Count Hank Haney among those who believe that Tiger Woods doesn’t need a swing coach when he returns to competition.
“He certainly knows enough,” Haney said Tuesday on “Morning Drive". “I think he’d probably be better off just going and doing it himself. He’s the one that he’ll listen to the most. He’s the one that he’s always listened to the most.”
Though the former world No. 1 has all the tools to go it alone – access to TrackMan, an understanding of video technology and the swing, etc. – Haney said doing so could potentially pose an issue, because of Woods’ tendency to “get off on tangents and work on things that aren’t really part of the plan.”
“That’s the biggest challenge that Tiger would face in helping himself,” Haney said. “He has trouble staying on point and staying on a plan. ... It’s making a plan and staying on point, that is where a coach really can help, if he can do that.”
Haney and Woods worked together from 2004-10, and during that span Woods enjoyed the most consistently excellent run of his career. Woods won 33.3 percent of his starts, while finishing in the top-5 61.3 percent of the time and top-10 72 percent.
Woods signed on with Sean Foley in August 2010, and although Woods didn’t add to his major haul during their four years together, he won eight times total in 2012-13. This year, Woods battled a back injury that cost him four months – including the Masters and U.S. Open – and left him out of the FedEx Cup playoffs. He won’t play again competitively until December.
When asked if he was surprised by the news Monday that Woods and Foley had parted ways, Haney said, “When you look at Tiger’s performance, I think it was obvious that he had to go in a different direction. I was surprised when he came back from the back surgery with the same swing that he left on. That was the biggest shock to me.”
Haney tweeted after the PGA that with the emergence of Rory McIlroy and the swing/injury issues of Woods, he’d be surprised if the 38-year-old ever returned to world No. 1.
“By the time Tiger comes back and gets his game organized and gets practicing and healthy and all the things he needs to do, Rory is going to have a huge lead on him,” Haney said Tuesday. “It’s difficult for Tiger to get back to that position.
“That said, he is Tiger Woods. He has that going for him, and to me I’ve never seen anybody play golf better than Tiger Woods. That’s what I remember. Every time he plays I expect him to win. But it’s surprising to me what has happened to his game.”