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Hank & Butch Agree: Tiger Needs No Stinkin' Coach

The former coaches have spoken: Tiger should go solo.

Butch Harmon said it yesterday (reported by Rex Hoggard).

“I don’t think he needs a swing coach. If I were advising Tiger I’d tell him, ‘You’re the greatest player that ever lived, just go to the range and hit shots.’”

And Hank Haney talked to Morning Drive, saying the same thing, reports Ryan Lavner.

“He certainly knows enough,” Haney said Tuesday on “Morning Drive". “I think he’d probably be better off just going and doing it himself. He’s the one that he’ll listen to the most. He’s the one that he’s always listened to the most.”

Though the former world No. 1 has all the tools to go it alone – access to TrackMan, an understanding of video technology and the swing, etc. – Haney said doing so could potentially pose an issue, because of Woods’ tendency to “get off on tangents and work on things that aren’t really part of the plan.”

“That’s the biggest challenge that Tiger would face in helping himself,” Haney said. “He has trouble staying on point and staying on a plan. ... It’s making a plan and staying on point, that is where a coach really can help, if he can do that.”

Meanwhile I ran Sean Foley's official statement through the What They Said, What They Meant algorithm.

And John Feinstein had some interesting things to say about Tiger's history of firing coaches in this Golf Central segment.


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Reader Comments (31)

At least it gives Hank an opportunity to feel relevant again.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered Commenterskeptical
I hope their current students don't take offense at the implication that they do need a coach.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
To me, these are subtle digs at Tiger: you should be able to figure it out by yourself, and if you fail with a coach, it's not the coach's fault. But perhaps I am reading too much into these comments.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSari
Should we comparing the year Tiger has had to Jack's 1979?

I know Jack wasn't hurt and Tiger was, but Jack's swing had gone bad, and he was, if memory serves, about 39?

If Tiger gets healthy---???
08.26.2014 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Hank and Foley should enjoy the every-night at Ruth's Chris lifestyle that Tiger bestowed on them, but they can order their tombstones now--

"Fired as golf coach to Tiger Woods"
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd
That's kind of odd coming from Butch and Hank. I don't recall them saying he didn't need a coach when they were coaching him. And Tiger clearly needs a swing coach because he's always had one. If he could do it by himself he would have already. He may try it alone for awhile but I don't see that lasting for long.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterB
We all know what Tiger really needs... Dr Galea.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
He's got such a bad case of the driver yips that it doesn't matter what he does; his career is over.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Geoff Jones
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
Great point Carl Peterson.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
Hawkeye, do you remember the way Tiger hit the driver when he won the US Open at Torrey? Was hitting big ugly wipes that started 30 yards left. But he had a one-way miss and went with it.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I agree Geoff Jones would get him swinging right. It won't happen of course, but would be cool if it did. Geoff got me straightened out and I didn't even have to visit him.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCRB
Geoff there's a name I've not heard in quite a while. Is he still around Texarkana? He was a damn good player back in the day. Hope he's doing well.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered Commentertexaswedge
I agree with Sari's comment.

Geoff - no story on McDowell leaving Horizon? You usually comment on the McIlroy-McDowell-Horzion story arc!
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonald Luke
You know, if he really does go it alone and ends up making a dramatic comeback, it would be one heckuva story. I admit I've never been a huge Tiger fan. But I am a fan of great stories. So I suddenly find myself rooting for him to succeed!

One additional thought: to find your swing, you first have to know yourself. I won't pretend to know the man. But given all that's transpired over the last few years, you have to wonder if he's achieved that level of self-awareness.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterWee Egg Mon
So, let me get this straight, both Harmon and Haney say Tiger doesn't need a coach. And Haney essentially says he's uncoachable. Does that mean that neither deserve any credit for Tiger's wins? Even Roger Federer has a coach. Sometimes a competitor just needs a sounding board as much as someone telling them how to playthe game.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
Tiger may be able to coach himself, but first he needs to give his brain a good colon-cleansing. That is, he needs to get all the shit out of it. Perhaps three weeks of grapefruit juice and a subscription to Gwyneth's blog?
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Friend
@Carl, watching the replay of the 2003 RC, Tiger just hit a full shot off of a green from a different hole. Any comment?
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdward Miles
Loss of hole or, more likely, you have your facts wrong.

Was there an RC in 2003 -- didn't they switch to even years after cancelling 2001?
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Addendum: had that occurred in a four-ball match, TW would have been disqualified from the hole leaving his partner to compete alone.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Did you mean 2002 and was this other putting green on the other course?
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Oops, meant 2004 at Oakland Hills.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson

As far as I know, yes sir, he is still in Texarkana. He is quite the instructor. Made a name for himself in the instructor world on a few years ago. Now he has people flying in to Texarkana from all over the world. I believe he actually has done a few sessions in the UK. Think he wrote a book too. He is also a top notch guy. I like him.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCRB
Woods has had three coaches over the course of his long career. I wouldn't say that amounts to "a history of firing coaches".

Haney is an a-hole in my books (and in many other coaches' books) for taking the confidential information inherent in the coaching relationship and making a big buck out of it, and in the process transparently revealing his bitterness about being fired by slagging Woods in petty details that were wholly unnecessary to what he was qualified to talk about, so I don't really care what he has to say about anything. He's obviously still full of bitterness when it comes to Woods--see, for example, his phone call to Foley. Note to Haney: no one cares.

Harmon has an axe to grind with Woods too, judging by his own comment that he would not work with Woods again and insistence on chiming in on the situation. Ironically, it is Foley--who is the one who just got fired--who is left to have a zen-like approach to the experience. Then again he's Canadian, and Canadians are known for their decency as sportsmen.

Foley was unable to develop a less stressful swing that would enable Woods to keep playing without injuring himself continually. Then again, the steroid use and HGH or whatever concoctions Woods got from Galea to expedite his recovery from past injuries is all probably coming back to bite him. Let's hope that Woods doesn't end up with an asterisk after all his records.
08.26.2014 | Unregistered Commenterhammerwielder
Carl- the North course at Oakland Hills is on the other side of a four lane road.
08.27.2014 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Thanks, smails.
08.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
@ol harv: I do, and as you say, he had a one-way miss going back then, and you can spray the drives at Torrey and get away with it. Plus, his short game was miles better back then.
08.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye

Serious question. Do you really think he is finished? As in he will never win another Major?

I'm not a fan of TW, and would prefer him to be "finished", but I just don't see him being "finished". He is/has been a hell of an athelete and tremendous competitor. His short game is just too good. Once he get's his mind right, some confidence back, and some type of repeatable swing, even if it produces a 30 yard slice, it would not surprise me at all to see him come back and win again. It wouldn't even surprise me to see him win 5 more majors over the next 10 years. He has several courses dialed in that are in the Major rotation.

It would be more surprising to me if it turns out that he really is finished at this point in time. Just too good a player to just write off at this time.
08.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCRB
I saw the rerun of the 2002 Ruder Cup Sunday Singles today.

They showed Tiger Woods hitting off "the wrong green" and Johnny Miller referred to it as such.

It was tough to see but I am fairly sure he was on the apron.

As such he is fine to play, correct?
08.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterStiggy
@Stiggy, thanks for clearing that up - I hope Howard Miles sees your reply. I wonder if Chico officiated at that RC.

You're correct that Rule 25-3 deals only with the putting green and ignores its apron (unless the Committee wants to include the apron as discussed in Decision 33-8/33 ).
08.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
At first I too thought he might have been on the apron but upon second glance I say no way. They even commented on if he was going to take a divot out of the green. Is it too late to call in?
08.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdward Miles

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