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

December 23, 2013

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.

Related: Lydia Ko announces pro status in an original way As we said on that occasion, there's no exact science to switching coaches. Sometimes it works beautifully. Other times, switching coaches is the worst decision a professional can ever make. Most times, it ends up somewhere in-between. No one's really sure how Ko's switch will work out. All we can do at this point is hypothesize, and look back at some of the changes that have already happened: __Nick Faldo from David Leadbetter__After the British tabloids dubbed him "Nick Foldo" for his inability to close in majors, Faldo sought out up-and-coming coach David Leadbetter. Faldo revamped his swing and won all of his six majors under Leadbetter's tutelage, but it was a public and ugly break-up: Faldo reportedly ended the relationship via fax, something Leadbetter called a "slap in the face." #iframe://|||

__Tiger Woods from Butch Harmon, Hank Haney__When 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 Harmon__It 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 Bennett__When 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 Foley__Westwood 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