In this episode, Charlie caught up with good friend Hank Haney while the renowned swing guru was in town earlier this month for the 38th Annual PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship. They talk about the World Am itself, Hank’s career as a teacher, and what golf needs to do to be fun again. Enjoy the episode!
Charlie Rymer (00:11):
Hi and welcome in to the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air Podcast. We appreciate you joining us again this week and Balls in the Air, yeah, if you’re playing golf with me and we’ve got a 9:00 tee time, that’s what time we’re hitting it. The ball is in the air at 9:00 AM. If you get there at 9:01 you’re going to miss me because I’ll be gone. We’ve got a very special show today, joined by a great friend for a long time. Amazing teacher, amazing broadcaster, Mr. Hank Haney. Hey bud. I appreciate you coming on the show today.
Hank Haney (00:41):
It’s my pleasure. I love being with you, bud. I haven’t seen you in a while. I know you’re doing great here in Myrtle Beach and I’m happy to be with you.
Charlie Rymer (00:49):
Well, it’s a lot of fun. I had a chance to pick you up at the airport. You know, you’re out there signing autographs and all that. And I had to fight the people off. “I got to get Mr. Haney out. We got a very busy schedule.” But you’re like Arnold Palmer, you signed all of them and we got you over here to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which this week it’s a very special week because for the 38th time, we are hosting here in Myrtle Beach, the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship. We’ve got like 3,700 golfers here and they couldn’t wait to see you on the showroom floor last night, which we call the “World’s Largest 19th Hole.” And I know you’ve been to the event before, but this year it seems really special because of the pandemic. We played last year. We didn’t have the “World’s Largest 19th Hole,’ but the vibe around here, all these golfers, they love getting out and playing and they loved seeing you last night.
Hank Haney (01:44):
I had a great time. I mean, this is one of my favorite events. You know, we were talking last night, The Masters is the greatest tournament, but the greatest amateur tournament is this tournament here at Myrtle Beach. I mean the World Amateur, the enthusiasm, the love for the game, the camaraderie, a lot of buddies are here together or husband and wife or whatever. And they’re all just having a great time. Myrtle Beach is a special place and this is a really cool event. I mean, I saw so many people last night and I’d say, “How many years have you been here?” You know, “I’ve been here 10 years, six years, four years.” And other people say, “This is my first time. It’s absolutely great.” But all you heard was positive things. People love the event. They love the golf courses and they love Myrtle Beach. And I love coming here.
Charlie Rymer (02:33):
We’ve got six or seven participants that have actually been here for every single one of them.
Hank Haney (02:37):
Oh, my God.
Charlie Rymer (02:38):
And I always try to say hello and talk to some of those guys. The fun thing to me about talking to the folks that have been here for every one or 25 of them or 30 of them, they always talk about the friendships that they’ve made over the years that are more about life than just this week. I think it’s great about this event, but big picture, that’s one of the coolest things about golf, the people that you meet along the way.
Hank Haney (03:07):
Yeah, no doubt about it. It’s such a social game and it’s something that you can… It’s a true lifetime sport. There’s not many of them. And it’s incredibly challenging. So everybody has that in common. Nobody finds golf easy and they just, they love the game. I was talking to guy last night. He says, “Golf is such a great game.” You know what I mean? And then we all feel the same way that are involved in it. So it’s many reasons that make us think that, but it’s universal. Everybody just loves the game of golf.
Charlie Rymer (03:41):
Let’s go back to when you were in college. You went to Tulsa. You play played college golf there, and obviously you’ve loved the game from the very beginning. The people that you’ve been able to meet, the relationships that you’ve made, and away from the success with the coaching and all that. I’m putting that aside. It’s hard to do, but I’m going to put it aside, but just the doors that golf has opened for you and the relationships that it’s created. Is there anything that you possibly could have gotten into that would have opened the kind of doors that golf does?
