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sean foley tiger woods

PGA Tour owes Tiger Woods ‘everything’ says former coach

Sean Foley had some eye-opening thoughts about his four-year coaching stint with Tiger Woods…

 

Sean Foley believes the PGA Tour owes Tiger Woods “everything.”

The 15-time major champion’s former coach says Woods’ career has had a larger influence on current prize money than the tour’s own “business development aspects.”

Foley worked with Woods from 2010 to 2014 after successful stints with Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and Sean O’Hair.

Describing himself as one of Woods’ “biggest fans” to No Laying Up, Foley also admitted his “arrogance levels” as a coach might’ve been high by the time they joined forces.

“To be able to spend time with him like that and get to know him and just see the sheer difficulty of his life, that type of fame and that type of notoriety,” he said.

“You wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

“And I think the game of golf, especially the PGA Tour, they owe that guy everything because purses are not here today because of the business development aspects of the PGA Tour.

“It’s all due to a black kid in a red shirt from Orange County, California.”

Woods returned to World No.1 and won eight times under Foley’s tuition, but he also suffered back trouble and underwent a procedure to repair a bulging disc.

The pair parted ways in August 2014 and Foley described it afterwards as a “lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport.”

“I think we did a pretty good job together,” he added on the podcast. “I think what I would have done much more, that I understand now is I would’ve probably spent less time coaching him and more time just being his friend as I was.

“Like how arrogant was I to think ‘Did you actually teach Tiger Woods about golf?’”

sean foley tiger woods

What was it like to be Tiger Woods’ golf coach?

Woods had already won 71 times on the PGA Tour by the time Foley came along, having previously worked with Butch Harmon and Hank Haney too.

Foley first helped Woods during the 2010 PGA Championship, six months after the golf star made a televised statement concerning the widely reported issues in his private life.

“You’re dealing with someone who’s incredibly wounded, probably embarrassed, just in a way different place than he’s ever been in his life,” Foley said.

“I mean it was like going from a deity to a punchline almost overnight.”

The Canadian-born instructor now has a performance centre in Florida, hosts Playing Lessons with the Pros on Golf Channel and produces content for Revolution Golf.

But despite also coaching Lydia Ko, Cameron Champ and Danny Willett, nothing could’ve prepared Foley for being a staple in Woods’ life for four years.

“Being on the range and watching helicopters fly over and film us and stuff. Justin Rose, Sean O’Hair and Hunter Mahan are pretty well known, but we got to like a Prince/Michael Jackson level.

“I would imagine 99 out of 100 people in the world who have never touched a golf club or even been on a golf course still know who Tiger Woods is.

“I had to deal with a lot more, there were the fans of what we were doing and the people who hated it, so I ran into both of them at the airport.

“But look, I was the one who said ‘yes’ to doing it and so basically, because I chose to do it, I’m responsible for whatever occurred after that.”

NOW READ: Tiger Woods schedule: Where will the GOAT play next?

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The Sean Foley-Tiger Woods duo was a good one, but what is the best-ever player-coach pair? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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