Swing coach Haney to publish book on Tiger

By Doug FergusonJanuary 8, 2012, 8:03 pm

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Hank Haney has written a book about the six years he spent as Tiger Woods’ swing coach, a volatile time in which Woods went from winning nearly half of his tournaments to a scandal that derailed his pursuit of golf history.

Without giving away any details until “The Big Miss” goes on sale in the spring, Haney believes the book will be hard to put down.

“I get asked all the time about Tiger, what it was like to work with him,” Haney said in a telephone interview. “I felt like I had a front row seat to golf history. It just kind of chronicles a little bit of what I went through, what I dealt with, how I coached and the observations I made.

“I think there’s a lot of things that people are going to find interesting.”

Haney began working with Woods at the Bay Hill Invitational in 2004. They parted ways a month after the 2010 Masters, where Woods made his return to golf after being exposed for multiple extramarital affairs that shattered his image and led to divorce.

Most of the people involved with Woods have signed a nondisclosure agreement. Haney said he signed no such thing – “I didn’t even have a contract,” he said – although he said the book was not intended to “take jabs at anyone.”

Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent at Excel Sports Management, said he was aware of the book but that Woods had not seen any excerpts and would have no comment.

Haney was asked whether he thought Woods will like it.

“If he reads it, I don’t think it will be a book that bothers him. It’s hard to say,” Haney said. “I think anybody who reads it will think it’s interesting, very fair and honest, and that’s what I wanted to do. I was on that job for six years. There were 110 days a year I was with him. I stayed at his house for close to 30 days a year. You make a lot of observations.”

The book will be released by Crown Archetype, part of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House, Inc. It is scheduled to be published March 27 – one week before the Masters – and issued simultaneously in print and digital formats in the United States and Canada.

Haney wrote the book with Jaime Diaz of Golf Digest, whose coverage dates to when Woods was a teenager and Diaz played golf with Woods and his father. Diaz also spoke at the memorial service for Earl Woods.

He said the title was collaboration.

“It has multiple meanings,” Haney said. “`The Big Miss’ was golf jargon. The big miss of a drive, obviously that’s been part of his game. The big miss of an opportunity? That’s really where we got the idea. It was a missed opportunity that Tiger and I had that we experienced working together. That all comes out in the book.”

Haney was the second of three coaches Woods has used as a professional, though he was part of the most interesting times. He caught more criticism than any coach, even though Woods won 29 times and six majors during their six years.

“I think the period of time that I dealt with Tiger was much more unique, in terms of having the scandal, Torrey Pines with the broken leg at the U.S. Open, other things, too,” Haney said. “It was a totally different time.”

Woods went nine months without winning after going to work with Haney. Starting with the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan at the end of the 2005 season, however, Woods won 46 percent of the tournaments he played worldwide.

During their six years together, Woods got married and had two children. His father died in May 2006, and Woods missed the cut in a major for the first time at the U.S. Open a month later.

As for the serial adultery, Haney said he didn’t know about it and doesn’t delve into that chapter of Woods’ life in the book, except for his return from the scandal after going nearly five months without competition.

“It’s something you can’t NOT talk about it,” Haney said. “My last tournament was the Masters, and that was his first tournament back from the scandal. I didn’t know anything about the girls. That’s not something I could specifically comment on. Everything I comment on is what I observed and the facts I knew. I didn’t know anything about that.

“But I did know about how he interacted with me about that, what my observations were and other areas in terms of how I dealt with and the aftermath.”

The most compelling win under Haney came at the 2008 U.S. Open, when Woods learned he had a double stress fracture in his left leg, along with shredded ligaments in his left knee. Despite not competing for two months, he won in a playoff over Rocco Mediate.

Haney recalled doctors telling Woods before that U.S. Open that he needed to spend three weeks on crutches, followed by three weeks of rest. Haney says Woods told the doctors, “I’m playing the U.S. Open, and I’m going to win.”

Pressed for examples of his observations in the book, Haney declined, not even to mention his favorite moment or the low point in his coaching relationship with Woods.

Haney said he knew all along he would be writing a book.

He worked primarily with Mark O’Meara, which is how he got to know Woods. Haney said from the day he first went to work with Woods, he knew that would be his last pro client.

He took notes and kept his observations in diaries, then waited to find the right publisher and someone – Diaz – to help him with the book. Haney said he hasn’t seen the finished product, but “we’re very close.”

“It was an incredible opportunity,” Haney said. “We had a great run and I enjoyed it, but a lot of things happened in six years that made it feel a little longer. I had a lot of great observations from being in the position I was in.”

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Descending into golf's depths, and trying to dig out

By Brandel ChambleeApril 23, 2018, 3:05 pm

Watching Alvaro Quiros finish second this past week in Morocco, I was reminded of just how rare it is for player to come back from the depths of golf hell.

Quiros, a player of immense ability, hype and length, won the Dubai World Championship – his sixth win in four years – to close out 2011 and then went down the rabbit hole of trying to change his golf swing. He would miss 11 cuts in 2012 and either miss the cut or withdraw in another 41 European Tour events over the next four years. Because he hadn’t won a major championship, his epic backwards slide in the world rankings (435th prior to this past week) mostly went unnoticed – but it was far from unusual.

