so long, butch…

mulligan, 22 March 2004, Comments Off on so long, butch…
Categories: Uncategorized

So Tiger made another first this weekend: first professional tournament where he’s hit 3 rounds above par. That’s not exactly the first he wanted (5 consecutive wins at one tournament). But, if you listened to his post game interview, he thinks he had one of his better driving weeks and, according to him, the things he’s working on are “coming together.”

This prompted a spirited discussion on The Golf Channel among Kelly Tilghman, Frank Nobilo, and Brian Hewitt about whether Tiger should reconnect with his former swing coach Butch Harmon. They also admitted that no one really knows why the two broke up their winning combination. If it ain’t broke,…

My take: Tiger needs a swing coach. The game is too difficult, and competition too stiff, to be No.1 and expect to self-diagnose your own swing week in and week out. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tiger’s plaguing problem is his driver, which has a tendency to go right too often these days.

Whether the swing coach should be Butch Harmon is another question. Butch is obviously one of the best coaches out there, and he did work well with Tiger for several years.

But maybe the two have philosophical differences about what’s best for Tiger’s swing now. I’m only speculating but here’s a piece of evidence from this month’s Golf Digest from Butch Harmon. In it, Butch compares Adam Scott’s 2003 swing to Tiger’s 2002 swing. Here’s what Butch says:

Every time Adam Scott comes to see me, he looks at Tiger’s swing from a practice round at St. Andrews in 2000–when I think Tiger was swinging his best. He cues up a tape of that swing and tries to mimic it. Ironically, Tiger should probably look at tape of Adam’s swing now, because at this point in time, Adam is in better positions, especially at impact.”

There’s more. If you read the frame analysis, you can see Butch thinks that Adam’s swing is more fundamentally sound than Tiger’s, since Adam doesn’t have to rely as much “on timing to square the clubface.”

I’m a big Butch Harmon fan, but maybe the relationship is no longer there with his former No. 1 student. I wish the two never broke up, but maybe now it’s just better that Tiger moves on. But moves on to another coach, and not just to himself as coach. There are a bunch of other coaches out there who would die to coach Tiger Woods. It’s time for Tiger to put someone else on his speed dial. Leadbetter may be a long name, but it abbreviates well.

UPDATE: Butch Harmon will be on with his student Darren Clarke on Academy Live tonight at 7:30 on The Golf Channel.

UPDATE 2: Johnny Miller said this weekend, “Tiger needs to go back to Butch Harmon. He’s trying to be his own coach.”


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Leave a Reply:

Name *

Mail (hidden) *


Email: thegolfblog [@]

Advertise Here