Hank Haney (04:14):
Well, I don’t see how it could have. I mean, I’ve been so lucky. I mean, so blessed. It’s just like, I look back at my career and I just think, “This is amazing what happened to me.” Like you mentioned the University of Tulsa and they made me a distinguished alumni at the University of Tulsa and I’m like, “Oh my God, I was just trying to like pass the class, you know?”
Hank Haney (04:37):
It’s just, it’s such a great game. And like you said, the people you meet, I had lunch the other day with one of my college roommates and he’s gone on to be really, really successful in the oil business. But everybody takes a different path. I just, I always loved golf. You know? I mean, it was just all… My roommates in college always remind me, “You used to stand in front of that mirror all the time trying to figure out your swing. We never knew what you were doing.” It was always a quest to try to figure it out. And I love helping people. I love coaching and I feel like I’ve been so lucky in this game.
Charlie Rymer (05:18):
Yeah. I feel the same way. And I think that’s one of the reasons I know you’re passionate about it. I’m certainly passionate about it. Getting young people involved in the game. I mean, not even with the idea, “Hey, you’re going to play college golf or you’re going to be competitive, or you’re going to be a club champion,” but just get into golf, whatever level you play at it, it’s going to pay off big time. You’re going to get much more out of it than you ever put into it.
Hank Haney (05:44):
Yeah, for sure. And like you said, it opens so many doors. It’s universal in business because people just love to play golf. And what else are you going to do to spend, five, six hours with a client or a coworker and you build a relationship and you learn a lot about people. Obviously, you know that, on the golf course, and that’s one of the many things that’s just great about the game.
Charlie Rymer (06:13):
And for golfers that are out there, and the older I get, the more important this becomes to me is there so many different ways you can plug in to this game. If you like the rules of golf, you can go take a seminar and you can become an expert in the rules of golf and you can volunteer for local and state tournaments. You move your way up in your golf association or the USGA. If you like volunteering and helping young people, you can go get a little bit of training and plug in with The First Tee or plugin somewhere.
Charlie Rymer (06:43):
I think a lot of times up until, I’m 53 now, until I got maybe a little north of 40, I always thought golf was about putting a score on the board. It’s about the competition. It’s about seeing how good I can get, but it’s not that way for everybody. And I know from talking to instructors, a lot of times they’ve got somebody coming to get a lesson from them and it’s not really they’re trying to get better at golf. They just want somebody to talk to for an hour. And that’s fine.
Hank Haney (07:11):
That’s a good point. Yeah. That’s one of the things I always admired about your career because you’ve taken a lot of different directions and I know being involved with the PGA, that’s a big thing for you. And you’ve gotten into that and you’re doing a great job with that. I mean it’s an amazing deal because you can go in so many different directions, like you said. I mean, all the different avenues that are available because of golf. I’m in coaching, but one of the reasons that I was lucky enough to have some great jobs and build some facilities was because I did more than one thing. I didn’t just coach. I could run facilities and I had ideas about how to run things. I know that’s something you’re into, too, and you got some phenomenal ideas, by the way.
Charlie Rymer (07:58):
Well, I’m like you. I like doing things a little bit different than the way everybody else has done things. And you got to be able to make some mistakes to learn and adjust. But if you’re doing things a little bit differently, pretty soon you’re going to hit something. “Wow. That really makes a lot of sense. So let’s try that.” And design, the way it works with the demands that people are wanting, condition of the golf course and all that. I did a survey last week, an informal survey on Twitter. And even when I was doing a morning show for all those years, I might put up a question on Twitter and even having the show, we might get 50 responses, a hundred responses. So I put this question out. “If you’re going to the golf course, it’s new to you, you’ve never seen it before, what are the three most important things that you look for in that golf experience?”
Hank Haney (08:54):
Charlie Rymer (08:55):
And I had over 1,500 people. I still have people comment. I’m like, “Wow, man, you sort of hit a hot button.” What do you think the top three were?
