Earl Woods, 74, died Wednesday

Earl Woods, revered AJGA Board Member, parent and grandfather, passed away Wednesday morning at his home in Cypress, Calif. He was 74.

Woods was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 and treated with radiation. In 2004, the cancer returned and spread throughout his body.

While affiliated with the AJGA in the early 1990s as a parent, Woods witnessed his son, Tiger, garner back-to-back Rolex Junior Player of the Year awards (1991, 1992) and Rolex Junior All-America First-Team honors four times (1990-1993). As of late, he was known to help guide his granddaughter Cheyenne Woods in ascending through the junior golf ranks.

As a way to make a positive impact in junior golf, Woods joined the AJGA Board of Directors in 1992 and 1993. This was a period when the Board helped grow the AJGA schedule to more than 30 events a year and, for the first time, tracked the effectiveness of the AJGA helping juniors earn college golf scholarships.

“This is a very sad day for the AJGA and the world of golf as a whole,” said Stephen Hamblin, AJGA executive director. “As a parent, he was the best we ever had. As a board member, it was always how to make things better for the kids.”

Woods will be remembered as an example for other parents to follow. With his involvement with Tiger, he followed a few simple rules, Hamblin said.

  • Don’t be a task-master – Earl never followed Tiger for 18 holes. Rather, he would find the best piece of shade on the course and listen to classical music. He wasn’t there to manage Tiger’s round.
  • Don’t be afraid of failure – One year, Tiger was in danger of missing the cut at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. When Earl heard the news, he said, “Well, this will be a good dose of humble pie.”
  • Let them be kids – Tiger never immediately went to the range after a good or bad round to practice. The first thing he did was find his buddies, and Earl knew that was important.