New Delhi: The American golf instructor Hank Haney is best known for coaching Tiger Woods, apart from giving golfing tips to two-time major championship winner Mark O'Meara. Haney operates four teaching facilities in Dallas, Texas to nourish young golf talents.
Haney was in Delhi recently for the Junior Albatross Gold Tournament and spoke to IBNLive Sports about his association with Woods.
What made you want to teach at the junior level, especially at the Albatross tournament in India?
Junior golfers are the future of the game and I have always enjoyed helping players reach their full potential on and off the course. I am especially interested in growing the game in Asia and increasing participation rates around the world.
According to you, what are the three most important qualities to become a successful golfer?
First, you must have a passion to play the game and want to get better. Second, you must be patient and allow changes to develop, which can take time. Finally, a successful junior golfer needs to be a student of the game and understand how to make necessary adjustments in training and competition without the aid of a coach.
Can you please share any memorable events of your life?
Jim Hardy has been a very influential figure in my life. I can still remember the winter day when we met in Chicago. He helped launch my career as an instructor and I am thankful to him for driving my passion in golf.
How was your experience coaching Tiger Woods?
It was an incredible opportunity to see how the greatest player of all time prepared and competed at the highest level. Tiger's focus and drive in his daily regimen was spectacular and I often share examples with my students.
What kinds of skills seem to come to Tiger Woods most naturally?
According to you, what kind of player was he? Each day, Tiger exemplified desire, dedication and mental toughness to improve his game.
In May 2010, Tiger withdrew in the final round of The Players Championship. Why did you leave the coach job then?
It was time to make a change. As with any coaching relationship, it was going to come to an end and the timing was right for me.
How would you describe your philosophy in the gentlemen's game?
When working with juniors, I make sure they have a good attitude and strong work ethic. If they showcase these two qualities, they will be a joy to coach.
What's your message to young talent?
The number one rule I always tell my full-time students at Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island, South Caroline is to never give up. If you are always trying your best, good things will happen.