Wunderkids

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So much has been said about the effect that Tiger Woods would have on the next generation of minority golfers. For all the talk, there has been little effect on the professional level.

But, maybe we have just been impatient. After all, it took 20 years for Tiger Woods to become Tiger Woods, the world record-setter that we know now. Before that, he was simply a talented kid who played golf very well, went to school, and enjoyed a video game or two. Twenty years is a generation, and we have yet to see a full generation of children striving to accomplish what Woods has done since he said 'Hello World' in 1996.

But now, you are starting to see some families who are taking the lessons from Tiger's upbringing and applying them to the next generation of golfers. The perfect example of this phenomenon are Alex and Sumie Francois. This brother and sister from Vancouver, British Columbia have been world record-challengers, literally. Sumie recently won her age group at the Junior World Championships in San Diego, and Alex competes with older players to actually get competition. Both are happy, well-adjusted adolescents who firmly believe their teacher can help them become professional golfers like Tiger Woods.

Their teacher is their father, Joseph. He has never played a round of golf in his life. But, much like Richard Williams did for his daughters Serena and Venus, Joseph Francois is doing for his children. The Haitian-born Joseph taught himself two different languages, so why can't he teach his kids the game of golf, he says. The success of the kids shows he may be right. The personal sacrifices made by his wife and children show that the success will not come without a price.

Having spoken to Earl Woods regarding how he raised his son, the most misunderstood part of Tiger's upbringing seems to be the fact that Tiger wanted to go to great lengths to play golf. His father never forced him. Did Joseph Francois learn that lesson? Tune in to Golf In America, and we will let you decide.

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