I read with great sadness news of Hank Haney's split with Tiger Woods. I mean, what other indignities must poor Tiger endure? Injuries, marital woes, wayward drives, an inflamed neck joint, addictive behavior, lost endorsement deals, paparazzi, missed cuts, camera clicks in his backswing and now this?
Well, I finally have some good news for Tiger: I'm available.
Only a fool would pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the subtleties of the golf swing from a master.
I have a keen eye for swing mechanics. For example, I've noticed that Tiger far too often misaligns his body when he uses his driver. He needs to do what I do and play for the big draw. Sure, it occasionally leads to a snap hook into some hazard on the left. Or to a bombastic push two fairways over to the right. But the 30 percent of the time when it turns out just right? A thing of beauty! (OK, it's more like 10 percent. Don't be a wise-ass.)
Few are more imaginative than me, too. During my most recent round - last week at the wonderfully redesigned Flossmoor Country Club, one of my favorite courses in Chicagoland - I wowed playing partners Steve Stone, Teddy Greenstein and Phil Arvia by announcing that I would do what many considered impossible: an intentional power fade on a severe dogleg right.
So what if I still scored a double-bogey? It's all about style points, baby!
(And so what if I finished with a 109? It's not as if Stone doesn't see dozens of ineffective swings every time he calls a White Sox game.)
My irons have been a tad off recently. (By recently, I mean the last couple of decades. And by a tad, I mean ... fore!!!) But hey, it's nothing some new equipment can't cure. Fortunately for Tiger, he has access to all the Nike equipment he needs, so he can experiment with new gear daily to fix his swing. Why, he has so much stuff lying around the house that Elin was able to experiment with a 9-iron on the back of the Family Truckster.
Wedges ... OK, I'll acknowledge that Tiger might want to consult with Dave Pelz or some other short-game guru. My chipping yips have become so yippy that I just stole the pitching wedge from my left-handed son and put it in my bag. Maybe if I start from scratch left-handed, I actually will have a chance to learn and apply good chipping mechanics. If that works for me, I'll share my findings with Pelz so he can teach Tiger. Prediction: Team Eldrick will work together at least as well as John Paxson and Vinny Del Negro did.
Tiger often whines that his putter costs him tournaments. Well, putting is one of my strengths, so problem solved there. As regular playing partners Teddy and Phil will attest, I occasionally choke from 3 feet when a buck is on the line ... but that doesn't necessarily mean I'd be unable to teach Tiger how to nail 8 footers with the PGA Championship at stake. After all, Tim Floyd couldn't play big-time hoops, but he did a helluva job rebuilding the Bulls Empire, no?
Oh, and here's the best part: I'll work for 75 percent - no, make that half - of Hank Haney's fee. Nobody can say I'm insensitive about what the economy (and a pissed-off wife) has done to Tiger's finances.
(Side Note: Greenstein will be writing about his round with Stone in this Sunday's Tribune. They were having some pretty deep conversations - sometimes during my backswing, the only logical explanation for my 109 - so it'll be a good read. I'll provide a link here in TBT when the time comes. Or better yet, plunk down a couple of bucks and buy the paper if you live in town. You're welcome, Teddy.)