Hank Haney (09:02):
Oh my gosh. For me, it’s the overall experience. I don’t know if that’s specific enough for your question, but people ask me Hank, “What’s your favorite golf course?” And, of course, I love Pebble Beach and I love St. Andrew’s and Royal County Down in Ireland and Pinehurst and Oakmont, but I’m really more into the golf experience.
Charlie Rymer (09:29):
Yeah, and the older I get, the more I appreciate that too. I’m going to be really smart by the time I’m as old as you are. I think you’re about 12 years older than me.
Hank Haney (09:37):
Yeah, you’re right.
Charlie Rymer (09:38):
But it’s funny, what you look for in a golf course, it really does change as you mature, lose a little speed. If I’d asked you when you’re 22 what the most important thing is, I don’t think you’d have said overall experience.
Hank Haney (09:51):
Yeah. That’s a good point. Yeah. And then probably the second thing for me is just, I want to play at a golf course that’s in decent condition. It doesn’t have to be like immaculate perfect. I don’t mind having a little experience that, “Okay, this could be a little better. That could be a little better.” I mean, it’s the way golf is. It’s the way nature is. I enjoy playing over in Scotland. Those courses aren’t in great shape compared to what we have here in the United States, but just the golf experience and how… That’s one of the things that I love about Myrtle Beach, to be honest with you, because the people are really, really nice. The golf courses are great. The condition is very, very good, but the people are really, really nice and the experience is really good.
Charlie Rymer (10:36):
Well, the consensus in my survey, and again, it wasn’t anything scientific, but when I eyeballed everything and I enjoyed hearing from people and reading their responses, but pretty typically in order, I’d say somewhere between 80 and 90 percent, the number one thing people were looking for, condition of the golf course. In particular, the greens. Number two was pace of play. And number three was the friendliness of the staff. And I thought that really makes sense. So if I’m a golf course owner or operator, if I get my greens pretty darn good and my folks are nice and I have a round that’s maybe four and a half hours or less, a lot of people think, “Oh, I go play golf in three hours and 15 minutes.” You’re running if you’re playing in 3:15. I think when you have any kind of play at all, it may or may not be doable, but certainly no more than four and a half. I think those are the three things that people are looking for the most in a golf experience.
Hank Haney (11:35):
Yeah. So the pace of play is part of that experience for sure. The staff is a big part of it. I have been lucky enough to be a member at some Discovery Land properties, and they’re incredible properties. I mean, they’ve got them all over, but Palm Springs, the Madison Club, and then Cabo San Lucas Eldorado and up at Gozzer Ranch Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and they specialize in experience. I mean, that’s their deal. So the pace of play is good. The courses aren’t overly crowded, obviously, because it’s an expensive place to play, but they have these comfort stations.
Charlie Rymer (12:15):
Now, we’re talking.
Hank Haney (12:17):
Yeah, you like it, okay. Set up all around the golf course. And you go in there and there’s like, usually there’s at least one on each side, but sometimes more than that, and you go in there and they’ve got little snacks and candy and hot dogs and ice cream.
Hank Haney (12:32):
There’ll be a different kind of theme at each one, and it’s all just help yourself. Now, everybody thinks “Man, this place…”, and these people are buying like $3 million homes. Right? And they’re going, and they’re making a big deal out of the fact that they got some free potato chips. I mean, seriously. And, first, it’s not free because the dues are-
Charlie Rymer (12:55):
Hank Haney (12:56):
Yeah. The dues are up there, so you’re paying for it. But they feel like, “What a cool experience. You just go in there and you help yourself to a candy bar.” Well, I mean, yeah, you paid for it, but you paid for it in a different way. But the golf experience is great. It’s the best golf experience, so when people ask me, “What’s your favorite course to play?” I say, “Any Discovery Land property.”
Charlie Rymer (13:20):
Not many rules, I hear, at their properties.
Hank Haney (13:22):
No, no rules. There’s no rules and yet people don’t break whatever rules you would have had.
