Published January 23, 2012
| Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA – It's amazing the things we choose to care about.
Hank Haney, the famed former swing coach for Tiger Woods, is writing a book titled "The Big Miss." It's about Haney's years coaching Woods and Haney's said numerous times that this will not be some tell-all scandal rag.
But Woods isn't satisfied.
"I think it's unprofessional and very disappointing," Woods told ESPN.com in a telephone interview, "especially because it's someone I worked with and trusted as a friend. There have been other one-sided books about me, and I think people understand that this book is about money. I'm not going to waste my time reading it."
Those are some harsh words from Tiger, but they aren't appropriate.
There is a murky area about whether it's bad form to write a book about people you worked with, or for. Some pros probably won't use Haney after this, but to my knowledge, he isn't really coaching much these days.
Clearly, Woods has never liked when employees talk out of school about him, but Haney is no longer an employee, so, per the First Amendment, a book seems like fair game.
"I was a witness to greatness," Haney said "to the AP last Thursday. "And I get asked the question all the time about Tiger. I wanted to talk about it and I wanted to share it with people. That's the bottom line."
Haney has been clear that there won't be any stories of tawdriness. Haney said when Woods' 2009 car accident revealed about 10 inappropriate transgressions, he had no knowledge of the behavior.
What is Woods so afraid of then? Haney isn't a terribly controversial guy. After following him on twitter for a year, the most controversial stance I've witnessed is he advocates Five Guys burgers over others.
What if this book just lauds Woods' work ethic and ability? Tiger hasn't even read the thing yet and he's condemning, which, by the way, will boost sales more than any Haney appearance on "The Daily Show."
"I'm not sure I understand the unprofessionalism part," Haney told the AP. "He hasn't read the book. There's a lot of positives in there. I think he's the greatest golfer who ever lived.
"I was just in a position to observe greatness and anyone who observes greatness likes to share it. I feel like I wrote a book that was fair and honest. It's golf history."
Woods has no interest in people around him writing or saying anything about him. That's a tad naive, although, when I interviewed Jimmy Roberts a few years back about a book he was doing, he said that he approached Woods, who turned Roberts down because he had his own book deal going he had yet to complete.
So maybe Woods doesn't want anyone spilling beans before he does.
The fact is this: Woods has no standing to complain about someone writing an accurate depiction of him. If he felt that strongly, maybe he should've had a confidentiality arrangement in his deal with Haney that prevented this in the event their relationship ended.
Haney will come off poorly if he tells tales of witnessing a woman sneak in Tiger's mansion through a side door. However, if Woods didn't want people writing books about his behavior, he should've considered not behaving that way.
Woods has much more important things to worry about, like his golf game. He starts his year in Abu Dhabi this week, then Pebble a little later where the possibility exists his amateur partner, Tony Romo, might shoot lower than him.
Instead, he sounds like a bitter guy with something to hide.
Yes, Haney is trying to make money. He doesn't make royalties on those Five Guys tweets. That's the American way. Hank should thank Tiger for the stories, the years of service, the talk show, the notoriety and now 50,000 more copies of "The Big Miss."
- If you're a tournament official and your event is struggling, bring in a former President of the United States. President Clinton helped make the Humana Challenge, formerly the Bob Hope, somewhat relevant again. Any Democrat President who can get male, professional golfers to play in an event he's running is a masters salesman. PGA Tour golfers would rather vote for a water buffalo than a Democrat.
- Mark Wilson is underrated, yes. Five tour wins is a decent number in the Tiger Woods era, but winning after the Masters would help. All five of his wins came early on in seasons.
- Imagine playing two of your idols in a playoff, then beating them. That's what happened to Branden Grace when he knocked off Ernie Els and Retief Goosen at the Volvo Golf Champions event. It was his second win in a row and with two wins in three events, I'd vote for him right now for European Tour Player of the Year.
- Movie moment - "50 First Dates" is where Drew Barrymore has some rare form of amnesia where she re-lives the same day over and over. She marries Adam Sandler and they have a baby while he does science on a boat near Alaska. What doctor lets her have a baby? She doesn't know she's pregnant every morning, so what if she wakes up and feels like having a Bloody Mary? She doesn't know. Bad fake medical work.