A longtime student of Pat Goss, Donald confirmed to the U.K.'s Telegraph that he has now returned to Goss after an unsuccessful 13-month partnership with swing coach Chuck Cook. The decision became clear for Donald after Paul McGinley chose Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher as his three captain's picks at Gleneagles, leaving him on the sidelines for the biennial matches for just the second time since 2004.
"Chuck and I talked after I missed out on the Ryder Cup and the Tour Championship and we agreed that if after 13 months the improvements weren’t coming then it was wise to look elsewhere," Donald said. "Chuck and I still have a great relationship, it's just that physically I couldn't do some of it."
Donald was coached by Goss while in college at Northwestern, and the two remained together while Donald ascended to the top spot in the world rankings. Equipped with one of the best short games in golf, Donald concluded his ball-striking was holding him back from winning a major after watching Justin Rose capture the 2013 U.S. Open. In August 2013 he joined up with Cook, who includes Jason Dufner among his stable of players, but the partnership failed to produce results.
"I lost sight of what made me successful," said Donald, who failed to win on the PGA Tour or European Tour under Cook. "I focused too much on my what I perceived as my weakness and forgot about my strength, which is from 150 yards and in.”
Now ranked No. 34 in the world, Donald reportedly has been working with Goss for the last two months. He will make his 2014-15 season debut next week at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China with a renewed sense of confidence as he looks to rebound from a Ryder Cup snub that he described as "disappointment mixed with anger."
"I'm not a 'big picture' sort of guy. I prefer making small improvements each day," Donald said. "Pat understands that and for the first few weeks we didn’t talk about swing, just did some really good work on my wedge play and putting. I’m ready to compete again.”