Charlie Woods was born to be a star. He was born into a family of golf royalty who’s exceptions of him are to be great. How could they not be? His father, Eldrick, is widely considered by most to be the greatest golfer of all time. The 15 time major champion grew up in a culture where winning wasn’t everything, it was the only thing. Tigers late father, Earl, has been said to have been one of the most strict, hard nose individuals on the planet, who pushed Eldrick to the absolute brink at a very early age. This hard disciplined nature, which helped turned Woods into the champion he is today, is naturally going to rub off onto his own parenting style.
So, for the first eleven years of Charlie’s life, we, as the Patrons of the Woods family, saw little to none of the young prodigies game. There were rumors that the Tiger prince was beginning to establish quite the swing, but we had not seen it. We had not, and may never know, just how how much Tiger and his son spent practicing on his game.
Finally, during this past weekends PNC Championship, which features some of the best PGA players on tour, who are accompanied by members of their family, Charlie made his debut. Personally, I did not know what to expect from an 11-year-old who was making his “Professional” debut. I mean, let’s think about this for a second. You are the son of the greatest to ever do it. For the past 5 years or so, everyone, and I mean everyone in the golf world has wanted to watch the great one’s son swing it. And now, you have a chance to go out there with your pops and play in front of the whole world watching. That’s a pretty pressure-packed moment for anyone, let alone an 11-year-old if you ask me.
As the tournament began, it became clear that Charlie has already become better than any naviance golfer on the planet. And to be honest, to even think that that would not be the case is quite stupid. This kid got Tiger genes, of course, he is going to be great.
I like to consider myself as someone who watches a lot of golf. I also play a lot of golf, probably, too much than I would even like to admit. And with that being said, I can honestly say that Charlie Woods is the chosen one. And sure, the kid may be 11 years old and yes, he may be smaller than the dinner I ate tonight. But what the young prodigy lacks in size, he gains in heart and grace. The mechanics I saw from Charlie this weekend were nothing short of outstanding. His swing was crisp, his motions were pure, and his putting was as smooth as a teenagers chin after they first shave. Also, I think it is worth noting just how similar the Tiger princes game was to the Tiger king himself. There were multiple moments during the weekend where we as golf fans were filled with a sense of nostalgia, as Charlie looked more like Tiger than his dad ever did.
By weekends end, the father and son pair finished with a respectful tournament score of -20. They shot a 62 on Saturday and mimicked their performance, shooting a 62 on Sunday. As the tournament came to a close and Charlie stepped up to the 18th green, a clear sense of pride could visibly be seen on Eldricks face. This was his son, a boy he raised, succeeding at a sport in which he has already concurred. In many ways, this tournament symbolized the passing of the torch. Tigers time is coming to an end. Charlies is just getting started. It is time for the student, to become the master.
PS: Yes, I am aware that we will not see Charlie Woods at the professional level for quite some time, but the fact that we got to the young prodigy dominate in some capacity at all, was awesome in itself.