Being the child of a big-time movie star is probably a very nice thing indeed. There is no end of benefits that come with it, though, at the same time, it can be stressful as well. This includes the children of sports stars.
By a young age, Charlie Woods, son of legendary golfer Tiger Woods turned out to be a great golfer, just like his father. He’s experienced some drama while growing up, including his parent’s high-profile, public divorce, but these days he’s a teenager who loves playing golf.
Judging from pictures of him today, he’s turning out to look just like his parents!
We’ll start off by taking a look into how it all started, back when Charlie’s parents, Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods, first met.
Swedish professional golfer Jesper Parnevik, who lived in the US, had hired Nordegren as a nanny for his children. It was Parnevik who introduced Woods and Nordegren to each other during the Open Championship in 2001.
The year before, Woods had insisted on meeting Nordegren, but she was dating another man at the time. As a result, it was far from set in stone that Woods would get the chance to even meet her. According to Parnevik’s wife, Mia Parnevik, many golf pros were interested in their beautiful blonde nanny.
For her part, Nordegren, who dreamed of becoming a child psychologist, initially had no interest in dating Woods.
“Tiger was OK with that,” Mia Parnevik said. “There was a big line of single golfers wanting to meet her. They were gaga over her.”
But somehow their paths crossed and Woods and Nordegren eventually fell in love. They got engaged in 2003 during a four-day vacation to a South African game reserve.
The couple married the following year, at the 19th hole at the Sany Lane resort in Barbados. The wedding ceremony was described as “ultra-private” – among the guests were celebrities such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.
The couple had two children together. In 2007, their daughter Sam Alexis was born, and in 2009, Nordegren gave birth to a boy, Charlie Axel.
But the fact that the marriage was under severe pressure became very clear in 2009. In December of that year, all hell broke loose when Tiger Woods’ extramarital affairs were exposed in the media. The man who introduced Woods to Nordegren, Parnevik, was remorseful.
“I’m kind of filled with sorrow for Elin since I and my wife are at fault for hooking her up with him, and we probably thought he was a better guy than he is,” he said.
Woods took a break from golf to focus on the family and his marriage, but too much had been ruined. The couple divorced in 2010; Nordegren is said to have received $100 million in the settlement. She was also awarded monthly child support of $20,000, as well as the couple’s home in Windermere, Florida.
These days, the former model lives in a new, luxurious home.
Following Woods and Nordegren’s divorce, the couple agreed to have a civil relationship to make it easy for their children. They still co-parent them together.
In a 2010 interview with People, Nordegren only had good things to say about her former husband.
“I wish him all the best in the future, as a person, and as an athlete,” she said. “I know he is going to go down as the best golfer that ever lived, and rightfully so, I feel privileged to have witnessed a part of his golfing career.”
Naturally, being the wife of Tiger Woods means you will automatically be in the spotlight as well.
Stayed outside the spotlight
Nordegren, however, didn’t do any interviews during the time the couple was married. Why?
“My plan was to just stay the way I was,” she explained in 2010. “For my kids, I felt that remaining private was the only normalcy. I could give them since they have a very famous dad. But after everything that happened and everything that was written and speculated — what I did or didn’t do — I felt like setting some things straight.
“I’m so embarrassed that I never suspected — not a one,” she added. “For the last 3 1/2 years, when all this was going on, I was home a lot more with pregnancies, than the children and my school.”
Both Nordegren and Woods have moved on with their lives. Tiger continued with his golf career, and his son Charlie has also become very interested in the sport as well.
Born on February 8, 2009, it didn’t take long before Charlie knew his way around a golf course. When his father was playing, he was often seen at the tournaments, and it didn’t take long before Charlie became interested in playing himself.
Tiger Woods has won 15 Majors during the span of his career, just three short of legend Jack Nicklaus. By age seven, Charlie had started competing himself, earning second place in the Kids Golf South Florida Tour in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Charlie Woods’ is already a great golfer
Of course, it’s hardly fair to place the same expectations of Charlie Woods as his father. It’s not easy trying to prove yourself as the child of one of the best – if not the best – golf player of all time.
