Foley's advice for Como: Enjoy the Tiger ride

By Jason SobelNovember 22, 2014, 6:31 pm

Sean Foley answered the phone early Saturday afternoon just minutes after learning that one of his former pupils, Tiger Woods, had officially announced a working relationship with swing instructor Chris Como.

When asked what advice he would offer to Woods’ new coach, Foley likened it to being asked for child-rearing guidance by first-time expectant parents.

“There’s no way you could explain it,” he told GolfChannel.com. “Until you go through it, there’s no way to explain it.”

In other words? Welcome to the jungle, Chris Como.

A Texas-based instructor who has worked with PGA Tour members Aaron Baddeley, Trevor Immelman and Richard Lee, Como will now find himself in one of golf’s most scrutinized roles. Like Foley, Hank Haney and Butch Harmon before him, he will undoubtedly shoulder too much of the blame when Woods struggles and too much of the credit when he succeeds.

That might be the downside of working with the game’s most polarizing player, but as Foley reminisced, there are more advantages than disadvantages to the position.

“My advice is to just enjoy the ride,” he offered. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would stay true to myself, focus on my player and not really pay attention to everything else around it. I was able to do that and professionally it was four years of an unbelievable learning experience. I got to sit behind who I think is the greatest player of all time and work with him.”

If Como is indeed seeking advice at some point, Woods’ most recent instructor will be a willing participant.

Foley said he’s known the fellow instructor for about five years and if there’s a further common bond, it comes in each focusing on the biomechanics of the golf swing.

“He’s a lovely guy, a sweetheart of a person,” said Foley, who had already sent him a congratulatory text message. “He’s also very, very bright.”

Even so, the nature of the job will present specific challenges that didn’t come with any of his other clients.

“He’ll have to get used to the period of being more recognized and being known,” Foley advised. “It’s going to be a great learning experience for him. No one wants to see Tiger do better than I do. I hope the two of them will have great relationship.”

Whereas Haney napalmed the bridge between himself and Woods by writing a salacious book detailing their relationship, Foley insists that his four years on the job were justifiably rewarding and remains steadfast in his support for his past client.


Woods names Como No. 4 swing coach

Haney: Como has it easier than predecessors


Now he’s one of the very few who will understand what it’s like when Como is inevitably hailed as a hero if Woods returns to past glory or criticized as a goat if he fails to live up to those hefty expectations.

“You’re going to go through some good times and bad times,” explained Foley. “That’s par for the course with everybody. He’s a good guy and great to work for, always very grateful. Chris will get to see what I saw, which is much different than how he’s been painted. He’s very classy to work for, never puts the blame on anyone but himself. He’s very much a professional and it shows on his record.”

Como will now find all of that out for himself. He already knows the golf swing and understands working with touring professionals. But nothing so far will have prepared him for the constant scrutiny he’ll be under as Woods’ instructor.

If he doesn’t believe it, he can always ask his last one. Foley will be happy to offer some advice, even though, as he said, “There’s no way you could explain it.”

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Watch: Dechambeau simulates dew on East Lake range

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 18, 2018, 11:02 pm

Bryson DeChambeau has certainly lived up to his nickname of "Mad Scientist" since joining the PGA Tour, using his eccentric style to win four events, including the first two tournaments of this year's FedExCup Playoffs.

And he's staying on brand at the season-ending Tour Championship, where he enters as the favorite to capture the FedExCup title.

The 24-year-old was spotted on the East Lake range Tuesday, preparing for potential morning dew on the golf ball this week - by having a member of his team spray each golf ball between practice shots:

While this type of preparation might come off as a little excessive to the average golfer, it's rather mild for DeChambeau, considering that in the last two weeks alone he has discussed undergoing muscle activation tests and measuring his brain waves.

DeChambeau goes off with Justin Rose on Thursday at 2 p.m. He could finish as low as T-29 and still have a mathematical chance of winning the season-long FedExCup.

