GOLF runs in the blood of Tiger Woods’ family.
The 15-time major champ isn’t the only talented golfer carrying that famous surname.
His niece Cheyenne Woods, daughter of Woods’ half-brother Earl Jr, turned pro in 2012.
They both learned the game from Tiger’s late father Earl Woods, a former lieutenant colonel in the US Army, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
And Tiger’s son Charlie appears to have inherited his father’s family genes – sweeping all junior tournaments before him and has been called a child golf prodigy.
The father-and-son partnership are teaming up again at the PNC Championship, as Tiger returns to the sport for the first time since his horror car crash back in February.
SunSport takes you behind the scenes of America’s most famous golfing family.
IT BEGAN WITH EARL
At Kansas State University, Earl was known for his sporting prowess around campus.
He played baseball, earning a varsity letter (an award earned for excellence in school activities) in 1952 and 1953.
But it wasn’t until he was 42, and stationed at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York, that he discovered the joy and beauty of golf.
Regularly, Earl would take himself off to Dyker Beach Golf Course in Dyker Heights.
Showing a natural ability in the sport, he later became a decent amateur golfer.
He recorded scores in the 70s over 18 holes and claimed that he was playing close to scratch handicap level when Tiger was born in 1975.
TIGER CARRIES THE MANTLE
From the age of two, Tiger had a golf club in his hand.
The family lived in Orange County, California – and Earl would take his son to the many US military courses there to work on his swing.
Just like Richard Williams did for Serena and Venus, he moulded a child golf prodigy.
At the age of three, Tiger is said to have shot a 48 over nine holes at the Navy golf course, next to the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.
He first broke 80 at the age of eight, and then won the Junior World Championships six times.
Later, Earl would shares his techniques for training Tiger in two books – Training a Tiger: A Father’s Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life, and Playing Through: Straight Talk on Hard Work, Big Dreams and Adventures with Tiger.
Earl died from a heart attack at the family home in Cypress, California, in 2006, aged 74.
The daughter of Susan Woods and Earl Woods Jr, Tiger’s half-brother, Cheyenne is the former world No1’s niece.
Before her granddad died in 2006, Earl passed on his wisdom to a young Cheyenne to create a golfing family dynasty.
He trained her how to putt in the same garage he taught his son, at the same time Tiger began his meteoric rise.
By the age of eight, Cheyenne shot a 98 at her first tournament.
At ten, she was crowned The US Kids Golf World Champion and well on her way.
A year after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2011, Cheyenne turned pro.
To date, the 30-year-old has two tournament wins to her name – the SunCoast Ladies Series LPGA International in 2012 and the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in 2014.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Charlie Woods, 12, is the latest golf star of the family.
An avid supporter of his dad, seen cheering Tiger on to victory at Augusta in 2019, Charlie is already dominating the junior golf world.
Last year, he won a nine-hole kids tournament, blowing the opposition away to win by five strokes.
A video went viral of Charlie’s swing at the event at the Hammock Creek Golf Club in Palm City, Florida, as he shot a blistering three-under 33 in the tournament, with three birdies and no bogeys on the scorecard.
And he had the perfect caddie for the occasion, none other than his old man who carried his clubs.
Tiger told GolfTV of his son: “He’s starting to get into it, he’s starting to understand how to play.
“He’s asking me the right questions. I’ve kept it competitive with his par, so it’s been just an absolute blast to go out there and just, you know, be with him.
“It reminds me so much of me and my dad growing up.”
At last year’s PNC Championship, Charlie impressed on the range with some stunning strikes – and the similarities to his father are uncanny.
They finished seventh, losing out to winner Justin Thomas and his father Mike.
And he’s been getting lessons from Brad Faxon as he warms up for the tournament – impressing the putting guru with a natural flair for the sport.
Tiger MK 2 is well on his way to following his father’s lead.