David Owen's slender volume on Tiger Woods, The Chosen One (Simon & Schuster, $21), is a worthy companion to another best-seller, Woods's own How I Play Golf (Warner Books, $34.95). What we learn from New Yorker writer Owens is that, in raising an exceptional child, Tiger's parents instilled no out-of-the-ordinary values. They stressed such Boy Scout virtues as honesty, courtesy, patience, and discipline. "Tiger was made to be a good person," says his father. The moral: If you want to play the way Tiger does, you better get conventional parents.
So whence Tiger's unusual stature? As you might already expect, Owen believes that his gift is the product of relentless practice, drive--and, of course, the thing that can never be learned, talent. Even if the book holds few surprises, Wood-ites will still enjoy Owen's account, which also explores such themes as greatness and its burdens, race, athleticism, and Tiger's impact on the golfing profession.
By Karin Pekarchik