I was down at the Core Golf Junior Academy in Orlando a couple of weeks ago, wrapping up our year with the students.
On that Thursday, we headed up to the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra to watch some great golf and visit with our PGA Tour coaches Sean Foley and Dr Craig Davies.
That day also happened to be the `eye of the storm,’ so to speak, in regards to the Hank Haney and Tiger Woods saga and the potential of a new coach coming in to help Tiger.
So, how did that Thursday during the Players Championship elevate into what appeared to be a media feeding frenzy, trying to guess what was going to happen and who might become Tiger’s coach?
There were two things, one being the consistent rumour from players to the media of Hank Haney being let go.
Given Tiger’s less-than-stellar play, his poor quality of shots and every armchair quarterback critiquing Hank’s job, it became a matter of `where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ and the rumors began.
Secondly, the coincidence of Sean Foley’s players happening to play a practice round with Tiger fueled the fire.
Sean’s students Sean O’Hair and Hunter Mahan did play a practice round with Tiger the day before.
This was not unusual as Tiger has become friends with O’Hair, is getting to know Hunter better and was paired with him for the first two rounds for the Players Championship, so it’s always nice to know your partner that week.
Sean followed them around as he does with all of his players and both O’Hair and Mahan put on a shotmakers’ clinic that was very impressive, according to Sean.
Also, over the last couple of years, Sean has gotten to know Tiger and had swing conversations with him.
That Thursday is when the smoke became a fire as O’Hair and Tiger were playing at the same time on opposite tees and happened to be at the back of the range warming up together with the media gathered around.
Sean was working with O’Hair and, as is Sean’s nature, he was also conversing with Tiger. From those situations; rumors of Hank’s departure, a practice round and a warm up session, a feeding frenzy started, which Sean tried to put out the rest of that week and still is today.
The bottom line is there have been no direct discussions between Tiger and Sean Foley on Sean becoming Tiger’s new coach. None.
Have they talked swing theories? Yes.
However, Tiger talks swing theories with every coach out there, as do a lot of players, so there is no surprise there.
Would they be a good fit? Yes, but so would a lot of other coaches.
What really surprised me was the fact that no one from the media really thought this through.
You don’t hop from one coach to another overnight.
There has been a lot of history between Tiger and Hank that needs to be dealt with between them, both personally and business-wise.
Then a period of reflection is need on what went wrong and what needs to go right with Tiger’s game before deciding who can get the job done.
Tiger does not go into new relationships lightly, nor does he rush it and he won’t make a decision until he is confident it is the right one.
While there is no time frame on these things, one thing is for sure – they don’t happen overnight in the middle of a major golf tournament.
Anyone who understands golf and who is truly looking for a real story would know that.