News & ToursDecember 23, 2013

Calm down. Lydia Ko isn't the first (and won't be the last) player to switch coaches

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

News that Lydia Ko had ditched Guy Wilson, her coach of 11 years who taught her the game and brought her to No. 4 in the World Rankings, for David Leadbetter made us think of a post we did back in July, when Lee Westwood hired Sean Foley as his swing coach.

Tiger Woods from Butch Harmon, Hank HaneyWhen Tiger left Butch -- the man who helped him play what many now believe was the best golf of his career -- for Hank Haney in 2004, the split wasn't great, but not nearly as ugly as the Tiger-Haney divorce. With rumors rife that Tiger was ready to can his new coach after a successful swing change together, Haney quit in the aftermath of Tiger's infidelity scandal and wrote a tell-all book (with Golf World Editor-in-Chief Jaime Diaz), "The Big Miss." Related: Book Excerpt: The Big Miss

Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els to Butch HarmonIt was all very cordial when Mickelson and Els both left their respective coaches, Rick Smith and David Leadbetter, for Butch. Both felt they needed a change as their careers enter their final stage and were both rewarded: each winning majors under their new coach.Aaron Baddeley from Mike Plummer and Andy BennettWhen the Stack & Tilt method burst onto the scene, Aaron Baddeley was the face of it. He won his first and second PGA Tour events in consecutive years using the swing and broke into the top 20 in the world. But after shooting 80 in the final round of the 2007 U.S. Open -- he entered the day with the lead -- Baddeley ditched the instructors and has won only once since.


Lee Westwood to Sean FoleyWestwood joined Sean Foley's star-studded stable on the eve of the 2013 British Open, where he went on to finish T-3 after a final round collapse. That marked Westwood's eighth top-three finish since 2008, and he's hoping that a move to Foley -- the man overseeing Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Hunter Mahan's swings -- will help him take that final step.   Follow @lukekerrdineen