Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She has a twin sister Josfin and an older brother Axel. They grew up in Vaxholm, a small town outside of Stockholm. Their father, Thomas Nordegren, is one of Sweden's best-known journalists. Their mother, Barbro Holmberg, is a politician and the former Swedish migration and asylum policy minister. The couple divorced when Elin was 6 years old.
Nordegren played soccer for many years. She spent some time living in Berlin with her father after he landed a job there in 1997. Returning to Sweden, Nordegren was soon discovered by a famous photographer named Bingo Rimer. She appeared on the cover of a Swedish magazine in 2000, wearing a bikini. Nordegren, however, had no great ambitions about becoming a model. She enrolled at Lund University to pursue her dream of becoming a child psychologist.
Nordegren took a job in a Stockholm clothing store called Champagne, where she met Mia Parnevik, wife of Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who hired Nordegren as the nanny to their children, a job that required her to move to the U.S.
Initially Nordegren had no interest in golf, or golfers. She had a boyfriend back home when she first met Tiger Woods at the 2001 British Open. Even after that relationship dissolved, Nordegren was slow to warm to Woods. She turned him down the first time he asked her out, but he eventually won her over.
During a trip to a South African game reserve in November of 2003, Nordegren accepted Woods' marriage proposal. They married the following year at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados. Approximately 200 friends and family members attended the sunset ceremony, including basketball greats Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.
Elin and Tiger gave birth to two children - Sam Alexis Woods in 2007 and Charlie Axel Woods in 2009.
In 2006, Nordegren became the subject of a false story in an Irish publication. The magazine claimed that she had posed naked. She and her husband fought these allegations in court and they won. They were awarded $183,250. That same year, Woods suffered a great personal loss when his father died of cancer.
In December 2009, her marriage to Woods was the subject of extensive media coverage after Woods admitted to infidelity, which had been revealed following his single-vehicle accident near the family's Florida home.Woods subsequently announced he would take an "indefinite break" from golf to work on his marriage.These efforts were unsuccessful, however, as Nordegren and Woods finalized their divorce in the Bay County Circuit Court in Panama City, Florida, on August 23, 2010. Nordegren's legal team included her sister, Josefin (who is licensed to practice law in England and Sweden) and several of Josefin's U.S. colleagues at international law firm McGuireWoods.
Using the $100 million she received from her divorce with Tiger Woods, she purchased a $12 million mansion in Florida. After contacting an architect about bringing the home, built in the 1920s, up to current hurricane safety codes, it was in his opinion that it would make better sense to start over, so she had the entire structure demolished. Before demolishing the home in December 2011, she allowed Habitat for Humanity to come into the home for four weeks and salvage anything they found of value. Many valuable contents of the estate went on the auction block at a Habitat for Humanity warehouse. Among the items donated to Habitat were a 12-foot fountain with water spouting out of three lion’s mouths, five Sub-Zero Refrigerators, 14 vanities, temperature-controlled wine coolers, as well as other furniture.