Gary Player: Give me one hour with Tiger Woods and ‘he could win majors’
Ever since Tiger Woods parted ways with swing coach Sean Foley in August, there has been much speculation about who would become the latest expert to try to “fix” the golfer’s swing.
Woods has said there is no timetable for finding a new coach and there is a possibility — albeit unlikely — that he may never seek out another swing coach.
But if there comes a time when Tiger begins the process of hiring one, there’s one guy out there who may be chomping at the bit for the chance to work with the 14-time major winner.
This individual’s offer comes with one catch, though. He works on an hourly basis … a one-hour basis.
That man is Gary Player, the 78-year-old firecracker — and nine-time major winner himself — who insists that he has the knowledge and experience to get Tiger back on track. Not only back on track, but actually winning majors.
And according to the golf great, all it would take is one measly hour.
Player laid out his belief that it wouldn’t take long to turn Tiger around during an interview with Graham Bensinger.
“Would I love to sit down with him for one hour and give him a piece of my knowledge,” Player said. “I can’t tell you what I’d say. But then I think he could win majors … I’d talk to him quite a bit about the swing. He’s got flaws. There’s a reason. I reckon I could get those things across from him that could make a massive change because I’ve got the experience that it would take him at least another 40-50 years to get. I’ve got this in the bank! But you can’t go around volunteering to help everybody.”
Fair enough. Woods would have to want it.
When asked what he thinks of Tiger, Player lavished praise upon Woods while arguing that Tiger was so good at one point, there was no need for him to ever consult with another swing coach.
“Tiger is the most talented golfer that ever lived, without a question. Whether he’ll reach Jack Nicklaus’s majors is debatable, no one knows. Time will tell. I’m going to give you a very interesting scenario. If Tiger Woods once he had won the U.S. Open by 15 shots, if Tiger Woods never had a lesson from another pro in his life. And I’m not condemning those pros, some of them are pretty intelligent, Hank Haney and his other teachers, they’re pretty good. But Tiger was so good and so much better than anybody plays today. He could never hit the ball like Ben Hogan. Not even close. But that’s not what counts. It’s scoring, winning. Tiger Woods if he had never had another lesson, if he left what he had, he would have won 20, 22, 24 majors. But he’s also been unlucky. Three knee operations, a back operation, and a few other problems. So, will he come back as champion? I really hope so because the game needs Tiger Woods. It helps me. It helps golf manufactures. It helps young people in countries that aren’t all white. We need a black man to be a champion. Will he accomplish and become the best golfer ever? Only the Lord knows.”
A partnership between Player and Woods hypothetically could work. Player is a staunch proponent of physical fitness and ardent believer — unlike some of his contemporaries from golf’s bygone era — that being in good athletic shape is paramount. The guy appeared in the 2013 issue of ESPN The Magazine’s “The Body Issue” at 77, for crying out loud.
Given Tiger’s dedication to exercise and being fit, Player is of a like mind, although Player may tell Tiger to back off on working so much with the weights.
And, as noted above, Player is a fiery fellow, and given his esteemed stature in golf, would be able to tell it like it is to Woods. Further, Tiger is an astute student of golf’s rich tradition and has great respect for the sport’s history, meaning it’s likely that Woods would heed any advice or guidance a great golfing figure like Player had to offer.
The best part? It would only take an hour. That seems like a pretty small time commitment. Take a chance, Tiger. It couldn’t hurt.
[Golf.com, image credit: Getty)