For numerous years, wins and major titles, Tiger Woods’ swing coach was Hank Haney. Haney recently wrote a best-selling book, titled “The Big Miss” that opened a window into the life of Tiger Woods on the golf course as well as off the course. Haney shares a number of stories and memories that he has from his time together with Tiger. Haney has maintained throughout that it is a golf book written about the guy who he considers to be the best golfer to ever pick up a club and at times it is. However there is also some personal stuff in there as well that seems to be a violation of trust between a golfer and a coach. While there may not have been a contract between Woods and Haney, to reveal private details of a golfer’s life that he surely didn’t want revealed, is a betrayal of trust.
While Tiger hasn’t really made his feelings clear on the book and has avoided questions about it on a few different occasions, radio host Craig Carton let Haney have a window into his feelings during this interview. The interview turns more into a lecture. It gets heated, it gets intense, it gets combative and you can tell that after reading the book the whole way through, Carton doesn’t appreciate what was written.
Hank Haney joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to talk about the response he has gotten from the book he wrote, on Tiger’s agent and the response he had to the injuries that Haney talked about in the book, why Tiger’s wife was brought up in the book, and Carton’s anger with the book.
On the response from the book:
“The responses that I’m getting from the people that have read the book have been overwhelmingly that way. It’s just incredible. People that are writing me on Twitter, sending me messages, and it’s been amazing. That’s what they view it as. I didn’t think everyone would have the same view. That wasn’t something that I was totally concerned about. I just wanted to write the book about what I considered to be the golf history and my time helping someone that I think is the greatest player ever.”
On Tiger’s agent’s response to how the injuries occurred:
“There’s a lot of things that I will respond to but I will pick the thing about the injuries. Tiger’s left knee, I first heard about his knee being injured with a lady at a clinic that I was at where her husband is a Navy SEAL stationed in California and he was there the day that Tiger was there and he said that Tiger hurt his knee that day. He thought he hurt it pretty bad. Then Tiger told a friend of mine that’s also a friend of his that that is where he blew out his knee was at the Navy kill house near San Diego where he was working with the SEALs. He came around the corner, didn’t brace himself, and got kicked in the side of the knee. That’s what I was going off of, two different sources telling me that. As far as his Achilles injury the first time he hurt his right Achilles was at the NIKE training facility where he was testing some shoes or doing some sort of testing for them. He re-aggravated it during Olympic style lifting and that was the right Achilles that Dr. Galea treated. I’ve got pretty specific details and more than one source that backs up all of these things.”
On Haney talking about Tiger’s wife in the book:
“I talk about his wife only in areas where it pertains to his golf. The first time I talked about his wife was when she said asked Tiger what are we going to do to celebrate and Tiger said we don’t celebrate victories like that. (Host: Hank you talked about the icy stares between them after the accident when you saw him on the range outside his house. What does that have to do with golf?) Because Tiger was preparing for his first tournament back, which was the Masters and I was there preparing with him and it was pertinent to his mindset at the time. When you’re a golfer it’s a very mental game and I thought that was pertinent to his preparation so when I am saying something like that in the book, one little comment about an icy stare. (Host: But it goes beyond golf and what happens within the ropes.) Well, people have different opinions. I’m very aware that is going to be the case but I’m not the first coach that has ever written a book.”
Tiger let you into his life, paid you a lot of money I assume to be his coach and you don’t view it as a basic violation of the man’s trust:
“I view it as my memories too. These weren’t just his memories. He didn’t have them exclusively. I wanted to share my observations, my thoughts about his greatness, the complexities that make him up as a golfer and a person. If I had all positive things in the book it wouldn’t have been an honest book. I wanted to write an honest book about working with Tiger Woods and the observations that I made about his greatness and what it was like to coach him. I realize people are going to have different opinions. I’m not the first coach that has ever written a book. (Host: It doesn’t make it right though.) It doesn’t make them right either but if I broke the code then they broke the code too.”
That is such an egotistical thing to compare you as Tiger’s coach against Butch Harmon as Tiger’s coach:
“Like you’ve said you have never met me and I’m looking forward to when we do meet. I’m sure you will have quite a different opinion because it’s not an opinion that many people share but I understand your opinion, that was a chapter in the book that summed up Tiger’s record and also kind of predicted how I thought he was going to do in the future in terms of Jack Nicklaus’ record. You’ve chosen to take things the way you want to take them but other people have chosen a different path and have enjoyed the read. It’s a great insight into the greatest player that I think has ever played. (Host: Do you think of yourself as a martyr?) No sir I don’t.”
You betrayed the most fundamental of trust that anyone could have. You betrayed the man’s trust!
“I thought this was an interview. Why won’t you let me talk? (Host: This is offensive to me!) Ok guys. (Host: Now you’re going to hang up because you are a coward.) I’m not going to hang up. I would never hang up. (Host: Good. Don’t be a coward.) You don’t even know me. (Host: How many times in the book do you write and it seems like it’s every freakin’ page, that every time Tiger hits a bad shot you’re like ‘I saw that coming, I could’ve fixed that.’) I never wrote that. (Host: It’s in the entire freaking book!) You’re making stuff up now. You said that these other coaches broke the code so at least I’m in good company.”
(Editor’s note: Hank Haney and Craig Carton continued to argue for a few more minutes. Carton called him a horrible human being and the scum of the earth. Eventually, Hank Haney did hang up.)