Golf Talk Live - Butch Harmon Transcript Segment 1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 9, 2001, 4:00 pm
WHEN BUTCH HARMON WAS A YOUNG MAN, HE WAS A REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. BUTCH FOUND OUT AS A MIDDLE AGED MELLOWING REBEL THAT IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE THE MAN YOU WERE MEANT TO BE AND NOW HE'S DEFINITELY THE

MAN. FIND OUT HOW MUCH FUN IT IS TO BE BUTCH HARMON, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

(MUSIC)

PETER KESSLER
THE FOLLOWING IN AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.

IT'S NOT EASY BEING THE OLDEST SON, AND IT'S USUALLY NO JOYRIDE TO FOLLOW IN THE SUCCESSFUL PATH SET BY A FAMOUS FATHER, BUTCH HARMON UNDERSTANDS THESE THINGS WELL NOW

AS HE APPROACHES HIS 58TH BIRTHDAY. HE'S ALWAYS BEEN AROUND THE GAME, BUT IN HIS 50'S HE'S FOUND THAT HE NOW HAS A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE GAME, A PLACE HE OCCUPIES WITH PERSPECTIVE,

HUMOR, APPRECIATION AND A DOLLOP OF THE ARROGANCE THAT PARTICULARLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE HAVE AND USUALLY ATTEMPT TO HIDE. HIS DAD, CLAUDE, WON THE 1948 MASTERS BY FIVE SHOTS, WAS A FRIEND AND CONFIDENT OF BEN HOGAN

AND THE RAREST BREED IN GOLF. A GREAT PLAYER WHO WAS ALSO A GREAT TEACHER. IT WAS THIS ENORMOUS SUCCESS THAT BUTCH AND HIS THREE BROTHERS TRIED TO EMULATE. EACH OF THE FOUR EVENTUALLY FINDING GREAT

SUCCESS AS ONE OF THE GAME'S BEST TEACHERS. EACH TRAVELING THEIR OWN UNIQUE PATH TO GET THERE. BUTCH HAS BEEN TIGER'S FRIEND AND HIS TEACHER FOR FAR LONGER THAN THE TIME THAT TIGER HAS BEEN NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD.

GREG NORMAN, DARREN CLARKE, STEVE ELKINGTON, ADAM SCOTT, MARK CALCAVECCHIA AND DAVIS LOVE AND HUNDREDS OF DOUBLE DIGIT HANDICAPPERS WILL ATTEST TO THE

EYE AND TOUCH AND TUTELAGE OF BUTCH HARMON, AND HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL TELL YOU THAT BENEATH THE GRUFF EXTERIOR LIES A BIG HEART
FULL OF LOVE, FULL OF FUN AND HAPPY WITH THE FULLNESS OF HIS LIFE.

PETER KESSLER
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE, I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A MAN, NOT ONLY AT THE TOP OF HIS PROFESSION BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, A MAN WHO'S NEVER BEEN HAPPIER WITH HIS LIFE. I INTRODUCE YOU TO BUTCH HARMON. GREAT TO SEE YOU.

BUTCH HARMON
GOOD TO BE WITH YOU, PETER.

PETER KESSLER
IT'S MY GREAT PLEASURE. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING VOTED THE NUMBER ONE TEACHER IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE.

BUTCH HARMON
(LAUGHS) WELL THANK YOU VERY MUCH. IT'S ALWAYS AN HONOR WHEN YOU WIN AN AWARD THAT'S VOTED ON BY YOUR PEERS BUT I THINK EVEN MORE

IMPORTANTLY THAN BEING NUMBER ONE, I THINK THAT ALL FOUR OF US HARMONS
IN THE TOP 50 TEACHERS WAS PRETTY SPECIAL FOR US AS A FAMILY.

PETER KESSLER
YOU ALWAYS SAID THAT AS GOOD AS TIGER WOODS PLAYS GOLF THAT HE CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO IMPROVE AS A TEACHER?

