Gary Woodland has what he’s termed a new “consultant” helping him with his game – and it just happens to be one of the biggest names in golf.
After a phone conversation a few weeks earlier, Gary Woodland spent a day working with Greg Norman last week.
Through their shared connections with both the Harmon family – Butch Harmon coached Norman and previously worked with Woodland; his son Claude is now his instructor – and caddie Tony Navarro, who previously worked with Norman and is now on the bag for Woodland, the two were matched up earlier this year in an effort to simplify Woodland’s game.
“I putted it horribly in Maui,” Woodland said of his year-opener at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. “I texted Tony and I was like, ‘I want to talk to a player, someone who’s been there, someone who’s been in the heat of the battle.’ He called me 30 minutes later and was like, ‘I think Greg would be perfect.’ I actually talked to him on the phone for 45 minutes Wednesday night before [the Humana Challenge]. I had never talked to him before. He was really cool. We just talked about putting a little bit.”
Woodland sent Norman video of himself putting and within two days, received a call from the former world No. 1 with a tip about not keeping his right shoulder too far out. He shot 65-68 that weekend, then was the 54-hole leader at the Farmers Insurance Open the next week before finishing in a share of 10th place.
Following the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Woodland went to Norman’s house in South Florida to work with him for a day.
“I figured we were going down to work on putting, but he brought Tony and Claude down, too,” said Woodland, whose first set of clubs were Greg Normans. “We spent the whole day together. It was unbelievable. We talked about everything – how to be successful, how to challenge yourself to get better. We started working on wedge game, chipping, putting, full swing. I’ve been practicing and it’s clicked. It’s been phenomenal.
“I’ve put myself in contention quite a bit lately, but haven’t finished the way I’ve wanted to. He thought if we simplified things and made it so where I understand it, it would help me continue to get better and win multiple times.
“It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.”
Woodland said the relationship isn’t a one-and-done type of deal, either.
“Greg told me I can call him anytime I want, and he’ll help me out. His whole deal is he wanted me to understand it, so I could fix it while I’m playing.”