Tiger Woods' Favorite Golf Buddy Is Son Charlie and More Athletes With Mini-Me Sports Star Kids

Charlie Woods is only 11 and his skills on the golf course are already considerable. But Tiger Woods is hardly alone when it comes to passing his preternatural talents onto his offspring.

By Natalie Finn Jan 11, 2021 9:00 PMTags
Tiger Woods, Charlie Woods, PNC Championship 2020, WidgetBen Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Winning the Masters in 2019 was a considerable high point for Tiger Woods, in a career that had been full of them before personal strife and injuries stalled his momentum, resulting in more sporadic wins over the previous 11 years and no major championships.

"It's unreal for me to experience this,'' he said after his momentous win, 22 years after he was first fitted for the green jacket at the age of 21. "It was one of the hardest I've ever had to win just because of what's transpired the last couple of years."

But his real comeback from the depths became more complete just last month, when he was joined by his 11-year-old son, Charlie Woods, on the course at the PNC Championship in Orlando.

"Just making sure we had fun. I think he did," Tiger told ESPN of the father-son outing. "He enjoyed being out there. The fact we got off to such a quick start, him hitting some of those incredible shots. And he carried it from the range to the golf course. That's different from playing at home to playing tournament golf.''

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Having played the sport since he was a toddler, Woods knows what a lifelong commitment to the game entails, as well as how to spot a natural. And judging by the skills he exhibited, Charlie's got some serious talent.

And if his drive (golf clap, thank you) is anything like his dad's, this wasn't the last we've heard from kid.

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Woods, of course, is hardly alone when it comes to professional athletes having kids who've followed their parents into their world, whether by playing the same game or utilizing their height, strength, speed and agility in another sport.

But whether or not they hope to play professionally, or if they're making other plans for their post-collegiate (or high school, or middle school) life, they know they're got proud as hell parents in the stands cheering them on. Here are some of the mini-me—and not-so-mini—children of pro athletes making their own names for themselves on the court, field and track:

LeBron and Bronny James

LeBron James Jr., born Oct. 6, 2004, is a high school basketball standout just like his dear, old, four-time NBA champion father, LeBron James, having taken his talents to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon in the San Fernando Valley. The private school is known as a destination for next-generation talent, Bronny's teammates and predecessors including Zaire Wade and alumni Scottie Pippen Jr. and Kenyon Martin Jr.

While the NBA schedule has often kept LeBron from being able to attend a full slate of his son's games, he's been known to go to great lengths to watch Bronny in action, such as when he chartered a plane on one of his off-days on the road to catch Sierra Canyon playing his own alma mater, Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary, in Columbus, Ohio.

"To go watch my son play...and also versus my alma mater," James told reporters, "it's a pretty surreal, come-full-circle, unbelievable thing."

The day before the pandemic resulted in the suspension of the NBA season and most every other sport in March 2020, Sierra Canyon won the Southern California Open Division title.



Dwyane and Zaire Wade

Helping to make up the Sierra Canyon all-star squad: Zaire Wade, the eldest son of retired Miami Heat star (and former LeBron James teammate) Dwyane Wade.

"You've got to embrace it," Zaire, who transferred there in December 2019 from Florida, told Yahoo! Sports about the unusual amount of attention (including 15 televised games on ESPN networks) being paid to his team, as opposed to your average high school squad, no matter how accomplished. "There are cameras on us wherever we go. There has been a lot of attention on me my whole life, but this is crazy. This is another level."

In April 2020, however, Zaire—unhappy with the lack of playing time he ended up getting—announced on Instagram that he'd be transferring to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, Fla., and reclassifying himself as a member of the class of 2021.

Chad and Cha’iel Johnson

The retired football star has a daughter who may be able to leave him in the dust by now. The track and field star competed in the 2017 AAU Junior Olympics at 12, winning the girls' 800-meter run, and now is a member of the St. Thomas Aquinas High School track team in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


Shaquille and Shareef O'Neal

The NBA Hall of Famer's third-eldest child, who measures up at 6-foot-10, has arrived at Louisiana State, where there's a 900-pound bronze statue of Shaq outside the LSU Basketball Practice Facility in honor of its famous alum.

Shareef, born Jan. 11, 2000, initially went to play for UCLA after graduating from the private Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Calif., but after being sidelined with a heart condition that required surgery and not playing in the 2018-19 season, he announced his intent to transfer to his dad's alma mater in February 2020.

Amirah O'Neal

Shaq's 6-foot-2 daughter (in the long black dress) joined brother Shareef at LSU to play basketball for the Tigers after her own distinguished career at Crossroads.

"One of the most difficult decisions for a person my age to make, is the jump from high school to college," she announced on Instagram in April 2020. "Although I don't fully know what's ahead of me, I am ready for the challenge. I never imagined myself saying this, but I am excited to say that I have decided to commit to being a student athlete at LSU along side my brother Shareef O'Neal. I am Sooooo grateful to spend my next 4 years as a Tiger."

Zach and MacKenly Randolph

The eldest daughter of two-time NBA All-Star Zack Randolph is a 5-foot-11 freshman at Sierra Canyon, playing basketball alongside fellow NBA star scion Izela Arenas, daughter of Gilbert Arenas.

"I went to Michigan State under coach Tom Izzo," Randolph told the Los Angeles Times in December. "He was a dog. Just hard. The boys you can be a little rough with. The girls, they have you wrapped around your finger. The girls look at you, 'Dad, I'm trying.' You have a special spot for the girls."

MacKenly said she'd beaten her dad three times in one-on-one, quipping, "He doesn't play any defense."

Terrell and Terique Owens

The 6-foot-3 son of the NFL Hall of Famer committed to Florida Atlantic University in 2019 as a preferred walk-on. Terique played basketball for most of his life before switching to football as a teen and got his post-high school playing career off the ground at Contra Costa Community College before transferring.

Scottie Pippen and Scotty Jr.

The Sierra Canyon graduate started all four years and won two state titles. He now plays college ball for Vanderbilt, earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors as his NCAA career got underway in 2019.

"Another dream accomplished, for him and for me," Scott's six-time NBA champion dad tweeted when he announced his collegiate intentions. "Congrats, son, you make me so proud every single day and I can't wait to see you play on the next level!"

Scotty Jr., Justin, Preston and Sophia Pippen

Scottie Pippen has four kids with ex-wife Larsa Pippen (he has seven living children overall, one of the twin girls he fathered in a previous relationship having died at 9 days old), and sons Justin and Preston (class of 2021) are also Sierra Canyon basketball players.

Dennis, Dennis Jr. and Trinity Rodman

The former Chicago Bulls star and five-time NBA champion is a lot of things—and a dad is one of them.

Dennis Jr., or DJ, played basketball and football at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, Calif., but now is focusing on the former as a forward at Washington State.

"He's one of the more under-rated or unknown players in Southern California," his high school coach, Ryan Schachter, told the Orange County Register after a game in 2017.

DJ's sister Trinity (they're both Rodman's kids with ex-wife Michelle Moyer) joined him in 2020 as a top-ranked soccer recruit for the Cougars.

Tiger and Charlie Woods

It's only fitting that golfing's GOAT has a kid who's got mad skills on the course. But when asked at the PNC Championship in December 2020, where Charlie made his televised-golf debut at the age of 11 alongside his dad, about his son's future prospects as a pro, Tiger assured that his only concern was Charlie enjoying himself.

Asked if he had been working on his swing ahead of the father-son outing, the 15-time major champion said, "I haven't put in any time. I don't really care about my game. I'm just trying to make sure that Charlie has the time of his life and is able to enjoy all of this.''