Charlie Rymer (13:34):
Can you play with your shirt off? That’s really important to me.
Hank Haney (13:38):
They prefer you wear it on the first hole.
Charlie Rymer (13:41):
Near the clubhouse, you have to wear your shirt, but when you get away, you can go ahead and take it off.
Hank Haney (13:45):
And they don’t have the… I noticed your shirt’s untucked, okay?
Charlie Rymer (13:50):
Not really an option to tuck it in.
Hank Haney (13:53):
Okay. Well, that brings up the rest of my story. So I’m playing in Phoenix at this club and I walk out there. First time I played. I’m a member there. I walked out there and I saw the guy, said, “Hey, Mr. Haney. We haven’t seen you before.” I said, “Yeah, the first time I’ve been here. It’s been like six months. I go there and swim in the morning, but I never golf.” So I went out there and he said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “I’d like to play. Can I play?” He says, “Oh, we got a ladies’ tournament today.” I said, “That’s okay. Can I hit some balls?”
Hank Haney (14:24):
He said, “Yeah.” I said, “What do I do? I’ve never been here before.” He said, “You just go up to the range and hit balls.” So I’m up there hitting, and like five minutes later, the guy comes up and he said, “Mr. Haney, you need to tuck your shirt in.” I said, “Really? I mean, that’s a rule?” It’s 115 degrees. It feels a little nice with your shirt untucked. You get a little air, you know?
Charlie Rymer (14:46):
Yeah, it does.
Hank Haney (14:46):
And he said, “No, that’s a rule.” “All right. Well, you know, I didn’t have my shirt untucked when I walked up. Nobody said anything. And I asked you what I was supposed to do, but, okay.” So I tucked my shirt in, and I look over at the guy next to me and his shirt’s untucked. And I looked and I say, “Bud, I don’t want to be an ass, but what about that guy right there?” And he leans in real close and he goes, “He can’t get it tucked in.” And I just started laughing. I said, “You got to be kidding me.” I said, “That’s your rule? You got to tuck it in unless you can’t tuck it in.” Anyway, some of these rules in golf and at golf courses are so ridiculous.
Charlie Rymer (15:27):
Hank Haney (15:27):
I mean, it’s just how they think that promotes the game, promotes business. It’s just beyond me, Charlie.
Charlie Rymer (15:35):
Well, it’s a bunch of old farts is what it comes down to. And I’m not going to name the club but I’ve been very fortunate to be a member at a top club for a long time. I love the place. I’ve got it in my will for my ashes to be sprinkled there. And a few years ago, I like listening to music when I play. I don’t turn it up loud. If it bothers somebody I’ll ask. I make sure that people that bothers them, I don’t do it, but the club sent sort of a nasty letter out. And it’s like, “No music will be listened to on the golf course.”
Charlie Rymer (16:04):
So I know all the guys on the board and they are, they’re a bunch of old farts. And I wrote this letter and I said, “Appreciate the letter about the music. I certainly won’t be listening to any, but I want you to know one thing. Once all that you guys are dead and buried, which by your age is not going to be long, you know what us young folks are going to be doing? Listening to music on the golf course.”
Hank Haney (16:25):
But you do it in a respectful way and, I mean, what’s wrong with it? And you enjoy it. You enjoy it. Clubs in general and golf in general, they need to move. And it’s moved. It’s moved some, no doubt about it, but they need to move out of the dark ages.
Charlie Rymer (16:42):
I’m very, I’m not getting into politics, I’m going to use the term libertarian with my golf. It’s like, you enjoy your golf the way you want to enjoy it. I’ll enjoy my golf the way I want to enjoy it. As long as we’re not interfering with each other, in terms of one group behind another group on the golf course, who cares?
Hank Haney (17:02):
Charlie Rymer (17:03):
I always get mad about the, you got some junior golfer, that’s going to be pretty good. And then you’ve got the old grumpy guys at the club. “Well, that’s not the way you do it.” You know, making them feel uncomfortable or shaming people or whatever. I mean, everybody needs to stay in bounds.
