The pitfalls of being Tigers coach


SAN ANTONIO – It would be a stretch to say that the players were all talking about the Tiger Woods-Hank Haney split at the Valero Texas Open. They were too busy trying to get out on a golf course that only San Antonio resident Cameron Beckman has seen much of before Tuesday. But, those we talked to as they prepped on the new TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course were neither surprised nor shocked at the latest change in the life of the world’s top player.

The consensus was this: when things get into a rut, a player often does something to change it up. That doesn’t mean that either the coach or the player are bad. Maybe, they are just bad for each other at the time. Jeff Maggert, who has changed swing coaches a few times, sees the role of the swing coach as a cheerleader who can help a player gain confidence in what he is already doing. Players, he said, already know their swings fairly well at this level.

The surprise is the lack of people who seem to want to beat down the door to advise the best player in the world. We spoke to Matt Killen, who has helped J.B. Holmes and Kenny Perry to great heights over the last few years, and the first thing he brought up regarding the job were the pitfalls. Will you have to dump your other clients to work with Tiger? If you do that, will you be finished on Tour if Tiger leaves you? Can you ever get credit for the success that Tiger will have, or is it a no-win situation in terms of public perception?

There is money to be made by being the swing consigliere to Tiger Woods. But, as illustrated by Hank Haney’s tenure, you may reach a point were the benefits just are not worth the costs.