An Open Letter to Tiger Woods

Dear Mr. Woods:

Although, you have not asked for it, I feel compelled to give you some advice. I know you surrounded by handlers, PR experts and numerous other members of your inner circle who are instructing you on the best way to deal with the fallout from your sexcapades.

I am sure they are all well intentioned and believe in what they are saying. However, they are giving you terrible advice. In fact, you need to politely tell them to keep their opinions to themselves. You are actually doing yourself more harm than good.

Tiger Woods needs to quit talking about how sorry he is and start proving it with his actions - especially when it comes to his wife.

I watched your televised apology, and unlike many people I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I actually believe you were sincere. But what I did question is why you were making such a statement in the first place.

And today, you admitted in an interview with ESPN and the Golf Channel that you had done some "pretty terrible things."

Tiger, with all due respect, you need to shut up. This is not how you make amends to those you have harmed. You do that with your actions, not with your words.

And more importantly, you do it privately. The amends process is not for public consumption.

I have a little experience in this area, so let me explain to you how it works.

First of all, you identify those people you have actually harmed. In your case that would be your family, all the women you lied to in order to get into the rack, your sponsors and your fellow PGA members who lost money because you are too ashamed to play on the tour. There may be others. But you get the general idea.

You go to these people and say something like this, "I know I hurt you deeply with my selfish and dishonest actions. I want to make things right. You have every right to be angry with me. Is there anything I can do to set things straight?"

Then you sit back and listen. Most people will start off by tearing you a new a$$hole, but a few minutes into their rant, they start to soften. Most will be satisfied with your acknowledgment of wrongdoing and let bygones be bygones.  A few will make unreasonable demands, and you simply refer those to your lawyer. But the overwhelming majority are going to forgive you on the spot.

Most will ask you to stop engaging in the behavior that harmed them. And that is where the rubber meets the road. From that point forward, you stop doing whatever it was that got you in this jam. In your case, that means zip up your pants and quit seducing porn stars. Period. Forever.

Speaking of porn stars, a lot of those gals have gone vindictive you. They have released copies of text messages you sent and enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame at your expense. Your first impulse will be to think you don't owe them an amend. Guess again — you put their wrong aside and go to them anyway. What they did does not matter — it is your actions that count.

Once again, do this privately. Any good that comes from this exercise is lost if you do it for show.

Now here is the good part — if you handle things this way, miraculous things will follow. People will automatically sense in your spirit that you are a changed man. You won't need to go on television in a futile attempt to repair your public image. It will happen without any further effort on your part. And it will happen on a deep and profound level.

This really works, Tiger. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


Paul W. White