Out of the Rough,
by Steve Williams (Penguin, RRP $40):
Steve Williams has something of an unusual claim to fame, being famous both here in New Zealand and abroad for being the man behind the champ. Sort of the power behind the throne.
He’s one of New Zealand’s most well-known, and most well-paid, sportsmen. Which is quite an achievement when his sporting prowess doesn’t involve an oval ball. In fact, it doesn’t even involve him being the main attraction.
Williams rose to fame as the caddy for Tiger Woods, the man who was at the time setting the world alight with his abilities on a golf course.
Of course, Woods is now better known for setting the tabloids alight with his extra-marital activities and what was once probably the most successful pairing in the golf world was subject to a painful breakup around the same time as the marriage between Woods and Elin Nordegren.
But there’s more to Williams than his admittedly incredibly successful 13-year stint caddying for Woods – he has worked with other top golfers, including Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd, Terry Gale, Ian Baker-Finch and Adam Scott, and also has a well-documented passion for motorsport, having twice won the New Zealand Saloon Car championship. And yes, there is an oval-ball connection, too. He once played for the New Zealand under-15s.
His efforts in raising a whopping $1 million for the oncology ward at Starship Hospital through the Steve Williams Foundation shouldn’t be overlooked, either.
Is there no end to this man’s talent?
This book gives a rare insider’s view of the world of professional golf and while I’m sure many will be buying and reading it to get the dirt on Woods, there’s more to the book than just that.
Woods is no longer the darling of the golf world, and Williams’ book has been slated by some as sinking the boot in to Woods while he was already down. But given the fact that Williams was hounded by the media and in some cases it was implied that he was involved in aiding or covering up the ongoing infidelities, I think it’s fair enough for him to give his side of the story.
Yes, there is a bit of dirty laundry in the mix, but there’s also a good dose of fresh insight that even a non-golfing rugby-lover like me could enjoy.