Tiger: The Authorized DVD Collection
is the real deal: a comprehensive three-part biography of the world's most famous golfer, narrated by Laurence Fishburne and anchored by interviews with Woods himself, his father and mother, and others. The first part, "Tiger's Prowl: His Life" (85 minutes), summarizes his early life, with home movies of him swinging a club as a toddler, his 1975 TV appearance with Bob Hope on The Mike Douglas Show
, his U.S. Juniors and U.S. Amateur championships, his time at Stanford, and discussion of his multiracial heritage and how he got his nickname. The second part, "Tiger's Prey: His Majors" (75 minutes) is the best, with less time devoted to talking-head interviews and more to golf footage. From his first major win at the 1997 Masters to the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, Woods either dominates the field by several strokes or shows his steely will to win, such as when he outlasts the surprising Bob May at the 2000 PGA Championship. But it hasn't all been easy for Tiger, and the segment also covers his struggles in 2004, his second straight year without winning a major tournament. The last part, "Tiger's Prints: His Legacy" (65 minutes), might seem premature considering Woods was still under 30 at the time of this 2004 documentary, but there's no doubt that he has already had a major impact on the game, inspiring a new generation of players, convincing the current generation of the need to raise their games to compete, and appealing to an entirely new demographic. Among the other interviewees are legend Jack Nicklaus, friend and fellow pro Mark O'Meara, caddie Steve Williams (but no Fluff Cowan), deposed swing coach Butch Harmon, sportscaster Bob Costas, other-sport superstars Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Charles Barkley, and, for some reason, pop singer Celine Dion.
At 3 hours and 45 minutes, the biography is ungenerously spread over three discs, but there's also an hour of bonus features (most entertaining is a montage of Woods's greatest shots; most substantial is a 24-minute clinic in which he demonstrates his game before an audience), as well as some text features. Tiger: The Authorized DVD Collection is by no means perfect--it needs more golf action, and only rabid fans would watch all the interviews more than once. But in terms of comprehensiveness and the level of Woods's participation, it certainly dwarfs the various video biographies (and TV biopic) that have sprung up ever since that 1997 weekend at Augusta captivated the world. --David Horiuchi