Tiger Woods is a trailblazer in a new sense now: he may be the first major athlete to cite Buddhism as his religion of refuge in a public apology, as he did during Friday's public statement. More specifically, Woods is most likely a Therevadan Buddhist, the major stream of Buddhism prevalent in his mother’s native Thailand.
For the layperson, this is “saffron robe” Buddhism, not “red robe Buddhism,” and emphasizes the use of reason and observation to overcome the problems and suffering of this world in order to become an Arhant—one who has attained enlightenment—and thus escape the cycle of death and rebirth and reach nirvana.
Practice-wise, this involves meditation, a trip to the temple once a week to listen to a monk deliver a lesson on the Buddha’s teaching, and an effort by the adherent to stick to the Eight Fold Way: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. and right knowledge/liberation.
Particularly interesting in Woods’ case? The cause of all trouble, according to Theravadan Buddhism? Dukkha, a concept best translated as craving, and something all too relevant in why we’re talking about all of this in the first place.