The Untold Truth Of Tiger Woods' Mother, Kultida

On February 23, 2021, Tiger Woods underwent emergency surgery after a car crash in Rancho Palos Verdes, California (via CNN). He will likely have a long road of recovery ahead of him. As he recovers, one thing we know is that we can expect his mother, Kultida, to be by Tiger's side every step of the way — as she's been his whole life.

Kultida Woods was born in Thailand but has spent the majority of her life in America. "I['ve] live[d] in [the] U.S. 40 years now, in Thailand for only 25," Kultida told ESPN in 2009. "In that way, I'm more American than Thai." Still, she shared that Thailand is the place she feels most at home and she makes frequent trips back, often doing philanthropic work.

Kultida also told ESPN that she and her son are cut from the same cloth. She described them both as "loners" who don't waste time with people they don't like. "I am independent and strong-willed. That way, you survive," said Kultida. "When I was a girl, my mother would always be worried, 'What will people say?' And even then, I would think, 'I don't give a damn.'" She added that she instilled in her son the importance of being happy in himself.

Tiger and Kultida Woods have had their differences

Although Kultida Woods is her son's biggest supporter, she isn't afraid to give him tough love. According to The Daily Beast, she was furious with Tiger when she learned that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Elin Nordegren. The pair split in 2010, shortly after his infidelities became known to his family and the public.

The issue hit close to her heart because Tiger's own father, the late Earl Woods, repeatedly cheated on Kultida and she shared a close relationship with her daughter-in-law, Nordegren. A source told The Daily Beast that she was "hurt, angry, and disappointed" by her son's actions and "want[ed] to know how he could do this to his family."  

However, Tiger and Kultida have managed to rebuild and maintain a strong relationship. In 2019, she shared an emotional hug with her son when he won the Masters (via SB Nation). Tiger Woods also embraced his son, Charlie, that day in the exact same spot where he'd hugged his own father 22 years prior. "It's been 22 years. Life goes on," he said of the parallel. "But there's been one continuity through it all — my mom was there."

Kultida Woods has been influential in her son's career

Although Earl Woods was the more visible of Tiger Woods' parents, Kutilda has been an influential figure in her son's life and career. When Tiger was a child, his mom even joined him on the golf course.

"My mom played golf when I was very little. We played at Heartwell, we would go out there and play together," Tiger shared, per "She never really played much, but she can still putt. We still have a few putt-offs in the backyard every now and again, with the kids."

And when it came to his golf career, Tiger told USA Today that Kultida was the one who enforced rules and gave tough love. "My mom was the enforcer. My dad may have been in the Special Forces, but I was never afraid of him," he told the outlet. "My mom's still here, and I'm still deathly afraid of her. She's a very tough, tough old lady, very demanding. She was the hand, she was the one, I love her so much, but she was tough."

Kultida is the reason Tiger wears red on Sunday at tournaments

In fact, the reason Tiger Woods always wears red during final rounds at tournaments is because of his mom's advice.

"It goes back to my mom," he said during an interview with Marty Smith of ESPN (via Heavy). "My mom says that my power color is red. And so, in junior golf I won a golf tournament wearing red. She said, 'See I told you. Red.' So, the very next tournament what do I do? I wear blue. Okay. So, I win. Again, I told her, and I just kind of made fun of it. Poked at her a little bit. I think I lost the next two out of three tournaments wearing blue. Switched to red and I went on a hot streak. And, well, I kept it."

Per The Sun, Kutilda Woods has been honored with a "Mother of the Year" award from an Asian-American organization, but she prefers to stay out of the spotlight. She is also a devout Buddhist and, with her encouragement, Tiger began to reconnect with the religion again as an adult.

Above all, Kutilda always wants her son to know that she has his back and that his love is the greatest gift in her life. "I always told him, 'You can always count on Mom. Mom will never lie to you.' Every night, I pray to the Buddha that in the next life Tiger will be my son again," she told ESPN.