BUTCH HARMON
WELL I THINK YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO GET BETTER, PETER. I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS EVERY TIME YOU GIVE A LESSON YOU LEARN SOMETHING. YOU SEE SOMEONE DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU'VE SEEN BEFORE. YOU PUT IT

IN YOUR MEMORY BANK. MY DAD USED TO HAVE A GREAT SAYING. IT'S TRUE IN TEACHING, IT'S TRUE IN LIFE, IT'S WHAT YOU LEARN AFTER YOU THINK YOU KNOW IT ALL IS PROBABLY THE MOST

IMPORTANT THINGS YOU LEARN AND I THINK AS AN INSTRUCTOR AND A TEACHER IN ANYTHING, YOU HAVE TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS AND THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT IS KEEP TEACHING.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT WOULD YOUR DAD'S TYPICAL RESPONSE HAVE BEEN TO THIS AWARD TO YOU?

BUTCH HARMON
BOY I DON'T KNOW IF WE'D WANT TO HEAR THAT ONE. (LAUGHS). HE'D SAY BOY YOU SURE HAVE FOOLED A LOT OF PEOPLE, BUT IN HONESTY I THINK THAT YOU KNOW IF YOU BELIEVE IN, IN GOD

AND THE HEREAFTER I THINK DAD'S HAD A LOT TO DO WITH THE SUCCESS I'VE HAD AND THE SUCCESS MY BROTHERS HAVE HAD, AND WE KIND OF THINK THAT HE'S UP THERE PULLING THE STRINGS FOR US AND I THINK HE'D BE VERY PROUD.

I THINK THE ONE THING THAT, THAT TAKES AWAY FROM SOMETHING LIKE THIS THAT, THAT NEITHER MY FATHER OR MY MOTHER ARE ALIVE TO SEE IT, BECAUSE , YOU KNOW AS PARENTS WE'RE VERY PROUD OF WHAT OUR CHILDREN DO AND I THINK THAT HE WOULD BE VERY PROUD.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HEAR HIM SAY IF HE WERE WITH US TODAY AS OPPOSED TO WHAT MIGHT BE HIS TYPICAL SARCASTIC RESPONSE TO YOU?

BUTCH HARMON
WELL DAD WAS HARD ON US AS KIDS. I MEAN HIS WAY OF RAISING CHILDREN WAS TO PUSH YOU, TO BEAT YOU DOWN AND PUSH YOU TO MAKE YOU WANT TO DO BETTER AND REALLY IF DAD WAS HERE

TODAY I, I WOULD JUST LIKE HIM TO BE ABLE TO PUT HIS ARM AROUND ME AND SAY NICE GOING, BUTCH, YOU'VE DONE A HECK OF A JOB, AND I THINK HE WOULD SAY THAT.

PETER KESSLER
WHY DID THE TWO OF YOU, DO YOU THINK, FIND YOURSELF AT ODDS FOR SO MUCH OF HIS LIFE?

BUTCH HARMON
WELL I DON'T THINK IT WAS MY DAD, I THINK IT WAS ME. I WAS A VERY STUBBORN YOUNG MAN. I'M PROBABLY STILL VERY STUBBORN IF YOU ASK THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CLOSE TO ME.

YOU KNOW, I KIND OF MARCH TO MY OWN DRUM BEAT AND DAD'S HOUSE AND DAD'S RULES AND WHEN I WAS 18 AND 19 I JUST DIDN'T THINK I COULD LIVE BY THEM SO

I MOVED OUT. IN ALL HONESTY I DON'T THINK MY FATHER DID ANYTHING WRONG. I THINK IT WAS ME THAT WAS JUST OFF IN MY OWN LITTLE WORLD AND JUST WAS GOING TO STAY IN THAT OWN LITTLE WORLD AND IT SEEMED LIKE IF MY FATHER WOULD SAY SOMETHING WAS BLACK,

I WOULD SAY IT WAS WHITE. IF HE'D SAY IT WAS WHITE I'D SAY IT WAS BLACK, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS KIND OF THIS FRICTION THAT WENT ON AND I DON'T THINK IT WAS ANYTHING THAT HE DID, I THINK IT WAS MORE MYSELF.

PETER KESSLER
DID YOU AT SOME POINT BEFORE HE PASSED AWAY GROW OUT OF THAT TO THE POINT WHERE YOU COULD APPRECIATE WHAT HE HAD TRIED TO DO, AND KNOW THAT PERHAPS YOU HAD GOTTEN IT WRONG A LOT OF TIMES?

