How Long Has Tiger Woods Been Playing Golf?

You’ve heard the name Tiger Woods and know him as one of the best golfers. He achieved rapid and incredible success in golf by showing an interest in the game as a tiny child. Let’s break down how long Tiger Woods has been playing golf and what professional successes he has been able to achieve.

To briefly answer the question, “How long has Tiger Woods been playing golf?”: Tiger Woods’ professional golf career began at the age of 20 when he won his first golf tournament and became the youngest Masters champion. Thus, since 1996, when he turned professional, his career has been unprecedentedly competitive.

His golf accomplishments—106 international event wins and 15 majors—have mirrored his achievements off the course.

However, Woods started playing golf as a youngster, so it’s safe to say he’s been playing golf for more than 40 years.

How long has Tiger Woods been playing golf?

10 Facts About Tiger Woods 

Here are some facts about Tiger Woods’ professional career:

  1. Professional golfer Tiger Woods won the U.S. Masters at Augusta in 1997 with a record score, making him the youngest man and the first African American to do so.
  2. Tiger had already achieved 70 victories at the age of 33.
  3. His competitive performances since the beginning of his professional career have attracted a growing number of fans. According to some reports, he is credited with significantly increasing golf’s prize money, attracting new viewers to PGA tournaments, and securing the highest television ratings in golf history.
  4. For more weeks than any other golfer in history, Tiger Woods has held the number one position in the world rankings. He has won a record eight Byron Nelson Awards for the lowest adjusted scoring average, in addition to a record 11 PGA Player of the Year honors.
  5. Woods has won 8 World Golf Championships.
  6. When President Trump gave Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May 2019, he became the fourth golfer to do so.
  7. Tiger Woods has his own eponymous company. Woods is the founder and CEO of TGR, a multi-brand enterprise made up of various companies, including charities. TGR includes TGR Design, a golf course design company; Tiger Woods Foundation, a charitable foundation; TGR Live, an event management company; and The Woods Jupiter, a sports restaurant.
    In order to promote golf among kids from underprivileged inner-city neighborhoods, Woods and his father established the Tiger Woods Foundation in 1996. This organization is now known as TGR and has five campuses across the country, including the Anaheim, California-based Tiger Woods Learning Center.
    Projects by Tiger Woods Design include the Bluejack National Golf Course in the United States, as well as courses in Mexico, Dubai, and China.
  8. Woods is regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and is one of the most well-known athletes in recent history. The World Golf Hall of Fame has recognized Tiger Woods as an inductee.
  9. It’s noteworthy to note that Woods is immortalized at Madame Tussauds as a wax figure, further attesting to his status as one of the most well-known athletes in contemporary history.
  10. And not too long ago, Tiger Woods was the subject of a two-part TV documentary, Tiger (2021). The movie shows the story of the life and career of a famous golfer. The movie includes exclusive footage as well as interviews with Woods’ loved ones and colleagues, including his former caddie, Steve Williams. The project was executive produced by Alex Gibney, a renowned American documentary filmmaker and Oscar winner for Taxi to the Dark Side.
Tiger Woods' record-breaking victory

Why is Tiger Woods So Rich?

During his athletic career, he has won the major championships—golf’s biggest tournaments—15 times. 

By winning the $10 million FedEx Cup championship in 2009, Woods defeated his greatest rivals, Michael Jordan and Michael Schumacher, to become the first athlete to earn a billion dollars. Nike extended him a deal worth a record-breaking $40 million when he turned professional in 1996. As a result, he frequently participated in competitions while sporting Nike attire. Additionally, Woods receives a commission on the sale of golf balls, clothes, shoes, and accessories.

When he started 2009 with an estimated $895 million in career earnings, his sprint to $1 billion was assured. Then he made history in the world of sports business by earning more than $100 million in off-course income, the FedEx Cup bonus, and $10.5 million in prize money.

According to Forbes, after Michael Jordan and LeBron James, who are both basketball players, Woods is now the third wealthiest athlete in history.

Tiger Woods | Biography

When was Tiger Woods Born, and How Did He Get His Name?

Eldrick Tont Woods, the only child of an African American officer father and a Thai mother, was born on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California. He is now often referred to as Tiger Woods.

Eldrick Tont Woods’ father helped him become a Tiger. During the Vietnam War operations, Earl, Woods’ father, made friends with Vietnamese Colonel Vuong Dang Phong, known as “Tiger” for his abilities and valor in battle. Despite Earl and Phong’s unbreakable bond during the war, he was not informed of the colonel’s passing. Earl named his son Tiger in the hopes that he would become famous around the world and that hearing about Tiger Woods in the news would help him locate his missing friend. The father also wanted such a high-profile name to inspire his son with the success and courage that Phong had.

How Did Tiger Woods Start Playing Golf?

