Tiger Woods' Golf Career in High School

Tiger Woods watches the flight of the ball as he follows through on his swing during a golf tournament in 1992
Tiger Woods pictured in 1992, when he was 16 years old and a sophomore in high school. Andy Hayt/Getty Images

The high school attended by Tiger Woods was Western High School, a public school located in Anaheim, California. A few tidbits about Western High School:

  • Nickname of sports teams: Pioneers
  • School colors: Blue and white
  • Serves grades: 9 through 12
  • School district: Anaheim Union High School District
  • Notable alumni: In addition to Tiger, there's Randy Scheckman, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine; major league baseball players Andy Messersmith and John Moses; and NFL players Mike Iupati and Fili Moala.

Tiger's Years at Western High School

Woods attended Western High School for four years, from ages 15 through 18, graduating in 1994. Woods was enrolled at Western High when he won his first USGA championship, the 1991 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, at age 15. Woods was still in high school when he first played on the PGA Tour, which happened at age 16.

Woods was in the 1994 graduating class of Western High. His classmates voted an honor for him and, in retrospect, it is clear they made a very good choice: They voted Tiger "Most Likely to Succeed."

Did Woods Play On His High School Golf Team?

Yes, Woods did play on the Western Pioneers golf team. Western High School played its athletics under the aegis of the California Interscholastic Federation, or CIF.

During Woods' years, the CIF did not conduct a statewide championship tournament in golf, but split the state into Southern and Northern halves. So the highest high school tournament for Woods was the CIF SoCal Regional, and Tiger won that tournament once, in 1991.

Woods was the CIF Southern Section individual champion three times, in 1991, 1993 and 1994. Western High School was a member of the Orange County League at that time, and Woods was named the league's Most Valuable Player all four years of high school.

He also won the Dial Award as the top male high school athlete in the United States in 1993.

High School Golf Coach

Woods' high school golf coach was Don Crosby, who later wrote a book titled, Tiger Woods Made Me Look Like A Genius: Five Simple Ways to Take Ten Strokes Off Your Game. In 1994, Crosby and the 18-year-old Woods were interviewed together by a California-based high school sports television show, and that interview is available on YouTube.

Crosby was in his early 50s when he coached Woods at Western High. He started the boys golf program at the school in 1986 and the girls program in 1998. He retired from Western High School following the 1999 high school golf season.

Major Wins and Tournaments

Of course, Woods was playing many tournaments outside of high school, too, during his years with the Western Pioneers: American Junior Golf Association and other top junior tournaments, USGA tournaments, even pro tournaments.

Woods was 16 years old and a sophomore at Western High School when he made his first PGA Tour appearance at the 1992 Nissan Los Angeles Open at Riviera Country Club.

As a high school freshman, age 15, Woods won his first USGA championship, the 1991 U.S. Junior Amateur. He repeated as champion in that event in 1992 and 1993, as well, while still in high school. (The first of his three U.S. Amateur Championship wins came just after he graduated from high school in 1994.)

After graduating from Western High School in 1994, Woods headed off to college at Stanford University.