Hank Haney (17:18):
Charlie Rymer (17:19):
But if I want to go out and play a scramble on a Saturday morning because two of my golfers are 20 plus handicappers, it’s a hard golf course, and they’re not going to enjoy it. And we say, “Hey, we’ll play two two-man scrambles, and that’s going to get us around here in a reasonable amount of time. We’re not going to hold anybody up.” And then somebody sort of looks down their long nose with a hair hanging out of and say, “That’s not golf. You won’t do that out there.” Well, that guy can just go on. You know? You go over there and be miserable. You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to go out and play golf and have some fun.
Hank Haney (17:50):
Anything you do, just have fun playing the game. That’s what I tell people. That’s the same thing like with coaching. I was having a discussion last night with somebody who said, one coach, and he goes, “People need to work on their short game.” And they do, they need to work on their short game and their putting. If you really want to score better, obviously that’s where you could really find the strokes probably the quickest, but I always just want people to have fun. So whatever you do to have fun. As long as you’re playing golf and having fun, that’s the most important thing.
Charlie Rymer (18:18):
Yep. I’m with you on that. We do a lot of that here at Myrtle Beach. And certainly this week in the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship, we even have one flight, and I love it, where there’s no competition. It’s the “Just for Fun” flight.
Hank Haney (18:32):
Charlie Rymer (18:32):
Yeah, and who’s having the most fun here this week, the ones competing? I know a lot of people like competition, but the ones in the “Just for Fun” flight, if I played in the event, that’s where I’d be playing.
Hank Haney (18:42):
You’d play just for fun?
Charlie Rymer (18:43):
Just for fun.
Hank Haney (18:44):
Is it popular? Is that a popular flight?
Charlie Rymer (18:46):
It’s (one of) the first year(s) and it’s absolutely packed. I think it’s going to grow a lot. That’s one of the things, we have a lot of couples that come down and maybe the husband or the wife, they want to be competitive. And the other spouse is just, “Hey, I want to participate and get out and come to the 19th Hole, but I don’t really care about competing.” And going back to golf having something for everybody, person just likes being outside in a pretty spot and meeting some folks, I love that about our game.
Hank Haney (19:15):
Yeah. And, tell you what, it’s one of the things that you do great here at Myrtle beach. I mean, because that’s a really cool idea. Yeah.
Charlie Rymer (19:24):
Well, the other thing about as we have more and more people playing golf, I call it the pandemic golf dividend, and I know everyone’s had a different experience with the pandemic. It hospitalized me, and at one point I didn’t think I was going to get out of the hospital, so my experience with it has been different than a lot of folks, maybe. And obviously it’s changed society in a lot of ways. And because it’s gone on so long, I think we’re not going to ever get back in a lot of aspects of what we do, living, working, playing exactly where we were before.
Charlie Rymer (19:59):
Some of that’s bad, some of it’s good. The good has to do with golf. I call it the pandemic golf dividend. We’ve got so many people playing so much golf right now. Manufacturers can’t make enough equipment. Clubs have long waiting lists. I hate that it came about that way, but I’m happy that we do and I’d like to get your take. It feels like a lot of these new folks coming to play golf, or maybe lapsed golfers have come back to the game, it feels like it’s going to stick to me.
Hank Haney (20:27):
Yeah. I think you’re right. For sure. Well, it’s both, it’s new people getting in the game, but a lot of it is people coming back and it’s also people that were counted as golfers, but only played a couple of times a year. Now they’re playing 10, 15, 20 times a year. Golf is going to be around forever. Golf has its problems. You mentioned a big problem as a slow play because it takes a lot of time. It’s expensive. But I always thought that expensive part was a little overblown because you can find options that are less expensive. I mean, whether it’s for a golf trip, like coming to Myrtle Beach is a way to have a great experience and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. But you know, playing twilight golf or playing specials, like I live in Phoenix and in the summer, they have great specials and everything, and it’s hot, but you play early in the morning. It’s got some issues, but by the same token, golf is just, like you said, it’s just booming.