Tiger Woods developed a passion for golf when he was just 11 months old. The elder Woods played golf, so he bought his son equipment for his young age. When his small kid, who was watching the game, got up from his chair and hit a beautiful shot with a toy golf club, Earl was teeing off balls in his garage.

Inspired by this achievement, he started to pay attention to his son’s training, and young Woods started playing golf. When taking his son to the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California, Woods’ father got the opportunity to play golf on the Navy course there.

And at the age of 18 months, young Tiger Woods played his first hole on the Navy course, completing it in 11 strokes over 410 yards. Little Woods began golf at the age of three and shot a 48.

At the age of 2, he joined Bob Hope on The Mike Douglas Show. At the age of 3, he shot 48 for nine holes, and at the age of 5, Golf Digest featured him.

Woods had mastered the game by the age of eight and had even demonstrated his prowess on televised programs like Good Morning America.

Woods first encountered Jack Nicklaus when he was a youngster in Los Angeles at the Bel-Air Country Club, where Jack Nicklaus was leading an instruction session for members. Woods was a participant in the show and dazzled Jack Nicklaus and the audience with his talent.

Woods’ father studied Jack Nicklaus’ career accomplishments in detail and set a goal for his son to break those records.

The record for the most victories in significant professional golf tournaments does not, however, belong to Woods. He presently has 15 major victories. Jack Nicklaus, who has won 18 world championships, is in the lead.

It was important for Tiger Woods to defeat Jack Nicklaus and become the best player in history. Woods was once asked in an interview, “What would you choose: 19 majors (one more than Jack) or a hundred wins?” Tiger’s answer was 19. “What if 17 majors (one less than Jack’s) or a hundred wins? Woods’ answer remained the same: 19.

Woods’ record of winning the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at the age of 15 stood until Jim Liu beat it in 2010. In 1991, Tiger Woods won the titles of Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year and Southern California Amateur Player of the Year back-to-back.

Tiger Woods at Navy SEAL practice

A Tragedy in the Life of Tiger Woods

At that time, Tiger Woods decided to give up golf in order to continue his father’s work. He also wanted to be a Navy SEAL However, his training eventually failed. He nevertheless returned to golf and won many competitions, including the PGA Championship and the British Open.

The birth of his own children, a girl named Sam Alexis Woods (born 2007) and a boy named Charlie Axel Woods (born 2009), was a happy occasion for Tiger Woods following the passing of his father.

Sam and Charlie decided against following in their father’s athletic footsteps and instead chose to play football. Cheyenne Woods, who competes on the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour, inherited her father’s love of golf.

Tiger Woods is recognized as the world leader in the number of major tournament wins on the PGA Tour

Amateur Title

This was followed by studies at Stanford University, during which Woods won several amateur golf championships before turning professional.

While at the university, he entered and won the 40th William H. Tucker Invitational. A year later, Woods successfully defended his US amateur title. He also received Stanford’s prestigious “Best Freshman” award.
At the age of 16 (1992), Tiger took part in his first professional competition, the Los Angeles Open. In the 1994 Thailand Johnnie Walker Asian Classic, Tiger tied for 34th after making the 36-hole cut.

Tiger won 10 collegiate games (1995 and 1996) and an NCAA championship.
In 1995, Woods competed in his first major on the PGA Tour at the Masters. He took 41st place. In 1997, Woods won a major on the PGA Tour by 12 shots. Woods was the only amateur who could do it.

At 20, Tiger Woods won three U.S. amateur championships and also became the first golfer to win an NCAA individual golf championship at such a young age. at age 20, winning three U.S. amateur championships.

The climax of his amateur career came when Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Amateur Championship and had a record 18 consecutive match wins.

Well, in his amateur career, Tiger Woods has achieved a number of remarkable results. He won six USGA National Championships, setting one of the best amateur golf records in history. He won 18 consecutive games, winning the U.S. Amateur Championship three times.

If you want to become a true golf professional and become a golf instructor, read more here.

No one had climbed to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking so quickly before Tiger Woods

Professional Golf Career

The start of Tiger Woods’ professional career was marked by PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year awards.

Tiger Woods has his own secrets to a successful golf game. He was able to frequently hit drives of more than 300 yards thanks to his exceptional club speed. He was a formidable opponent and a much-liked player among spectators due to his developing long game, as well as his superb putting and chipping, and reputation for mental toughness.

With his precision golfing skills, Woods’ participation in tournaments becomes an extraordinary spectacle that spectators can’t take their eyes off of. One of Woods’ great performances was in the 1997 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Tiger hit a record 270 strokes over 72 holes, 12 strokes ahead of his opponents.

And after two months, he ascended to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking. No one had ever climbed the mountain that swiftly before Woods; it was a record-breaking ascent.

Is it really possible to win four Majors in a row? Tiger Woods came closest to this. Woods became the youngest golfer to complete a career Grand Slam at a major professional championship and only the fifth to ever do so. In doing so, he surpassed Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, and even Jack Nicklaus.

