The young ‘uns seem to know everything these days. I’m dreading the moment, for instance, when I have to go through the mumbling, stumbling rigmarole of explaining the birds and the bees to my son.

He’ll probably respond with an eye-rolling, nonchalant shrug and say, ‘well done dad, you got most of it right’ as I stand there with the glaikit countenance of Liz Truss after she’s delivered yet another speech of jaw-dropping awkwardness.

I was reminded of my own general nincompoopery the other day when I took the boy and his cousins to that all-singing, all-dancing TopGolf driving range just off the M74.

According to the promotional bumph, the facility has ‘an energetic hum that you can feel as you walk through the door’. It’s just like The Herald’s sports desk. Well, there’s certainly a hum of something.

Anyway, it was a good job the switched-on, clued-up bairns were with me. All the high-tech, gee-whiz golfing gamification was right up their street while I stood staring blankly at the computer module as if I’d been plonked in front of an air traffic control console and told to bring Ryanair flight 3737 from Cork down to a safe landing. The future of golf is here today, folks.

What the future holds, meanwhile, for Charlie Woods remains in the lap of the golfing gods. You may have noticed that the teenage son of Tiger was playing in a pre-qualifying shoot-out for the PGA Tour’s Cognizant Classic recently.

And if you did manage to miss it, then congratulations. Along with, say, a couple of village elders from the Kuna Indian tribe of the San Blas islands, you were possibly about the only folk on the planet who avoided the hoopla.

So, just for you, here’s what happened. Young Charlie posted a 16-over 86 and missed the qualifying mark by miles. It was hardly surprising. He’s only 15. Then again, another 15-year-old, the highly-rated Miles Russell, had a spirited two-under 70. But his surname is not Woods so nobody really batted an eyelid.

When you’re the son of a global superstar, it’s not easy to avoid the spotlight. The pandemonium that was whipped up last week, though, was bordering on the disturbing. And, yes, I know I’m adding to the fuss by writing about it here but that’s not really the point.

According to eyewitness reports in the Palm Beach Post, there were aggressive autograph hunters elbowing and jockeying for a memento, belligerent onlookers arguing with marshals as they got too close and personal and hysterical souvenir desperadoes marauding into the out of bounds areas to retrieve some of his stray drives. A photographer, meanwhile, from a global agency documented Woods’ every move.

There was even a story of a woman who took her granddaughter out of school in the hope that Woods would notice her standing on the sidelines.

Now, read those last few sentences again and ask yourself if we live in a sane and civilised society? Then again, you probably don’t need to pose that question because you already know that the modern world took leave of its senses a long time ago.

The fascination with master Woods is nothing short of voyeuristic. In a delirious era, fuelled by mainstream media and social media, the unhinged, unquenchable obsession with analysing, championing and criticising every cough, wheeze and snort of a ‘celebrity’ figure is par for the course. Age is no barrier to this remorseless scrutiny.

Back in 2020, internet footage – filmed from behind a shrub – of Woods junior hitting balls with his faither on a driving range caused hand-flapping hysterics.

“It’s a major-winning swing,” cooed drooling observers as they worked themselves into a quite giddy fankle at the prospect of the Tiger cub emulating his dad’s epic feats and becoming the best father and son double act since Old and Young Tom Morris. Charlie was 11 at the time.

Whatever he achieves – whether on the golf course or in another field entirely – Charlie Woods will always be Tiger’s son. That comes with the kind of hefty burden that would buckle the legs of Atlas. Tiger himself never had that weight of association resting on him.

To be fair, the young Woods seems to enjoy some of the attention. His dad, who was once so secretive his press conferences started with a password, has not hid him away for the glare either.

Partnering him in the PNC Championship, an annual end-of-season hit-and-giggle, catapulted Charlie into the public view. Now that he has dipped his toe into qualifying for PGA Tour events on his own, Charlie will remain under that gaze.

Golf, in many quarters, remains utterly infatuated with the Woods name. Tiger, of course, barely plays these days but he still ‘moves the needle’ as they say. You’d have hoped the game would’ve found someone or something else to shift said needle rather than an ailing 48-year-old, but this is where we are.

The phrase ‘he could be the next Tiger Woods’ has been banded about for so long now it may as well be written in Latin. Every potential superstar who comes along gets tagged with the label.

Charlie Woods doesn’t need the label. He is the next golfing Woods. To what extent the hype and hysteria, which is already at a dubious level, impacts his progression, however, remains to be seen. Good luck to him. He’ll need it.