If you remember seeing a two-year-old Tiger Woods show his stuff on the Mike Douglas Show back in 1978, then get ready. Woods’ son is already proving his worth on a golf course, and there is even talk of him proving such a prodigy (like dear old Dad) that he may win one of the majors within the next few years.
If you didn’t see Tiger strut his stuff at age two, then let me just remind you that he was golfing Los Angeles area courses under par by age 13. That sums up his pre-teen career in a way that few other statistics could convey.
But will his prowess transfer to his child? It depends on whether you favor the nature or the nurture theory of personality development. Charlie Woods has already won a couple of youth tournaments, and Tiger had already won more than 100 tournaments by this age.
Did Charlie win because he has Tiger’s genes or because he was raised by a golf professional and had the chance to absorb tips and tricks over his lifetime? It may be a combination of both.
After all, many NFL players had fathers who played in the NFL, and it’s the same with the MLB. Why not golf? Let’s take a look at what exactly constitutes a Major and whether Charlie is already showing a proclivity to not only make it to a Major, but to take the win.
An Overview of the Majors
Fans of betting on golf know that the Majors are, well, pretty major. Fans just don’t always know what exactly constitutes a Major.
There are four tournaments that make up the Majors:
- The Masters – April
- US Open – June
- Open Championship (British Open) – July
- PGA Championship – August
These events hold the most prestige in the golfing world, followed closely by the US Women’s Open and the Ryder Cup. There is also the Asian Tour, the Japan Tour, and the European Tour, all of which feel like major events, but which are not technically “Majors.”
Considering how difficult it is to be a good enough and consistent enough golfer to make it to any of the Majors events, is it really feasible that Charlie Woods could make it any of these events within the next nine years?
To do so, he would certainly have to maintain his current interest in the sport, and he’ll have to do it on his own since Tiger shows none of his own father’s predilection for keeping a golf career firmly front and center in his son’s mind.
Tiger is taking a “wait and see” approach—no pressure, only support—but his presence is a massive asset to the youngest Woods should he choose the pro golfer route.
Let’s take a closer look at Charlie Woods, then discuss the odds on him reaching a Major while still a young man.
Introducing Charlie Woods
Tiger has two children. The younger is 12-year-old Charlie. Although initially obsessed with soccer as a toddler and young child, Charlie has begun to gain notice for his golfing skills.
Naturally, when a child of Tiger Woods shows some promise on the golf course, speculations will begin to fly. After all, every media personality wants a “scoop,” and there are often more reporters and broadcasters on a golf course than fans and players.
It is true that Charlie has already won a youth tournament or two, but there is a massive difference between prowess as a youth and commitment to a professional career as an adult.
Many of us excelled at sports in high school and college. Not many of us became professional athletes.
Charlie’s Golf Trajectory thus Far
It is tough on Charlie to compare him to his father, but there is really no way of getting around this.
For instance, Charlie started playing around with a golf club when he was four years old. Tiger was only half that age when he was showcasing his golf skills on television.
By the time Tiger was three years old, he was shooting nine holes in 48 strokes, and he was in Golf Digest when he was still in kindergarten.
So, by comparison, four-year-old Charlie was getting a late start in the prodigy game.
But Charlie and Tiger have acknowledged that Charlie didn’t develop an interest in golf until forced to stay indoors due to the 2020 pandemic restrictions. Charlie participated in a few youth tournaments in 2020 and did well enough to start the rumor mill churning.
The Truth Comes Out at the Father/Son Challenge
The two played together at the PNC Championship—also known as the Father/Son Challenge—in Orlando, Florida in December of 2020.
“That’s why we play. It’s because of enjoyment. And doing it together,” Tiger said. – TGR
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) December 20, 2020
Charlie, not looking at all like someone new to the game, smacked a five-wood off the tee for around 170 yards. His form was not ideal, but from the sound of the club making contact with the ball, it was clear that the hit was solid and would go the distance.
That shot led to Charlie’s first eagle (two under par), a mighty achievement for any golfer, winning Charlie much respect.
Tiger noted that Charlie can bend his body in ways that Tiger can no longer do, due to health reasons, and that this will greatly benefit Charlie in the future as it will help him create a killer swing.
One Privilege Charlie Enjoys Over Other Golfers
Charlie grew up watching his father on the course. Even the most prestigious golf courses in the world feel like home to Tiger’s kids.
Thus, when Charlie walks out onto a course in front of spectators, he doesn’t have the same intense nervousness crowding his thoughts and negatively impacting his game.
His ease on the green has been noted by numerous sports analysts who were thrilled to have a new story to follow during the dark days of 2020, when many sports were on hold and most major events were canceled.
Tiger has never pressured either of his children to take up golf. If he had, perhaps Charlie wouldn’t have the ease and fun on the green that he appears to currently enjoy.
Anyone who has played golf knows you can’t force it. The tighter your grip, and the more desperate you are to clear a sand trap or a water feature, the worse you do. It’s a game that requires finesse and that elusive “I don’t really care—I can take it or leave it” attitude.
Right now, this is the attitude that Woods Junior is enjoying. Should Charlie decide to pursue the sport professionally the jitters may come, but he’ll have Tiger close at hand to talk him through the psychological aspect of the game.
