A Look Back At Bill Clinton’s Awful Golf Outing With Tiger Woods

A Look Back At Bill Clinton’s Awful Golf Outing With Tiger Woods

Former President Bill Clinton and golf player Tiger Woods’ relationship reportedly got off to a rocky start. An alleged feud was sparked in 1997 between the two when Woods declined an invitation to attend a baseball game with Clinton to honor Jackie Robinson’s debut in Major League Baseball as the first Black player in the organization. Years later, the two reunited for a golf outing that was reportedly an awful experience, thanks to Woods.



In the March 2018 biography named after the golfer, authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian claimed Woods was extremely rude to the 42nd President during a casual February 2006 game shortly before opening the doors to the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, California. The 15-time major champion, who has amassed an impressive net worth throughout his career, was reportedly on his phone for much of the game and even refused to ride in the same cart as Clinton. Additionally, the book claimed he demonstrated other behaviors typically frowned upon in the golfing community. “After finishing a hole, he would routinely exit the green while others were still putting, a major breach of golf etiquette,” an excerpt claimed. Insiders also alleged that once Woods was sent a photo of him and Clinton to autograph after the outing, he took months to do so. These allegations are in stark contrast to Woods’ version of events, which he detailed months after his day with Clinton.



Woods’ account of the game was much more positive


Tiger Woods was seemingly pleased with his day on the course with Bill Clinton. During a May 2006 Arkansas children’s golf clinic, Woods touched on Clinton’s golf skills from their day out, sharing the final score was “Woods 4, Clinton 3” (via The Ledger). “We had a good time. He was a cool person to play with, very intelligent. Brilliant, the things that he knew to describe world politics … actually really remarkable.” His kind words clashed with the 2018 account of their venture. Representatives for both refuted the book’s account.


Doug Band, a former deputy assistant and counselor to President Bill Clinton, who also played with them on the course, denied any such malice from Woods. Speaking with Golf Digest days after the excerpt of “Tiger Woods” was released ahead of the book’s debut, Band firmly stated the account of the game was untrue. “It was a casual, intimate round with a group of people who relished the chance to hear each other’s off-the-record stories and enjoy the day together away from the rest of the world,” Band explained. Woods’s manager, Mark Steinberg, and chief spokesperson, Glenn Greenspan, also released a statement to Golf Magazine that same month, claiming authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian did not do their proper research, leading to several inaccuracies in the publication. Later, Woods revealed he was also not a fan of the HBO documentary released about him, which was based on the biography.


Clinton doesn’t appear to have any bad blood with Woods


Tiger Woods and Bill Clinton have reunited in the years following their 2006 round of golf. In August 2014, the pair were pictured speaking at the Deutsche Bank Championship Welcome Party, which the Woods Foundation shared on X, formerly Twitter. After the shindig, the golfer himself also thanked Clinton online, writing in an Instagram post that same month, “My Sincere thanks to @billclinton for coming to the #dbchampionship party. His support means so much to me and all the kids we are trying to help.” Even after the biography was released, it still doesn’t appear to have created any issues between the powerful duo.


When Woods secured his fifth Masters Title in April 2019, Clinton was among the many fans online who congratulated the world-renowned athlete. Taking to his own X account, the former United States leader reposted a video of Woods accomplishing this amazing feat. In the caption, he wrote, “Never give up. Congratulations, Tiger.” Both men have only had good things to say about one another publicly. Therefore, whether or not there was ever any tension between them remains mere speculation. Interestingly, Bill Clinton is not the only former president close to the golfer — Tiger Woods also has a friendship with Donald Trump.




Gideon Canice

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