August 25, 2014

Is #TigerWoods even closer to the end of his career?

He has now split up with his latest swing coach, Sean Foley. Per the ESPN story, Foley improved slightly on Tiger's accuracy length, but at the cost of a dozen yards in distance.

Now, Woodsaholics will likely claim that that loss is all due to Tiger's injury. I doubt it. Even before his year of injuries, Tiger was becoming ever more reluctant to use driver except when really needed. That is part of the distance loss — and part of the accuracy gain. Unfortunately, ESPN didn't do the smart thing, combine accuracy and distance under an already existing stat — greens in regulation.

That said, since Tiger is leaving the clubs totally aside until December, there's no way he can get a new swing under his belt for next year's Masters. On the other hand, Golf Channel says that sorting out his swing might have been part of why Tiger announced his planned long layoff.

That next coach won't be a reunion with Butch Harmon, who wasted no time in a peremptory no.

We know it won't be Haney, either. That said, "damaged goods" aside, could Foley have done closer to as good than either of his predecessors than he actually did? This piece shows what a steep difference exists and also shows that Haney was arguably better than Harmon.

If you're still thinking, "but whom," here's your prop bet list. I'd love to see Johnny Miller trying to coach TW.

Back to the more serious side. I agree with Harmon, as quoted in this story, that it was surely rough working with Tiger; his condolence to Haney is only part of that. I disagree with comment, along with saying no to coaching Tiger again, that Tiger doesn't need a coach.

Whether it's overthinking, trying to play through injury, trying to overcompensate, all of the above, or all of the above and other things, Tiger's swing is a mess, and it's a mess he's not going to solve by himself.

Per the second page of the story and interview with Harmon, the mental is the hardest part with being a Tiger Woods swing coach, and will be for the future. Jaime Diaz notes well that Woods has been damaged goods mentally ever since #Hydrantgate, and may never totally recover that. He's lost the intimidation factor, and the confidence factor, too, no matter what his public chatter is.

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