Tigers Teacher Peppered by Youthful Questions
'Every single person asked a question about Tiger Woods,' Haney said this week.
Haney, who helped groove Woods' swing the past 3 1/2 years, took over last month as the academy's director of instruction, hopeful he can bring some of what he's taught Tiger to a new generation of ball strikers.
When academy officials wondered if Haney, 52, wanted to squeeze in teaching 160 or so juniors while refining Woods' swing, running a Dallas golf instruction business and heading up the ESPN Golf Schools, Haney made one request: He wanted to dive in full time.
'If I'm going to do this, I want to be involved a meaningful amount of time with the kids,' Haney said. 'I'm not interested in just putting my name on something.'
Haney has already purchased a house here and figures his plan to spend at least two days a month at the academy will grow over time.
'I like teaching kids,' Haney said.
Academy students and teachers were thrilled that Woods' swing coach will work with them. 'I get goose bumps talking about it,' said Matt Fields, the academy's assistant director.
Haney has a long connection with Woods. He taught Woods' junior golf friends, the Kuehne kids -- LPGA player Kelli, 1998 U.S. Amateur champ Hank, and 1994 U.S. Am runner-up Trip. Haney was SMU's golf coach while Woods played at Stanford and perhaps most importantly, Haney taught Woods' pal and two-time major champion, Mark O'Meara.
'Mark was obviously the one that really made my career go,' Haney said. 'I probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to help Tiger' if not for O'Meara.
Haney doesn't expect his time with Woods to conflict with his new duties.
The revamped PGA TOUR schedule and FedExCup competition ends with the TOUR Championship in mid-September, about the start of the academy's school year. And Haney's association with ESPN schools ends after this year.
A good working schedule with Woods should also leave Haney ample time for the juniors, some of whom pay as much as $47,000 a year to live, go to school and train at the academy's facility on Hilton Head Island.
Haney worked with students Monday and Tuesday before joining Woods for a week of British Open prep work.
'Tiger's like the best player and he (Haney) can still get him to improve,' said 17-year-old Jenny Feng from China, at the academy the past four months. 'He'll really make us improve, too.'
Haney plans to review each student's form every month. One of Haney's gifts, he says, is sizing up someone's game after watching one swing. A video center at his Dallas facility will make podcasts and Web-based instruction available to the juniors 'even when I'm not with them.'
Haney takes over for Gary Gilchrist, who left to spend more time working with his pro students, including recent LPGA Championship winner Suzann Pettersen.
Academy founder Ray Travaglione said he's faced many difficult decisions since starting the venture 12 years ago. 'This was not one of them,' he said, chuckling.
Haney's not sure he'll find the next Tiger on the academy's practice green, but he's certain he can improve students' prospects -- on and off the course.
'The thing I always talk about is golf is the best vehicle there is for young people to learn life skills,' Haney said.
Haney hasn't stopped learning, either. During a recent visit, Haney's game impressed Woods.
'Wow, where'd you get that?' Haney recalled the world's No. 1 player asking.
'I'm not blind,' Haney says, 'I'm watching what you're doing.'
Woods has long shown a willingness to accept instruction, something Haney expects to see out of his new students.
Woods 'doesn't care about what he's done. He doesn't care about where he's been. He doesn't care about how good he is. He only cares about, 'What do I need to do today to be better than I was yesterday,'' Haney said.
'That's his whole philosophy,' Haney continued. 'When you think about it, that's every kid at our academy.'
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Denied relief, Reed jokes: 'Guess my name needs to be Spieth'
A rules controversy broke out during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational involving a player dressed in red and black, but it had nothing to do with Tiger Woods.
Patrick Reed was playing in the group in front of Woods for the second straight Sunday, and he became embroiled in a situation after launching his approach into an area of trees behind the 11th green. As captured by a fan video, Reed got into a lengthy discussion with an on-site rules official before being told that he would not receive the free relief he was requesting.
"I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth, guys," Reed said, drawing laughs from a few gallery members.
Reed with a little shade towards Spieth! pic.twitter.com/nsLdR10r7U— Deuce (@ssteele55) March 19, 2018
Spieth and Reed have a successful history together as Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup partners. But last summer Spieth was at the center of the biggest rules decision of the year, when he dropped on the driving range during the final round of The Open after taking an unplayable lie from an errant drive.
After taking a penalty drop, Reed ended up making double bogey on No. 11 en route to a 1-under 71. He finished the week in a tie for seventh at 8 under.
Ketel call: McIlroy toasts to Arnie, media at API
Standing in the Doc Giffin media center Sunday night following his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy made a gesture that would have made Arnold Palmer proud.
Wearing his newly won red cardigan and handing out cups filled with the King's favorite, Ketel One vodka, McIlroy issued this toast to the assembled media:
"To Arnie!" McIlroy began his toast. "To Arnie, I guess. Thank you. Thanks to everyone. Thanks for covering. Thanks for making us seem better than we are. And, cheers. Thank you."
Nice to hear someone say something nice about the media. Back atcha, Rors.
What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy
Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.
|T14||Charles Howell III||-6||$137,950|
|T14||Byeong Hun An||-6||$137,950|