Category: The Big Miss


April 23, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Harmon criticizes Haney, says Tiger lost his 'nerve'

Posted at 11:56 AM by Mick Rouse

Tiger Wood's other ex-swing coach is finally speaking out in regards to Hank Haney's polarizing book, The Big Miss, reports Jeff Neuman of The Wall Street Journal, and Butch Harmon says he was shocked by Haney's decision to include information on Tiger's family.

"I'm very surprised that he would write it," Harmon said this week. "I'd never do that to Tiger or Greg [Norman] or any of the guys I've been with. We get to spend a lot of time with these people, sometimes even more time than their own families. Things are said, or you see different things, and it's just—it is what it is, you just leave it where it belongs. I was really shocked to see him talk about Elin and Tiger's kids and stuff like that, I don't think that had any place in it."

"It almost seems the way he has everything documented in there—too many times and dates and places that you wouldn't come up with from memory—it's like he kept precise notes all along with writing a book in mind." 

While Harmon makes it clear that he wouldn't write a book about his former students in Haney-esque fashion, he's still game to analyze Tiger's swing woes.

"For me, and I think we saw this at the Masters, he looks like he's playing 'golf-swing' and not golf. In my opinion, he's very robotic. And you could see that at Augusta with all his practice swings and the double-cross shots when he's trying to fade it and he hooks it. I think everyone thought because he won at Bay Hill that he was back; well, he didn't hit it great at Bay Hill, he hit it OK. And Bay Hill's not a major."

"When I had him, I'm more of a natural-type teacher, I like to keep what you do naturally and just try to improve on it. I like to let you be creative, which he was good at."

"And for me, I think he's lost his nerve putting. I think his nerves are bad, and he's lost his confidence."

So what would Harmon do if he was back coaching the biggest name in golf? In a sense, nothing.

"If he ever asked me what I thought he needed to do, I'd tell him, look, go on the practice tee without anybody—without me, without Sean [Foley, his current coach], without Haney, without a camera, and start hitting golf shots. Hit some high draws, some low draws, high fades, low fades, move the ball up and down, move it around; don't worry about how you do it and go back to feeling it again. Quit playing golf-swing and just hit shots; just say to himself, I'm gonna hit a low fade, and I don't need anybody to tell me how to do it, I'm just gonna feel it. He's Tiger Woods, for God's sake. He doesn't know how to hit a shot?"

Little green jacket

You know what they say: like father, like son. So after Bubba Watson won the Masters this year, it was only a matter of time until son Caleb got in on the action. That's why Bubba had a second green jacket made, just for Caleb. 

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Caleb even has the same Travis Matthew polo to go along with it. No word yet if he's hitting a pink driver, though.

Na remembers infamous 16

Remember that one time Kevin Na made a 16 on a single hole? Yeah, so does Kevin Na. Luckily, Na has a sense of humor about things. With a camera crew in tow (he is hosting a future episode of "Inside the PGA Tour"), Na returned to the scene of the crime Monday before this year's Valero Texas Open -- with a chainsaw. 

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That's not all, though. Na replayed the No. 9 hole at TPC San Antonio to see if he could best his 16 from a year ago -- using only a 6-iron. You'll have to wait until Tuesday night on "Inside the PGA Tour" on the Golf Channel to see how he fared (6:30 p.m. Eastern if you're setting your DVR).

To top it all off, though, Na left the same shirt he wore on that fateful day in memoriam during the first round of the tournament.

China gets third European Tour event, and Rory will be there

The European Tour announced that they will be hosting a third tournament in China, according to Reuters, and the payoff will be BIG. The BMW Masters, hosted by the Jack Nicklaus-designed Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, is set to be played at the end of October and will offer a purse of $7 million. One player already marking his calendar? The world No. 1.

"I am already looking forward to teeing off at the tournament," said world number one Rory McIlroy, who won last year's Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters which is now being replaced by the new event.

"The tournament will be one of the very best events in the world. That obviously makes it all the more exciting to defend my title there," added the Northern Irishman in a statement.

