Back when his days as a caddie were seemingly over, Steve Williams opened up about several of his former bosses – including Tiger Woods.
Williams announced Monday that he will be back this summer to loop for his most recent player, Adam Scott. Prior to that announcement, he shared several anecdotes from his days with Woods in a wide-ranging piece for Golf Digest.
Williams caddied for Woods from 1998-2011 and Woods won 13 majors in that span. Among his takeaways from that time is that Woods never took performance-enhancing drugs ("There's no chance"), but that his time in the gym may have been somewhat detrimental.
"As for his game, I'm not sure it helped him much, especially working with weights," Williams said. "Certainly he hit the ball farther when I first saw him than he did later."
Who was Woods' best instructor? Williams split his vote between Butch Harmon, who worked with Woods until 2004, and Hank Haney, who was Woods' coach from 2004-10.
"I'd say it was a wash," Williams said. "Under Butch, Tiger's wedge and short game were better. When he went to Hank, his woods and long irons seemed to improve, but the wedge and pitching game's weren't as sharp."
Williams has discussed his relationship with Woods on several occasions since their 2011 split, and he still termed his over-the-phone firing as "disappointing." He took a couple of jabs at Woods, notably confirming his perceived frugality – "I'd follow in his wake, tipping people he overlooked" – but he also noted Woods' undisclosed charitable donation after a 2010 mine explosion in Williams' homeland of New Zealand.
Williams also highlighted Woods' performance at the 2008 U.S. Open, when he won his 14th and most recent major on a broken leg at Torrey Pines.
"It's the most heroic thing I've ever seen in golf," Williams said.