Hank Haney (21:33):
And people love the challenge. They’re addicted to the game. You see athletes in all different sports that just love the game. And I think it’s been great. Like you said, it’s too bad that this is what the pandemic caused the golf boom. But I think when you capture all these people, golf will keep ‘ya. Like we’ve always thought, you just got to get people started. Get people used to playing because they’re going to stay. It’s just an addicting game. It’s fun. You love it.
Charlie Rymer (22:12):
It just gives you enough to where you’re like, “I’ve got to come back.” Right when you’re like, “I’m quitting. I’m never playing again.” And then you hit like one shot and you’re like, “Oh, you got me. Yeah, you absolutely got me,” but I appreciate you mentioning Myrtle Beach and the fact that it doesn’t break the bank to come here and play golf. What I love about my association with Myrtle Beach is obviously I love the game and I like that aspect of it. If you’re putting together a trip, especially if you got a group of 8, 12, 16, or even more, what we can provide, because you can always find a couple of rich guys in a group of 16. But if you got 16, there’s four down at the bottom that can barely afford.
Charlie Rymer (22:53):
And you want everybody to be comfortable when you go to some of the price of your destinations, but what’s really cool at PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com, you can book an itinerary that’s inclusive of wherever you’re staying. And when you look, let’s say you look at a four-day trip and our top-end courses, I’ll take them toe to toe with anything anywhere. But if you play four high-end golf courses, the price starts going up, so if you sort of blend it a little bit and say, “Hey, we’re going to hit one really nice one in this area. And we’re going to find a more moderately priced one and then-”
Hank Haney (23:29):
They’re all good.
Charlie Rymer (23:30):
Yeah, they’re all good, but you can have a nice itinerary that doesn’t break the bank. And I love that we’re able to do that here and I’ll tell folks if you’re interested in coming, you better get on there and do it fast because we’ve got days away out, like in April, where there’s not any tee times left.
Hank Haney (23:46):
Charlie Rymer (23:47):
And there’s no bookings at night. So please come to Myrtle Beach and play golf. But if you want to come, you better get after it pretty quickly. And we’ve seen, you and I’ve been around, you’re much longer than me because you’re a lot older than me, but it hasn’t always been that way in golf. So if you’ve been through the tough times, you can appreciate what we’re doing now.
Hank Haney (24:05):
Right. Yeah, no doubt about it. And golf was down a little bit for sure. But we had so many golf courses built and there was a lot of different reasons, but boy, it’s not down now.
Charlie Rymer (24:19):
It is absolutely going. I want to finish up with you. I love talking to you about the game or, hell, I like talking to you about anything, but you’re one of the top instructors in the history of the game. I want to talk to you a little bit about some golf stuff. And I just want to throw this out there and I’ve never asked you about it. Best golf swing or maybe not best golf swing, favorite golf swing?
Charlie Rymer (24:48):
For me it’s Louis Oosthuizen. I just love that golf swing. When I look at it, because the way I learn is I look at somebody that I like. I like a lot of Freddie Couples for me. And just Louis Oosthuizen, I just love his golf swing. When I look at that, I’m like, “Man, if I could swing like that, I would be pumped.” And everything he hits is just thumped and there’s no bad players on the PGA TOUR, but he’s my guy. And when I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to do some coverage, I’ll stop and just sit there and watch, and I’m not doing it so I can learn anything to tell the viewers about it. I’m doing it so I can learn something and I can play better golf next time I play. But for you, who swings the club in a way that you admire the most?
