Friday, May 14, 2010
Tiger and New Instructor Thoughts
It was announced yesterday that Hank Haney quit as Tiger's coach. Yes, Haney stated and he wanted to 'make it clear' that HE quit working with Tiger. It almost reminded me of something George Costanza would do.
Well, nobody just quits teaching the #1 golfer in the world and a player that could perhaps go down as the greatest of all time, unless:
1. The instructor despises the student.
2. The instructor knows he's going to get fired, so he'll beat the student to the punch (the Costanza move)
3. The student wants to part ways, but wants to be nice about it and allows the instructor to quit instead.
If Haney did break up with Tiger, then I think it's still a low move for Haney as a friend should stick with another friend it tough times, not jump out the car when the road starts to get bumpy.
If Tiger worked soemthing out with Haney, then at least Tiger is a decent enough guy to understand how these things work and how they can effect a person's career.
Personally, I'm in the relief stage of this because now Tiger can at least start to get back to his old swing and more importantly, his old great ballstriking. He still needs to find somebody to get rid of the bad stuff and bring back the good stuff, but the first step IMO was getting away from the Haney teaching methodology.
The early leaders in the 'So You Think You Can Teach Tiger?' are Mike Abbott and Sean Foley. Abbott works with Pat Perez, Tommy Armour III and Mark O'Meara...all good friends of Tiger. Both O'Meara and Armour III worked with Haney for awhile, so Tiger might be averse to going to Abbott feeling that Armour III and O'Meara may not be the best judge of instruction after his issues with Haney.
Foley teaches Sean O'Hair and Hunter Mahan among others. O'Hair is a good friend of Tiger's and both he and Mahan are quality ballstrikers, plus Foley is located in Orlando.
Personally, I don't think it's *that* hard to get Tiger turned around. I think even somebody like myself could spend an hour or two with him and get him back on track, and I'm not even a professional instructor.
I think what Tiger needs is somebody who can get him out of the Haney vortex and just as importantly, explain WHY the Haney stuff didn't work for him and WHY the Butch Harmon stuff did work for him. And he doesn't even need to bring back his old swing, he just needs to get away from what he's doing now.
Remember, Tiger is a Stanford guy and is not stupid. He's always been a guy that loves technology and an instructor not afraid to use things like Trackman, 6-degree 3D motion systems, force plates, etc would be something that probably appeals to him.
Ted Fort would be a great teacher for Tiger. He hasn't been around as long as Haney or Butch, but hasn't had natural superstars show up on his range either. In the meantime, he made Jean Reynolds into a #2 on the Futures Duramed Tour last season.
John Dochety has studied MORAD, S&T, 1PS, etc and is a great developer of student's golf swings.
Brian Manzella works occasionally with David Toms, a guy that finished 3rd in my 2009 Ballstriking Statistical Rankings and teaches with Trackman.
David Orr is an expert in golf swing and putting instruction, probably one of the most respected putting instructors around.
Dan Carraher is a young, upcoming instructor who currently teaches Nationwide upcomer Brian Smock.
I don't know much about Mike Abbott or Sean Foley and they may meet every expectation I could have about a golf instructor. But I think Tiger would be better off taking some serious time to seek out the right instructor. And more importantly, ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS..and see what other instructors say and see what makes sense to you.
And if that fails, I'm only 30 minutes away in East Orlando :)