John Anselmo, coached teenage Woods, dies at 96


John Anselmo, who preceded Butch Harmon as Tiger Woods' instructor, has died. He was 96.

Anselmo began working with Woods when Woods was 10, succeeding Rudy Duran as coach to the future 14-time major champion. He continued with the youngster until Woods was 17, at which time Harmon took over.

According to Golf Digest, Anselmo began working with Woods as Meadowlark Golf Club in Huntington Beach, Calif. “I have this new kid named Tiger Woods,” Anselmo told his son Dan, also a teaching pro. “He’s a tour player in a little boy’s body. He just needs to grow into it.”

Anselmo served in the Navy and was stationed in San Diego at the end of World War II. “That’s where Sam Snead was stationed,” Dan Anselmo told Golf Digest. “He was able to watch Snead for  hours and hours, watching him practicing and playing. That’s where he learned.”

Anselmo later wrote a book, "A-Game Golf: The Complete Starter Kit for Golfers from Tiger Woods' Amateur Instructor." In it there is this quote from Woods: “It’s unbelievable how John kept things fun and interesting, while changing my swing plane, from flat to upright, and teaching me a new shot practically every time he gave me a lesson on the tee or the course.”