during tournament play, he's focused and intense. away from the spotlight, he's a man at ease, a fun-loving guy with a sense of humor. and even when he's relaxed and playing around, woods can find a way to make something good happen for a sponsor.

during one of his semi-annual commercial filming sessions for nike, woods entertained the crew between takes by holding a club and using the clubhead to bounce a golf ball repeatedly into the air. the movement was so effortless and precise that the ball looked almost as though it was connected to the club with a string.

after watching for a few minutes, one of the crew members asked woods if he could bounce the ball with the club for 30 seconds. of course, woods answered, and with the cameras rolling, he did. he finished with a flourish, swatting the ball in midair down the fairway as cleanly as if it had been sitting on a tee.

thus, nike's "hacky-sack" commercial was born of a spontaneous moment.
it was so popular, and woods had so much fun doing it, that he developed new tricks before the next nike commercial shoot, resulting in yet another ad.


swing away

video game maker electronic arts was well into the 16-month development process of its tiger woods pga tour golf 2002 game when the telephone rang in the office of david demartini, the company's executive producer.

it was woods, who had been playing the 2001 edition and noticed a problem. "he called to say, 'hey, you're using my old swing,'" said demartini.

an ardent gamer himself, woods knew that the people who would be playing his game expect realism, and he was determined to give it to them. so he spent a day at ea sports wired to a computer, as he tried to duplicate every situation that a game player might put his video golf character through. he pitched, putted, and drove with every club, replicated his walk down the fairway, and pointed at the hole and pumped his fist, repeatedly, so that his signature gesture of triumph would be as enthusiastic on a computer screen as in real life.