The trail of Tiger Woods took TIME to New Orleans, where the youngest winner of golf's grand slam was conducting a clinic for local kids. On hand were assistant managing editor Dan Goodgame, staff writer Romesh Ratnesar and photographer Herb Ritts, who flew from Los Angeles for the shoot. "I've worked with just about everybody, from Presidents to rock stars," says Ritts, "and Tiger lived up to his reputation. He was a very cool guy, very easy and humble. He was very in the moment. We hit it off very well." Before meeting up with Woods in New Orleans, Goodgame, who wrote the story on Tiger's risky overhaul of his swing, followed the golfer during his practice rounds at St. Andrews before the British Open, listening to him and his coach and caddy discussing the types of shots he should hit on different holes in different conditions. Says Goodgame, who played golf for Oxford University: "I've seen good players rework their swings and never recover. What Tiger did took guts." Ratnesar, who attended Stanford with Tiger and is based in London, flew in to interview the athlete. "What struck me," he says, "is his self-assurance, his almost other-worldly belief that things will come in their own time and that they will work out well for him. He seemed in utter control of everything he said and did when he met us. For a 24-year-old, his total lack of anxiety about his life was astonishing." Ratnesar knows from recent experience. He is 25.
In Philadelphia last week, as correspondents Viveca Novak and Michael Weisskopf investigated the big money behind the big party, writer-reporter Andrew Goldstein and reporter Mitch Frank got undercover assignments: infiltrating the many exclusive shindigs the G.O.P. was throwing. At one point, says Frank, "you had to drive to a naval base, get past two security checkpoints in order to sneak into a party in a giant warehouse." Says Goldstein: "Mitch and I were at a Texas-style BBQ party paid for by mining, gas and nuclear companies featuring tubs of Shiner Bock beer until a congressional aide tossed us out." All of Philadelphia was a party--and it was difficult not to stumble over famous feet. Says Frank: "Richard Roundtree--the original Shaft--sat on the couch watching John McCain at the podium. I spoke to Trent Lott, Jerry Falwell and Bob Livingston within an hour. George Stephanopoulos backed into me and apologized." One of the rare times he'll ever do that.
The election connection is just one of the many new features of Timeforkids.com the cybersibling of TIME FOR KIDS magazine that was relaunched last week. In addition to this kid-friendly introduction to the American political process, the site provides late-breaking news stories, research tools and homework help. Come visit at www.timeforkids.com or use AOL Keyword: TFK.