Four-year-old 'Tiger' tees off

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He is more of a tiger cub than a Tiger Woods, but four-year-old Robert Aldred's precocious golfing skills have prompted his father to predict he will be the next prodigy on the greens.

Robert has surprised golfers at his local club with his "unbelievable" ability. According to his father, Bob, he has managed to par several three- and four-par holes of up to 345 yards in length. He can also drive a golf ball up to 140 yards.

As a result, he has achievedwhat many a social-climbing executive can only dream of - free membership of his local golf club, at Warley in the West Midlands.

Mr Aldred said that if his son progresses at the same rate he could be Britain's answer to Tiger Woods, who recently became the youngest winner of the US Masters at the age of 21.

"I'm absolutely gobsmacked by some of the things he has done," Mr Aldred said at his home in Warley.

"He is the equivalent of a single figure handicapper given some of the things he does. His drives are unbelievable - he can hit them 80-90 yards every time."

A spokesman for the Professional Golfers' Association said: "Robert has obviously taken to the game naturally and he could be a natural champion." Mark Rowe