Tweet of the Day

March 30, 2012

Hank Haney and radio host spar over Tiger book

Posted at 1:49 PM by Mike Walker

Look out "Mike and Mike in the Morning." Tiger Woods might have a new favorite radio show after Craig Carton from WFAN-New York's "Boomer and Carton" radio show called Hank Haney a "snake in the grass" -- among other things -- for writing a book about his former student Tiger Woods. The full interview is online here.

Haney appeared on the morning sports show to promote his Tiger Woods book, "The Big Miss," which was released this week. Haney has spoken of the book as a testament to Woods's greatness, but Carton said it was a violation of Woods's trust.

Haney responded that he has received mostly positive responses from people who have read the book, and that he did not cross any line in writing about Woods's personal life. He mentioned that he left out many personal details about Woods. Haney wouldn't answer questions about how much he was paid to write the book.

Here are some highlights from Carton and Haney's exchanges, which grow increasingly heated and end with Haney hanging up after 23 minutes.

CARTON: You talk about his wife in the book.

HANEY: I talk about his wife only in areas where it pertains to his golf. The first time I talk about his wife is when she asked Tiger, "What are we going to do to celebrate?" And Tiger said, "We don't celebrate victories like this because..."

CARTON: Hank, you talked about the icy stares between the two of them after the accident when you saw him on the range outside of his house. What's that got to do with golf?

HANEY: Because Tiger was preparing for his first tournament back, which was the Masters. I was there preparing with him.

CARTON: Right.

HANEY: It was pertinent to his mindset at the time. When you're a golfer, obviously, it's a very mental game, and I thought that was pertinent to his...

CARTON: Let me ask you this:  Do you not...

HANEY: His preparation. So when I'm saying something like that in the book, one little comment about an icy stare, I don't think that's getting terribly personal.

CARTON: But it goes beyond golf. It goes beyond what happens inside the ropes.

HANEY: People have different opinions and I'm very aware that's going to be the case, but I'm not the first coach who's ever written a book...

CARTON: But it doesn't matter. Don't you think it's a violation?

HANEY: I don't feel like it was.

CARTON: You don't see that Tiger Woods allowed you into his world, obviously paid you I assume a decent amount of money to be his coach. Without Tiger Woods, you're not getting TV shows, you're not writing books. And you don't view it as a basic violation of the man's trust?

HANEY: Listen, I view it as my memories too. These weren't just his memories. He didn't have an exclusive on those memories. I wanted to share my observations, my thoughts, about his greatness, the complexities that make him up as a golfer, as a person. If I had all positive things in the book, it wouldn't have been an honest book. I wanted to write an honest book about working with Tiger Woods and the observations I made about his greatness and what it was like to coach him. And I realize people are going to have different opinions, but I'm not the first coach who's ever written a book. Phil Jackson wrote a book...

CARTON: It doesn't make it right though.

Then Carton says the book is egotistical.

CARTON: You come across a couple times in the book, in my opinion, almost like you want to be a martyr. "I did so much for Tiger. I was there for Tiger. I wanted to quit so many times but I didn't for Tiger." And the other thing you do, which is fascinating to me and shows me insight into you having never met you, is that you spend a chapter in the book when it's so important to you to compare Tiger Woods' win-loss percentage with you as his coach versus Butch Harmon as his coach. Which is such an egotistical play, I'm trying to figure that one out for myself.

HANEY: Well, like you said, you've never met me.

Later, Carton asks Haney how he would feel if a student wrote a "warts and all" book about him.

CARTON: Would you feel violated if someone did it to you?

HANEY: Would I feel violated if someone did it to me? I didn't do that. I kept everything in the book that was personal.

CARTON: It's a simple question: would you feel violated if someone did it to you?

HANEY: There are so many things I left out of this book that would have been going way beyond the line that I...

CARTON: Well, that's a cheap threat right there, c'mon.

HANEY: I felt like I did not cross the line.

CARTON: Why won't you answer my question then? We're men. I asked you a simple question

HANEY: I felt like I did not... No, I wouldn't. I feel like I did not cross the line because the book has to do with golf.