BUTCH HARMON
OH WITHOUT A DOUBT. NO I GOT IT WRONG MOST OF THE TIME. LET'S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. YES, I DID AND, AND WHEN DAD WAS DIEING IN THE HOSPITAL MY BROTHERS AND I WOULD TAKE TURNS

SPENDING TIME WITH HIM AT NIGHT AND DAD AND I HAD SOME GREAT TALKS ABOUT MY YOUTH AND HIS YOUTH. THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THAT WHOLE THING WAS, UNBEKNOWNST TO ME, HE WAS

EXACTLY LIKE I WAS, AND I GUESS THAT'S WHY I BUGGED HIM SO MUCH THE WAY I WAS AS A KID. HE, HE ACTUALLY SAID, HE SAYS I'VE NEVER TOLD YOU THIS BEFORE BUT, BUT I WAS THE SAME WAY.

THE TROON OFFICER HAD TO COME GET ME ALL THE TIME BECAUSE I WAS OUT ON THE GOLF COURSE, DIDN'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL. KIND OF WAS MY OWN PERSON AND I REMEMBER LOOKING AT HIM AND GIVING HIM A BIG HUG AND SAY GOSH I
WISH YOU'D TOLD ME THIS 20 YEARS AGO.

PETER KESSLER
SO YOU FELT LIKE YOU'D COME FULL CIRCLE BEFORE HE DIED.

BUTCH HARMON
YEAH, I THINK IT WAS A, IT WAS A GREAT THING FOR MYSELF AND MY OTHER THREE BROTHERS TO HAVE TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH HIM AND JUST TALK ABOUT WHATEVER IT WAS YOU FELT YOU NEEDED TO TALK ABOUT AND I'M SO HAPPY THAT WE HAD THAT OPPORTUNITY.

PETER KESSLER
HOW DO YOU MEASURE PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS NOW, FOR YOURSELF?

BUTCH HARMON
OH GOSH, THAT'S A DIFFICULT QUESTION, I THINK ANYONE WHO'S SUCCESSFUL AT ANYTHING THEY DO, OBVIOUSLY YOU'RE PROUD OF YOURSELF. YOU WORK VERY HARD YOUR WHOLE LIFE TO ACHIEVE WHATEVER IT IS YOU LOOK FOR. IT'S NICE

AS I SAID AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW TO HAVE YOUR PEERS VOTE FOR SOMETHING AND YOU WIN THAT AWARD. I MEAN THAT MEANS MORE TO YOU THAN, THAN REALLY THE PUBLIC DOING IT.

I THINK SUCCESS IS JUST YOU'RE AT PEACE WITH YOURSELF. YOU'RE CONTENT, YOU'RE HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE. YOU, YOU, YOU HAVE A JOB THAT YOU LOVE TO DO WHICH WE HAVE. I MEAN WE'RE VERY

LUCKY. I MEAN I GET TO GO TO WORK IN THE GREATEST ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORLD, A GOLF COURSE. I GET TO BE WITH WONDERFUL PEOPLE, WHETHER IT'S TOUR PLAYERS OR PEOPLE COME TO MY SCHOOL, AND I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING
ELSE I'D RATHER BE DOING.

PETER KESSLER
FRANK SINATRA ONCE SAID, IT'S LONELY AT THE TOP. IS IT LONELY AT THE TOP?

BUTCH HARMON
WELL I'M NOT SURE I'M AT THE TOP, BUT NO IT'S NOT LONELY. I'M, I'M PROBABLY THE HAPPIEST I'VE EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE. I HAVE A WONDERFUL YOUNG LADY THAT I'M INVOLVED WITH WITH A GREAT LITTLE BOY. MY SON HAS DONE JUST A

SPECTACULAR JOB WORKING FOR ME. I'M SO PROUD OF HIM, AND MY DAUGHTER MICHAEL IS DOING REALLY WELL IN HOUSTON SO THINGS HAVE BEEN VERY GOOD.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT KIND OF FATHER ARE YOU NOW, BUTCH?

