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19th Hole

Hank Haney: ‘This whole hit the fairway thing is a bunch of baloney, and it always has been’; blasts golf media ‘idiots’

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Hank Haney took to his podcast this week to share his strong views on the importance of distance in the game, while also slamming golf media ‘idiots’ who questioned him over Tiger’s accuracy with the driver during their time together.

The 65-year-old claimed that “if you can’t hit the long ball, the game has passed you by”, and on his show cited Henrik Stenson as an example as to why.

Haney explained how the Swede hits many fairways because he often takes 3-wood, and broke down the numbers to illustrate why the concept that accuracy off the tee is important is ‘a bunch of baloney’.

“In 2020, he (Stenson) was 5th in accuracy off the tee, but yet he was 163rd in strokes gained off the tee. The advantage you get from driving comes from distance. This is why Rory is up there at the top, DJ is up there at the top and DeChambeau was number one last year.

This whole hit the fairway thing is a bunch of baloney, and it always has been.”

Haney then went back to his successful period coaching Tiger Woods and took aim at those who at the time criticised Tiger’s driving – with some scathing remarks directed towards those in the media.

“I remember when I was coaching Tiger, from 2004 to 2010, and those absolute idiots that follow golf that are the media. This is like the ‘fake news’.

The golf media idiots who don’t know anything about the game and they used to ask me all the time about Tiger’s driving accuracy, and I’m like ‘it doesn’t matter, it’s a meaningless statistic’. As long as you keep it in play and miss it in the right spot and hit a few key fairways, that’s all you have to do.”

Haney then summed up his thoughts on what the goal should be when driving the ball: “You want distance and you want to be able to find your ball. If you can do that, you’re going to do good.”

Check out the audio from the Hank Haney podcast below.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Mike Gross

    Dec 7, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    In the run-up to every major (except maybe the Masters) or any tour event with rough, point a mic at any player, and what does he say? “The key this week is going to be driving it in the fairway.”

    That’s not the media talking, Hank.

  2. Mike

    Nov 5, 2020 at 11:44 am

    It’s funny how Hank Haney is trying to create some revisionist history. When he was actually coaching tiger he publicly stated that one of their goals was for tiger to hit more fairways. Before he was fired from Sirius satellite radio I’ve heard him on many occasions talk about some of the things they would do to get tiger to be more accurate off the tee including putting the golf club in the palm of his left hand which Hank said allowed him to spin the ball more with the driver and hit more fairways. Now he’s claiming he knew it was all about the long ball all along.

  3. geohogan

    Nov 3, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Too bad Mr Haney seems to know more about hitting the long ball , than how golfers can swing without causing permanent injury.

    The golf gurus’ , “fake” instruction took away Tigers perfect golf swing(2000) and made changes that caused permanent damage to Tigers body… all for the sake of more distance?

    • phizzy

      Nov 15, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      That had more to do with his PED use.

      • geohogan

        Nov 26, 2020 at 4:52 pm

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0sj3vzkjo0

        2:09 note his position at top of BS, throughout 2000. Almost identical to Ben Hogan in his prime.

        compare to about 2004 onward, how much steeper his DS, became. Thats what damaged the knee then the lower back, IMO. The lower body doesnt rotate when DS is steep.

  4. Gunter Eisenberg

    Nov 1, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Fact

    2015 Top 5 driving accuracy combined earnings on the PGA Tour = $4.5 Million
    2015 Top 5 driving distance combined earnings on the PGA Tour = $27.5 Million

  5. Tom

    Oct 30, 2020 at 9:58 am

    It’s one thing to make this generalization about elite golfers. Most of us struggle with making decent contact with our shots. The value of “seeing the back of the golf ball” more than makes up for the one, two or even three club advantage the average golfer gains by hitting driver on every tee. Add to this the fact that most of us play courses that have poorly maintained rough, without the benefit of those nicely placed white lines designating those areas deemed unplayable. When we go to the practice range we do not practice hitting shots from poor lies we we encounter in the rough.

    • PSG

      Nov 3, 2020 at 9:19 am

      This has been studied and your comment isn’t true. Read the study by Mark Broadie from Columbia University. An amateur is better with an 8 iron from heavy rough than a 6 iron in the middle of the fairway. By about 1.3 yards on average.

      You can not like it or try to make up stuff to excuse it, but he’s absolutely right. When it comes to score bomb and gauge is by far and away the most efficient way to shoot a good golf score.

      • phizzy

        Nov 15, 2020 at 8:07 pm

        PSG you are correct. I AVERAGE close to 300 yards off the tee and post better scores on holes where I’m 300 plus yards in the rough with 7 iron down rather than hitting a 270 yard mis hit in the fairway with more than 7 iron. FACT.

      • Gunny

        Nov 16, 2020 at 11:08 am

        This is 100% accurate. The ONLY caveat is that if you are out of play. If you can keep it in play (have a legitimate swing at the green, not hitting 3 from the tee, etc) then being in the rough isn’t a problem.

  6. DaveyD

    Oct 30, 2020 at 9:05 am

    For me, it’s all about the shot to the green. I hit long enough where my golfing buddies are hitting their 3, 4, or hybrid and I’m usually hitting a short iron. I’ll never complain about hitting the long ball.

  7. simms

    Oct 30, 2020 at 2:42 am

    just put in the rules a driver face must not have any rebound (COR) at swing speeds up to 150 MPH and the over 300 yard driver will come back within reason…95% of average golfers do not gain an inch with the same drive a long hitter is gaining 15 or more yards. When John Daly was hitting the 300 yard mark (and every one else was under 275) his driver had no advantage in the face and that is the way it should be now.

