If one is paying close enough attention, the dots can easily be connected.
Back in August, Nike announces they're shutting down their golf equipment operation. Although the conditions of their renewed contractual agreement back in 2013 aren't known, I think it's safe to assume that Woody can expect to stay on the Nike endorsement payroll for a couple more years. But after that it's gonzo.
Two months later, Tiger is seen laughing it up with the boys and enjoying his cart-driving duties for the US Ryder Cup team. He even gives Bubba Watson his cellphone number in a moment of weakness. That Sunday, the pride of being a successful cart-driving vice captain couldn't be more obvious, as he was asked afterward if he wished he'd been a part of a winning team. "We were a team. Whether I was playing or not I was part of this team."
Woods is overtaken by so much joy and celebration that he completely overlooks the fact that he's not played golf in over a year, and days later he's still so inspired by it all that he announces that he's planning on returning to competitive golf the 2nd week of October. I mean - if the aging, arthritic Phil Mickelson can do what he did that Sunday in his match against Sergio, if that fat little **** Patrick Reed, who stole his patented red shirt on Sunday statement to take down Rory in an epic birdie-fest, in the Ryder Cup, no less? Lemme go grab my sticks right now. I ain't even joking, it's time to put my spikes back on and show these boys what it's all about.
Except he didn't check with Notah, first. Because had he, Notah would've been like, "Dude, you know you my boy and all... but seriously, dude. Remember that little problem we were having at the range the other day? You remember I was standing about 5 feet to your right and you almost took me out with that lobber? Yeah, that's what I'm saying, dude. I know you wanna get back out there and all, but right now might not be the best time, that's all I'm saying..."
October 10th, statement from Woods: "After a lot of soul searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA TOUR or compete in Turkey. My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be."
October 17th, another Woods press release announcing the official establishment of his new TGR brand: "There is so much excitement about the potential of TGR. I'm excited to explore the possibilities in design, product development, hospitality, and possibly entertainment."
So... like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Greg Norman - Woods is now shifting his focus from competitive golf to building and promoting his brand.
That's why, imo, he's been front-and-center the past few months. And probably too - has something to do with why he regrets not staying at Stanford and getting his degree, because on some level he probably feels it would just add another layer of credibility to his brand portfolio.
But that post-career transition is happening, and if you're holding out hope that Tiger is serious about returning and resuming a competitive level of golf - that's not exactly great news.