But Woods did not say when he will play golf again, other than to mention at the end of the statement that it could be this year.
"Every one of you has good reason to be critical of me," Woods said to the gathering of his personal friends -- but few reporters -- in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. "I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in. I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have done these things to my wife, Elin, and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say.
"Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words. It will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss. However, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us."
Woods mentioned his educational foundation and suggested that it is his highest priority other than his family, although he may have come across as too corporate when he directed part of his apology to the "staff, board of directors and sponsors."
Woods gave few details about the Thanksgiving weekend car crash on his property, but he did insist that it was not caused by his wife abusing him.
"Elin never hit me that night or any night," Woods said. "There has never been an incident of domestic violence in our marriage. Ever."
Ultimately, Woods said, he takes full responsibility for what he did.
"I was unfaithful," Woods said. "I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame."
Woods decried the media attention that has been paid to him in the last three months, and he specifically noted a story linking him to a doctor who has been accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
Woods asked the media to leave his family alone, and claimed that his young daughter had been followed to nursery school, and he said of the media, "They staked out my wife and they pursued my mom."
Woods also mentioned his religious beliefs, saying, "I was raised a Buddhist and I actively practiced my faith in childhood before I drifted away in recent years."
Although he didn't specifically address reports that he has been living in a sexual addiction rehabilitation clinic, Woods said he has "more treatment and more therapy" ahead.
Woods, who hugged his mother at the end of his statement, said he will play golf again, but he's not sure when.
"I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year."
For a statement from Woods on the course, the golf world will have to wait.