BUTCH HARMON
WELL I HOPE I'M A LOT BETTER THAN I WAS BEFORE PETER. I DON'T THINK I WAS A VERY GOOD FATHER TO MY TWO CHILDREN AND MY DAUGHTER, MICHAEL AND MY SON, CLAUDE, ONLY BECAUSE OF

MY OWN FAULT. I WAS TRYING SO HARD TO GET AHEAD IN THE WORLD AND WORK, AND WORK MY WAY UP THE LADDER OF SUCCESS OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT AND IN THE GOLF BUSINESS UNFORTUNATELY WE WORK ON HOLIDAYS

AND WE WORK ON WEEKENDS AND I NEVER MADE THE TIME FOR MY KIDS THAT I SHOULD HAVE AND I THINK I'M A VERY LUCKY PERSON BECAUSE I THINK I'M GETTING A MULLIGAN ON LIFE AND ON

TRYING TO RAISE A FAMILY BECAUSE COLE'S 6 YEARS OLD AND HE'S GOT MORE ENERGY THAN I COULD EVER HAVE AND HE HELPS KEEP ME YOUNG AND I THINK I'VE LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES AND HOPEFULLY I'LL BE A MUCH BETTER DAD.

PETER KESSLER
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK AND WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH BUTCH.

(MUSIC)

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT

Second-round tee times for the Tour Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 10:29 pm

Tiger Woods will go out last and Phil Mickelson will go out first in Rd. 2 of the Tour Championship.

Woods and Rickie Fowler share the 18-hole lead. The field is re-paired after each round, according to their scores. Here’s a look at second-round tee times at East Lake Golf Club.

(All times ET)

11:40AM: Phil Mickelson (+3), Keegan Bradley (+3)

11:50AM: Patrick Reed (+3), Marc Leishman (+2)

Noon: Hideki Matsuyama (+2), Kevin Na (+2)

12:10PM: Billy Horschel (+1), Bryson DeChambeau (+1)

12:20PM: Patton Kizzire (+1), Patrick Cantlay (+1)

12:30PM: Cameron Smith (Even), Bubba Watson (Even)

12:40PM: Aaron Wise (Even), Francesco Molinari (Even)

12:50PM: Brooks Koepka (-1), Dustin Johnson (-1)

1PM: Tommy Fleetwood (-1), Webb Simpson (-1)

1:10PM: Jason Day (-2), Kyle Stanley (-1)

1:20PM: Jon Rahm (-2), Xander Schauffele (-2)

1:30PM: Tony Finau (-3), Paul Casey (-2)

1:40PM: Rory McIlroy (-3), Justin Thomas (-3)

1:50PM: Gary Woodland (-4), Justin Rose (-4)

2PM: Rickie Fowler (-5), Tiger Woods (-5)

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FedExCup projected standings after Rd. 1 of Tour Championship

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 20, 2018, 10:13 pm

ATLANTA – Bryson DeChambeau started the week in the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup standings. But after the first round of the Tour Championship, he’s surrendered his lead.

Justin Rose, the current world No. 1, is the new projected winner of the $10 million bonus. Rose shot 4-under 66 in the first round and is tied for third in the tournament. He began the week in second place in the FEC standings.

DeChambeau struggled to a 1-over 71 and is currently tied for 21st in the field of 30.

Here’s a look at the projected standings after 18 holes at East Lake Golf Club, which includes Tiger Woods jumping from No. 20 to No. 2.

FedExCup Rank PLAYER NAME FedExCup Points
PROJ. OFFICIAL PROJ. TOTAL
1 2 Justin Rose 2450
2 20 Tiger Woods 2219
3 23 Rickie Fowler 2182
4 1 Bryson DeChambeau 2160
5 3 Tony Finau 1920
6 5 Justin Thomas 1680
7 4 Dustin Johnson 1528
8 6 Keegan Bradley 1238
9 7 Brooks Koepka 1192
10 8 Bubba Watson 992
11 9 Billy Horschel 800
12 28 Gary Woodland 783
13 12 Jason Day 678
14 10 Cameron Smith 672
14 17 Rory McIlroy 672
16 11 Webb Simpson 616
17 18 Xander Schauffele 561
18 13 Francesco Molinari 544
19 24 Jon Rahm 480
20 19 Tommy Fleetwood 463
21 26 Paul Casey 461
22 14 Phil Mickelson 454
23 16 Patrick Cantlay 453
24 15 Patrick Reed 450
25 21 Aaron Wise 398
26 25 Kyle Stanley 393
27 22 Kevin Na 330
28 27 Hideki Matsuyama 278
29 30 Patton Kizzire 275
30 29 Marc Leishman 242
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Tiger's driver now a great asset to his game

By Mercer BaggsSeptember 20, 2018, 9:57 pm

ATLANTA – Tommy Fleetwood hit a handful of tee shots past Tiger Woods on Thursday at the Tour Championship. But Woods found more fairways [10 to eight] and shot four strokes lower [65 to 69].

