Posted April 02, 2014

Haney: Tiger’s Biggest Issue Is ‘Desire,’ Not Injuries

News, Tiger
Hank Haney, Tiger Woods

Hank Haney and Tiger Woods at the 2009 PGA Championship. (Getty Images)

With the aftershocks still rippling from Tuesday’s news that Tiger Woods will miss the Masters, everyone is busy assessing the damage, and Tiger’s former swing coach is no exception.

Appearing on Chris DiMarco’s radio show on SiriusXM, Hank Haney offered his take on Woods’ injury, its causes and its implications.

Prompted by DiMarco, Haney pointed toward two sources of Tiger’s problems: his swing fundamentals and his fitness routine.

“People just obviously point to the golf swing and that’s what they want to blame it on. But when I look at his swing, the violence [of the swing] I understand, but having said that you also have to look at everything else you’re doing, too. I mean, how much of a toll did parachute jumping with the Navy Seals take on it long term? And the other things that he’s done and, like you said, all the work that he does in the gym. So is it just the golf swing or is it everything that he’s doing along with that? And there’s no way to tell, there’s really no way to tell.”

At the peak of Tiger’s play, no one every questioned his commitment, but nowadays, Haney says, you can’t help wonder.

“I think the biggest issue long term is just Tiger’s desire,” Haney said. “I don’t think it is the injuries. I know everybody will say it is the injuries, but I just don’t think that’s it. I think the biggest issue is going to be his desire. He didn’t do anything from December through February this year and that was very unusual. And I think it is just a question of how much is he going to practice, how hard is he going to work? And then again, is he going to be able to? Is his body going to allow him to practice and work at it like he used to? And I think going forward that’s the biggest issue.”

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48 comments
deeg24
deeg24

I also thought Tiger taking off so much time over the off-season wasn't "like" him...  but now I get it.  Having a slipped disc of my own (which is manageable, but not "good"... I'm not playing any golf), one of the things you try first is just resting it... Following the clues from late last season into early this season, it appears he had back issues last fall, decided to rest it, and then tried to start it up again this year (albeit on very little practice).  Realizing it wasn't fixed, he wisely decided to "shut it down".  So in MY opinion:  I don't think any of this reflects on his desire OR ability...  it's probably "him being smart" - something that I think he's learning to do better as he gets older.  He knows that a golf career is a marathon, and he can win majors into his 50s (see Norman, Watson, and Couples contending in recent years).  Yeah - he may not be "the Tiger of old" into his 50s, but he'll still have "chances" for a LONG time...  better to get healthy now...  heck, Phil just won a major last year at 43.  That's five years away for Tiger!  He's got plenty of time...

roskoreh
roskoreh

He should get surgery on his desire. 

Cinti-fan
Cinti-fan

Tiger has been in contention in several majors.  But he just doesn't close like he used to.  

Jim22
Jim22

Wish Haney would just shut the $$$$ up !!!!  The guy is not respected in the game yet he keeps trying to stay relevant by talking about Tiger so it makes news !!!

TinyGreen
TinyGreen

lol he won 5 times last year!

muser
muser

I'm sure we're about to hear from the nut jobs who think that any objective analysis of Woods is racist......

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Oh Haney is still trying to sell his book.   Haney is 5 seasons removed from Tiger.  But he is obviously still hurt Tiger ditched him.  

I've said many times Tiger didn't look himself this year.  It was obvious to me that he didn't put the usual practice in for his game.  I think his back prevented him from being able to practice the way he has in previous years.  

To question his desire is just stupid and Haney knows it.  Tiger will never allow himself to play if he does not feel he can win any event.  He is still chasing Jack and Sam and I do not believe you come off a five win season and lose your desire.  If anything his desire to win majors is stronger than ever.  I just hope he can get back to the preparation he usually does without pain.  I believe that was the purpose of the surgery.  



kelprod1
kelprod1

On this subject, Haney is 100% correct. Tiger still has plenty of talent, but as he ages and his life evolves, golf becomes less of a priority for him and the overwhelming burning desire to dominate fades. Tiger still can play great golf, but the "killer instinct" has subsided greatly.