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Fewer goals but more consistency for Thomas in 2018

By Rex HoggardSeptember 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

ATLANTA – After winning last year’s FedExCup, Justin Thomas was asked about his goals for the season and he quickly went to his phone.

A list of 13 “goals” had been typed in, a rundown that ranged from qualifying for the Tour Championship to finishing in the top 10 in half of the circuit’s statistical categories. Nearly every goal had a “Y” next to it to denote he’d accomplished what he wanted.

Thomas was asked on Tuesday at East Lake how his goals are shaping up this season.

“I haven't looked in a while. I really haven't. I'm sure if I had to guess, I'm probably around 50 to 60, 70 percent [have been completed],” he said. “I definitely haven't achieved near as many as I did the previous year. But we still have one week left to knock a big goal off.”


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Thomas pointed out that although he didn’t add to his major total this season or win as many times as he did last year, he still feels like he’s been more consistent this year.

He has more top-25 finishes (19) than he did last year (14), missed fewer cuts (two compared to six last season) and has improved in nearly every major statistical category.

“It's been a really consistent year, and I take a lot of pride in that,” Thomas said. “That's a big goal of mine is to improve every year and get better every year, so if I can continue in this direction, I feel like I can do some pretty great things the rest of my career.”

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Woods' probation for reckless driving ends one month early

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 18, 2018, 9:00 pm

Tiger Woods' year-long probation stemming from last year's DUI arrest has been terminated a month early.

According to Sam Smink of WPTV, Woods, 42, was let off probation early for successfully completing all regular and special conditions of his probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving and entering a diversion program last October.

Under the conditions of the program, Woods was required to pay a $250 fine and court costs, attend a DUI school and undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program. He was also subject to random drug and alcohol testing under the program.

The 14-time major champ was arrested on charges of DUI in May of 2017 after he was found unconscious behind the wheel of his parked Mercedes-Benz in Jupiter, Fla.

Although tests showed Woods was not under the influence of alcohol at the time, he admitted to taking several pain and sleep medications to cope with his fourth back surgery which was performed in April.

Since his arrest, Woods has returned to competition, rising to 21st in the Official World Golf Ranking after a pain-free campaign in 2018.

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Players wrapping their heads around FedEx changes

By Rex HoggardSeptember 18, 2018, 8:01 pm

ATLANTA – Even players who have known the details of the PGA Tour’s plan to dramatically change the way it crowns a FedExCup champion were still digesting the details on Tuesday at the Tour Championship.

“I think it’s maybe easier to follow for people at home. Kind of definitely strange and very different to be on 10 under par starting on the first tee,” said Justin Rose, who begins this week’s finale second on the points list.

Next year when a new strokes-based system will decide the season-long race, Rose would begin his week at East Lake 8 under, two strokes behind front-runner Bryson DeChambeau and eight shots ahead of Nos. 26-30 on the points list.

Most players said the new format will be an improvement over the current model, which is based on a complicated points structure. That’s not to say the new plan has been given universal support.


Current FedExCup standings

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Under the current format, the 30th-ranked player has a .4 percent chance of winning the cup, while the first player on the points list has a 27 percent chance. Those odds remain virtually identical under next year’s strokes-based format.

“I’m not saying the 30th guy should have the same shot as the fifth guy, but just make the odds a little bit better. Give them a 5 percent chance,” Billy Horschel said. “The strokes could be distributed differently. Maybe put the leader at 6 under [instead of 10 under] and then you go down to even par. Five or six shots back, over four days, you still have a chance.”

There will no doubt be a period of adjustment, but after more than three years of planning, most players were pleased with the general elements of the new plan if not all of the details.

“It's never going to be perfect,” said Justin Thomas, last year’s FedExCup champion and a member of the player advisory council. “No system in any sport is ever going to be perfect, and the Tour has done such a great job of talking to us and trying to get it as good as possible. But it's just hard to understand the fact that you could be starting behind somebody else and still somehow win a golf tournament or an official win.”