news flash: Tiger says "no" reunion with Butch

mulligan, 23 March 2004, Comments Off on news flash: Tiger says "no" reunion with Butch
Categories: Uncategorized

Tiger has spoken up. Butch Harmon is out. And a reunion is out of the question. On the surface, Tiger says that his major work with Harmon on his swing has been accomplished, so now he can go it alone and do “maintenance” on his swing.

This explanation doesn’t really make sense to me. It can’t be the real reason — or at least the only reason — for dumping Butch. Golf is a fickle game; everyone can use a pair of professional eyes to help correct recurring swing flaws. Tiger’s too smart to think a golf coach is so dispensable. Jack Nicklaus had swing coaches Jack Grout and then Jim Flick to go to throughout his career. And you know how much Tiger thirsts to surpass Nicklaus’s major records. Moreover, Singh, Els, and Mickleson all have swing coaches.

So what’s the explanation for the falling out? Sports Illustrated suggests that Tiger may not have liked Butch’s coaching of other players, like Darren Clark, Justin Leonard, Jose Maria Olazabal, and Adam Scott.

I doubt that’s the reason. Butch always gave Tiger No.1 priority. And these days any great swing coach has multiple players — e.g., David Leadbetter. I think there may be something more serious for the break up. Given what Butch Harmon said about Tiger’s swing in Golf Digest (see below), maybe Tiger just didn’t agree with some of the things Butch was suggesting. Maybe Tiger lost faith in Butch, or didn’t like Butch’s critique of his swing flaws — since Butch makes clear in Golf Digest that he believes there now are flaws.

All pretty intriguing to think about. But we’ll probably never really find out the reasons from Tiger or Butch. I just wish Tiger would find another coach. Everyone can use a coach. Just look at Nick Faldo after he broke up with David Leadbetter. He went from winning majors to winning nothing.

UPDATE: We’ve started a new poll on this issue. Please vote!


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