March 26, 2024

The super agent Hughes Norton, who masterminded Tiger Woods’ ascent to stardom, recently disclosed the harsh way in which the 15-time major champion fired him.


When Norton spoke with the Daily Mail about his new book “Rainmaker,” he revealed more about his past with Woods and provided a thorough explanation of their 1998 breakup.


Norton handled a number of enormous financial arrangements for the future Hall of Famer and had a front-row seat to the wildest journey in golf, having first met Woods when he was just 13 years old.


When Woods won The Masters in 1997, Norton was his agent. In 1996, he also arranged his multi-million dollar contracts with Nike and Titleist.


After just two years of working with Woods, Norton was surprisingly fired, even though he thought he had done more than his share of the job as an agent.


The dismissal was referred to as a “betrayal with a capital B” by the former IMG super agent, both personally and professionally.




Norton talked on how Woods appeared “emotionless” with “zombie-like” eyes to him when he realized his services were no longer required.


Norton revealed that he was not the only person to suffer Woods’ cold shoulder, even if it seemed like his firing came too soon.


Speaking to the Daily Mail about Woods’ behavior, Norton said:


“This is the only comfort I have, and it doesn’t last long: He was an equal opportunity zombie in terms of relationships, swing coaches, lawyers, and the guy who arranged the IMG representation agreement with caddies,” he adds. “When it ends, it ends.”It is the manner in which he ends connections with all of them. Whether it’s his ex-golf instructors, or girlfriends. It is, in fact, ironic. He’s almost too skilled at taking on opponents on the golf course. He will consistently outsmart you if he is playing you. However, he lacks all social skills when it comes to dealing with me and other people in his life. It really irritates me.”

Norton received his marching orders from IMG shortly after Woods let him go, and he feels that losing Woods was definitely the decisive factor.


Thirteen years later, Woods was fired in another well-publicized incident, but this time, his longtime caddie, Steve Williams, was let go.


Williams, who carried Woods’ bag for 13 of his major victories, asked if he could loop for Adam Scott for one tournament in 2011, while Woods was taking a vacation from the game.


Steve Williams

At first, Woods gave him the go-ahead, but once Williams agreed to work for Scott, Woods threatened to dismiss him if he did so.


Williams kept his word and caddied for Scott. Shortly after, he got a call from Woods’ attorney telling him he was fired.


Williams was stunned at how he was fired after caddied for Woods for 13 years and named him best man at his wedding.


At the ‘Tiger’ documentary on Sky Sports, Williams disclosed that his termination was ruthless.


He declared:


“I didn’t think he was firing me as a friend; I thought he was firing me as a golf caddie.” I never imagined that Tiger, who served as my wedding’s best man, would stop talking to me forever. I simply didn’t even consider that. That’s still a tough pill for me to take. After thirteen years of dating and investing all of your time and energy into him, the man is unable to communicate with you.”


Mark Steinberg, who has represented the former World No. 1 since 1998, is still Woods’ agent at this time.

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