Ever since making adjustments to his driver – which included adding loft and changing the shaft – at The Northern Trust, Woods’ long game has become one of his greatest assets.

Woods hit 10 of 14 fairways in the first round at East Lake Golf Club, which led to hitting 14 of 18 greens in regulation. Twenty-eight putts equaled a 5-under round and a share of the lead.

It’s not as though Woods has completely traded distance for accuracy. He hit his drive on the par-5 18th 320 yards and that helped produce an eagle.


Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


It’s more like he now has the ability to control his driver. Those wayward tee shots we had become accustomed to seeing aren’t so offline. That means sometimes he’ll send one 296 yards – like he did on the first hole – and sometimes he’ll gear up and knock one 328 yards – like he did at the fifth.

“[I]f I hit it normal, I hit it just as far. And so that's to me like 300 yards in the air,” he said. “But … the neat thing about this one is that if I miss it and spin it a little bit, those spinners stay in play instead of chasing off on me, and I can turn this ball.

“Like the tee shot I hit down 18, I didn't have that shot earlier with – not enough loft. … [M]y spin rate would be so low that it wouldn't stay in the air.”

“And so, yeah, if I hit controlled shots, they're in play and they're shorter. But if I go ahead and step up and launch one, I'm just as far. The neat thing is I don't have to swing it as hard to hit the ball as far. And so it puts a little less toll on my body. I don't have to have my speed up there at 120, 121, 122 miles an hour to carry it 305, 310 like I did before.”

Often times you hear players talk about aspects of their game and it sounds like they are trying to convince themselves that things are OK. Tiger's actions are backing up his words.

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TT postscript: This 65 better than Aronimink 62

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 9:21 pm

ATLANTA – The start wasn’t much to look at, but that finish was something else. Tiger Woods eagled the final hole on Thursday and shares the 18-hole lead at the Tour Championship. Here are the things you know you want to know:

• First of all, let’s give a pat on the back to the man who most deserves it today: Me. Early this morning, I sent this tweet:



Never doubt my good feelings. Ben Crenshaw doesn’t have my good feelings. We may have 54 holes to play, but I gotta good feeling we’re going to be changing that Tiger Tracker avatar Sunday night.

• Now onto Tiger. After all, he did hit 10 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens in regulation and took 28 putts. It wasn’t looking good early when he had nine putts through four holes and was 1 over par. But he birdied Nos. 5 and 6, turned in 1 under, and really turned it on down the stretch with two birdies and an eagle over his final seven holes. And if you take a good look at the scorecard below you’ll notice he didn’t make a bogey after the first hole.



• How good is a 65 at East Lake? Better than his opening 62 at Aronimink, according to Woods: “This was by far better than the 62 at Aronimink. Conditions were soft there. This is – it's hard to get the ball closer. There's so much chase in it. If you drive the ball in the rough, you know you can't get the ball close.”

Woods added that you had to play “conservatively” and be patient – take what the course allowed. Tiger missed five putts – four of them for birdie – inside 15 feet. But in the 93-degree heat, he kept his composure and made putts of 26 and 28 feet for birdie, and 28 feet for eagle.

• This week feels different. It feels like Tiger is really ready to win again. He seems very serious, very focused. He talked about “getting the W” on Wednesday and said on Thursday, “[T]he objective is to always win.”

After shooting 65, Woods signed a few autographs and eventually made his way to the putting green. If he gets those 15-footer to fall, we’re going to be two wins away from tying Sammy.

• So, what about that eagle on 18, you ask? Tiger said he “hammered” a driver – which was listed at 320 yards – and then hit a 5-wood from 256 yards to 28 feet. As for the putt: “It took forever for that putt to start breaking, grain coming down off the left. But once it snagged it, it was going straight right.”



Right into the cup. Right into the lead. Our man is making history this week.