As 2021 ensues…or should I say 2020: The Deluxe Album…we were hit with some news that yet again seemed to make the world stop, even if only for a moment.

Tiger Woods was in a bad car accident. 

If you’re like most golf fans and not golf fans alike…aka…if you’re a living, breathing, human being, you probably saw the news, received a text, or witnessed a surge of social media posts involving the crash of one of the greatest athletes of our time.

With the wound of Kobe Bryant’s passing still fresh, many sports fans stayed glued to the internet or the TV hoping for the best for Tiger. Fear was definitely on the forefront.

Woods was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to repair serious damage to his lower body.

While many fans were relieved, in classic fashion, media outlets began to unleash ghosts of Woods’ past and questions of his future in golf not long after it was announced that he was in stable condition. Coincidentally, this accident occurred not long after the release of HBO’s Tiger documentary, which sheds light on a controversial past as well as his professional golf triumphs.

So what does this say about the way we look at our most esteemed professional athletes? I think that sometimes, we all too easily reduce them to either their greatest accomplishments or their greatest failures without much room for all the things in between. The thing is, there’s probably a lot in between.

Tiger likely means something to all of us. He made golf look really cool to a lot of aspiring young players, myself included. He introduced physical fitness to the game- something I’m more than grateful for, as I’ve learned from his model and improved my golf game in the gym as well as on the course. He broke down barriers for minorities in a predominantly white space. For me, that meant having someone on TV who looked like me doing the very thing I loved most. He set records and broke them. He did just about everything. He did the impossible. He bounced back when the world looked down on him and many thought he never would. That’s what inspired me most. Wherever you are and whatever you do, it’s hard not to be drawn to someone like that. So when news of his accident came about, heads turned around the world.

It’s difficult to see our greatest heroes fall. Sometimes we think they’re invincible. But what we have to remember is that first and foremost, they are human beings. They mess up, they hurt just like the rest of us, and they are not immune to the tragedies of this world.

What we all hope for, or at least should hope for, is not that he will bounce back and win the next event (although that would be pretty cool), but that he gets back to his family- healthy and safe and is able to resume a life that brings him happiness. Rory McIlroy, a new father himself, put it best when asked about the event the other day: “He’s not Superman. He’s a human being at the end of the day. And he’s already been through so much. I think everyone should be grateful that he’s here, that he’s alive, that his kids haven’t lost their dad. That’s the most important thing. Golf is so far from the equation right now, it’s not even on the map at this point.”

They always say that it takes events like these to make you realize just how precious life is. I think it’s safe to say that events like these also make you realize how unimportant everything else really is. For even the greatest of all time, the things he has accomplished in the game of golf pale in comparison to the things that truly matter in life.

We wish you a speedy recovery, Tiger.


-Kayla Jones and Your friends at Stick & Hack

Kayla Jones

Kayla is a professional golfer on the LPGA Symetra Tour and the Women’s All-Pro Tour. She has played professionally overseas on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour as well. Kayla graduated from Florida State University after playing all 4 years on the golf team there. Go Noles.