Deed
Deed

Rather you like Haney or not, this is an important observation. How many people who started out doing something when they were  very young continue to have the same commitment and desire to do it when there in the thirties and forties. I look back at all the things I have done in my past. I continue to enjoy those things but I'm no longer workout as hard, putting in the hours that need to be doing  so that I can compete with the young bucks.  . I just don't want to do anymore. What makes these guys who have been playing golf continue to do it. It isn't something that you wish to happen. When it hits you that's it. So if Tiger or anybody else for that matter comes to that point in there life who is to blame them. Instead of negative comments just look at oneself.

If that is the case and he has lost his desire, we will have to listen to Johnny Miller start to compare all the up coming players to tiger. Man do I hope that guy is gone, I'm tired of hearing him and his comments.

Eddie Ray Neaux
Eddie Ray Neaux

Haney needs to STFU. What does it say about him that there are ZERO tour pros working with him right now. And if you ever watched any of those "Haney Projects", you'd see that most of the students never sustained long-term improvement or even got worse.

Mike Winters
Mike Winters

Hank you think to much! Speedy Recovery Tiger!

Torontogolfer
Torontogolfer

This guy has got a mouth on him. Maybe he forgot that Tiger is the one with 14 Majors and not him. 

Boyke
Boyke

I am not a fan of Haney given his past comments on Woods, but I must say that I slowly start to believe that Tiger should reassess his current and former coach. 

Robin McMillan
Robin McMillan

Sorry, but enough. A lot of Masters have been good without Tiger Woods.

billybarootwo
billybarootwo

Haney may be right, Haney may be wrong, but one thing is for certain. Haney is a moron and should keep his big mouth shut!

Matt Brown
Matt Brown

Wow,what a tool. Why does anybody care what this guy thinks anymore?

Golfasorous
Golfasorous

Woods won 31 PGA Tour events under  Hank Haney's direction from 2004 to 2010.  That includes 6 of his 14 major victories.   If anyone would know, it could be Haney. 

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

And Hank Haney's biggest issue is he can't stop talking about Tiger . And because of it he has no golfers on tour who will even give him the time of day anymore . I hope it was worth it .

Bahia
Bahia

Haney was once a highly respected golf instructor, but he has become being known more for self-promotion and Tiger commentary.

Connor Van Gilder
Connor Van Gilder

2014 just started and he missed basically all due to injury. If tiger is washed up, why does he continue to win between 4-8 tournaments a season? More than 90% of tour pros win in their entire career. Quit tiger hating. He is still the most dominant even if it's way less than in 2000

Ray Belahi
Ray Belahi

It's obvious that now that Tiger won't attend the Masters, the gravy and ratings trains have left the Golf network station! Viewership is going down folks. To all the Tiger Wood haters, what are u going to gossip about now?

Rich Patterson
Rich Patterson

Desire or injury. I say its that garbage golf swing he's got. 2014 is his worse performance since he turned pro. He's washed up. Find yourselves another hero.

Michael Tawanda Mtakwa
Michael Tawanda Mtakwa

First it was Tiger's too muscular, now it's he doesn't have the desire anymore.. Hank's seems mighty invested in someone he doesn't even coach anymore. Let it go Hank.

YouDaManTiger
YouDaManTiger

I think Haney hit the bullseye. People drone on about Tiger's work ethic, but they don't realize that they're really discussing the Tiger of the early 2000's. In Haney's book (which not one person has ever refuted anything Haney wrote in that book, ever) he talks about how little Tiger works at his game anymore. Now I'm sure when he was learning the intricacies of the Foley swing he practiced hard and reaped the rewards with 5 wins last year. I just don't think Tiger's Want To is there anymore.

Eric Figueroa
Eric Figueroa

Hank is pretty invested in Tiger's chase of the Major's record. If Tiger makes it to 19 majors, Hank's stock will go up. Hank will share some of that spotlight having coached Tiger through however many wins Tiger racked up while they were working together. Other than Tiger, no one else wants to see him beat the record more than Hank. If Tiger had treated Hank better, Hank probably wouldn't be so vocal right now.