Hank Haney (25:28):
Well, you look at swings that you kind of like, because they match your vision of the swing. Okay? So when you mentioned Louis Oosthuizen, it immediately came to mind is like with your swing, you have a what I call a flowing release. So you have a full flowing release of the golf club. Louis Oosthuizen swings like that. So he epitomizes how you swing the club and how you’ve always swung the club and how you envision to swing the club so you pick him out as, “Oh, he’s my guy.” I love that swing and appreciate that swing and I also like a swing that’s somebody that’s a little more kind of hit and hold. And that one might be like, you know, (Xander) Schauffele does that. It’s more of a release to a position that’s held. Tiger, when I coached him, that’s how he swung. Hit a lot of those stinger shots.
Hank Haney (26:33):
You know, Ben Hogan was more like that. (Lee) Trevino was more like that. (Greg) Norman was more like that. But then there’s like Mark O’Meara who’s my greatest student, no offense to Tiger, but Mark was my first student and Mark was more of a flowing release. So people just like always compliment it, Mark’s swing. Like, Mark, what a great swing. It’s Mark O’Meara, Louis Oosthuizen, they’re great swings to look at. You look at and think, “Wow, that’s just so smooth. So good.” I appreciate every swing for what it can do. You know what I mean? Dustin Johnson does it a different way, but I love his swing. You know, Jon Rahm does it a different way. I love his swing. I like Louis Oosthuizen’s swing because you look at his positions, it looks so perfect. And the release is so full. Adam Scott, another one kind of just like that. So through the history of the game those are kind of two ways to get it done. And if you swing one way or think one way, then you probably like this group of players.
Charlie Rymer (27:42):
A hitter versus a swinger. Like for me, it’s a Sam Snead, Phil Mickelson, Louie Oosthuizen. It’s just sort of how you’re wired, I guess.
Hank Haney (27:51):
How you’re wired, yeah. A little bit.
Charlie Rymer (27:52):
Yeah. So you never answered the question though.
Hank Haney (27:56):
Well, I mean, I like them all for what they can do. I mean, my favorite swing ever Tiger when I coached him.
Charlie Rymer (28:05):
Hank Haney (28:06):
Because he just, he hit the ball so good. I mean like people, I think as time goes by, they appreciate it more and more. His iron play was so good. His dominance was so real. I always say Jack Nicklaus is the greatest golfer ever because he has that record. You know, we measure by major championships, but I don’t think anybody’s ever played golf better than Tiger Woods.
Charlie Rymer (28:29):
Yeah. Especially in about a two- or three-year period. And the thing that impressed me, officially the number of missed cuts he’s got in his career is 21, 22, something like that. But if you take out the ones where he was sick, injured, or otherwise indisposed…
Hank Haney (28:46):
That’s about 19 of them.
Charlie Rymer (28:47):
Right. I mean, he’s only missed basically two or three cuts where he was healthy.
Hank Haney (28:53):
And by the way, every year, you know because you played the tour, but the cut number has gone down in time. I mean, when you got to shoot four under to make the cut, it’s like one ball out of bounds and you’re not shooting four under. It’s just crazy how good they are.
Charlie Rymer (29:11):
I want to finish with this and I have this theory. Let me just throw it out there and then I want you to break it down for me. And it’s a serious theory. I know you’re laughing, but it’s a serious theory.
Hank Haney (29:21):
Because your theories could be on anything.
Charlie Rymer (29:24):
No, we’re sticking with golf. And just over the years, and 25 years of broadcasting, the people that I’ve had the opportunity to interview from players to great teachers and spending time with Butch Harmon and Dave Stockton and all of the golf royalty, I’ve had the blessing, Bob Toski, I’ve had a chance to spend some time with. You guys are all confident and I love that. I think there’s one of the reasons… Sean Foley. One of the reasons that great players have been attracted to you because you’ve got information, you deliver it, deliver in an effective way. What I’ve always struggled with is, for example, I could have Dave Stockton come in, two-time PGA champion, one of the greatest putters ever.
