a global level. Tiger has transformed the way crowds interact with golfers during tournaments, and I think it's a fair statement to make that tiger has also changed the complete fabric of the sport, that is golf.
Never has a player in a sport been so dominant for so such a long period of time. His feats go over and above and great athletes of any era. They go above Michael Jordan in basketball, Don Bradman in Cricket, Carl Lewis on the track and even 'Pistol' Pete Sampras on the court, just to name a few.
We are all well aware 2010 was the year from hell for Tiger. Recently I have previously scripted in past articles about the trend, with high performing American athletes, that the better they perform in their chosen sport the bigger the controversy in their personnel lives, and Tiger has been no different.
The Tiger Woods scandal came as a great shock to all of us. He was just one of those athletes you felt you could trust. On the surface he appeared happily married with a couple of a beautiful children.
From a sponsors perspective he was a once in a lifetime dream. The ultimate athlete with the ultimate reputation, until his demise Woods was the highest paid athlete in the history of sports worldwide. Shorty before word broke of his troubles; Woods was tipped to be the first sportsperson to hit one billion dollars a year in sports related earnings.
I'm not going to detail the demise of Tiger Woods, if you want that info I suggest you use a Google search, and you will find what you looking for.
My focus is on pondering how far back can Tiger return from the absolute lows he is facing. Both Tiger the golfer and Tiger the brand have been kicked of the number one perch in rankings.
Can Tiger retake his number one ranking? Can the Tiger brand attract sponsors again after the mess it has created?
Sometimes you have to look at the positives when tough times wear you down. Whatever happens in 2011 it's going to be an interesting ride. Getting to watch one of the most determined athletes in the modern era trying to comeback from the brink doesn't happen every day.
Observing the human response in the extraordinary circumstances of other people's lives is sometimes the by product of being a keen sports fan and enthusiast.
By the end of the 2011 we will all know whether Tiger has the "fight" or "flight" gene planted in his soul. My prediction is Fight.