American Icons: Tiger Woods

It's not often that a person makes it to an iconic status at such a young age, but the name Tiger has pretty much become synonymous with the sport of golf.

At a very young age he showed tremendous promise as a golfer with his dad as his mentor. Did you know that at age 8 he displayed his extraordinary skills on Good Morning America?  He was heavily recruited by many colleges with powerhouse golf teams and in 1994 Stanford became his home for a bit, during which time he racked up major wins all over the country for himself and his team.

He turned Pro in 1996 and in 1997, at 21 years of age, he became the youngest player and first Black American to win the coveted green jacket of the Master's Tournament - with a record score of 270.  Later that year, in his first appearance at the British Open, he tied the course record of 64!  His accomplishments mounted over the next few years winning four PGA Titles, 3 US Opens, 3 Open Championships and 3 Masters tournaments.

In 2004 he stumbled a bit but came back again strong in 2005, when he was named PGA Player of the year for the 7th time in his short career (and now has been named player of the year a record-holding 11 times)!  From 2001-2012 he was sited by Forbes as being the highest paid professional athlete - of ANY sport!  

With his lifelong goal of beating Jack Nicklaus' 18 Majors wins and taking over the title of Top Golfer (a title Nicklaus has held since 1986), Tiger still stands at #2 with 14 majors wins under his belt.  Plagued with injuries and personal life upheavals, his last few years in the game of golf have been lack-luster but he still has the eye on the prize. Nicklaus won his last at the age of 46.  Tiger's got a few more years to grab just 5 more majors wins to beat the "Golden Bear".

In 2000, Tiger landed a $105 million 5 year extension contract with Nike, making it the largest ever endorsement deal at that time. It was Nike who stood firmly behind him when personal problems caused other companies to leave him in the wake of his mounting bad press.  For that reason, though you'll see him in Oakleys from time to time, you will see that he wears his Nike sunglasses on the golf course most of the time. 

With the PGA tour about a 1/3 of the way through its season, the Northeast's beloved greens and sandtraps are just beginning to peek out from under all that snow.  What better time than now to ready yourself for your first outing.  Find the best sunglasses to protect your eyes out on the course in our specialized Sunglasses for Golfers section of our website.

Words of an Icon: "If you're not nervous, it means you don't care. - Tiger Woods