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Tiger Woods: Father & Son - Australian Golf Digest Tiger Woods: Father & Son - Australian Golf Digest

Get ready for a new chapter in Tiger Woods’ legacy. 

When you crunch the numbers, you are left with a most sombre picture. Since turning 35 in December 2010, Tiger Woods has played in just 108 PGA Tour events. Since winning a fifth Masters and 15th major in April 2019, he’s teed it up in only 21 tournaments with one win and two other top-10s. His best finish in the past three seasons? A tie for 38th.

So when you factor in the surgery to his right foot that has kept him sidelined since April 2023 and the fact that he will turn 48 at the end of this year, it doesn’t take a visionary to understand that Woods is virtually retired from full-time PGA Tour status. But before you shed tears and embrace fears that Woods will melt into the shadows and perhaps become a recluse aboard his yacht or inside his estate, take comfort. Woods is more invested in golf than ever before, and a multitude of avenues will keep him in the public eye. True, it won’t be as sexy as it was in his days of golf glory, but there are chapters to his saga still to be written.

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Now we could unfurl his recent appointment as the sixth player director on the PGA Tour’s Policy Board and how he could be instrumental in shaping whatever deal is made with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. Or we could touch upon his role with TMRW Sports – a sports media and entertainment company he started with Rory McIlroy – and the endeavour into an innovative golf league called TGL in partnership with the PGA Tour that is tech-fused and rich in data. It has secured the financial backing of megastars such as Justin Bieber, Darius Rucker, and Khaled Mohammed Khaled.

“As a big sports fan myself, I’m excited about blending golf with technology and team elements common in other sports,” Woods said. “We all know what it’s like to be in a football stadium or a basketball arena where you can watch every play, every minute of action unfold right in front of you.”

But of course, it’s the return of Woods to the golf arena that enthrals the most, so the question is, when will we see him next? The annual Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas (November 30 to December 3) is a possibility, of course. But it’s the PNC Championship/Father-Son Challenge (December 15-17) that has our curiosity ripe: is Woods going to tee it up with son Charlie for a fourth straight year?

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The answer: who knows?

OK, so you want something more definitive, but by now it’s well known that Woods never commits until he’s 100 percent sure. Though given how much he has enjoyed playing in this four-ball event with Charlie (they finished seventh in 2020, T-2 in 2021, and T-8 a year ago) and the fact that golf carts are allowed, it seems a good bet that we’ll see them in their matching Sunday red for a fourth straight year.

That is an enticing thought and should stir the emotions of Woods’ loyal fans, because the truth is, being Charlie’s mentor and guiding force is going to dominate Tiger’s life.

Oh, he’ll probably play in some PGA Tour Champions events in 2026 (he’ll turn 50 on December 30, 2025) but even that won’t match the joy Tiger is going to have steering Charlie’s career. And make no mistake about it, there will be plenty of highlights with Charlie Woods. Heck, they’ve already begun.

Take his recent stretch, for instance. A 14-year-old freshman for The Benjamin School, an elite private school in Palm Beach Gardens, not far from Tiger’s home in Jupiter, Florida, Charlie closed with a 68 to finish at 102 and win the weather-plagued, 27-hole West Coast High School Tournament.

Just a few days earlier, Charlie had posted 71-66 to win the boys’ 14-15 years division in a qualifier to earn his way into the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship. Tiger caddied all 36 holes in that tournament and deserves huge credit for how he has helped guide his young son.

Sharing parental duties with ex-wife Elin (she lives in Palm Beach Gardens with Samantha, their eldest child, and Charlie), Tiger didn’t push their son into golf; he waited to see if the youngster got the bug.

Turns out, the chance to play in the PNC as an 11-year-old ignited Charlie’s fires. Much to the youngster’s benefit, his father knows the landscape and has been very careful not to overload his son with tonnes of golf tournaments, chasing elite level AJGA competition across the USA.

Instead, Charlie has played local tournaments and while he’s inherited his father’s penchant for lapping the field (he shot one-under for 36 holes to win by eight in a Hurricane Junior Golf Tour tournament), the youngster has been told by his father not to copy his swing.

“Copy Rory’s [swing],” Woods told Charlie, pointing out how McIlroy goes at it very hard, but always maintains balance.

Tiger’s advice to Charlie is to copy Rory McIlroy’s swing, rather than his. getty images

Woods concedes he didn’t always keep good balance in his golf swing, but he’s doing admirably with young Charlie. Woods probably realises that his son is coming along at an interesting time – there are riches to be made for collegiate athletes thanks to the Name, Image and Licensing (NIL) landscape – but he is doing his very best to let him live a normal life. School, soccer, video games… they’re all in Charlie’s life right now and Tiger wants it to remain that way.

Even as the golf bug has bitten Charlie, the pace has not increased. It’s not a sprint, Woods will tell his son, so be patient. There is much joy to experience, so be a kid. The pursuit of individual golf glory will come, so embrace this team opportunity now.

“He’s a great teammate. He’s my son,” Tiger said. “At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about us having an opportunity to bond. We needle each other. We encourage each other. It goes back and forth.”

Whether the gift to score and win golf tournaments passes from one generation to the next remains to be seen. And that is what hits at the most important thing about Charlie Woods – because of his love of golf, we are able to see Tiger Woods more often. 

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