Palm Desert, CA
The US Open is in full swing with the world’s best golfers battling for the honor to be called the national champion.
And one local golfer gained national attention and wins by the age of 10. And now he’s in high school shooting for more wins.
More than 6 years ago "Little Charlie Reiter" played in the, then Kraft Nabisco Celebrity Pro-Am, with baseball legend Steve Garvey and major champion Inbee Park and anyone watching knew it was only a matter of time before "Little Charlie Reiter" became a big name in the world of golf.
Charles Reiter was born July 20th 1999. His parents chose that birth date to commemorate Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and Reiter has been walking in uncharted territory since.
"When I was 10 it was pretty fun because I always won everything," Reiter says. And his father agrees.
"It was kind of easier when he was younger because he just kept winning," Michael Reiter says. "Everything…Shoot for 5, win 5, shoot for 7, win 7 in a row…"
He started at the age of 4. Winning that is.
Winning everything from national amatuer tournaments against adults to 7 straight tournaments against kids his own age.
But with that success, came national attention and high expectations.
"And so it was easy and so a lot of pressure came after that," says Michael Reiter.
"From when I was winning a lot," Charles says, "it created a lot of expectations and that’s when I started playing bad because I wouldn’t be winning."
So often young phenoms, flame out and Reiter and his family faced that. They tell KMIR they had a family meeting a few years ago when Charles needed to decide if golf would be part of his future.
"Then I had a couple off years," Charles says. "Probably growing and all that stuff made me want to quit almost."
He and his father say that family meeting got a little heated as Charles faced quitting the sport he loved and his father faced watching his son’s potential disappear.
"So we just had to fight our way through it. Which we did," Michael Reiter says, "Almost literally…"
And in the end, Charles decided golf was his passion. "But I prevailed and now I’m winning again and it’s really fun."
Charles’ mom, Susan Conti, says her son’s passion for the sport never wavered, even when the demands were extraordinary.
"I think because the passion’s there," Conti says. "You always have to have passion and he knows the work he has to put into it… But not only that, it’s his personality as well and so you have to put the two of them together in order to succeed.”
As a sophomore at Palm Desert High School, Reiter won the Southern Section Golf Championship and is being named the Boy’s Golfer of the Year by The Desert Sun.
Since 1931, only one person has won 3 Southern Section golf titles. That’d be Tiger woods.
Reiter has his first, and his eye on more.
"I’m gonna try to get three," Charles says. "I’ve got 2 more years left."
He’ll be playing in a few tournaments this summer including the Junior Worlds in Mexico and has verbally committed to USC to play collegiate golf.