The Hank Haney ‘Tiger Woods’ book, The Big Miss will be released in March. Haney will divulge details about their relationship and his observations about Tiger. As Tiger’s swing coach for about six years, he claims they spent time together 110 days a year and talked to each other as much as 200 times a year. He also says he stayed at Woods house for 30 days a year. With all that, he probably has enough material to write a real page-turner, even though he didn’t know anything about the scandal. But should he have written it?
My first reaction is ‘No, not unless he had Tiger’s blessing.” This comes from my general belief is that we should try not to do things that we know will hurt someone, unless there is a really good reason to do so. (Disclaimer: I’m quite sure I haven’t lived up to my own belief system on many occasions, but I do try.) Can you imagine how awful it would feel to have someone you once trusted reveal the best and worst parts of you to the whole world?
But let’s explore the question of whether or not the book should have been written a little further…
A little background… If you’re over 35, you can remember a time in professional golf when golf teachers (now called ‘swing coaches’) rarely if ever traveled to a PGA Tour event to give a lesson. We didn’t know much, if anything, about the teachers behind the players. Head to the driving range of a PGA Tour event today and you’ll find a bevy of swing coaches amidst the players and caddies. Clearly they’ve become a more integral a part of the game of today’s players. And as players get more famous, so do their swing coaches. They get credited and they get blamed by the media and by fans. They also get interviewed on TV, in newspapers, magazines, websites and more. You may have noticed that some of these swing coaches take plenty of the credit for themselves and say a little too much in the interviews. Regardless of their level of humility, they’re no doubt getting paid well for their services and any extra attention is probably good for business at home.
When you’re employed as a swing coach by Tiger Woods it probably not only launches your career and income to a new level, it probably wreaks havoc on your whole life. Hank Haney no doubt made sacrifices in his personal life to be Tiger’s swing coach. Does he deserve something more for his sacrifice? Does he deserve the right to tell his story? Maybe so.
Love him or hate him, it’s fairly likely that Tiger Woods will go down in history as one of the greatest athletes of all time. His performances have left us shaking our heads for lack of any words to describe what he has done. Does history deserve to understand more about him? Maybe so.
Regardless of the answers to the questions, the book is now available for pre-ordering and I bet a whole bunch of us will be anxious to read it or at least hear about it. Tiger and other celebrities may think more often about requiring those they hire to sign non-disclosure agreements. But it goes beyond that, we live in a world where privacy is disappearing. We all know it and some people fight it. Maybe the silver lining will be that all of us will try to bring our “A game” more often when it comes to behavior, no matter who we think is watching.