Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Why Hank Left Tiger...
Of course that was before the S.S. Woods ran aground and knocked over a fire hydrant.
And in an instant, Tiger had a whole set of issues affecting his game that he never had before. With Tiger facing personal distractions, a detioriorating body and maybe even some self-doubt, I've got to believe that Hank has realized that Tiger is facing a set of problems that no longer line up with his skill set. Hank is very technical in his approach ("drill drill drill"... swing plane... mechanics over feel) but struggles mightily to coach when mental hurdles are in a player's way -- Season 1 of the Haney Project should be all the evidence one needs to support that theory. Why stay with Tiger if he no longer believes he can help him?
And yet even if Hank felt he could help Tiger, he has very little to gain by staying. Hank's six-year tenure (and six major titles won) with Tiger is a calling card for the rest of his life. He has golf schools, books, a deal with Golf Digest, a TV show... Cutting ties now means less travel, less discussions with his new wife about what he and Tiger are doing away from the course when he's gone, and, if you want to be cynical, less responsibility for whatever Tiger does in his golf career going forward.
Any regrets? You bet. I'm sure Hank just wishes he'd made this decision last September.