Foley's advice for Como: Enjoy the Tiger ride

By Jason SobelNovember 22, 2014, 6:31 pm

Sean Foley answered the phone early Saturday afternoon just minutes after learning that one of his former pupils, Tiger Woods, had officially announced a working relationship with swing instructor Chris Como.

When asked what advice he would offer to Woods’ new coach, Foley likened it to being asked for child-rearing guidance by first-time expectant parents.

“There’s no way you could explain it,” he told GolfChannel.com. “Until you go through it, there’s no way to explain it.”

In other words? Welcome to the jungle, Chris Como.

A Texas-based instructor who has worked with PGA Tour members Aaron Baddeley, Trevor Immelman and Richard Lee, Como will now find himself in one of golf’s most scrutinized roles. Like Foley, Hank Haney and Butch Harmon before him, he will undoubtedly shoulder too much of the blame when Woods struggles and too much of the credit when he succeeds.

That might be the downside of working with the game’s most polarizing player, but as Foley reminisced, there are more advantages than disadvantages to the position.

“My advice is to just enjoy the ride,” he offered. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would stay true to myself, focus on my player and not really pay attention to everything else around it. I was able to do that and professionally it was four years of an unbelievable learning experience. I got to sit behind who I think is the greatest player of all time and work with him.”

If Como is indeed seeking advice at some point, Woods’ most recent instructor will be a willing participant.

Foley said he’s known the fellow instructor for about five years and if there’s a further common bond, it comes in each focusing on the biomechanics of the golf swing.

“He’s a lovely guy, a sweetheart of a person,” said Foley, who had already sent him a congratulatory text message. “He’s also very, very bright.”

Even so, the nature of the job will present specific challenges that didn’t come with any of his other clients.

“He’ll have to get used to the period of being more recognized and being known,” Foley advised. “It’s going to be a great learning experience for him. No one wants to see Tiger do better than I do. I hope the two of them will have great relationship.”

Whereas Haney napalmed the bridge between himself and Woods by writing a salacious book detailing their relationship, Foley insists that his four years on the job were justifiably rewarding and remains steadfast in his support for his past client.


Woods names Como No. 4 swing coach

Haney: Como has it easier than predecessors


Now he’s one of the very few who will understand what it’s like when Como is inevitably hailed as a hero if Woods returns to past glory or criticized as a goat if he fails to live up to those hefty expectations.

“You’re going to go through some good times and bad times,” explained Foley. “That’s par for the course with everybody. He’s a good guy and great to work for, always very grateful. Chris will get to see what I saw, which is much different than how he’s been painted. He’s very classy to work for, never puts the blame on anyone but himself. He’s very much a professional and it shows on his record.”

Como will now find all of that out for himself. He already knows the golf swing and understands working with touring professionals. But nothing so far will have prepared him for the constant scrutiny he’ll be under as Woods’ instructor.

If he doesn’t believe it, he can always ask his last one. Foley will be happy to offer some advice, even though, as he said, “There’s no way you could explain it.”

Getty Images

Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
Getty Images

Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.