By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It seems fitting that Hank Haney’s book, The Big Miss, comes out the Tuesday following Tiger Woods first PGA Tour win since Haney and Woods split in 2010.
The Big Miss is Haney’s account of the six years he spent as Woods’ swing coach, from 2004 until May of 2010. Haney left amidst rumors that he would soon be fired by Woods. “I left Tiger. That’s another chapter in the book where I quit and everything is described in detail. There was nothing more than the fact that six years is a long time to be doing what I was doing,” Haney told 94WIP’s Howard Eskin. “Six years was enough, it was time for me to go.”
Haney says his biggest challenge was getting Woods to work on his short game. “The shots that you consider to be a little easier, there are no easy shots in golf. Some of the easier shots were ones that Tiger struggled at. His three-putting was something that cost him. And when he practiced those areas of his game, he was virtually unbeatable,” he said. “It’s hard to get through to exceptional athletes, exceptional people in general when you’re coaching them. You have to try to figure out a way to make it their idea.”
One of the biggest revelations in the book is Haney’s claim that Tiger’s obsession with being a Navy Seal contributed to his knee injury. “That was one of the things that Tiger did that distracted him. He had this thought of becoming a Navy Seal. And went on this training trips where he trained with Navy Seals and in some cases with Navy Seal teams, at least they were present. Went on trips on the east and west coast,” Haney said. “Did things like parachute jumping, long range shooting, hand to hand combat. But when he got hurt, and I heard this from two different sources, one of the sources Tiger told this was where he hurt his knee, was in this Navy kill house. And he came around the corner and got kicked in the side of the knee.”
Though many, including Woods, have said Haney is writing this book for profit only, he says he has every right to share the stories. “I was certainly aware that that would probably [Woods’] comment. That would be a standard comment that he would probably make. This is really about me sharing my experiences. Some people think I’ve violated some unwritten code. I knew that some people would have that opinion. My opinion is that these are my memories too.”
The Big Miss hits book stores on Tuesday, March 27th.