Charlie Rymer (30:13):
And he’s like, “Okay, the putting stroke is back of the left hand, down the line.” And Dave’s like 108 now. I still wouldn’t putt him for anything. And he’s like, “My guy’s Jack Nicklaus. Back of the left hand, down the line.” Very next day, I could have Stan Utley or Brad Faxon come in and go, “Oh, this whole idea…” And they didn’t see the show the previous day because we do it live, so you got to release it. Got to release the putter. My guy’s Tiger Woods. Well, how are you going to pick the greatest pressure putter of all time? Is it Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods? That’s a pretty good coin flip right there. Two different methods, but it’s not only about putting, but it’s bunker play. It’s full swing. It’s every aspect of the game.
Charlie Rymer (30:56):
There are theories that are very different. Unlike when I watch NFL field goal kickers, and I know there’s some nuance to it, but it’s pretty much the same method all the time. So my conclusion is that the greatest players, what they have in common is an intense, nearly irrational belief in their own ability. And that belief is even more important than the method that they employ. In other words, I could see a student is swinging a club in a certain way, and you would never teach that, but yet they believe in it so intensely that they’re going to have success anyway. And so getting that belief is, at the highest levels at least or if you’re competitive anywhere, is more important than the actual method that you use. The problem is you have to have the belief before you can achieve. And so I’d just like to get your take on my theory that I just sort of put together from interviewing so many people, so many different methods over the years.
Hank Haney (32:01):
No, I think you’re right on. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, everybody’s confident in what they do. They teach, they coach. Coaches or players, they’re going to do what they do, because it’s the best way they know how, so they believe in it. When a coach says, “This is how you need to do it.” That’s how he does it. If that’s what he thinks is best, that’s what he’s had good result. He didn’t just get confidence from waking up with it. He saw results. He’s seen a lot of people improve because of what he was telling him. Dave Stockton example with the putting. And that doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to do it. Like when people say, “This guy’s the best teacher or that guy’s the best teacher…” I mean, you can appreciate the compliment if somebody gives it to you, but there is no best teacher.
Hank Haney (32:54):
It’s all subjective. And the best teacher for this person might not be the best teacher for that person. This method might not work for the next guy as well as it worked for the last guy. And there’s some teachers that say, “Oh, well, I just work with what you’ve got.” That’s different than what you just described, which is, “This is how you need to do it.” Work with what you got is the teacher who gives you little things to work within what you’ve got. And then some people will say, “Well, that’s the best way to do it.” But people ask me like, ‘Hank, do you work with what we got? Or do you change this all around?” And I tell them I work with what you got because that’s what they want to hear. And then I proceed to change them all around.
Hank Haney (33:41):
But the fact is you can’t get better if you don’t change something. But there is no correct answer. The one thing that is universal is what you described. It’s that person’s belief, but that person’s belief came from, as a coach, it came from seeing results. As a player, it comes from seeing results. You see the shot and you hit the shot and you gain confidence. You do it under pressure situations, you gain more confidence. You do it under the most pressure, and you gain the most confidence, but it’s like Jack Nicklaus said. The way people talk about confidence, you’d think you could go down to the store and buy some. It takes years to build up. And after one or two bad shots it’s gone. So it’s the same thing in instruction. You’re helping somebody and you tell this guy this and that worked for the last guy, and it’s not working. It’s not working. And you have to have the confidence to see it through, but you also have to have the wisdom to know when it’s time to change your plan.
Charlie Rymer (34:52):
I’m going to think about that for a little bit. Chew on it. It sounds really smart the way you said that. And I’m going to go ahead and wrap the show with that. Some wisdom from Jack Nicklaus and some wisdom from Hank Haney. Hank, we appreciate you being here in Myrtle Beach and talking to all the folks at the PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship. Appreciate your friendship and, as always, appreciate the great conversation.
Hank Haney (35:15):
All right. Thanks bud. Appreciate it.
Charlie Rymer (35:16):
All right, thanks. And folks, we appreciate you being with us here on the Charlie Rymer Balls in the Air Podcast, and we’ll be right back with you next week!