News & ToursJune 6, 2010

Tiger to stick with Haney method

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Tiger Woods confirmed Sunday that he was carrying on with the swing method he learned working with Hank Haney, even though Haney has resigned as his swing coach.

"I'm just retracing my steps, just like what I've always done when I was working with Hank, when I was working with Butch (Harmon)," Woods said after an even-par 72 left him at 6-under 282 and T-19. "When you get off, you've got to retrace your steps. You've got to go back and take it step by step."

The model of swing he is going back to? "Just working with what I was doing with Hank, for sure," Woods said.

For now, he insists he is going it alone. Jack Nicklaus doesn't think that's a bad idea.

"Is he better off by himself? I think so," Nicklaus, the Memorial Tournament founder and host, said. "I think he'll still need somebody every once in awhile to look at him. From the standpoint of controlling and managing your own game ... let's say he's going into Pebble Beach. He'll know how he has to hit the ball, and he won't have anyone telling him how he has to hit the ball. I think ultimately he'll be better."

Nicklaus said that although he would go back to his longtime teacher Jack Grout from time to time to work out serious flaws, he made adjustments largely on his own -- and grew from taking on that responsibility.

"I was always a better player when I was making my own decisions as far as what I had to do with my golf swing -- even if I was wrong," Nicklaus said. "Even it was wrong I'd learn how to play with it. And if I learned how to play with it, then I knew what I could do. Sometimes somebody asks you to do something, even though it may be dead correct, you have a hard time doing it and you don't have confidence doing it under pressure.

"I think you always want to pick a golf swing that maybe is not all that perfect but eliminates one side of the golf course, and then you play against that. That's what I did. I always had a swing that had a tendency to fade and then I played against that and eliminated left on the golf course. Was that a perfect swing? Probably not. It allowed me to be able to play. if I got in trouble I always had a way to play.

"That's what (Bobby) Jones said he was," Nicklaus added. "Jones had those seven lean years, and he said Stewart Maiden was on his case the whole time during those seven lean years to learn how to correct himself rather than running back to him. When he did that he became a really good player. That's what Jack Grout always did to me. He always believed in what Bobby Jones said. He always believed that the more I could learn myself, the more I could correct myself, the better off I'd be. Did he mind me coming back? No, he loved to see me a lot. But he didn't want me to come back all the time; he wanted me to work it out myself, and if I really had a severe problem, then I could come back and we could correct that pretty fast."

-- Dave Shedloski

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