by Jeff Skinner
The Ice Bucket Challenge continues to spread across the globe and raise millions for ALS. It may have reached its zenith today when The Greatest of All Time took the icy plunge.
Jack Nicklaus and his crew from North Palm Beach did the deed today and challenged all his employees to do the same.
by Jeff Skinner
Tiger Woods is back in the market for a new swing coach. You would think that there would be plenty of candidates for the job. I mean every year Golf Digest gives us their Top 50 Teachers so Tiger already has a list of top guys just sitting there.
The perennial top teacher in the world is Butch Harmon and his record is unmatched. No one coach had helped more golfers win more majors or coached more number one players that Butch. But El Tigre already burned that bridge.
During their time Woods won 8 majors in 24 starts, 34 PGA Tour titles and never missed a major due to injury. But Tiger moved on from Harmon in 2003 in search of the perfect swing.
Could he go back to the best? No way. Harmon said he wouldn’t do it and he also said Tiger would never call. There can be only one alpha dog in the house. Butch and Tiger are alpha dogs…big, really big alpha dogs. They were very successful together but coexistence isn’t possible now.
Tiger’s second coach was Hank Haney and while Haney has had good success, he’s 11th on the top coaches list; he wasn’t a dominating personality like Harmon.
Haney’s instruction served Tiger well and the Haney Swing won Tiger six majors (one on a broken leg) and 31 PGA Tour titles. But as Tiger does he is constantly looking for something new and that wasn’t good enough.
Soon after Tiger’s comeback from the scandal he jettisoned Haney. Shortly thereafter Haney dished on Tiger and his relationship in his book The Big Miss. End of story.
Tiger doesn’t tolerate those that speak outside the Tiger Circle. Hank isn’t getting any Christmas cards from Tiger.
Tiger just axed number two on the list, Sean Foley who probably got there because of his association with Tiger. But Tiger’s failure to win a major with Foley shouldn’t be cause to think that Foley’s methods don’t work.
Hunter Mahan just won The Barclays, his sixth PGA win with Foley. Justin Rose won the U.S. Open under his tutelage and also has six PGA Tour wins. Mahan is 19th in the world, Rose is 5th. Foley can coach and maybe it was just a bad fit with Woods.
Butch had a great point when he said Foley had the toughest job of all Tiger’s coaches. He got Tiger post scandal and what he had to work with was a soon to be broken Tiger. Woods hasn’t won a single major under Foley but the telling fact is that he has missed four majors due to injuries while with Foley.
As far as likely candidates, the web is full of analysts trying to guess Tiger’s next move. But likely candidates should think long and hard before they sign on to Camp Woods.
It requires long hours, jetting around the world on a moment’s notice, the ability to fix a slice…and a hook, Track Man skills, the ability to communicate with Tiger but with no one else, thick skin, strong self-belief and the ability to live with the biggest alpha dog on the block.
One more thing: he must work cheap. Woods thinks that anyone associated with him gets enough juice from their partnership. And that may be true but Tiger has deep pockets and short arms.
Foley had said that teaching the best player in the world was always a dream of his. Tiger’s next coach may be getting Tiger Woods but he’s not getting the best player in the world any longer.
by Jeff Skinner
After four years of being the highest profile player and swing coach tandem, Tiger Woods has left Sean Foley.
Woods released a statement on his website stating his fondness for his friend and instructor but feels the time is right to make a change.
“I’d like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship,” Woods said. “Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him. With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship.”
“My time spent with Tiger is one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am appreciative of the many experiences we shared together,” Foley said. “It was a lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport. I am both grateful for the things we had the opportunity to learn from one another, as well as the enduring friendship we have built. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.”
Both Woods and Foley praised each other and said that it was an amicable split and would remain friends.
Tiger is now looking for his fourth swing coach to help in his chase of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships.
by Jeff Skinner
Admittedly, Hunter Mahan hadn’t had the best of seasons. With only five top tens in 21 events his 2014 season wasn’t what he had hoped it would be.
But as the season headed into the playoffs he started playing his best golf. He started with a T15 at the Bridgestone Invitational and followed that with a T7 at the PGA Championship. His game was rolling into form at a most advantageous time.
He peaked today with a win at The Barclays and suddenly 2014 went from bust to bonus.
Mahan’s win in the first playoff event propelled him from 62nd place to first place in the FedEx Cup standings and guarantees that he’ll be in the field at the Tour Championship.
And that’s not all: Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson has said he is looking for players that are playing well when he makes his captain’s picks for the team. I think Mahan has just made one heck of a case for his consideration on Old Tom’s team.
by Jeff Skinner
If you are a passionate golfer like me you probably outfit yourself with some good quality clubs, a decent grade ball, some comfortable shoes and maybe a few good looking golf shirts. I don’t have many vices but I do like to treat myself with mostly anything golf related.
This season I have come across something new, well new to me at least. I am sure this little gizmo was taken out on the course about the time Old Tom was making featheries back at St. Andrews. It’s a flask, more specifically a hip flask. And even more specifically a really neat hip flask.
For many a golfer back in the day the flask was standard equipment. After all braving the cold, the rain and the wind in Scotland many a golfer needed some liquid reinforcement. The handy flask proved to be just what a golfer needed.
The fine folks at Buyahipflask.com offer a great assortment of flasks. They stock many sizes, shapes and designs. They have English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh flasks. There are Pewter and leather wrapped and silver and stainless and on and on. You get the idea…they have just about any kind of flask you can think of and many that you can’t.
And for that special touch they can engrave just about anything on the face of the flask to make it a truly custom piece. I tested out a nifty six ounce pewter model and let’s just say it really did the trick.
Take some time and check out their website. The selection is amazing and I spent way too much time looking for my next one.
By Jeff Skinner
Jimmy Fallon hosted Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy last night on The Tonight Show and it was fairly entertaining.
Fallon needled Tiger about his past win over Tiger on his video game. Tiger looked relaxed and was pretty witty at times. Without his normal golf gear on, Woods wore a tight tee shirt and looked absolutely massive.
Rory dueled Fallon in a game of Face Breakers and of course won the Big Break like competition.
But the big wiiner here is Nike as the two Nike staffers used this as an infomercial for the new Nike Vapor line of clubs.
I wonder what clubs Fallon has in his bag…no I don’t.
by Jeff Skinner
During the 1990’s NBC had branded its primetime lineup as “Must See TV”. Tonight’s broadcast of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon falls into that category for all golf fans.
Fallon will host both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods on tonight’s program. It is a bit of a coup for Fallon as rarely do we see either of them do anything like this and to land the two of them together certainly qualifies as must see TV.
Woods and McIlroy are booked across the river at Liberty National for a Nike promotion and Fallon must have challenged Woods to a rematch of his video game. Fallon topped the former number one a few years back and maybe Woods wants a chance at redemption.
I’ll be interested to see how this plays out. Woods is used to being the big dog on the block but with his career stuck in low gear and McIlroy at the top of his game, popularity and career I want to see who plays the Alpha dog here.
For all of us golf fans this is definitely must see TV.