Tiger Woods' First National Television Appearance

A young Tiger Woods

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Tiger Woods debuted on national television at the age of 2. On Oct. 6, 1978, Woods — then about 2.5 months shy of his third birthday — appeared, along with his father Earl, with Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart on "The Mike Douglas Show."

More details about the show and Tiger's appearance are below, but first...

How to Watch Tiger's 'Mike Douglas' Appearance

The almost-3-year-old Woods' television debut can be watched as a grainy clip on YouTube and other video websites. Such videos aren't the full clip from "The Mike Douglas Show," but are instead outtakes of less than a minute long.

A fuller and much higher quality version of little Woods' appearance is included in a 2008 DVD release titled "Mike Douglas—Moments & Memories." It collects some of the best-remembered guest appearances from the show.

More About Tiger's TV Debut

"The Mike Douglas Show" was an afternoon talk show that aired from 1961 through 1982 on American television. Douglas' other guests on the episode on which Woods made his national TV debut were entertainment legends Bob Hope and Jimmy Stewart. (The actress Kristy McNichol also appeared in the episode, but not in the segment with little Tiger.) It somehow seems appropriate that Woods first appeared on the national scene alongside such huge stars as Hope and Stewart.

Hope, Stewart, and Douglas, along with Woods's father Earl, watched little Tiger demonstrate his prodigy status with a few putts and some drives off an artificial turf mat.

In 2000, Douglas was interviewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper, and recalled the segment with Woods and how he'd first spotted Tiger:

Mr. Douglas saw a Los Angeles TV news feature in 1978 about preschoolers at a driving range. "He (Tiger) stood out like a sore thumb, because they were all swinging like babies, and he swung like he does now," he recalls.
So, Mr. Douglas called the station, got Tiger's phone number and gave it to a booker. Soon tiny Tiger was on the show in a putting contest with Mr. Hope.
Tiger smacked two balls 10 feet past the hole, then walked up and placed a golf ball on the lip of the cup. The studio howled; Mr. Hope doubled over in laughter.

By the way, there's another very early TV appearance by Woods on YouTube. In the early 1980s, when he was five, Woods was featured on "That's Incredible" (watch it on YouTube) in a segment hosted and narrated by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Fran Tarkenton.

Woods' "Mike Douglas" appearance is also featured in some later versions of the Tiger Woods EA Sports game franchise. Gamers could enter a "legacy mode" to see footage of 2-year-old Tiger's TV debut.