Ian Baker-Finch won the 1991 Open Championship, but just three years later, when he played 20 events on the PGA Tour and missed 14 cuts, he no longer looked anything like a recent major champion. In 1995, he played in 18 events and either missed the cut, withdrew or was disqualified from every one of them. In 1996, he missed the cut in all 11 events he entered on the PGA Tour; and in 1997, he shot 92 in the first round of The Open, withdrew from the championship and stopped playing professional golf.

Like Quiros, Baker-Finch’s downfall came after his biggest win, when he finally thought he had the time, because of the 10-year exemption he received, to change his golf swing.

David Duval won the 2001 Open Championship and just two years later he shot 83-78 in the same event and missed the cut, which was one 16 events he either missed the cut or withdrew from that year. In 2005, he missed 18 cuts in 19 starts. Duval’s competitive demise may well have been precipitated by injuries and an existential malaise after winning golf’s oldest championship, but it was accompanied by queries far and wide as to how to correct his swing and thinking, just like Baker-Finch before him and Quiros thereafter.

These desperate searches for help, like the indelible ink stains on dyer’s hands, are the one common thread amongst those who suffer from the absolute negation of their technical and then creative abilities. Those who take as indisputable the theories of others are, in the deepest sense, wounding their own intuition. They are controverting the evidence of their own senses in such a way that is comforting to the insecure player, but tragic to the artist. To quote Carl Jung: “Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”

As I write this, PGA Tour winners Steven Bowditch (1,885th in the world) and Smylie Kaufman (337th) are in similar downward spirals in their careers and no doubt are desperate for, and susceptible to any suggestion.

One player they can look to who made it back from the frantic madness that accompanies losing one’s game, is Henrik Stenson. He put his trust in one man, Pete Cowen, even though while working with Pete he missed 14 cuts in 2002, followed by 15 missed cuts in 2003, and 11 in 2004. What Stenson did not do was panic and run from teacher to teacher, from shrink to shrink, as the missed cuts piled up.

Stenson, with Cowen’s help, slowly built one of the most reliable swings in the history of the game. A swing that regularly leads events in fairways found and greens hit in regulation. A swing that authored the lowest score ever shot in major championship history. A swing that is a far cry from the OB-launching swipes he was taking in late-2001 and 2002.

Given the soul-eating depths of where he came from, a place from which few have dug themselves out of, I watch Stenson play golf with a far great admiration than I otherwise would, and similarly was pulling for Quiros in Morocco. The same way I am pulling for Bowditch and Kaufman to find their games again.

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Langer skipping Senior PGA for son's HS graduation

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 2:53 pm

Defending champion Bernhard Langer will miss this year’s Senior PGA Championship to attend his son’s high school graduation.

Langer made the announcement Monday, during Senior PGA media day at Harbor Shores in Michigan. The event will be held May 24-27.

“I won’t be able to defend my title this year because my son graduates from high school that very same weekend,” he said. “Family comes first in my life, so I have to be there to celebrate.”

Langer said that his son, Jason, will play golf for the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Langer and his family live in South Florida.

Langer won last year’s event at Trump National outside Washington, D.C. The 60-year-old has no wins but three runners-up in eight senior starts this season.  

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Landry reaches OWGR career high after Valero win

By Will GrayApril 23, 2018, 12:40 pm

After notching his first career PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open, Andrew Landry also reached unprecedented heights in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Ranking.

Landry shot a final-round 68 at TPC San Antonio to win by two shots, and in the process he cracked the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time at age 30. Landry started the week ranked No. 114, but he's now up to 66th. The move puts him within reach of a possible U.S. Open exemption, given that the top 60 in the May 21 rankings will automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills.

Trey Mullinax went from No. 306 to No. 169 with his T-2 finish in San Antonio, while fellow runner-up Sean O Hair jumped 29 spots to No. 83 in the world. Jimmy Walker, who finished alone in fourth, went from No. 88 to No. 81 while fifth-place Zach Johnson moved up five spots to No. 53.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Alexander Levy took home the title at the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II, allowing the Frenchman to move from No. 66 to No. 47. With no OWGR points available at this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Levy is guaranteed to stay inside the top 50 next week, thereby earning a spot in The Players.

Idle since an MDF result at the Houston Open, former world No. 1 Lee Westwood dropped two spots to No. 100 this week. It marks the first time Westwood has been ranked 100th or worse in nearly 15 years, ending a streak of consistency that dates back to September 2003.

The top 10 in the rankings remained the same, with Dustin Johnson leading off at No. 1 followed by Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6 with Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top 10.

With no starts announced until the U.S. Open in June, Tiger Woods dropped two more spots to No. 91 in the latest rankings.

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What's in the bag: Valero Texas Open winner Landry

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 12:34 pm

Andrew Landry won his first PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 65X shaft

Fairway woods: Ping G (14.5 degrees adjusted to 15.5), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75X shaft; (17.5 degrees), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105 S shafts

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x