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Hank's Already Got Michael Phelps Saying It's A Process!

While it was fun to see what Hank Haney could do with Charles Barkley's downswing yips (and triple yips) the noted instructor has never had a relatively neuroses-free world-class athlete like Michael Phelps to work with, making the season debut (9 ET) of Golf Channel's reality show actually somewhat tantalizing.

Ed Sherman features a preview and some comments from both Phelps and Haney. If nothing else, we now know where Tiger gets his "process" talk. And Phelps is already wheeling that word out:

So I mean, I think that’s just where the pressure comes from on my standpoint, and I’ll say that being able to play in the Waste Management and also playing in The Ryder Cup Pro‑Am, I felt pressure there because I’ve never played golf in front of thousands of people.  I guess that was an interesting and new experience.

And Haney:

The thing that I think gives him a big advantage is that he knows the process, he’s patient with the process.  He always talks about just taking little baby steps and he’s had great coaching through his career, so he knows what it’s like to be coached.  So I felt like, you know what, this is going to be a dream student for me.

Phelps on Morning Drive today:

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Reader Comments (14)

This really could be very interesting.

Given this dude's size and strength if Hank gets him making a good balanced and efficient rip at it can you imagine how long this guy might be?!?

I bet he ends up getting very very good....
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I am not sure which is more annoying: "process" or "reps".
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSun Mountain Man
The most annoying are the TaylorMade commercials....just pitiful. I immediately mute or turn the channel.
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I'd rather see Ryan Lochte try to make it at golf.
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
"...being able to play in the Waste Management..."
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark B
Oh come on, at least he's working with a guy who seems interested in doing the right things. The Rush one was insufferable and Barkley, while funny, was painful.
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Haney must feel that the exposure provided by the "Project" is beneficial to his "brand" but even a cursory look at the results of his pupils indicates a certain lack of success.

Ray Romano: FAIL.

Rush Limbaugh: FAIL.

Charles Barkley: FAIL.

Why Hank would line up Barkley in front of a thousand teed-up golf balls and have him PRACTICE HIS BAD HABITS is beyond me.
It would be boring as hell to do and terrible television but I'm guessing the fastest way to Actually Learn Golf would be to start from the cup and work your way on out. Putting, then chipping, then pitches, then short irons, etc. Along the way, you'd be BUILDING A GOLF SWING... not trying to make an already-existing move work with the help of a few Haney "refinements."

I don't get it when teaching pro's say, "Don't worry... I won't make big changes to your golf swing." Why the hell not? These people are hackers and NEED to Start Over.
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBenSeattle
Will he write another book?
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
One more point, if I may.

Geoff says: << the noted instructor has never had a relatively neuroses-free world-class athlete like Michael Phelps. >>

No question that Phelps is a world-class athlete but let's remember that he didn't become one because of outstanding hand-eye co-ordination. If he were a a three-point shooting whiz or a high-average baseball player, I'd be more inclined to think that he could take easily to golf. But he's an ENDURANCE athlete, like a marathoner or a cyclist, and the physical traits that lead to success in his field actually have very little advantage in golf. Is he competitive... is he dedicated? Perhaps, and that will certainly help but as I used to tell my frustrated-as-all-get-out teenagers when trying to learn this sport: "GOLF IS HARD."

Just keep at it, Michael and golf will GIVE you those missing neuroses!
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBenSeattle
Agree with Ben, Hank is 0 for 3. This time I bet he portrays Phelps as a complete chop and when he shoots 85 Hank can take credit for working a miracle.
Oh Hank. This guy hochs Crocs brand golf shoes and Hyundais now. Little 3rd party anecdote: hank gets paid to wear crocs while he puts on a 'group lesson for guys that lease Hyundais' to try to get em to buy the new Hyundai Benz knock off.

During the outing, he explains how rush and ray are now great golfers (they practiced real hard after their respective shows cause they didn't have time during, that's why it looked like they sucked during their shows...but trust hank - they are really good now). So he tells everyone to swing, and he says he can tell ya everything that's wrong about your swing...but that's not important. His secret is to simply repeat your swing hundreds of times a day to make it highly repeatable (don't hit balls, just practice swings), and don't make mental mistakes. What good will come of ingraining a terrible move to the ball, especially if you are striking one to see the result? And seriously, cut dont make mental mistakes? Pretty sure that golfers who are proactively trying to avoid mental mistakes, invariably end up making mental mistakes. I was no fan of hank before, but upon hearing this...just didn't sound like he was really trying to help anyone (well, except for one person - HH himself). Not surprised.
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUbb
Ben, hand-eye coordination may not be his strong suit, but in terms of the combination of endurance and explosive power, I think Phelps may surprise you. He'll at least certainly try hard.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
I bet you Phelps is a lot better all-around athlete than you suspect. These guys play a lot of water polo over the years and I'm sure he played other sports as a kid as well. Not like he's some girl from China who has never ridden a bike or thrown a ball.
02.26.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
With Haney at the helm it will come to down to a simple choice for young Master Phelps:

Distance/Accuracy/Consistency/Confusion....pick one.

Seriously...can anyone name a Haney protege/project who's known as a Long&Straight ballstriking son-of-a-gun?? Tiger don't count...he got shorter and more crooked with Hank...FACT!
02.27.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz

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