In April 2001, Tiger won the Masters and designed the so-called Tiger Slam or Tiger Helmet. Thus, he received a Grand Slam by winning four tournaments in a row: the US Open, British Open, and PGA Championship in 2000, and then the Masters in 2001.

Tiger Woods also had success in 2002, but Woods went winless in major tournaments for the next two years. In September 2004, his record 264-week stay atop the Official World Rankings ended when he was overtaken by Vijay Singh. Woods’ record 264-week stay atop the Official World Ranking, ended in 2004 when he was overtaken by Vijay Singh.

However, Woods regained the top spot on the OWR as early as 2005, winning six PGA Tour events. In July, Woods traded the top spot with Singh.

Professional injuries took their toll, preventing Tiger from fully participating in all championships. After another knee surgery, Woods played in his first match in 2008. He eventually won his third U.S. Open title, completing his third career Grand Slam, something only Jack Nicklaus had managed before him.

In 2010, Woods competed again and finished fourth at the Masters. Due to back problems, he withdrew in the fourth round of the Players Championship and Quail Hollow Championship tournaments.

In late 2016 Woods underwent back surgery. It was a difficult period in Woods’ life when serious health issues forced him to miss 15 months of tournament play. Although he returned to professional golf for the Hero World Challenge, a fourth back surgery prevented him from playing the entire 2017 season and he was forced to retire from the sport at the end of the year.

Patting on Tiger Woods' greens

At the 2019 Masters, he won the world title after defeating a number of top contenders. Woods shocked the golfing world by winning the Masters, breaking the previous record for the largest gap between wins in the sport, despite having done nothing remarkable in the previous eleven years.

Tiger Woods owns another achievement. He made professional golf history by becoming the second golfer after Jack Nicklaus to win the Green Jacket at the age of 43.

Here’s Tiger’s famous walk on the water.


Among golfers currently playing, Tiger Woods is recognized as the world leader in the number of major tournament wins on the PGA Tour.

In 1997, Woods was the Player of the Year. It was the first time in golf history that a golfer won such a high honor in the second year of his professional career. Unfortunately, his game went downhill in the second half of 1997, and he won one PGA Tour event in 1998.

However, the very next year, Tiger won eight times on the PGA Tour, including the PGA Championship.

Wood won 13 more major tournaments in 12 years, and was the PGA Player of the Year 10 times. In 2019, he broke Sam Snead’s record for most career wins: he now has 82 PGA Tour victories.

In 2018, he returned to the winner’s circle for the 80th time in his PGA Tour career, winning the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club for the second and third time.

So, Tiger Woods has had some amazing results during his time on the PGA Tour. Woods has the lowest average score and highest earnings of any golfer in PGA Tour history.

PGA Tour victories:

PGA Tour 1996 – 2 PGA tour wins

PGA Tour 1997 –  4

PGA Tour 1998 – 1

PGA Tour 1999 –  8

PGA Tour 2000 –  9

PGA Tour 2001 –  5

PGA Tour 2002 –  5

PGA Tour 2003 –  5

PGA Tour 2004 –  1

PGA Tour 2005 –  6

PGA Tour 2006 – 8

PGA Tour 2007 – 7

PGA Tour 2008 – 4

PGA Tour 2009 – 6

PGA Tour 2012 – 3

PGA Tour 2013 – 5

PGA Tour 2018 –  1

PGA Tour 2019 – 1

Frequently Asked Questions

This article lists the most important accomplishments of Tiger Woods. If you still have questions, you can read the answers below.

At what age did Tiger Woods play golf?

Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour getting ready to swing

At the age of 6 months, Tiger showed an interest in golf by watching his father practice in the garage. At the age of 11 months, Woods picked up a golf club to hit the ball. And by the time he was 18 months old, he had begun playing more successfully. At age 15, he won his first of three junior amateur titles. He went on to win the U.S. Men’s Amateur Championship three times.

How long could Tiger Woods drive?

498 yards were thrown by Tiger Woods at the 2002 Mercedes PGA Championship. Powerful drives gone wrong have happened to even game legends. He earned a spot on this list through one standout shot at the 2002 Mercedes PGA Championship.

How old was Tiger at his first PGA event?

A 16-year-old prodigy named Tiger Woods made his PGA Tour debut at California’s Riviera Country Club in February 1992.

How much does Tiger Woods earn?

Despite barely being on the course in the final months of 2022 while recovering from a severe car accident, Woods managed to earn $68 million, become the highest-paid golfer, and rank 14th in the 2022 rankings.


Tiger Woods became a great player largely due to his father and intensive golf training from an early age. His serious passion for golf allowed him to become a professional at the age of 20.

Let’s hope that Tiger Woods will delight his fans with new records. At least, that’s what we expect.

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