Charlie Woods Suffering Heavily From the Bronny James Problem; Tiger Woods and LeBron James’ Big Dilemma Explored

Published 02/23/2024, 11:51 AM EST

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The oft-quoted basketball court problem revolving around a ‘son-rise’ in sports is now shadowing the golf course. LeBron James’ son is already living under the shadow of his father’s superstardom. It can be extremely difficult to follow in the footsteps of a parent, no less when the parent in question is The Chosen One. The ‘son-rise’ storyline that has dominated the ongoing NCAA season – ever since Bronny James joined USC – is now rearing its head on the golf course.

Like any other superstar’s child, Bronny James grew up in the limelight. However, the scrutiny intensified when it became clear he would follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue professional basketball. But the 19-year-old’s lackluster debut this season made many believe he is not ready for the big leagues yet. And as it so happens, that’s precisely what 15-year-old Charlie Woods is being subjected to. He may just be going through the Bronny James problem.

Charlie made his debut in the golf world at the 2020 PNC Championship, where he teamed up with his father, Tiger Woods. Ever since that first time on the greens in a professional tournament, the golf community noticed that Woods Jr.’s mannerisms were a lot like his legendary father’s. And that’s where the comparisons (and expectations) started.


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Charlie recently participated in the Palm Beaches Cognizant Classic pre-qualifier, his first attempt at making it to the PGA Tour. However, the 15-year-old failed to progress to the qualifier event, as he tied for the 110th spot. Considering it was his debut in the professional world, the expectations ideally shouldn’t have been too high. And the fact that no other amateur made it to the qualifier should’ve softened the blow. However, being Tiger Woods’ son, critics and fans tore him apart.

It reached the point where former pro golfer Paige Spiranac had to step in to defend Woods Jr. She tweeted, “How about we let Charlie Woods develop his game without constant media coverage? Golf is mentally challenging enough without all the added eyeballs on him and pressure.” Not only did he have to battle the intense media attention, but he also had to handle unruly fans. Yes, he could’ve done better, and yes, he was slightly disappointed in how it all turned out. But it was his first event at the professional level.

He’s slowly making a name for himself in the golf world, having already won silverware for his school in Florida. But being Tiger Woods’ son, therein lies the problem. Charlie is openly criticized for living up to his expectations because his father’s name is inextricably associated with his assessment. This is where the Bronny problem comes into the picture.

Bronny is good, but is he as good as LeBron James?

Since joining the USC Trojans as a freshman this season, NBA scouts and analysts have debated Bronny James’ NBA draft chances. They’ve also speculated about his potential influence in the league. And more often than not, whenever this conversation comes up, the general consensus is that playing in the NCAA for another year would be in his best interest.

Considering the 19-year-old has played only a handful of college basketball games and his performances haven’t been anything to write home about, analysts and critics aren’t going easy on him. They’re still scratching their heads about whether he’s the real deal. “He is a good basketball player … but right now, he is not a great one,” The Athletic wrote about Bronny.


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Now consider this: LeBron has been very vocal about wanting to play with his son before his retirement, and the Lakers have admitted that they are exploring the option of drafting Bronny to make LeBron stay. To this, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said, “The Lakers are not a developmental program, they’re a win-now program,” meaning Bronny is not ready yet.


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Amid the buzz and brouhaha, the Bronny-Charlie problem is a tale as old as time. Their fathers’ mighty achievements have left them with a ton of unrealistic expectations to live up to. And while trying to fill their fathers’ big shoes, only they know how and where it pinches them.

Charlie Woods’s PGA Tour Dreams Shattered, Cognizant Pre-Qualifier Witnesses Depressing Results


Written by:

Tsuktibenla T Jamir


One take at a time

Tsuktibenla is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports, whose love affair with basketball began at the age of 16, sparking a passion that has kept her actively playing ever since. Representing her school and college in various tournaments, she earned the title of MVP in several instances despite contending with multiple injuries. A graduate in English Literature, she pursued a Master's in Journalism to solidify her place in sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo