A new two-part Tiger Woods documentary isn’t going to be a comfortable stroll down memory lane for the golf icon.
Early screenings of the film, produced by HBO, have seen it described as a “mess” that “errs too often on the salacious” and allows Woods’ story to be told by “spurned lovers and grudge holders”.
The juiciest content are the affairs and sex parties that filled Woods’ life before his marriage to Swedish model Elin Nordegren fell apart in humiliating fashion in 2009.
Woods’ father Earl is a central character as the film explores the expectation he placed on young Tiger’s shoulders and the example he set for him as a man who was unfaithful to his own wife.
It was Earl’s 2006 death that is identified as the point where Woods’ life started to spiral and he began making regular trips to Las Vegas where he would spend six figures in a weekend on prostitutes and partying.
Tiffany Masters, who was a VIP host in Vegas, tells the film Woods was told: “You’re like a prince and free to do whatever you want.”
Masters described Vegas as a drug Woods kept returning to have a “another hit and another hit”.
Michelle Braun, a former madam who claimed to have been engaged by Woods, said the golf champion had a “particular type”.
“Every couple of months he requested to have multiple girls. It could be up to 10 girls at a time,” she said. “He liked young college cutie, girl next door types, preferably blonde.”
Former escort Loredana Jolie added: “He was into role playing. We would go and get tons of girls and he’d dress into a suit. We were like little puppets.”
Much of Woods’ cheating and sexual preferences has been detailed over the years but new territory the film enters is the impact of his father’s philandering during his childhood.
Joe Grohman, a former close family friend, admits he and Earl were “not the best role models when it came to honouring your marriage, I assure you”.
“Earl had this little Winnebago and we’d let him teach on the range and he’d teach a very attractive blonde woman. I never figured out where he met these women. Often after the lesson they’d go into the Winnebago for ‘cocktails’,” Groham says.
“Tiger was at the course and I was every bit as bad. For a long time me and Earl were the two biggest male figures in his life and here I am chasing skirts and bringing them to the course and he’s seeing this. And I was married at the time and he’s seeing this.
“To have access to this child’s development and expose him to that … sorry champ.”
Another key interview is with Rachel Uchitel, the most high-profile of Woods’ lovers who was famously sprung visiting him in Melbourne during the 2009 Australian Masters.
Uchitel also buys into the theory some of Woods’ problems link back to his upbringing.
“He told me a lot about his childhood, his dad and he was sick of trying to hide who he was but he was so scared of the real Tiger not living up to the Tiger that everybody else thinks he is,” Uchitel says.
“He would refer to (seeing me) as ‘plugging in’. He would tell me when he saw me he felt he could plug in and get recharged,” she adds.
“He had trouble sleeping and would have to take Ambien. I’d sit next to him for hours while he’d fall asleep next to me and when he got up he allowed himself to be a little kid.
“It sounds kind of odd. He would eat cereal and he’d watch his cartoons and he was like a fountain, he wanted to talk and talk and talk.”
You can watch Tiger on Foxtel’s Fox Showcase channel (112). Part One screens on Monday, January 11, at 1pm
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