The real reason you don't hear about Tiger Woods anymore

Tiger Woods is arguably one of the most gifted golfers and most celebrated athletes of our time. From gracing the covers of magazines, becoming the toast of sports to numerous endorsements, there was no limit to Woods' success and fame. But after several years on the green, Woods, 41, began to unravel and become a tabloid fixture. His declining golf skills and rampant indiscretions had become hot topics. Seemingly the man who had it all suddenly found himself in the gutter. Here are the numerous reasons why Woods is not longer in the spotlight.

His cheating scandal still haunts him

In November 2009, Woods' world came crashing down when the National Enquirer published a story claiming the golf star had been unfaithful to his wife Elin Nordegren. Also in that month, according to Yahoo, Woods crashed his SUV and rumors swirled that Nordegren had caused major damage to the truck and Woods after learning about his indiscretions. By December of that year, Woods was in full-blown crisis mode as at least seven women, including a porn star, came forward claiming he slept with them.

Behind the scenes, Woods' marriage was falling apart and several reports circulated that Nordegren was renegotiating the terms of their prenuptial agreement. In February 2010, news surfaced that Woods was in a rehab facility for sex addiction, and weeks later he emerged publicly to express his apologies for the nasty turn of events in his life and for his behavior. Speaking before the media, Woods came clean about cheating on his wife, saying, "I was unfaithful" and that his "actions were wrong." Nordegren filed for divorce after six years together and it was finalized in August 2010. During those dark months, he lost several endorsement deals and was forced to take an "indefinite" break from golf.

Fast forward six years to 2016 and Woods was still haunted by this despicable behavior. Speaking with Charlie Rose (via Entertainment Tonight), Woods said he in fact didn't regret sleeping with other women. His revelation was both embarrassing and shocking for many. "The only regret I have in life is not spending another year at Stanford [University]," Woods told Rose. "I wish I would've had one more year." Rose followed up asking if he ever regretted cheating. Woods assured him he didn't saying, "All the things I've been through, yes. They've been tough, but they've been great for me. But I wish I would've gone one more year at Standford."

He's focused on his kids

In the years since his scandal made headlines, lots has changed in Woods' life. Many of the changes were negative, but a few positive things resulted from his divorce. One of them is the clarity it's given Woods to become a better father. In fact, raising his daughter Sam, 9, and son Charlie, 7, is his new focus these days.

"My priorities have changed a lot," Woods revealed on Good Morning America in March 2017. "My kids now dominate my life and I think that's a good thing." Woods claims his own late father, Earl, also influenced his decision to become a better father. "My dad would always make sure when we talked he never sat above me. He always made sure he was eye level and so he was talking to me and not down to me," Woods detailed. "I do the same thing with my kids… It's amazing the bond that you can build that way."

Over the years, Woods has opened up his life for others to see, occasionally posting family pictures to Instagram. In December 2015, Woods posted a warm and fuzzy family photo with his two kids and their three dogs. Although he left no caption, the comments praised his "beautiful family."

He's rebuilding life with his ex-wife

Sharing custody of kids with an ex-wife isn't easy. Let alone being a multi-millionaire and celebrity attempting to navigate the world of divorce. But Woods claimed in a 2015 interview with TIME magazine that Nordegren was his "best friend." That was a shocking description given how their marriage fell apart after his cheating. Woods appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2016 and explained his comments, saying they're focusing on their children, "We love them so much that we are going to do whatever it takes to make that work…She's been one of my best friends and I've talked to her about so many different things and she does the same thing with me," Woods said. "We communicate so much better now, it's incredible. I wish we would have done that earlier on."

In 2016, Nordegren, who rarely gives interviews, broke her silence about their relationship post-divorce. "I have moved on and I am in a good place," Nordegren told People. "My relationship with Tiger is centered around our children and we are doing really good — we really are – and I am so happy that is the case. He is a great father." Nordegren added she had much faith they would one day be on good terms. She credits her own divorced parents for that perspective. "In the beginning, you tamp down the animosity for the kids' sake," she said. "I'm not going to deny that I went through the wringer. But I don't think I doubted we'd end up here. That was always my dream, that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other. And I feel that's what they have."

