In an incredible claim, and the ultimate compliment, former swing coach of Tiger Woods, Hank Haney believes the 15-time Major winner was his least adept pupil when it came to taking his range work to the golf course.
Speaking on GOLF’s Subpar podcast with Colt Knost, the now 66-year old legendary swing coach lifted the lid on some remarkable things of his time with Woods. The pair worked together for some of Tiger’s peak years from 2004 to 2010 but despite all Woods managed to achieve on the fairways, for the things he was doing off the course, Haney expected his results to turn out even better.
“I would stand on that driving range and think ‘there is no way these guys can beat him’. Honestly, he wasn’t nearly as good on the golf course. Nobody is,” Haney said, before launching into a story that took everyone listening by surprise.
“I’ve taught over 200 touring pros. The worst player at taking it from the driving range to the golf course that I’ve ever coached was Tiger Woods.
“He won 45% of the time he teed it up when I helped him, but on the driving range you thought ‘there’s no way this guy could ever lose’.
“You are always going to have regression, I’m just saying he hardly ever missed a shot, ever. He’d go on the golf course and miss a couple, but he’d go through a warm-up all the time and never miss a shot. Like, ever!”
There’s a reason many regard Woods as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) but for Haney, who worked with so many elite players throughout the course of his career, the first thing that stood out and set Tiger apart was a work ethic that came immediately apparent the first time they met for work.
“The first time I went to work with him I showed up in Orlando and he was waiting for me at the end of the driveway,” Haney recalled.
“He had his clubs on a cart and he was ready to go. The first thing he does is tell me three things I teach that he doesn’t agree with and I thought ‘wow, this is going to be an incredible ride’.
“He would win a tournament and call me the next morning to ask what do I need to do to get better. Normal tournaments didn’t mean much to him. It was just about trying to get better.
“I was there through the scandal and the injuries so it was a lot, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I always say he was my greatest student, my toughest student, my most frustrating student. He was everything all in one. You never knew what the day was going to bring.”
You can listen to the full chat below. Haney joins the show at 8 minutes 45 seconds. Enjoy!