For a lot of the younger golfers on the PGA Tour, getting to hang out with Tiger Woods has to be a pretty special thing. After all, it was Tiger that inspired so many players of this generation to pick up the sport in the first place. Justin Thomas has been one of those lucky enough to be welcomed into Woods’ inner circle and, much to Thomas’ surprise, the two have developed quite the friendship over the years.
Woods and Thomas often practice and play rounds together at Medalist Golf Club near Jupiter, Florida, where they both hold residence, and Tiger has also welcomed him into his own home to get some work in — you know, because you can do that when you have a compound like Tiger Woods does. Woods has invited JT to join him in practice rounds at Augusta leading into The Masters, which is always a special invitation for anyone given how intense Woods is in his prep leading into the majors.
But Thomas says that despite all of the things he gets to do with the 82-time PGA Tour winner, the practice rounds and hanging out at his house and such, the “coolest thing” about hanging out with Tiger Woods is watching him be a father, which is just an awesome thing to hear.
Tiger Woods has long been a private person
If there’s one thing we know about Tiger Woods, it’s that he values his privacy, which is why his yacht is named…well, “Privacy.” While one of the most recognizable athletes in the history of the world, Woods has never seemed overly comfortable in the spotlight. He rarely offers up much insight into his life, or even his PGA Tour schedule, in interviews and seemingly just wants to be left alone most of the time.
Woods certainly has become a bit more accessible over the past few years and also seems to be willing to help out some of the younger players on the PGA Tour, especially Justin Thomas, who, as mentioned, plays a lot of golf with Tiger Woods and even just hangs out around the Woods compound and plays home run derby.
While JT certainly seems to appreciate all the help he’s received from Tiger over the years as it pertains to his golf game, he seems to value their actual friendship even more, which is why he treats him like he would any other friend.
JT didn’t think their friendship would turn into what it is
In a recent appearance on GOLF’s Subpar podcast, Justin Thomas spoke on his relationship with Tiger Woods and how it’s developed into a true friendship over the years. He spoke about how much respect he has for Woods as a golfer and how he’s looked up to him in that regard for a long time but says the best part of their friendship has little to do with their time together on the golf course.
JT explained that while he didn’t think their bond would become what it is, he’s greatly enjoyed getting to know the real Tiger Woods, the human side that most golf fans don’t really get a chance to see all that often. He just treats Woods as he would anyone else, which is perhaps the reason why Tiger enjoys his company so much (h/t Golf.com).
“It’s been a lot more of a friendship than I thought it would be. I thought it would be something where we would talk here and there from time to time. I think he likes how much s— I give him, and he kinda gives it back. I don’t want to kiss his a–, enough people do that to him.”Justin Thomas on Tiger Woods
Thomas then went on to reveal the “coolest thing” about hanging out with Tiger.
Justin Thomas says the ‘coolest thing’ about hanging with Tiger Woods is watching him be a dad
Tiger Woods has long said that the most important things in his life are his two children, daughter Sam and son Charlie. And Justin Thomas says the “coolest thing” about hanging around Tiger is watching him being a father.
“Probably the coolest thing for me is seeing him spend time with Charlie, just seeing how much he loves being around him [and Woods’ daughter Sam] on the golf course. He is such a good dad and he loves being around his kids.
“It’s cool because a lot of people might give him a bad rap because of how he is to the media or the people, but it’s like, he can’t go anywhere.”Justin Thomas on Tiger Woods
Thomas himself has formed his own bond with Tiger Woods’ kids, especially Charlie, who just recently turned 12. When Tiger decided to play alongside his son for the first time at the PNC Championship back in December, Charlie requested that they play with Thomas and his father, a request the tournament organizers granted, as the younger Woods always wants to beat JT in anything they do together.
Granted, that didn’t happen as Thomas and his dad beat Tiger and Charlie by five strokes over two days but if you watched the tournament, you could truly see how much fun the group was having and how proud of Charlie Thomas was.
That’s how close Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas have become, which is why JT was so emotional when discussing Tiger’s recent accident. He didn’t talk about his friend getting back on the golf course but instead kept the focus where it needed to be, saying he was worried for Sam and Charlie as he was sure they were struggling, as Thomas himself was.