Jason Gore describes what Tiger Woods was like at 12 years old

As a Southern California native, former PGA Tour player Jason Gore had a front-row seat to Tiger Woods‘ burgeoning greatness, which dates all the way back to their childhood.

Gore, who turned 47 in May, is less than two years older than Woods, who turns 46 in December. The two grew up about 40 miles from each other, and formed a lasting friendship while competing in many of the same junior and amateur tournaments.

According to Gore, it was evident even way back then that Woods was destined for something big. On this week’s episode of Subpar, Gore told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz about the time he first crossed paths with Woods, when Gore was 14.

Jason Gore
USGA hires Tour-winner Jason Gore as first player relations director
By: Sean Zak

“[Tiger was] 12 years old. He was really, really good,” Gore said. “You never really realized how good he was gonna be because you just figured he was gonna burn out. There were so many other players at the time who were pushed by their parents. But you’d never realize that he was self-motivated. He was just better. He’s still just better.

“You just kind of knew it,” Gore continued. “You knew that if you competed with him, and you somehow could maybe just beat him on a hole, you had something. He was just great.”

Gore went on to a successful pro career of his own, winning once on the PGA Tour and seven times on the Korn Ferry Tour — a record which still stands. In 2019, Gore accepted a position with the USGA as the organization’s first senior director of player relations.

For more from Gore, including his perspective on the distance debate, check out the full interview below.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.