That’s the reason why many thought that Charlie’s results in the South Florida Junior Golf Tour were so impressive. In fact, he’s won several tournaments with his father cheering him on. Not only that but according to Golf Digest, Tiger was even carrying his son’s clubs around the course.
When playing against each other, Woods Senior is still the champion.
“I’m still winning…for now. He’s starting to get into it. He’s starting to understand how to play, he’s asking me the right questions,” Tiger said on Charlie Woods. “I’ve kept it competitive with his par, so it’s been just an absolute blast to go out there and just be with him. It reminds me so much of me and my dad [growing up].
“I don’t know [if Charlie can break some of my records]. It depends on how badly he wants it. It’s all on him. I wanted it at a very, very early age. I wanted to compete and play in this game. That’s on him—whether he wants it or not.”
What Tiger said above is one of the most crucial things. No kid should ever be forced into doing an activity that their parents love, but rather should always get to do the thing they want. For now, at least, it seems like Charlie really enjoys playing golf.
Tiger Woods on learning from his son
According to his father, Charlie’s attention might shift toward another sport in the near future.
“It’s just an evolution. Like all kids, they go from one thing to the next. Right now, he’s into golf. But who knows, it could switch to something else. As long as he’s happy, he’s excited about whatever sport he’s in,” Tiger told Golf Digest.
One might think that Tiger is the one giving all the lessons. But it actually turns out that he’s learning a thing or two from his own son, Charlie.
“I analyze his swing all the time,” he explained. “I wish I could rotate like that and turn my head like that and do some of those positions, but those days are long gone, and I have to relive them through him.”
The COVID-19 pandemic put the world on pause, and that included many golf tournaments normally played across the US. For Charlie Woods and Tiger, that meant isolation, but they didn’t let their golf game suffer. Instead, the two passed the time by competing in putting contests in their backyard.
The prize was to wear Tiger Wood’s legendary Masters’ green jacket for a whole day – and it turned out that Charlie won several times.
Played together in a golf tournament
“The fact that he has been able to earn it off of me, there are no wins that are given in this family,” Woods told GolfTV. “It’s been fun to see him tease me about beating me. He said, ‘It’s where it belongs.’”
Charlie Woods is now 12 years of age. In December of 2020, the world finally got to see him and his father Tiger play together in a competition for the first time.
Together, Tiger and Charlie played in the exhibition tournament PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, which featured several stars playing alongside a parent or child. It’s easy to say that Charlie impressed every single person watching, including his father.
Charlie and Tiger played against PGA golf star Justin Thomas and his father. Right from the start, Woods Jr made it clear that he was there to win, hitting many great shots and even his first eagle – two under par – ever.
Furthermore, Charlie did the classic “Tiger Woods fist pump” as father and son played in matching purple-and-black outfits.
“You’re so much better than your dad, it hurts,” Justin told Charlie on the course.
“He’s a little on the chirpy side”
Charlie Woods might be one of the top talents in golf. But at the same time, he also finds the time to joke with his competitors. At one point, Thomas drew a shot wide of the fairway, and when arriving at the ball, he found a note.
“DRAW HOLE! Love, Charlie,” the note said.
“He’s a little on the chirpy side, just like I am,” Woods said.
“[Charlie has] used my lines against me very well. At times, I get frustrated and annoyed because it’s turned right back against me. But that’s the good side of it. We have fun with it.”
Charlie Woods is protected from the media
Being the son of Tiger and also playing golf, it isn’t strange that media and golf lovers want a piece of Charlie, and so follow his every move.
Tiger Woods has been in the spotlight ever since he was a kid, and as a result, he knows a thing or two about the importance of protecting his son.
“Trying to make sure that Charlie has the right environment. He’s sheltered, he’s away from all of this,” Woods explained. “What I have to do—making sure I do all of it, so he can practice and play, and enjoy the golf side of it. I’ll take care of all this stuff.
“A lot of people are trying to use him to build up, or write, or talk about things. Just making sure he’s able to have fun playing the game of golf.”
We wish Charlie Woods good luck in his future career. The most important thing is that he’s passionate about what he’s doing, regardless of if that’s golf or not.