Even at the tender age of 13, Tiger Woods’ son, Charlie, is rapidly building a reputation in the game.
However, according to one expert, he may not even need to turn professional to make an eye-watering sum of money. When Woods enters high school towards the end of 2023, it could open the door to a NIL contract – a deal that allows athletes to market their name, image and likeness.
Sam Weber, the senior director of communications at NIL Platform Opendorse, explained to Sportico (opens in new tab): “Charlie is in rare air, just from name recognition alone. He’s similar to Arch Manning, Bronny James and even Shaquille O’Neal’s sons in that way. He’s probably looking at seven figures as soon as he’s eligible." Weber then added that it "would be surprising if the brands that have been prominent in Tiger’s career would not want to join the fold. You can almost see the Nike commercial with the two of them."
Arch Manning is a 17-year-old quarterback and the latest American football prodigy to emerge from the Manning family, considered a dynasty in the sport. Meanwhile, Bronny James is the son of legendary basketball player LeBron. Weber thinks Woods compares more closely to the latter taking into account his potential to make it in the game. He said: “At this stage he compares more to Bronny James than Arch. Arch is the five-star, guaranteed pro, while Bronny is more that four-star who definitely has a chance but is further from a sure-fire bet.”
Currently, the law in Florida, where Charlie resides, doesn't allow high school athletes to accept NIL money. However, one way around that could be for Charlie to play on junior golf circuits rather than high-school golf. If he does, Weber sees him as a safe bet for advertisers. He said: “He’s not a risk for advertisers because of his name recognition alone. That also applies to NIL patrons looking to influence the next generation of the sansabelt set, which is why Charlie could cash in even if he never plays pro golf.”
The youngster’s profile has grown considerably since the 2021 PNC Championship. Back then, he and his famous father finished runner-up to John Daly and John Daly II, helped by a second round that included 11 birdies in a row – a course record. Then, in September, he shot his lowest score to date of 68 in a qualifier for the Notah Begay III Junior National Golf Championship in Florida. Even more recently, his dad admitted that Charlie had outdriven him.
Charlie even has the confidence of former World No.1 Jon Rahm to make it on the PGA Tour. When asked about the emerging talent in January, Rahm responded: “Tiger Woods’ son Charlie has got a lot of talent, certainly a lot more than I did at the age of 12. If he keeps working hard, which I’m sure he will, I wouldn’t doubt for one second we’ll see him one day maybe sitting here [on the PGA Tour].”
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes offers odds of 16/1 on Charlie winning a Major before he turns 25 and 10/1 on winning a Major before his 30th birthday.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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