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Butch Harmon says Tiger Woods is 'very robotic'

April 24, 2012|By Houston Mitchell
  • Butch Harmon with Tiger Woods in 2002. Harmon was Woods' coach from 1993 to 2004.
Butch Harmon with Tiger Woods in 2002. Harmon was Woods' coach from… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)

Butch Harmon, who coached Tiger Woods from 1993 to 2004, says the Tiger Woods he watched play at the Masters is much different than the golfer he coached.

"For me, and I think we saw this at the Masters, he looks like he's playing 'golf-swing' and not golf," Harmon told the Wall Street Journal. "In my opinion, he's very robotic. And you could see that at Augusta with all his practice swings and the double-cross shots when he's trying to fade it and he hooks it. I think everyone thought because he won at Bay Hill that he was back; well, he didn't hit it great at Bay Hill, he hit it OK. And Bay Hill's not a major."

But just because Harmon is speaking out about Woods' swing, don't expect him to delve into his personal life, like Hank Haney, another former Woods coach did in his book recently.

"I'm very surprised that he would write it," Harmon said. "I'd never do that to Tiger or Greg [Norman] or any of the guys I've been with. We get to spend a lot of time with these people, sometimes even more time than their own families. Things are said, or you see different things, and it's just — it is what it is, you just leave it where it belongs. I was really shocked to see him talk about Elin and Tiger's kids and stuff like that, I don't think that had any place in it."

And what can Woods do to turn around his game?

"If he ever asked me what I thought he needed to do, I'd tell him, look, go on the practice tee without anybody — without me, without Sean [Foley, his current coach], without Haney, without a camera, and start hitting golf shots. Hit some high draws, some low draws, high fades, low fades, move the ball up and down, move it around; don't worry about how you do it and go back to feeling it again. Quit playing golf-swing and just hit shots; just say to himself, I'm gonna hit a low fade, and I don't need anybody to tell me how to do it, I'm just gonna feel it. He's Tiger Woods, for God's sake. He doesn't know how to hit a shot?"

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