LoganWellbright
LoganWellbright

What a croc! TW just had back surgery that takes him out of his most favorite tournament and Haney says the problem is lack of desire? Could the Dec-Feb break also be attributed to his confirmed injury? Will Hank at least give him that much? Haney has been on a passive-aggressive "talking points memo" bender since TW fired him. Talk about sour grapes. Nobody even knows who Hank is without TW.

Bob Langley
Bob Langley

Hank has the Right to remain silent..he just doesn't have the sense to do so...

BWsingledigit
BWsingledigit

Why is Haney still running his mouth?  Talk about a classless act... I don't hear other swing coaches speaking of their ex-students so frequently.  Haney is a nobody without Tiger... obviously trying to hang on to any bit of claim-to-fame he has left as a derivative of Tiger.

Tammy Richter
Tammy Richter

I agree. He is not as passionate, it has become just a job for him now. And that's okay- he doesn't have anything to prove

Robert Reifert
Robert Reifert

He just had a lami dissectomy!! And its his desire?

Robert Graham
Robert Graham

Haney's gravy train has left the station........find another train to ride HH you look silly jabbing Tiger, you are not making any contact.

John Ischy
John Ischy

Not a tiger fan but wow, kick a man when he's down. I don't think desire is a problem at all, but I do now believe that he will never win another major

Tom Tucker
Tom Tucker

@Boyke  Of course he should. He won six majors with Haney. He was always in the Top Three in Birdies made from the rough under Haney. He was master of his pitching game with Haney. He's lost all of that with Foley. Tiger's too stubborn to ever go back to Haney, and he'll probably stick with the train wreck that is Foley for far too long. He's already wasted many years in his prime (his 30s) using Foley's swing, which has mangled Tiger's once brilliant wedge game, made his back and knee worse. 

tigermayy
tigermayy

Every sport need a dominant figure, Tiger to golf, Muhammed Ali to Boxing, Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots to Football, etc.  Love em, hate em, their sports need them else the popularity of that sports decline.  Look where boxing is now after Ali, Sugar ray, tyson, it's barely in the news, not even on TV anymore.  If and when Tiger quits golf, golf audience will decline, prize money will dwindle unless another person dominates the game.  So all Tiger haters, you'll have nothing to talk about once he leaves.  Better enjoy hating this guy cause you got nothing else to do once his gone!!

muser
muser

I'm pretty sure they played the Masters before Woods. They may keep playing, even after he retires. We'll have to wait and see. 

BDickson
BDickson

They are going to watch all the talent that gets over looked each week, so the networks can watch Tiger hit every shot to a boring 73 and a 40th place finish.

BDickson
BDickson

@YouDaManTiger  I agree. I think the money and the fact that he has kids now has affected his desire. He probably wants to be a home a little more, and you cannot play to the same level as before when you are not spending the time required to get and stay at that high level.

tigermayy
tigermayy

@BDickson  Every sport need a dominant figure, Tiger to golf, Muhammed Ali to Boxing, Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots to Football, etc.  Love em, hate em, their sports need them else the popularity of that sports decline.  Look where boxing is now after Ali, Sugar ray, tyson, it's barely in the news, not even on TV anymore.  If and when Tiger quits golf, golf audience will decline, prize money will dwindle unless another person dominates the game.  So all Tiger haters, you'll have nothing to talk about once he leaves.  Better enjoy hating this guy cause you got nothing else to do once his gone!!

YouDaManTiger
YouDaManTiger

@BDickson Great point. Jack has talked about how after 1980 spending time with his kids became more important to him than winning.

Patron
Patron

@YouDaManTiger @BDicksonHe may also have overestimated what a crazy long grind it was going to be to get to 18 or 19, especially a decade ago when it looked like he'd reach it with ease. Jack also didn't have the majors record as his goal his entire career. Knowing it's going to take you 15-20 years or more to reach your goal has to eat at you.

Jack broke Jones' record at a fairly young age, and that was a more manageable 13 if I'm not mistaken. Jack managed to win 5 more and likely put it out of reach. He also managed a long career with no major injuries or major game flaws, and his ruts in the late 60s and late 70s were short. Taking away the 1986 Masters, I don't think he ever went more than 3 years without a major, and even had a few close calls in the early '80s despite not winning one from '80 to '86.

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