What to Make of Steve Williams Book “Out of the Rough”

By Troy Klongerbo
November 17, 2015


Steve Williams has made a name for himself over a 35-year career in caddying. He’s caddied for some of the world’s greats, including perhaps the greatest ever, and it’s with the latter where Williams again through his name into the boiling pot.

Only this time, it’s starting to earn him nicknames of “Benedict Arnold” and “traitor.”

Last week, in his home country of New Zealand, Steve Williams released a book titled “Out of the Rough.” Earning international fame as Tiger Woods’ caddy for 13 of Woods’ 14 major victories, Williams airs out all of the dirty laundry with his career with Woods.

I haven’t read the book yet, but can’t wait to. Maybe next time I’m in the land of the Kiwis.

steve williams

Some of the book has been embraced by the golf media, while some has been gathered with skepticism.

The ever-abrasive Williams has never been afraid to speak his mind, let his emotions dictate what he says or allow himself to lay down in the midst of controversy. From the excerpts released, this book covers it all.

Most notably earned critique has been Steve Williams’ use of the term “slave” which is what he described working for Woods was like, comments he’s since defended.

“In this part of the world where slavery has never existed people use slave as a description of their service or work every day. We use the word loosely Down Under. After reviewing the book several times before it was published, it never crossed my mind to change the word. It merely was a description of how I felt about something, and in no way in the context it was used does it suggest I was treated like a slave.”


“He’s just following in the footsteps of Hank Haney, trying to make a buck on his way out of the Tiger bandwagon,” most say. Tiger Woods’ former coach Hank Haney did the same thing Williams did with his book “The Big Miss,” released in 2012.

hank haney

It’s clear why Tiger loved him. He’s an expert in the game, accruing arguable more knowledge about the game itself than anyone in recent history. This piece in May by Guy Yocum reveals some noteworthy content on the personality and insights of Williams.

He’s a rough and tumble spirit, one who likes to earn what he keeps. Watch this short video on his life away from caddying and tell me he doesn’t embody the spirit Tiger would love going to battle with.

There’s no doubt in my mind Steve played a role in Tiger winning the majors he did.

In the book, Williams doesn’t even list Tiger as the most difficult man he’s ever had to caddy for. That “honor,” Williams gave to Australian great Greg Norman, a man who Williams said, “If I made a mistake, he certainly had no hesitation in letting me know what an idiot I was. And if he made a mistake, somehow that would also be my fault.”

Sounds like perhaps the way Tiger would’ve been…

Maybe years of battle scars helped Williams to build an immunity before ever working with Woods.

In the book, Williams is said to undress a lot about his career in golf, not just with Woods. It’s just that the stuff with Woods is gaining all of the attention.

Some may hate that Williams’ leveraged his position in the game to make more money. But given Williams’ bank account after his career with Tiger, I really don’t think he needs a book deal to validate anything.

believe Williams as pure insights he wanted to share with the golf world, his contribution to the game he’s given his life to, consequences be damned. 

I for one, can’t wait to read it.

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