Over 40 days, GOLF.com is rolling out Tiger Woods’ 40 biggest moments. Our ranking started on Nov. 21 and will culminate on Dec. 30, which is Tiger’s 40th birthday. That’s 40 Tiger moments. In 40 days. Ranked. Click here to learn more about our list.
Tiger’s 40 Biggest Moments: No. 28 – Launching the Tiger Woods Foundation
The late Earl Woods liked to make predictions; among them was his belief that his son Tiger would be well positioned to help others and thus have an impact that ultimately went well beyond his golf scores. Son and father started the Tiger Woods Foundation in 1996, after Woods turned pro.
By the time his career is over, Woods will have impacted thousands if not hundreds of thousands, mostly through improved access to education.
The first Tiger Woods Learning Center opened in Anaheim, Calif., in 2006, and Bill Clinton and Maria Shriver spoke at the dedication. Woods has since worked with underprivileged kids closer to home in Jupiter, Fla. In the foundation website’s words: “Our programs break the cycle of poverty through college-access opportunities for low-income students.”
The programs, for kids in grades 5-12, go heavy on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum, and are partially funded by the Quicken Loans National, Woods’s relatively new (2007) Tour event in July; the unofficial Hero World Challenge—coming up in Albany, a resort in the Bahamas, Dec. 3-6; and the Deutsche Bank Championship, another Tour event (and part of the FedEx Cup playoffs) played in the fall.
Tiger Jam, a Las Vegas rock concert, also benefits the foundation.
“Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity,” Earl Woods told writer Gary Smith for the latter’s Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Tiger piece at the end of ’96.
Hyperbole? Sure. But for kids who once lacked the means to go to college, kids who now have degrees and meaningful work, it hardly matters. To them the impact of the Tiger Woods Foundation couldn’t be more real.
Check back on GOLF.com every day until Tiger’s birthday on Dec. 30 for a new moment in our [email protected] countdown.
No. 30: Ugly Breakup With Steve Williams
No. 33: Relationship With Lindsey Vonn
No. 35: A Shot in the Dark at Firestone
No. 36: Television Debut at Age 2