Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Great interview with Hank Haney on Tiger

In this Golf Digest interview, Hank Haney provides a lot of very interesting insight into Tiger Woods and his past, present, and future.

Here a few excerpts:

What do you recall about the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which Tiger won with a broken leg?

What I remember most was the doctor [Thomas Rosenberg] coming to Tiger's house before that U.S. Open and showing him the MRI images on a laptop computer, showing him the two stress fractures, and Tiger not paying very much attention. I asked Dr. Rosenberg [who later performed the surgery to repair Tiger's torn ACL] what the treatment regimen was. He said it meant three weeks on crutches, then inactive for three weeks, then Tiger could start rehab. I remember looking at the calendar and saying, "So he's basically done for the year, right?" At that point Tiger came alive. He said, "I'm playing in the U.S. Open, and I'm going to win." He bent over and started putting on his shoes. "Come on, Hank, we're going to practice." I looked at Dr. Rosenberg and said, "I guess we're going to go practice."

How knowledgeable is Tiger about the golf swing?

The most knowledgeable I've ever been around. I've taught 200 pros from tours around the world, and nobody came close to knowing what Tiger knows.

In 2000, before you began working with Tiger, we surveyed people in golf on how many professional majors they thought he would win. Your guess was 30. How many do you see him winning now, best-case scenario?

I'd say 25. He's got plenty of time left in his career. If he wins at the rate he's been winning, for the next 10 years, he'll get to 25. It's possible, because we haven't seen the best of Tiger. He has so much experience, so much knowledge of the courses they play majors on. I see no reason at all he can't keep getting better.

When we interviewed Butch in 2001, he said he once threatened a teacher "with bodily harm" when the guy approached Tiger about working with him. Did another teacher ever try to steal Tiger away?

Not that I was aware of, no. I tried to do the best job I could do and not worry about that stuff.

AP Photo / Charlie Riedel