He's got a troubled dating life

After divorcing Nordegren, Woods got back on the prowl and began dating fellow athlete Lindsey Vonn. Vonn is a famous skier with loads of trophies and medals to her name. The pair dated from 2013 to 2015. Despite sharing many hugs, kisses and more before the public, Vonn says dating Woods wasn't easy, but breaking up proved to be more difficult. "It was really hard. The breakup, being together, it was all really hard," Vonn told E! News in fall 2016. "It was essentially being in a fishbowl. Everybody's looking at you and judging you and commenting on what they think is right or wrong and it was hard."

Vonn also claimed their relationship progressed way too fast too soon. "I don't regret anything. I loved Tiger, and I had an amazing three years with him," Vonn told the New York Times, via the New York Post. "But it was a learning experience as well. With every relationship, you learn what you need and what you want in a partner."

The breakup proved to be hard on Woods too. Telling reporters (via Us Weekly,) Woods said, "Obviously it does affect me. It is tough, there's no doubt. I'm not gonna lie about that, it is tough." On top of dealing with a breakup, Woods was also dealing with the anniversary of his dad's death. All of that together was stressful on Woods who said he hadn't really slept in that short period of time.

His missing tooth was an embarrassment

Woods is arguably a handsome man whose charming goodlooks could get him out of a bind. But his pearly whites were called into question after he attended an event in support of Vonn in Italy with his front tooth clearly knocked out. The image floating around was gruesome and led many to speculate if he was involved in a nasty altercation or if Vonn took matters into her own hands after maybe catching him cheating like his ex-wife.

Woods told reports according to ESPN that a cameraman accidentally knocked it out in a terrible mishap. He says a man rose up too quickly and turned around smashing Woods in the face. The camera cracked one tooth and knocked out another. "I was looking down, and all the camera guys are below me on their knees or moving all around, trying to get a picture because she's hugging people, saying congratulations to the other racers as they are coming down. Some already finished, some are there already in the changing area," Woods said. "I'm trying to keep this thing on so the blood is not all over the place," Woods said. "Luckily, he hit the one with a root canal. He chipped that one and cracked the other." He says the pain afterwards was unbelievable. "The flight home was a joke," he explained. "I couldn't eat, I couldn't drink until he fixed them. Until he put the temporaries on I couldn't have anything touch it," he said. "Even breathing hurt. Any kind of air rushed over the nerve of the tooth that was still alive that was cracked."

He's busy goofing off without a shirt

Despite the seriousness the last several years brought to Woods, he's still got a kind heart and a funny bone.

In December 2016, the golfer showed off his funny and sexy side by posting a shirtless photo to Twitter pretending to be an odd, but sexy Santa Clause. In the snap, Woods stands with his arms folded, stone-cold grimace, dark sunglasses, a white wig and a black cap. It also appears he dyed his black goatee to be white. "Xmas tradition that my kids love. Mac Daddy Santa is back! – TW," he captioned the sultry photo that received a whopping 23,000 retweets and 33,000 likes. The picture also proved that despite a number injuries plaguing his health, he was still in good shape. His pecs and arms were solid with decent definition.

While thousands enjoyed the display of masculinity and humor, there were many more who found the snap a bit distasteful. One user simply put it, "Keep that in the drafts folder @TigerWoods."

He's become a writer

Being out of the spotlight has given Woods a considerable amount of time to reflect on his past achievements. This March, the star athlete will release a book about his historic win that set his career on a path upward. It's entitled 1997 Masters: My Story. The win was so important to Woods and the world for three reasons — Woods was the first African American player to ever grab the title, he was the youngest ever at age 21, and he landed the largest margin of victory, according to Golf.com. In the book, Woods promises to open up about his time on and off the field saying in a press release, "I think about the hug with my dad and all the events that went on that week. A lot of people know generally about that tournament, but this gives me a chance to tell in detail what happened on and off the course."

