For the third time in his career, Tiger Woods has parted ways with his swing coach. Sean Foley took over as his swing coach during the 2010 PGA Championship. During that time he did help Tiger modify his swing. Throughout their tenure together, Tiger has suffered multiple injuries, returned to number one in the World Golf Rankings and has since fallen back down to the pack. In a statement on his website, Tiger said the following about the breakup and his time with Foley:
“I’d like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship. Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him. With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando [in December], this is the right time to end our professional relationship.”
Since the announcement Foley has talked with many media outlets reaching out to him including ESPN who spoke with the swing coach via phone call.
Foley told ESPN.com, “This is not a bad day, not even a sad day. It was a complete honor to work with him, and he couldn’t have been better about this. If anything, I’m so grateful for what I was able to go through with him. These sorts of things are inevitable. Like in any industry, people part ways.”
With Woods on the shelf until at least December, this was the right time to part ways. Over the next few months there will be many names attached to Tiger including that of Butch Harmon. However, I would not put any stock in the idea that Butch would join forces with Woods again. They had issues and disagreements in the past and Harmon has a solid and full stable currently.
While it is true that Woods did not win any majors while working with Foley, he did win nine times since 2011. For many players, that would have been an exceptional career. But the media and Woods himself use major titles to define his current form and legacy that will be left behind.
Will there be another change in his swing? Will he attempt to pull his hands back at impact like he did in 2000? Or will he continue to fine tune the forward placement of his hands at impact that has been a focus of Foley over the last couple of years? We will find out in the future but one thing is for sure. The speculation and probing will continue over the coming months as tiger searches for a new swing coach as he continues to chase the major record held by Jack Nicklaus. Will he get there? It is hard to say but his new swing coach better be prepared to join the spotlight on the hunt.