Well here we go again… Tiger Woods’ new swing coach has been announced and the speculation is in full force. Will Chris Como help Tiger? Will he help Tiger break Jack’s record? How will he compare to his other teachers? Blah blah blah.
First of all, I want to say how much I appreciate what Butch Harmon, Hank Haney and Sean Foley did for Tiger’s swing and knowledge of the game because it was fun to watch. Each teacher was presented with an interesting set of variables to contend with and a media circus unlike anything previous teachers have faced to date. Butch took Tiger to heights only Bobby Jones and Nicklaus had known. Hank refined an age-old issue of “getting stuck” that Tiger consistently complained of during Butch’s tenure and Sean helped Tiger to understand more about the swing than ever before. So who was right? They all were!
You have to remember that Tiger has always been inquisitive and wanted to learn more and more, so each teacher had different tasks in order to appease Tiger. Sean will be forever bashed for making Tiger too technical, but was that really the case? Maybe it was Tiger who was too interested in the mechanics and the “new” ball-flight laws and if Sean did not give him the information he wanted then Tiger would have found it elsewhere. As we in the teaching world all know, the player is the boss!
Now that Tiger has moved on to Chris Como, there are a few questions that everyone is asking. Will Como’s age, 37, and lack of experience – at least compared to Butch, Hank and Sean — affect his ability to coach Tiger? Is Como too technical for Woods?
I know Chris, his background and his personality, so I think I can offer a pretty good guess as to what will happen in the future. So here are my reasons why Chris and Tiger will be successful.
- Chris is smart and has studied under some of the best teachers in the business.
Chris’ tutelage under legendary instructors Hank Haney, Mac O’Grady and Mike Adams — three people I have also learned and studied under – will serve him well with Tiger. They are some of the brightest minds in the golf instruction world and have made it their job to learn as much as they can about what it is that they do. Of course they have their detractors, but who doesn’t? He is armed with a ton of practical information in order to handle any mechanical issue Tiger may have.
- Chris’ understanding of biomechanics and his study under Sasho MacKenzie.
In the golf teaching world, Sasho MacKenzie is the man. He is the Head of Human Kinetics at St. Francis Xavier University, and his research in kinetics and ground reaction forces has been revolutionary to our understanding of how the body works during the golf swing. His research has helped us to learn more about how we twist and turn and move weight during the golf swing. We now know more about lateral, rotary and vertical motion in the lower body through his work with ground reaction forces. I think this is one of Tiger’s issues and always has been in my opinion. His lower body motion causes a ton of issues with how his upper torso and arms move on the downswing. It will be interesting to see how his balance and lower body action changes during his time with Chris preaching Sasho’s work.
- Chris’ friends.
Chris has a great coterie of friends in the golf instructional and educational world, more so than most Tour teachers to date. This is because at a young age he spent time with the best teachers and learned from them. He has never been egocentric or a jerk to be around and for this reason I feel that if he ever needs help or an extra opinion on Tiger, he WON’T be afraid to ask his friends. At times, we as teachers all need another set of eyes — a sounding board, if you will. Chris will take advantage of his contacts within the industry.
- Tiger is the best player in the world.
Let’s face it: Tiger has more talent than any golfer to date and if he can just make a few changes he will be right back on track. It’s easy to kick him while he’s been injured etc., but a refocused Tiger is a scary one if he sees some quick success! I have no doubts it will come sooner than everyone believes.
The last thing I will say is good luck Chris, enjoy the ride — don’t let the media get you down. If things don’t go well at first, remember that you are one of the best in the world at what you do. I’ll be watching!