Ex-caddie slams Woods: Tiger Woods Steve Williams

Published: November 3, 2015

Ex-caddie slams Woods: Tiger Woods Steve Williams, Steve Williams has written an autobiography called “Out of the Rough”, which strikes me as a humongous missed opportunity. Williams is perhaps best known as the caddy for Tiger Woods between 1999 and 2011, and given the evident privation he suffered while working for the world’s best golfer, a snappier and more appropriate title would surely have been “12 Years A Slave”. There might have been the odd copyright issue to deal with, but the cover photo alone would surely have made it worthwhile.

In the book, released this week, Williams documents his years of torment under Woods, during which he was humiliatingly forced to attend the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments whilst being paid a mere £7.5 million. “One thing that really p—ed me off,” he writes, “was how he would flippantly toss a club in the general direction of the bag, expecting me to go over and pick it up. I felt uneasy about bending down to pick up his discarded club – it was like I was his slave.”

Williams says he felt like a slave having to pick up Woods’s clubs

Those of you with a marginally broader perspective – say, anyone above the age of eight – may be tempted to pick holes in Williams’ definition of captive servitude. Welcome to The History of Slavery with Steve Williams, in which white men are brutally invited to carry the golf bags of black men, savagely consulted over club selection and putt lines, sadistically given a share of the winnings, cruelly allowed to leave whenever they want.

Still, just because Williams presents a radically revisionist interpretation of slavery, does not mean it should necessarily be dismissed out of hand. One of the most insidious effects of bondage is the dependency that develops between slave and slavemaster. When Woods terminated Williams’ employment in 2011, Williams responded in a statement that “I am very disappointed to end our very successful partnership at this time”, which frankly is no way for a man to celebrate his emancipation.


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