Why Charlie Woods is Tiger’s new swing coach at the US open

There’s been a familiar face with Tiger Woods at Pinehurst this week, his son Charlie roaming behind him wherever he goes as he preps for the 2024 U.S. Open. At the Masters in April, the sight of the younger Woods seemingly instructing the elder Woods with a swing thought was both cute and somewhat comical, the idea of a 15-year-old offering guidance to a 15-time major winner. Only this week has underlined what was seen at Augusta was no joke, with Charlie serving as a sounding board of sorts for his father. The student is helping the teacher.

Woods has gone through a variety of swing coaches in his career, although has been without an official instructor for some time. Clearly Woods knows his swing, yet even the greats need the occasional assistance, and speaking with the media at Pinehurst on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Open, Woods explained why he leans on Charlie.

“I trust him with my swing and my game. He’s seen it more than anybody else in the world,” Woods said. “He’s seen me hit more golf balls than anyone. I tell him what to look for, especially with putting.”

Woods explained that Charlie “gave me a couple little side bits today,” especially with the short game. Because Woods’ focus is on getting his ball rolling as quickly as possible he can tend to forget what he should be working on, which is where Charlie comes in handy. “We have a great relationship and rapport like that, and it’s a wonderful experience for both of us,” Woods said.

Of course, there’s also the undercurrent of sentiment for Woods. Charlie is now into his own career, and with Tiger’s limited playing schedule and his body struggling to cooperate over the past few years, these appearances have taken a different meaning.

“To have the father-son relationship that we have and to extend it into this part of both of our lives, he’s playing a lot of junior golf, and I’m still playing out here,” Woods said. “It’s neat for him to see the guys that he watches on TV and YouTube and TikTok, whatever the hell it is that they do. At home he’s with JT and Rick a lot. But to see other guys hit the golf ball, it doesn’t really do it justice until you actually see it in person.”

On Tuesday morning that meant watching Woods’ playing partners, Max Homa and Min Woo Lee, in person. “They’ve talked to him quite a bit, especially Min Woo and him. I think they’re closer in age than I am to anybody else,” Woods joked. “It’s great. It’s great for us to be able to share these moments together.”

Woods will tee it up with Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick at 7:28 ET Thursday morning off the 10th tee. Woods is a three-time U.S. Open champ, although is in this year’s field thanks to a USGA special exemption.

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