Tiger Woods flies to golf tournaments on his jet. More often than not, he flies in small, private airports where the public rarely will be. That means, usually at least, there is little chance of an audience for his arrival.
One of a small group of people who saw Tiger Woods' plane touchdown two weeks ago ahead of the Deutsche Bank Championship, however, was offended by the behavior of "his team."
Larry Levin, a dentist who practices in Providence, R.I., was at North Central State Airport in the nation's smallest state when Woods' plane landed. And then he saw something that ticked him off, so much so that he penned a letter to Woods and sent it to the Providence Journal's Letter to the Editor page.
Here's the letter in full:
Dear Mr. Woods:
I was one of the 10 or so people who watched your plane arrive on [Aug. 29] at North Central State Airport [in Smithfield] for the Deutsche Bank tournament. I happened to be at the airport to put something in my plane and heard that many of the golfers had been arriving. We were quite a distance from your aircraft and the fact someone in your party had to admonish the airport workers for our presence is disgraceful!
These are the airport workers who cheerfully fuel our planes in the cold of winter and pouring rain for little compensation, as they work for the state. These are the same workers who carried your golf bag off the plane, along with your luggage, and loaded your car for you, without even a "thank you," a "hello" or a "have a nice day."
A smile by you or a little acknowledgement and appreciation would have been much more appropriate than your companion lecturing the airport staff about how "NO ONE" was supposed to be at the airport, including the pilots who own planes and have every right to be there.
This note is not about money, tipping or status. It is about treating people who are kind to you with just a little respect. I, for one, truly appreciate the great job that the staff of Providence Jet Center do for us and all the aircraft that fly into North Central State Airport throughout the year, and felt bad for them the other day.
It is unfortunate that you and your team felt it necessary to berate those hardworking people instead of acknowledging them for their efforts.
Obviously this is a one-sided view. Who knows if Woods and his crew even have the option to lock out any and all plane owners so that the world No. 1 could land in complete anonymity.
Levin seemingly has shared this letter with the paper in an effort to take what might seem a private gaffe into the public spotlight. He may also have unwittingly taken a shot at Woods, too, who is thought to be cheap -- as they say in golf, "not go to the hip too often."
Then again, Woods lands at airports like these for a reason, hoping to avoid gawkers like Levin who scope out places where PGA Tour players will be.