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The New Tiger Woods?

The New Tiger Woods?

Posted Nov 03, 2008 by Rhodri Williams

Rhodri and Daughter


The New Tiger Woods?

I’ve just become a father and I spend every minute I can staring into Jodie’s beautiful eyes thanking god she is healthy and pray that she remains like that. But every now and then I wonder how she will grow up? Will she be blessed with her mother’s intelligence or her father’s charm (only kidding)? My greatest interest of course is sport and although I was no world beater I was blessed with a fairly good all round ability to be proficient at most skills I tried. But imagine if your child was blessed with a special talent – academic, music or sport, and that talent was spotted at an early age, and you as a parent were in a position to have to help your son or daughter make a decision. If it was spotted by the age of four then you would be making the decision for them 100%. Wow, what a thought; how scary. Would the fact that you were making the decision be selfish? Or would you be hailed as a hero later on for seeing the potential? What a dilemma. This is the dilemma facing the father of the next Tiger Woods.

While trawling the internet this past week I came across a young golfer from Akron, Ohio; Solomon Petrie.  Now when I say young I mean very young – four years of age. This is reminiscent of the famous footage of Tiger Woods with the great Bob Hope all those years ago. I am not a PGA professional but from what I saw he is better than Tiger was. Better than Tiger Woods – Oh hang on Tiger was only 2 years old when he made his television debut. Well you check out video 2 on our Homepage. I heard his father Ben interviewed and he seemed very relaxed about the whole thing. I have to say I didn’t believe it when he said that by posting the footage on the internet he didn’t think it would gain so much recognition. Hang on a minute a four year old who drives the ball a hundred yards with such an impressive release, even Butch Harmon would find it tough to improve.

Like Tiger, Solomon is a black American, and should his love for the sport continue to grow then Tiger could be the perfect mentor. I seriously hope the greatest golfer on the planet has been made aware of little Solomon.

Back to Solomon’s father Ben. What does he do now? Another one of his comments was ‘I’m not going to push him. This is a decision Solomon will have to make as he gets older.’ Is it? Or is this the time to guide his son along a path. The greatest individual sports performers around the world are spotted at this age and groomed from a very early age. But I must say it is a massive decision.  Richard Williams led his two daughters Venus and Serena to the top of the tennis tree; Judy Murray has helped guide her son Andy to number 4 in the world tennis rankings. The special relationship Lewis Hamilton has with his father Anthony is undoubtedly a key factor
in the formers coronation as the youngest ever F1 world champ..

What if my darling Jodie was gifted as a tennis player and Helen, my partner and I, were advised that moving to The US was the best way for her talent to develop. What would we do? It’s all hypothetical for me but for Ben Petrie it’s reality.

I say, guide him along the path Ben, and enjoy his success. He will grow up to be a son you will be proud of and let’s face it, there aren’t many games like golf that groom youngsters with etiquette, rules and values.

That’s the sensible and moralistic treatment out the way. Now for the flaky sports fan thing: How much will Paddy Power give me for Solomon Petrie to win a Major? - Got to be at least 500-1.
Now with my sporting business head on - Has he got an agent? Must get my colleagues at WMG on the case and I’ll push for 5% of future earnings. Do the club manufacturers know about Solomon? There’s got to be a deal there right now.
We must get him on the American Talk Shows; Letterman, Leno and Conan O’Brien.

Hang on what am I doing. He’s not even my son. Ben Petrie - hold fire. Maybe you’re right; carry on popping down to your local municipal Crogan Park in Fairlawn. Young Solomon's like a little celebrity there I’m sure. Everyone knows who he is and I’m sure you’ve made some really good friends with people striking up conversations when they see him piercing the middle of the fairways with his 100 yard drives. Let him enjoy the game without any pressure. Let the great game lead him. He’ll know if it’s right.

TW – that’s Tidy Williams….not Tiger Woods


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