Tiger Woods' decision to speak to the nation from PGA Tour Headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida last Friday was by design. It was familiar territory for Woods, a few hours from his Orlando home, but more than that, his handlers could control the setting.
But unlike a presidential candidate who travels on the country's dime, Tiger (or more specifically, Tiger's corporation) will incur all costs associated with his press conference.
Via the Florida Times-Union:
"Woods' appearance at the TPC required the use of nearly 30 St. Johns County Sheriff's deputies who were working on an off-duty basis but paid the standard overtime rate of $33 per hour. The TPC Sawgrass would not release the bill for the use of the Sunset Room, a 2,112-square foot room on the second floor of the clubhouse, but the Times-Union has learned that there is a $5,000 minimum for the room, with the price going as high as $15,000, depending on the day of the week, the time of year and the services required by the clubhouse staff.PGA Tour vice president for communications Ty Votaw told the Times-Union that "all direct costs" related to Woods' visit are being paid for by Woods, his ETW Corporation, or by IMG, his management group.
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St. Johns County Sheriff's Department spokesman Chuck Mulligan told the paper that the heavy security was designed to keep the tabloid media off the grounds and out of the clubhouse. Mulligan added that Woods' visit didn't involve more security than visits by celebrities such as ex-presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, when they play golf at the TPC Sawgrass.
Tiger was also an unwitting supporter of the local economy. Again, via the Times-Union: "Sawgrass Marriott Hotel picked up around 100 extra room nights, mostly from out-of-town media, and restaurants and shops in the immediate area reported a bump in sales not usually seen this time of year."
If you're looking for a silver lining, there it is.