To coach or not to coach… Tiger!
Rather than just throwing stones at Foley, we should consider these other factors
uch has been written, talked about, discussed, tweeted and argued about Tiger’s current position in the game.  As a golf coach for more than 12 years and just 35 years of age I guess I’m relatively young in golf coaching years, though I also have my opinion and views on Tiger’s current 3rd swing change we are witnessing and the challenges he is facing in his life.

Tiger’s first move in the swing now sees the hands moving in and clubhead out, the club appears to be more down the line at the top, his swing is shorter, his shoulder plane is steeper, he’s hips are over rotated, he still can’t keep his driver in play, he’s too steep, he’s stuck, he’s still dipping, Sean Foley’s this, Stack and Tilt that.  The truth of the matter is, everyone’s an expert and everyone’s got no idea of what’s really going on. We’re simply voicing our opinions on what we think the greatest sports person in the history of our time should or shouldn’t be doing with a golf club.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly haven’t stood on the range for a day or a week and watched Sean Foley, Hank Haney or Butch Harmon for that matter work with Tiger.

Well I’m here to go and bat for the golf coaches! I don’t know about you but I certainly haven’t stood on the range for a day or a week and watch Sean Foley, Hank Haney or Butch Harmon for that matter work with Tiger.  Further, I’m not too sure how many of these other so called experts in the commentary box or media have either.  I’m also not privy to the conversations Tiger and Foley have on the range or behind closed doors or have any understanding of the immense rapport Foley has built with Tiger in such a short time. So who am I to criticise Foley and co. as we see so many of these so called experts doing week in week out.

Interestingly enough Mickelson has also registered his worst driving stats over the past 4-5 years working with Harmon

For sure, Foley now has a large target on his back and he’s doing his best to dodge the barrage coming at him from all angles. Before Tiger, Foley was certainly not in the spotlight, though he was quietly building his profile and a following on the PGA tour, coaching a loyal stable of tour players and up-and-coming talent.  The reality is that over the last 15 months, Tiger has registered his worst driving statistics in his career, though I’m sure it’s safe to say that other factors have been at play.

Rather than just throwing stones at Foley, we should consider these other factors.  Interestingly enough Mickelson has also registered his worst driving statistics over the past 4-5 years working with Harmon, with barely over 50% of fairways hit the past few years, and with Greens in Regulation under 66%.  Despite this, no-one is calling for Harmon’s head.  In fact “Phil the thrill” and Tiger will continue to win golf tournaments and dominate the game in spite of their golf swings.

A golf coach invests their whole life into researching the game in order to develop their players in every way possible, just like a tour player invests their whole life in their pursuit of perfecting their game, many times under the guidance of such experienced coaches.  So lets cut the coach some slack and show him/her due respect, because I can assure you that it takes passion and dedication to coach at that level.

It’s our intention to provide information to our students in such a way that we are only driven by helping them achieve their goals and realise their dreams.  With regard to Tiger and his future, well, only time will tell.  Whatever happens, Tiger will always be Tiger, true to himself and giving his utmost trust in his coach and swing and possessing that unwavering belief which we have all seen as he continues to strive for success.

(Picture provided by LIFE)

Comments and feedback most welcome:

One Comment

  1. Dec 5, 2011
    12:43 pm

    Ian Manning

    I think that his driver stats are skewed right now. He didnt have much of a swing coach at the beginning of the season, stating that he didnt need one. Then teaming up with Foley who was working on re-routing his swing. A total rework of a swing is never going to lead to increased accuracy right away especially with a driver. I believe when Tiger was with Haney/Harmon he preferred to play a draw off the tee. With Foley he is now playing a cut which some say affords you more control. I think next season with almost a year under Foley and getting used to a new ball flight path off the tee will be the true test. I also think that we will see those stats come up. Great article, thanks for your insight.

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