Tiger Woods and Charlie will peg it up this weekend at the PNC Championship for the second year in a row.
In my opinion, I find the level of interest in little Charlie a little bit uncomfortable.
He's a 12-year-old kid and his father is arguably the greatest ever to play the sport.
The level of attention he gets is what you would expect.
That being said, Woods is well aware of how the attention can affect him and will protect him from the media spotlight as much as he can.
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He wouldn't play alongside him in this event unless he didn't feel comfortable.
Perhaps if Charlie truly wants to give golf a crack then he will have to get used to the distractions.
Tiger was groomed for the biggest stage ever since he could hold a club. We don't know if this is true of Charlie.
As a junior golfer Tiger's father used to jingle change in his pocket routinely as he stood up to hit his tee shots.
He was trying to prepare him for life on the biggest stage. The cameras. The noise. The fans.
How to deal with pressure, essentially.
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Of course, 15 major championships and 82 wins on the PGA Tour prove that it worked and then some.
There is no doubting that Charlie is naturally very good at golf.
I'm clueless about the golf swing but I daren't say that a PGA teaching professional would disagree when I say it's quite good.
But how does he rank amongst juniors of his age?
Who cares, really. But reportedly he's ranked T135 on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour averaging 83.
There has been some discussion recently about just how good Charlie is compared to his father at his age.
My opinion? I do not care and nor should you.
Golf is hard and the odds of him "making it" are stacked against him, even at his age.
Tiger broke 70 when he was 12 and Charlie broke 80 this summer.
There are late bloomers so who knows and who can say whether he is or isn't good enough.
Golf journalist Robert Lusetich had this to say:
Charlie Woods is well outside the top 100 in his age group in Florida. Averages 83. He’s not the next Tiger and it’s beyond unfair to put such expectations on him. What’s great is that he seems to love golf and is as driven as his old man to be the best he can be.— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) December 13, 2021
Of course Lusetich went on to say that Tiger is a 'once-in-a-century' talent and it's unfair to put that kind of pressure on the boy.
There were some interesting responses, too:
Ranking junior golfers is meaningless. And toxic. But, of course, profitable for some. Charlie Woods' 'low' ranking tells me there are plenty more things in his childhood than golf. Kudos to his parents.— lawrencedonegan (@lawrencedonegan) December 14, 2021
Way too soon to put any expectations on him. But have to say, judging from several videos, he has a beautiful swing for a 12 year old.— Dave Andrews (@PopsandSunshine) December 13, 2021
Agreed on the expectations across the board of junior sport too. And actually there’s great data to show that most eventual top ranked seniors were not even close as juniors too. Especially that age group. So there is no reason to think he / they might not be a world beater still— PeterB (@peterbaileygolf) December 14, 2021
Rankings don't mean too much at any age, but at age 12, they definitely don't mean a thing. Kids should be playing a bunch of sports and smiling a lot at that age. Whether Charlie wants to follow in his dad's very big footprints will be seen, but not determined for many years.— Jeanne Sutherland (@golfjeanne) December 14, 2021
Which proves how exceptional his “on camera” debut was last year. Played like a scratch marker!— Luke Elvy (@Luke_Elvy) December 13, 2021