While Tiger Woods was rebuilding his game and life after his 2009 scandal and the departure of Hank Haney as his swing coach, every golf pundit (and probably every golf fan) weighed in on Tiger’s future:  Would he ever reach the previous heights to which he ascended?  Would he ever win a major championship again?  Would he even win another Tour event again?  Most people opined “no” on the first question, some said “no” to the second…and more than a few even thought the answer was “no” on the third! Brandel Chamblee of Golf Channel was particularly harsh on both Tiger and his coach since 2010, Sean Foley.  Chamblee thought Foley’s teachings were not a good fit for Tiger, and wasn’t shy about ripping into Foley for “ruining” Tiger.  When it became apparent that Foley didn’t ruin Tiger, Chamblee changed his tune to something like, “Well, the artistry is gone”…whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean.  Now that Tiger has won three times this year (so far) with a game reminiscent of years past, it is safe to say that he will once again dominate the scene. Chamblee also celebrated the 2012 Masters victory of the self-taught and still-coachless Bubba Watson, claiming it a victory over today’s “over-coached” superstars, and also the “pseudo-science” employed by their instructors.  Well, no offense to Bubba, but I would be surprised to see him win another major or become a truly dominant force in world golf.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see him never win after his 40th birthday.  His swing is simply too loose and too wild to last a lifetime.  Had he sought coaching much earlier, I would think he would be even better than he is today, and would have many more victories under his belt. Tiger, on the other hand, knows the value of instruction and coaching, and has almost never gone without them.  He studies the game like no other golfer, always probing, always seeking, always questioning…and always gaining knowledge.  If the best talent (arguably) to ever play the game needs coaching, what does that say for the rest of us?  What does it say for the field of instruction and coaching? I would say Tiger is a ringing endorsement of what we do and who we are. By Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director
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