Why Butch Harmon is safe pair of hands
The greatest players of all time owned their games. They either had no coach or they had someone they trusted to work with in the off-season. Ben Hogan, through talent and work ethic, provides a great example of how to work towards golfing perfection. There was no teacher, just hard work. Tiger so famously talked about owning his swing and yet I would suggest there is no one out there more coach dependent.
Butch Harmon has success because he is smart enough to admit that he does not have the answers. He has pedigree in the game, he understands how to act around players and how their minds work. Butch was interviewed the other night about Phil Mickelson. He mentioned that early in his time with Phil he really wanted him to shorten his back swing. Phil refused so he dropped it and worked on other stuff. Smart move I would say and a great example of a golfer who is strong enough to know instinctively what he needs to keep. Mickelson’s swing has always been one motion and a conscious stopping of his backswing would have broken it into two parts. Butch does not try to fit his players into a swing model, all of his guys make very different motions. He is a safe haven and a very smart choice for tour players in a mine field of career wrecking coaches.
Having said that there is nothing whatsoever which is innovative about the Harmon approach. There is very little average players can gain from reading his books or buying his DVDs. He is a great coach, a motivator and I am sure a great guy who is fun to be around.
Most guys who reach the top of the game own it when they arrive. They have put the hours in. Many don’t know it so a guy like Harmon helps them to realize they’re already great. Jimmy Walker is a great example. So many of these young players fall into the trap of swing models and never find their way back.