Right now, Charlie is confident enough to pull a pitching wedge from the bag when he’s still 100 yards from the flag. With this kind of skill with the short-game wedges, it can be surmised that his game will improve even more as he gains body strength and course experience.
The Odds on Charlie Woods
Placing odds on an event that will happen years in the future, involving a kid who may or may not take up the sport of golf in any serious way, is akin to throwing darts at an unmarked dartboard.
There is simply no precise way to assess Charlie’s chances. But people try! And those people are some of the finest mathematicians anywhere, who are employed by sportsbooks to come up with the kinds of numbers that make sense.
Let’s look at what the current betting odds are, and what our common sense tells us are the chances of Charlie following Tiger into legendary status.
Current Betting Odds
As of right now, the odds on Charlie to win a Major hovers at around 825 to 1. The odds on any given event do tend to vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but suffice it to say that if you do bet on Charlie to win, and he does within the required time, you will win a massive return.
Of course, you’ll have to wait a while to reap your reward and deposit your winnings in your bank account. Charlie will not be playing a major anytime soon, much less winning one.
If you have faith, and if you are a massive Woods family fan, then this years-long wager may be something to invest in.
Parent-Child Golf Successes
There have been ten sons who have won PGA Tour competitions after their fathers had already done so. Here is a quick look at those legacy pairs.
|Father||Father’s Era||Son||Son’s Era|
|Old Tom Morris||Mid – 19th Cent.||Young Tom Morris||Late 19th Cent.|
|J.M. Canizares||1972 – 1992||Alejandro Canizares||2006 – Present|
|Al Geiberger||1959 – 1979||Brent Geiberger||1993 – 2009|
|Claude Harmon||1946 – 1960||Butch Harmon||1965 – Early 2000s|
|Bob Tway||1986 – 2003||Kevin Tway||2011 – Present|
|Jay Haas||1976 – 2016||Bill Haas||2004 – Present|
|Antonio Garrido||1961 – 1999||Ignacio Garrido||1993 – 2008|
|Jack Burke Sr.||1907 – 1940||Jack Burke Jr.||1941 – 1963|
|Percy Alliss||1920 – 1949||Peter Alliss||1952 – 1969|
|Willie Park Sr.||1860 – 1875||Willie Park Jr.||1880 – 1890|
Sons often learn golf from their fathers. Out of an estimated 23 million golfers in the world, it is not unreasonable to say that 10% of that number at least are playing at the same time as their fathers and perhaps grandfathers.
And yet, only ten dad-son units in the world have experienced individual successes in a PGA tournament.
Thus, mathematically, the potential of Charlie to also win a PGA tour championship, given that his father has won 15 of them, would appear to be infinitesimally small.
However, only one of those millions of men and boys who play golf have Tiger Woods as a father, trainer, support system, and general perfect golfing resource.
Could this tip the scales? Well, it already seems to be doing just that.
The Lure of Sponsorships May Improve the Odds of Winning a Major
No matter how well Charlie does on the golf course, it is a given that lucrative sponsorships will soon be offered to him, despite his tender years.
Sponsorships to a young kid would mean income, status, and very likely popularity among kids of his own age. The magnetic draw of this kind of celebrity may be what keeps Charlie on the path to a golf career.
Charlie has already been seen sporting a pricey set of Taylor-Made golf clubs, and there is some speculation that Nike will soon be wooing this young player.
Having grown up with money, attention, and golf, it is possible that this swag won’t sway him as much as it would an average kid off the streets who has a lot to prove, but it just might.
The Quarantine Bonus
There is a common saying in golf: “Drive for show, putt for dough.” And yet, in spite of the popularity of this phrase, most golfers still focus significantly harder on their drive off the tee than their putting efficacy.
Why is this? Well, it’s at the tee where you can impress your friends, your date, other golfers, and the girls who work in the traveling snack carts. Also, a sound, powerful shot just feels good, never mind if it hooks or doglegs or just travels in the wrong direction altogether.
But considering that golf is a game based on precision placement of the ball , even when it is hundreds of yards away, this approach is ill-advised.
It’s far better to have a short shot in the right direction, perhaps even using a five wood rather than a big, glossy driver, and to beat your opponents on the green. But that’s not impressive, and many enjoy the “wow” factor of a massive drive.
Charlie Woods, however, has both. He has a solid drive off the tee, and he’s been working on his short game in his living room with the Tiger himself.
Although Charlie Woods’ parents are divorced and live in separate homes, and the kids shuttle back and forth between parents even during lockdown, Tiger has acknowledged that he and Charlie got through quarantine by having putting contests.
And I imagine that a little putting practice with Tiger can go a long way.
A Final Thought
No one knows what the future holds. This is why we place wagers in the first place. We know that if we put money on the action, we’ll be invested in whatever game of chance, skill, or fame is currently grabbing our attention.
It is safe to say, however, that Tiger’s kids are going to be in the spotlight for years to come, even if only on the coattails of their dad’s fame.
But if Charlie Woods continues to play golf, and his father continues to support him, then it is fair to say that his chances of excelling are better than most.