CARTON: So if a guy talked about your former wife and talked about the way you talked about it and a relationship with her and the kids and everything else, you wouldn't feel violated by that?

HANEY: I talked about that Tiger was a good father.

CARTON: You talk about their relationship.

HANEY: I did not.

CARTON: You talk about when they first got married things were great to the point where when Elin decides there's no TV at dinnertime it was a very icy, cold relationship, but no talking. You told secrets about a family man's life.

HANEY: That's a secret?

CARTON: Sure. I never knew that you couldn't watch TV in the Tiger Woods house. Nor do I give a damn. What's that got to do with golf?

HANEY: It pertained to his mental state

CARTON: So the fact that the Woods can't watch TV at dinnertime. So in other words, Tiger Woods going along with his wife -- and listen, we have the same policy but no one gives a damn -- the fact that they can't watch TV at dinnertime has what to do with winning the Masters?

HANEY: (silence)

CARTON: Nothing. It's a salacious book to make money.

HANEY: No, it's not a salacious book.

CARTON: What was your advance? How much?

HANEY: Guys, we're going to have to agree to disagree.

CARTON: How much money were you paid to write the book?

HANEY: That's totally irrelevant.

Then Carton's attacks on Haney get even more personal.

CARTON: Let's agree on one thing: That even now, how many years later since you've no longer been Tiger Woods' coach, you are still milking off the teat that is the Tiger Woods cow.

HANEY: That is not correct.

CARTON: No?

HANEY: But you just go ahead and have whatever opinion you want to have, OK? I wrote a book on my coaching Tiger Woods that detailed his greatness and the events that I partook in and you have your opinion and that's OK, but I think when people read the book, they will have a different opinion. The majority have. That's a fact. But you are entitled to your opinion.

CARTON: What do you think the general opinion is? Overall, outside of the guys who will kiss your ass like the guys who will kiss my ass and Boomer's ass and Tiger's ass, what do you think overall the perception of your book is, Hank?

HANEY: It's perception into the greatness that is Tiger Woods. That's the feedback that I am hearing

CARTON: Am I the first guy to give you a hard time about breaking that trust?

HANEY: You're definitely the most vocal and you're the only one who yelled and screamed and called me a coward.

And we're only at the 17-minute mark. Amazingly, Haney stays on for a full 23 minutes, signing off while Carton called him "scum of the earth."

CARTON: You probably got half a million up front to write the book and you probably pitched it as a tell-all book about the one guy who knew Tiger almost better than anybody, and it's guys like you, the scum of the earth, that abrogate a relationship and say things about men that only they know, which is so patently offensive to the trust that public figures on the level of Tiger Woods have to be careful about. It's disgusting.

I hope that every golfer in America is fearful of allowing you to be their swing coach because here's the reality of Hank Haney: Hank Haney's going to get to know you, and like a snake in the grass if he can make money off you one day in the future, he's going to do it. And I can't stand guys like you.

January 19, 2012

Report: Tiger Woods calls ex-coach's book 'unprofessional'

Posted at 4:39 PM by Mike Walker

Tiger-HaneyTiger Woods criticized former coach Hank Haney for writing a book about their time together in an interview with ESPN.

"I think it's unprofessional and very disappointing," Woods told ESPN.com in a telephone interview, "especially because it's someone I worked with and trusted as a friend.

"There have been other one-sided books about me, and I think people understand that this book is about money. I'm not going to waste my time reading it."

Haney announced earlier this month that he had written a book called "The Big Miss" about his six years working as Woods’s coach from 2004 until after the 2010 Masters. During their time together, Woods got married, had two children, and won six major championships. His personal life also became the subject of a worldwide sex scandal following a car accident in late 2009 and subsequent revelations of infidelity.

Haney responded on Twitter shortly after Woods's comments were published.

"The Big Miss" is scheduled to be published March 27, one week before the Masters.

PHOTOS: Tiger's Life in Pictures
PHOTOS: Tiger's Major Championships
PHOTOS: Tiger's SI Covers

(Photo: Matt Sullivan/Reuters)





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