Tiger Woods was born Eldrick Woods on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California. He was the only child of Earl and Kultida Woods.
His mother was a native of Thailand and very familiar with the mystical precepts of Buddhism, and she passed this philosophy on to her son.
His parents identified their son's talent at an unusually early age. They said that he was playing with a putter before he could walk. The boy was gifted not only with exceptional playing abilities, but he also possessed a passion for the sport itself. Woods first came to notoriety on a syndicated talk show when he beat the famed comedian and avid golfer Bob Hope in a putting contest. The young boy was only three at the time, and he was quickly hailed as a prodigy. Not long after that, when he was five years old, Woods was featured on the popular television magazine, That's Incredible! Woods' father has never denied that he devoted his energies to developing his son's talent and to furthering the boy's career as a golfer.
All the while, Tiger's mother made sure that her son's rare talent and his budding golf career would not interfere with his childhood or his future happiness. His mother was a native of Thailand and very familiar with the mystical precepts of Buddhism, and she passed this philosophy on to her son.
As Woods' special talents became increasingly evident, his parents stressed personality, kindness, and self-esteem. They impressed upon their son that he was not to throw tantrums or be rude or think of himself as any better than the next person. In many ways, Woods grew up as a typical middle-class American boy. He developed a taste for junk food and an affection for playing video games. He also spent a fair share of his time clowning around in front of his father's ever-present video camera. As for playing golf, there is no question that the sport was the focus of his childhood. He spent many hours practicing his swing and playing in youth tournaments. Woods was eight years old when he won his first formal competition. From that point he became virtually unstoppable, amassing trophies and breaking amateur records everywhere.