While everyone else reads Hank Haney’s latest book, The Big Miss, which dishes the dirt on Tiger, I decided to forgo all that gossip (at least for now) and check out Haney’s bestseller instructional book, "The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need."
The title alone is a great hook, although I have my doubts—it would have to be one heck of a lesson to be the only lesson I’ll ever need. But Haney, the star of Golf Channel’s hit series "The Haney Project," is one of the most respected and sought-after golf instructors in the world, and I was happily surprised to see that one of his latest “projects” on the show, and in fact the show's first woman, was Angie Everhart, a supermodel and golf enthusiast.
Everhart came with a classic swing, obviously developed from a young age when her father taught her the game. But like all of us, her game needed work. She complained about being inconsistent, and noted that her short game and mental side were dismal. Haney began her lessons (and yes, there were more than one) just as he begins his book. He explains that intelligent observation of your ball-flight tendencies—the way your shot behaves in the air—provides answers that help you develop a consistent, repeating swing that will lower your scores.
Haney believes a flawed swing that still produces a good shot is in fact a good swing. By focusing on the outcome of your swing, rather than on the swing itself, you can often avoid making the awkward and unnatural grip changes and alignment changes that many golf instructors ask of their students today. It’s a sort of “work with what you’ve got” approach to golf … and that can be comforting. Once you understand your swing, you can be your own coach.
Having observed hundreds of thousands of students, from top PGA Tour pros to high-handicappers, Haney seems to have easy solutions for any problem you’re having with your swing. This might be one lesson you can’t pass up. Meanwhile, I’m routing for Angie and hope she’ll win the most improved contest on the show. Go Angie!