PGA tour and tiger woods fan should give charlie wood a break, he’s just a child and I’m very sure he’ll succeed eventually

  1. Stop worrying about Charlie Woods. About his swing, about his talent and drive, where he might ultimately go and if that trajectory needs to be recalibrated after a rough go in a public setting. Those answers will come, yet they are questions he should ask, not you. Stop worrying about Charlie Woods because you shouldn’t be worrying about a 15-year-old golfer in the first place.

 

You may think you don’t worry, but worry is an extension of care, and right now, golf seems to care a heck of a lot about the younger Woods. Any doubt to that, take a glance at social media Thursday morning during Charlie’s appearance at a PGA Tour pre-qualifying event. The tour had a camera crew greet Charlie as he walked in from the parking lot, and the video produced from that simple entrance has already surpassed a million views. There was a running blog of Woods’ round. Hundreds of folks—some ostensibly with jobs—came out to watch him play. Charlie was trending. What those there and at home saw was a kid falling off the horse in his first rodeo, his round submarined by a 12 on the seventh hole. He finished with a 16-over 86. What ensued on Twitter were criticisms that he was overrated, about media coverage, about people countering those opinions and people getting upset that this debate was even happening. Even by social-media standards, which we know is an oxymoron, it was a ridiculous waste of oxygen.

 

We suppose this was inevitable. The moment Charlie was introduced at the PNC Championship in 2020, brandishing the same kinesics and mannerisms and action as his old man, fans saw an avatar for the player they had breathlessly followed for three decades. Tiger was winding down; Charlie was a conduit for that mania to continue. So what if Charlie was only 11; he was on TV, on Instagram. He belonged to the world now, and the world was happy to shoulder him with expectations that we don’t know if he even wants.

 

Look out, Charlie; Annika Sorenstam’s son makes hole-in-one during PNC Championship practice round

 

 

Tiger looking healthy, Charlie hitting BOMBS and everything else you missed from Team Woods’ Friday PNC Pro-Am

 

Maybe that’s unfair; clearly Charlie is interested in the game. You don’t enter a PGA Tour event just for the laughs. Was he unprepared? Perhaps. Despite what your eyes may tell you, Charlie is not a top-ranked junior. More than a few observers questioned why Charlie would tee it up against professionals when he’s yet to enter an AJGA or attempt to qualify for a USGA championship against those closer to his age and skill. Conversely, since that 2020 PNC, there have been countless videos—many taped surreptitiously—of Charlie competing in local junior events, playing in high-school matches or just hitting balls at the range. Playing in a tour qualifier brings with it certain attention, yet no matter where he goes, Charlie is watched. Thursday was merely an offshoot of his reality.

 

And the truth is, there’s no going back. We are a culture obsessed with celebrity, and in the golf world there is no greater star than Tiger. One could make a case that Charlie isn’t far behind, bananas as that sounds. But that interest and curiosity can be reasonable. All golfers, no matter their skill level, know what it’s like to have one of “those” days, where every bounce is bad and every putt looks good until it’s not. It’s part of golf’s beauty and part of its depravity, for when you feel like you’ve figured it out you find yourself lost, and when all hope feels lost suddenly things start to click. And all adults know what it’s like to be 15, stuck between authority and adolescence, where the world can be cruel and mean and laugh in your face and you have to find it within yourself to keep going.

 

There are going to be more golf rounds like this for Charlie. There are going to be plenty of more obstacles and tests. He knows it’s going to be hard. He doesn’t need us to make it any harder.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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