Jan
8
2012
Get Ready for Haney’s Tiger Tales
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods’ former swing coach Hank Haney has written a tell-all about the six years he spent with the golfer — from the time he started working with him in spring 2004 when Tiger won 31 PGA Tour events, including six major championships, to late 2009 when the sex scandal was exposed and all hell broke loose. Tiger and Haney parted ways in 2010, a month after Tiger tied for fourth at the Masters. Since then, Haney hasn’t minced words when relentlessly defending himself against critics and engaging in public spats via Twitter. (Chip on the shoulder, anyone?)

Haney believes the book will be a page turner, according to the AP’s Doug Ferguson:

“I get asked all the time about Tiger, what it was like to work with him,” Haney said in a telephone interview. “I felt like I had a front-row seat to golf history. It just kind of chronicles a little bit of what I went through, what I dealt with, how I coached and the observations I made.

“I think there’s a lot of things that people are going to find interesting.”

It baffles me that Tiger (of all people) didn’t have Haney sign a non-disclosure agreement, let alone a contract.

Most of the people involved with Woods have signed a nondisclosure agreement. Haney said he signed no such thing — “I didn’t even have a contract,” he said — although he said the book was not intended to “take jabs at anyone.”

Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent at Excel Sports Management, said he was aware of the book but that Woods had not seen any excerpts and would have no comment.

Haney was asked whether he thought Woods will like it.

“If he reads it, I don’t think it will be a book that bothers him. It’s hard to say,” Haney said. “I think anybody who reads it will think it’s interesting, very fair and honest, and that’s what I wanted to do. I was on that job for six years. There were 110 days a year I was with him. I stayed at his house for close to 30 days a year. You make a lot of observations.”

Um, pretty sure Tiger already hates it. I wouldn’t exactly love the idea of a friend/coach, who spent that much time with me during my personal and private life, dishing on his “observations.” Still, it’s fair game (even if it makes me a tad uncomfortable from a moral standpoint but I’m over it) and it’s not Haney is the first to ever right a tell-all.

Here’s an excerpt from the synopsis via Reuters:

Always haunting Tiger was his fear of ‘the big miss’ – the wildly inaccurate golf shot that can ruin an otherwise solid round,” Crown Archetype said in a synopsis of the book on the Random House, Inc. website.

“It was because that type of blunder was sometimes part of Tiger’s game that Hank carefully redesigned his swing mechanics.”

The book will be published March 27, a week before the 2012 Masters.

Haney’s biggest task was to try and solve “the riddle of Tiger’s personality”, Crown Archetype said.

“Wary of the emotional distractions that might diminish his game and put him further from his goals, Tiger had developed a variety of tactics to keep people from getting too close, and not even Hank – or Tiger’s family and friends, for that matter – was spared ‘the treatment’.

“Toward the end of Tiger and Hank’s time together, the champion’s laser-like focus began to blur and he became less willing to put in punishing hours practicing – a disappointment to Hank, who saw in Tiger’s behavior signs that his pupil had developed a conflicted relationship with the game.”

I also doubt it’ll be that juicy. Haney’s already said he knew nothing about Tiger’s transgressions and has defended the golfer against accusations he took PEDs. So, it’ll be about Tiger being a very lonely person and an enigma, spent all his time playing golf or video games, and discussing swing technique/philosophy, etc. Oh, and of course Haney will endlessly defend his own reputation and remind us Tiger’s winning percentage was nearly 50%. (Or maybe it won’t be so bad since Golf Digest‘s Jaime Diaz was Haney’s ghostwriter.)

That said, hope I get an early copy to review!

(AP Photo/Crown Archetype)