Tiger Woods’ swing coach of six years, Hank Haney, has abruptly ended his coaching relationship with Woods. This news struck me as just another bizarre twist in the Tiger Woods saga of late. Haney added further oddity to the situation by announcing that Tiger had in fact been treated for sex addiction — a fact that Tiger never admitted. Additionally, he made some troubling comments about Tiger’s fear of hitting the ball left often leading him to blast his drives off to the right. These were both comments Haney would never had previously made. While many professional golfers change coaches as often as they change their shirt, everybody has been expecting Tiger’s wife Elin to cut ties with Tiger — not Hank Haney. While Tiger has previously broken off relationships with a few coaches, including World #1 ranked instructor Butch Harmon prior to Haney, the Harmon-Woods split was a result of the golfer and his coach having differing swing philosophies and opinions on the direction in which Tiger’s swing should evolve. Haney and Woods have no such predicament, which has led me to speculate over the possible causes of the split. Yes, I know, I’m the first person as of late to speculate over details of Tiger’s life. Alas, I have come up with two philosophies that I feel are the most likely fit.
1) Hank Haney is one of the top instructors in the world. He owns his own golf schools, has his own show on the Golf Channel, and makes zillions of dollars. While working with Tiger has been great and is the single best resume booster any golf instructor could have, Haney could no be worried that his association with Tiger could also taint his image — especially in the eyes of students who may have gone to his golf school and his other business partners.
2) As part of Tiger’s rehab and reassessment of his life, either Elin or his “doctors” may have told him that he must cut ties with all parties that helped, partook in, or knew of and accepted Tiger’s old habits. Tiger could simply be clearing his slate.
In other words, Hank Haney is either a saint or a villain — and we’ll likely never know which.