Golf super agent criticizes Tiger Woods for ultimate betrayal after decade long relationship.

March 27, 2024

Throughout the early years of his professional career and into his dominant era, Tiger Woods had Hughes Norton by his side before he was dismissed by the PGA Tour star in 1998.

Hughes Norton, who worked with 15-time major champion Tiger Woods during the start of his professional career, has accused him of ‘betrayal’.

Before his meteoric rise in professional golf, Woods crossed paths with Norton at the young age of 13. Acting as a guiding hand, the agent fostered Woods’ talent and secured lucrative contracts for him from renowned brands such as Titleist and notably Nike.

At the 1997 Masters Tournament, Norton was present with Woods when he achieved his first major championship win. The astonishing victory involved a remarkable margin of 12 shots at Augusta National and marked the then-21-year-old’s initial triumph in acquiring five green jackets.

A year later, despite the 82-time PGA Tour victory adding to his already established success in the game, he parted ways with Norton. The agent described it as an unpleasant ending. In anticipation of his new book ‘Rainmaker’, Norton told the Daily Mail: “It was a severe case of betrayal.”

Norton revealed that he didn’t feel too affected by the dismissal, both professionally and personally. He believed he had done a commendable job on a professional level and felt hurt over losing years of good relationship with Woods due to his detached behavior resembling that of a zombie.

He found some comfort in the fact that although it doesn’t offer much, but he noted: “The individual was impartial when turning into a zombie with his relationships by treating all equally – be it swing coaches, lawyers or even those involved in negotiating for IMG representation and caddies.”

He further commented on how this is just his normal pattern of ending any kind of relationship without discrimination. It includes former golf trainers as well as girlfriends which he finds rather ironic.

He excels in confronting challenges on the golf course, ruthlessly defeating opponents every time. However, when it comes to personal confrontations with individuals such as myself or those close to him, he lacks any social finesse at all – an infuriating trait indeed.

Norton had collaborated with several renowned individuals, including Woods and former world No. 1 Greg Norman who is now the CEO of LIV Golf. Notably, Norton parted ways with both these personalities, but while his termination from Norman’s team didn’t seem to faze him much after working together for 11 years, getting dismissed by Woods was a harder pill to swallow.

“Norman had been with us for 11 years, and while it was understandable that he wanted to pursue his own path, what struck me more than anything else were the similarities between Norman’s aspirations and those of past superstars who eventually went solo. Though I did feel disappointed when he left- having shared such a strong bond as friends – ultimately I respected his decision. The even larger challenge arrived in coping with Tiger departing from our team; this departure proved far more bewildering and troubling.”