Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren have mastered the art of co-parenting.
The former couple first met in the early 2000s, and just a few years later, Woods and Nordegren tied the knot in a stunning ceremony. In 2007, the duo celebrated the arrival of their first child, daughter Sam Alexis. The family grew once again in 2009 with the addition of their son Charlie Axel.
By the time their children were toddlers, Woods had found himself embroiled in a scandal, after reports surfaced that the golfer had been having several affairs during his marriage. Wood and Nordegren finalized their divorce in 2010, but despite any drama between the parents, the pair worked to keep the best interests of Sam and Charlie in mind. While Woods admitted it was much harder to do things solo, he said that seeing his children grow is the greatest reward.
“I just love being with them and seeing what they’re doing, what they’re capable of doing – the joys, just the shifts of interest. It’s just fun. We have a great time together,” he said in 2011.
While things may have gotten easier as Sam and Charlie have gotten older, Woods still sees his children as the highlight of his life, encouraging him to continue onward even through some of his biggest obstacles.
Here’s everything you need to know about Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren’s children.
Sam Alexis Woods, 15
Woods and Nordegren’s older child, Sam Alexis Woods, was born on June 18, 2007, in Orlando, Florida. The couple chose a name with special meaning, as Woods’ father had always called the golfing superstar by the nickname Sam when he was growing up.
“We wanted to have a name that would be meaningful to either side of the family, my side or Elin’s side, because she was born [the day after] Father’s Day. It just happened to fit. My father had always called me Sam since the day I was born. He rarely ever called me Tiger. I would ask him, ‘Why don’t you ever call me Tiger?’ He says, ‘Well, you look more like a Sam,’ ” the golfer explained.
Woods instilled a love of sports in his daughter from the very beginning, sharing that he put a golf club in Sam’s hands when she was just a few weeks old — although “she couldn’t quite hold it.” At just six months old, Sam attended the first of many of her dad’s golfing competitions. Throughout her childhood, she was spotted rooting him on from the crowd on numerous occasions and even served as his caddy at one point. While it sounds like Sam might now be more into soccer than golf, Woods has said that his children’s attendance at his golfing events means the world to him.
“We all know what happened in ’97 with my dad’s health, and he was pronounced — well, he was dead at one point earlier that year; came back, and then came here and I won the Masters. To now have come full circle and to have a chance to have my kids out there and be able to share that with them, it’s special,” Woods told the Golf Channel.
Following Woods and Nordegren’s split, the athlete later revealed that he was upfront about the situation with his young children. While he didn’t tell them exactly what happened, he says he did admit to them that he had made mistakes.
“I’ve taken the initiative with the kids, and told them up front, ‘Guys, the reason why we’re not in the same house, why we don’t live under the same roof, Mommy and Daddy, is because Daddy made some mistakes,’ ” Woods told TIME magazine in 2015.
Following the divorce, the couple arranged to share custody of their two children, who split their time between their parents. Sam continued to support Woods from the sidelines, although a series of setbacks and injuries stalled Woods’ career. The golfer explained that it came to a point where his children didn’t want him to practice and would say, “Dad, don’t try and play, don’t try and practice, ’cause you’ll be in more pain.” Fortunately, Woods’ career took a turn for the better in 2018 and he says it was the first time his children had truly seen him at his prime.
“They felt that rush and that buzz in the gallery, and the people talking and the excitement. They’d never seen that or experienced that or felt it. I think they’re able to remember this day and this moment, and especially the process. Now they’re starting to see the joy that I get from it, and I think they’re starting to really enjoy it because of [that] as well,” Woods explained.
In 2021, Woods opened up about his daughter, sharing that she taught him “how to be more patient.” Despite her already being a teenager, he added that she was still his “little girl.”
Just a year later, Sam got the chance to honor her father at his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. While giving an introduction speech, Sam celebrated the obstacles Woods had overcome, including his devastating car accident just months prior.
“We didn’t know if you’d come home with two legs or not. Now, you’re not only about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but you’re standing here on your own two feet. This is why you deserve this. You’re a fighter, you’ve defied the odds every time,” Sam said.
Charlie Axel Woods, 13
In 2008, Woods and Nordegren announced they were expecting their second child, and on February 8, 2009, the couple welcomed their son, Charlie Axel Woods. Woods explained that while they had a few names to choose from, Charlie “just fit.” Meanwhile, the little boy’s middle name paid tribute to Nordegren’s brother.
Charlie showed an interest in athletics from a young age, with Woods saying that at just 2 years old, the only thing the little boy wanted to do was play sports. The golfer joked that all Charlie needed was “a stick and a ball,” and he was happy.
While Charlie was interested in all types of sports as a child, he eventually began to follow in his father’s footsteps on the green. With the help of his dad, he got an early start to his golfing career, not only watching from the sidelines but also training alongside the pros. Even though Woods says Charlie is a “natural,” he admits he’s never wanted to pressure him into playing for the fear of making him “hate the game.” That’s why he’s tried to make the experience fun, hosting putting contests in the backyard and taking a slightly more relaxed approach to training than what he experienced as a kid.
By the time he was 11, Charlie was already on the golf course, winning competitions against other young athletes. Woods, who served as his caddy during one of the tournaments, said being out there with him was an “absolute blast.”
“I get emotional about it. Some of my best memories are being out there with my dad,” he said.
In 2020, they competed in their first tournament together, playing in the PNC Championship in Orlando — where fans noticed the father-son duo had incredibly similar mannerisms. After the event, Woods expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity with his son.
“I don’t think words can describe it. Just the fact that we were able to have this experience together, Charlie and I,” he told reporters. “It’s memories for a lifetime.”
Over the course of the next year, Charlie spent time being trained by his famous dad and competing in tournaments. But when a severe car accident forced Woods off the green early in 2021, he says it was watching Charlie continue to play that motivated him in his rehabilitation process. By the end of that year, the duo took part in the PNC Championship once again, marking the first time Woods played professionally since his accident.