Woods’ former coach Haney: No quick fix for Tiger’s chip yips

Tiger Woods does not look himself.

Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sport

Count golf instructor Hank Haney among the legions who think Tiger Woods is suffering from the chip yips, and he says there’s no quick fix.

“When you have the yips, you have issues,” Haney said. “This isn’t going away. This isn’t just a turn of the switch.”

Haney, who coached Woods for six years until shortly after the 2010 Masters and wrote a tell-all book, “The Big Miss,” about his tenure, made his comments on the Hank Haney Golf Radio show Saturday morning on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio.

Haney cited Woods’s decision to play a bump-and-run shot with a 4-iron on the first hole of the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open as particularly telling. “That told me he’s got a serious issue and he knows it,” Haney said. “This isn’t just going to go away.”

Haney noted that Woods has slipped from fourth on the PGA Tour in scrambling in 2012 to 44th in 2013 and 160th in an injury-hampered and abbreviated 2014 campaign.

“It starts with technique and morphs into something else,” he said. “It just doesn’t go away.”

Haney, who suffered from the driver yips for more than eight years, said Woods also played to avoid lofting chips, relying on the bump and run and using a putter on several occasions. In all, Haney counted seven times when a pitch or bunker shot failed to reach the green.

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“It’s not just chipping and pitching,” he said. “He’s blading it out of bunkers.”

Haney also had sharp criticism for other parts of Woods’ game, too:

• “There’s so many holes to patch up right now that you don’t have enough fingers for the dyke.” 

• “He talked about how happy he was with his driving before the tournament. I heard that and I’m like, ‘How can he say that?’ That club is iffy at best.”

• “To me, he’s obsessed with driver distance.”

• “Is he working on the right things to climb the mountain?”

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• “When you start playing musical teachers, you know the end is pretty darn close.”

Haney also reiterated that he hasn’t spoken to Woods since they parted after the 2010 Masters.

When caller Kevin from Savannah predicted Woods would bounce back at Torrey Pines, always one of his favorite playgrounds, next week, Haney laughed and said, “Let’s get serious." Later he added, “That would be a magic show if that happens.” 

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