Police in Florida confirmed the 14-time major winner was arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning near his home in the upmarket suburban area of Jupiter Island.
The former world number one was taken into custody at Palm Beach County jail shortly after 7:15am, where he spent four hours before being released.
Kristin Rightler, a spokewoman for the Jupiter Police force, said she did not have additional details about the circumstances leading to Woods’s arrest, nor did she have any information about whether it involved drugs or alcohol.
Police released a photograph of the 41-year-old taken after he was booked into the jail. It shows him looking tired and unshaven, wearing a white T-shirt.
The arrest caps the latest fall for a sportsman many thought would eclipse Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major victories. However, Woods has not won a grand slam title since the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines.
His career has been plagued by injuries in recent years. Woods had only returned to competition, after a 15-month absence, in December, but his plans to participate at Augusta in April, on the 20th anniversary of his first Masters victory, also had to be abandoned.
He had been recovering from surgery after back spasms forced his withdrawal from the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February.
It was his fourth back operation in three years to treat a condition which has limited him to just three tournament starts since 2015.
He said in a statement last month: “The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain.
“When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long.”
In 2009, he was charged with careless driving near his home after crashing into a tree and damaging a fire hydrant.
Woods later admitted to extra-marital affairs and made an apology in early 2010 in which he spoke of undergoing therapy, saying he was “far short of perfect.”
In the blog discussing his surgery, he wrote last week that he “hadn’t felt this good in years”, but added: “I’m not looking ahead.
“I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me.
“I am concentrating on short-term goals.”