A follow up Golf.com report revealed a few interesting details about the book, including that Woods says he gets his tough attitude on the green from his parents. "My mom liked me to 'stomp' on the other players, to use her word," Woods writes. "I started to become what my dad called an 'assassin' on the course. I developed that attitude at an early age, without intending to. It's just who I was." Another cool tidbit from the book was that his father, Earl, actually helped him fix his stroke before the first round of the game. He credits his father for setting him up to win and starting off on the right foot.

He's plagued with injuries

Over the years, Woods has played hard, and that obviously comes at a cost. Unfortunately, the many days on the course have taken a toll on his health. In fact, Woods is known as an injury-prone player. According to CBS Sports, Woods' health problems started in 2008 when he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and ACL surgery. In 2011 he suffered a MCL strain and a Achilles strain. In 2014, he underwent back surgery and two follow-up surgeries in 2015. Each injury or procedure led him to take months off. That crucial time also proved to be detrimental to his mind and the quality of his game. Those were also dark periods in his life.

In early 2017, Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic after just one round. He blamed it on back spasms. "I feel good, not great," Woods told Dubai's Vision magazine, according to CNN. "I don't think I will ever feel great again because it's three back surgeries, four knee operations. I'm always going to be a little bit sore. As long as I can function, I'm with fine that."

Looking back at his multiple injuries that left him sidelined, Woods wondered if he would ever play again. "It was a tough, tough road," he told CNN's Living Golf show. "There was a lot of dark times where I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't move, the pain was too great."

His golf game is pretty terrible

With so much happening with Woods' health, it's no wonder his golf game sucks. Even his fellow professional golfers seem to agree with numerous analysis that the end of Woods' career is fast approaching.

Outspoken pro-golfer Greg Norman flat out said he doesn't think Woods will ever win another major championship. "Tiger, when he dominated, had a single-shot approach," Norman told Golf.com. "It was only about the golf… Now there are so many distractions, and people are looking for things that are wrong with Tiger now, so he's got to deal with that on a day-to-day basis, like every other mortal has to do, right? In our lives, in our business, we all have to be responsible for our actions. It's very hard for him to have that focus. And the more he shuts people off, the worse it gets."

Norman's comments seemed to signal that much of the focus on Woods lately isn't on his golf game at all, but his struggling private life. According to the site, the current number one player Luke Donald also said, "the Tiger era is over."

In May 2016, Woods attempted to stir up interest about his return to golf, but his press conference did nothing but bring up concerns that he's no longer physically fit for the job. Fox Sports covered the event and said Twitter exploded with speculation that his career was over after demonstrating his swing before audiences. The site also suggested Woods may have been playing up the injuries to psych-out his competitors. Either way, it was an embarrassment. Perhaps it's a signal that the end is indeed near.

He's getting political

Woods turned heads after he was photographed playing golf with then-President-elect Donald Trump in December 2016. Although it's unclear with the men talked about, it didn't leave many feeling encouraged. Woods has never really talked about politics but in February 2017, Woods attempted to speak out. It was a troubled period in America. President Trump issued a ban on Muslims from seven countries around the globe and the fallout was just beginning. Protests were rampant and people were angry for multiple reasons.

Speaking to CNN's Living Golf show, Woods gave his only advice that seemed a bit opaque given the difficult times. He urged Americans to "come together and do what's best for our country… We need to unite, and be Americans. I know there is a lot of divisiveness as of right now but time, patience and unity I think will win out." Despite his encouraging words, Woods didn't slam the president for his policies nor did he openly agree with his behavior. Some could have viewed this as a missed opportunity to stand up for what's right in America, especially since his own mother, Kultida Woods, is an immigrant from Thailand.

He's working on a comeback

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Woods' historic win at the 1997 Masters. And he's doing just about anything to get back in fighting shape to compete once again.

"I'm trying. I'm trying everything I can do to be able to get back and play," Woods told Good Morning America in March 2017. "I love that event. It's meant so much to me in my life."

Woods last won The Masters in 2005. In all, his career is incredibly special, winning 79 PGA Tour events and 14 major golf championships. Although that's nothing to scoff at, winning one more Masters would put Woods in a new league of winners. "It has so much history and meaning to me that I'd love to get back," he said. The 2017 Masters begins April 6 in Georgia.

Only time will tell if Woods will repeat history, or end his career in shame.