If you've poked your nose in the news lately, there's no doubt you've heard of Tiger Woods and his DUI. What I doubt you've heard of, however, are the "Three T's" of Chiropractic Philosophy: Thoughts, Trauma, and Toxins. As a chiropractor, these "Three T's" are what I know to cause dis-ease in our life, especially in our golf game! First, we all know that alcohol is a toxin and it is bona fide lunacy when mixed with driving. However, some may not realize that prescription drugs are toxins, too. But we'll come back to that later. Before we dive in, one point needs to be made: the Three T's play off of each other! Trauma can cause negative Thoughts and introduction of Toxins, Toxins can cause negative Thoughts and possible Trauma, etc. This is a key factor.
So, let's talk about the greatest player to ever golf: Tiger Woods. I have been a fan of Tiger Woods, and have followed every detail of his career, since I was first interested in golf as a caddie, so I feel I have a pretty good outside perspective on the reasons behind his meteoric rise and downfall. And it's pretty complex. Let's start off with a little overview of Tiger's career. Tiger burst onto the golf scene, well, when he was born. He appeared on the "Mike Douglas Show" exhibiting his golf skills at the very early age of 2 years! He would then dominate the Amateur circuit until, at 20 years old, turns Professional in 1996. Tiger dominated his peers until 2006, winning 10 of his 14 majors within that time span. As a fan and follower, it was evident that he was no longer conquering the player field like he used to, and for a very logical, often overlooked, reason. Tiger's father passed away in May of 2006.
For those who would like to see just how impactful Tiger's father, Earl Woods, was on his life and career, I highly recommend watching the three-disc documentary titled, "Tiger," and "Chronicles of a Major Champion: Tiger Woods" on YouTube. Earl Woods trained Tiger since Tiger first picked up a golf club at 6 months old until Earl passed, even putting Tiger through Green Beret mental training. Even from an outside perspective, the impact that Earl Woods had on Tiger was incredible and inescapable. In Tiger's own words, "Without that type of relationship with my dad, I don't think I would have ever achieved what I have been able to achieve in life." Now, any and every golfer knows that golf is a mental game, above all else, which coincides perfectly with the "Thoughts" of the Three T's. Take that into accountwhen looking at Tiger's career surrounding Earl Woods' death. In April of 2006, the Masters Tournament, Earl Woods was on his death bed during play, and Tiger knew that was the last tournament his father would watch him play. Just imagine wanting to win one last one for your dying parent. Tiger came in 4th place for the tournament, admitting himself that he "played too hard" and "played for the wrong reasons." After the tournament, Earl Woods, about to pass, chided Tiger, "You play golf for you. If you want to play, play. If you don't, don't.," explaining to him that golf needs to come from within.
Later, in June, Tiger would miss the cut for the U.S. Open. The last milestone in the Tiger Woods mentality is the winning of the British Open. Pull up a video of Tiger winning the 2006 British Open and you will see him break down in tears and hug his caddie for a good minute. He does this because he realizes that he cannot share that moment with the one person he really wanted to. Every time Tiger made a winning putt on the 18th hole, he would hug his father right after, before doing anything else.
Lastly, I would be missing a huge chunk of the Tiger story if I don't mention him being unfaithful to his wife. A person's character transfers directly into his or her golf game. Disclaimer: there is absolutely NO GOOD REASON for his behavior. However, because we are analyzing his downfall, all I have to say about the situation is this: he was trying to fill a void. For those of us who have ever experienced a void in our life, we know that we don't always fill it with the best of things. A large emotional void filled Tiger's life with his father's passing, and he tried to fill that void quickly, not diligently.
There is no doubt that Trauma has affected Tiger Woods' golf career, but it is not the reason for his downfall. Remember how the Three T's play off of each other? Tiger is THE prime example. Yes, Tiger has had 15 surgeries up to 2015. Fifteen?! However, do you think it coincidental that 13 of those surgeries occurred from 2006-2015? I do not. Your mentality can, and will, affect your physical body.
In regards to Tiger's recent DUI, did you know that he blew a 0.00 breathalyzer? He made a statement that no alcohol was involved, but that the incident was an unexpected reaction to his prescription drugs due to his recent back surgery. This is a perfect example of how legal drugs can have a negative effect on your physical body. If those drugs are causing Tiger to behave like he is drunk, what do you think they are doing to his golf game?
Tying It All Together
Looking at Tiger's downfall as an encompassing timeline through these Three T's, we can see how the domino effect played out, causing compounding issues. Tiger's dis-ease showed itself first through Thoughts as an emotional void. This led to a neglect of his physical needs, causing compounding Trauma in the form of golf related injuries. Finally, these Traumas and surgeries inevitably gave way to consistent prescription drug usage, making the body deal with ever present Toxins.
So, the next time someone insists that Tiger's downfall is due to his injuries, just show them the timeline of Tiger's career: negative Thoughts and emotions led to Trauma which led to Toxins....it fits to a T!