Three years later, a reformed and more disciplined Woods has emerged with another blonde-haired beauty, but this time he's not sneaking around.
On Monday, Woods told his fans via Facebook that he's officially dating Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.
This season has been great so far and I'm happy with my wins at Torrey and Doral. Something nice that's happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn. Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating. We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy. We want to continue our relationship, privately, as an ordinary couple and continue to compete as athletes.
There you have it. Woods and Vonn, long rumored to be an item, are officially dating. After all, the only true way to confirm the news is to make it public on Facebook (even for uber-famous celebrities, apparently).
The real issue: When is the proper time to announce a relationship on Facebook?
In my view, Woods has it right:
After about three months.
Any sooner and you could rush things. What if you declare the courtship online after only three weeks, things don't pan out and you have to remove the 'in a relationship' status?
Any longer than three months, and people start to wonder: Are they actually going out or adrift in the 'friend zone'?
Facebook Still Matters... A Lot
If you want to tell everyone you know that you're in a perfect, warm-and-fuzzy relationship, where else would you go besides Facebook? You're not going to send off a big email with the news; that's incredibly weird. A quick flip from 'single' to 'in a relationship' is the easiest, most straightforward way.
Tiger Woods, who probably has assistants do everything from carry his irons to iron his clothes, used Facebook himself to show off his new girlfriend. Even a global icon knows the importance of 'making it official' on social media.
Face it: Facebook is where the world proclaims its love. Everyone is entitled to make 'the big reveal' on their own schedule, but there's no denying that it can feel funny if you jump too soon or wait too long.
Three months seems a reasonable amount of time, and Tiger Woods' announcement is a worthy example. Now, the golfer plans to continue his relationship with Vonn 'privately.'
I dunno. Maybe Tiger should leave things out in the open. After 121 'mistakes,' the world needs to keep an eye on him.
What do you think of the 'three-month rule' when you announce a relationship on Facebook?
Too early, too late or right on time?
Follow Danny Rubin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DannyHRubin