tiger’s email

mulligan, 24 June 2004, Comments Off on tiger’s email
Categories: Uncategorized

I received another email from Tiger. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say:

“The first concerns Butch Harmon, my former swing coach. All I can say is that I’m disappointed Butch decided to speak publicly about our split. I simply decided to go in another direction and thought he understood. I plan to speak to Butch face-to-face and not communicate through the press.”

My take: A reader sent in a thoughtful comment that Butch Harmon’s comments were benign. I, too, saw the interview of Butch Harmon on British TV and on NBC, and I stand by my original post. Butch’s comments about his former student crossed the line. At one point, Butch said: “For him to stand there in every interview and say he is getting close and he feels really good about what he is doing I think he is in denial. I just think Tiger Woods is not playing well. He is not swinging the golf club well and he is not working the right things.” To NBC, Butch said: “In the past when Tiger had a poor round, like he’s had numerous times this year, he would tell you: `I played really poorly. My short game saved me. I’m going to go to the range and figure it out.’ We don’t hear that anymore.”

A good teacher doesn’t go around taking pot shots at former students, saying he’s in “denial” and questioning his work ethic and self-honesty. How can Butch say Tiger’s not working on the right things when he admits that he doesn’t even know what Tiger’s been working on? In the past month, Butch has let loose with other barbs against Tiger, not about his swing but his “controlling” personality. The Golf Blog reported them here and here. “I have no desire to go back to the same situation where I spend all my time at tournaments with Tiger Woods,” Harmon said in Golfweek magazine. “If he wants to come here (Las Vegas), that’s fine. I sat on that hot seat for 10 years, and now someone else can sit in it.” I think it’s obvious that there’s more going on with Butch’s comments than objective swing analysis. It’s personal. Butch’s defense that “I’m just doing my job” is flimsy. This is one time when the teacher could learn something from the student in how to conduct himself.


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