  8. Large chris

    Oct 29, 2020 at 10:25 am

    The theory of missing in the right place is obviously correct, but Tiger has had a two way driver miss for much of his career including with Haney. Haney even said in his book he wanted Tiger to loft up a bit with the driver to reduce his misses.

    • Travis

      Oct 29, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      Don’t mistake “missing in the right place” for missing one way every single time. What Haney means by missing in the “right place” is that your miss isn’t going to cost you a stroke from going OB or in the water. It doesn’t matter if you miss left and right, you just need to keep it in play enough so you can advance the 2nd shot.

      • geohogan

        Nov 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm

        Missing in the “right place” isnt a miss.
        In past years, it was called course management.

        When you intend to hit a 320 yard drive down the right side and MISS
        it to the left side, that is a miss. Cant have it both ways, Hankey.

  9. JP

    Oct 29, 2020 at 8:04 am

    100% correct. I’ve yet to meet a golfer that complains about hitting the ball too far. Everyone knows if you miss, miss it in the right spot.

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19th Hole

‘Whoops, that was a mistake’: Inside Bryson’s chaotic Friday night return to Quail Hollow

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Bryson DeChambeau’s week at the Wells Fargo became chaotic on Friday afternoon, after the 27-year-old flew from Charlotte to Dallas, having believed that his week had ended early at Quail Hollow.

Despite sitting way outside the cut line as he boarded his flight home, Bryson’s week was far from over, as the winds began to gust around Quail Hollow, making scoring extremely difficult for the afternoon wave.

Halfway through his flight, Bryson received a text from his agent explaining to a stunned DeChambeau that the cut line had moved dramatically.

“Halfway through the flight my agent texted Conner (Olsen), and he’s like, ‘Hey, you’re 68th now.’ I was like, ‘What? No way. There’s no way I’m still — I’m not going to make it, there’s no way.”

After touching down in Dallas at 6 p.m local time, that “no way” turned into a definitive answer, with the cut line moving and letting DeChambeau and all of the other +2’s into the weekend: “So I looked at Conner (and said), ‘Well, whoops, that was a mistake’” said Bryson.

With an 8:10 a.m. ET start on Saturday and unable to fly back immediately; Bryson and his crew decided to fly in the middle of the night, resulting in a 2:45 a.m. flight from Dallas that would land in Charlotte at approximately 6:00 a.m. local time.

“After I got off the plane, I was like, you know what, we’re here for the night so might as well sleep in my bed and get up really early. I did about an hour workout, hung out with my roommates that were there and just had dinner at Eatzi’s and had a couple protein shakes and stuff like that and just worked out and went to sleep.”

12.5 hours after he first landed in Dallas, Bryson rocked up at Quail Hollow and performed remarkably well over the weekend, with back to back 68s securing him a T9 finish and a check for $228,825 making the chaos all worthwhile.

“It was worth it. It no doubt was worth it. That’s what I was hoping to do this weekend when I was on that plane at 2:45 a.m. Yeah, I wanted to make it worth it. I didn’t want to come out here and finish 60-whatever.

It definitely will, for sure (check to cover the fuel costs). But again, it was more for me. The cost wasn’t really anything I was worried about. I really didn’t want to disappoint Wells Fargo and Quail Hollow and the guys who put up this tournament and give so much to charity. I mean, that’s one of the things I want to support. And fans out here, didn’t want to disappoint them.”

Thankfully for Bryson, this week’s PGA Tour stop is a home game at TPC Craig Ranch, meaning his jet won’t need to be fired up until the PGA Championship.

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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy credits caddie for his role in crucial drop on 18

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Rory McIlroy appeared to be cruising to the title at Quail Hollow on Sunday afternoon, with a two-stroke advantage with one hole to play over leader in the clubhouse Abraham Ancer.

However, rarely is closing out a tournament straight forward, and after a hooked 3-wood off the 18th tee, McIlroy found himself in an awkward position inside the penalty area for his approach.

Initially ready to attempt to chip out back to the fairway, McIlroy’s caddie Harry Diamond advised his man to take a step back and consider a drop.

With the ball lying poorly, there was no guarantee a lob wedge would extricate McIlroy from trouble.

After some consideration, the Irishman took his caddie’s advice and took a drop allowing the 32-year-old to reach the green with his 3rd shot – advice that McIlroy was grateful for following his round.

“Harry was awesome out there today, especially that decision on the last. I was ready to get in there and try to play that with a lob wedge and he said ‘Let’s take a step back, let’s think about this. Where’s the best place you’re hitting your third from?’

So he calmed me down and slowed me down a little bit, and ultimately we made the right decision and I dropped instead of trying to play that shot out of the hazard. I hit a great third shot onto the green and was able to two-putt from there.”

The win is McIlroy’s first since 2019, and the Irishman ranks the victory as the best of his six wins since Diamond began looping for him.

“I think this is our sixth win together and it’s probably been our best one. Bay Hill back in 2018 was great because I hadn’t won in a while, but this is even better just because Harry’s been there every step of the way.

The tough parts that I’ve had to endure over the last few months, he’s been with me every step of the way and it’s nice to come through all that with him and to get into the winner’s circle again.”

 

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19th Hole

How much each player won at the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship

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Rory McIlroy broke out of his slump at Quail Hollow, and along with the silverware, the Irishman bagged himself a winner’s check for a cool $1,458,000. Abraham Ancer’s late charge wasn’t enough to chase down Rory, but it did secure the Mexican a solo runner-up finish to earn him $882,900.

With a total prize purse of $8.1 million up for grabs, here’s a look at how much each player who made the cut won at the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship.

1: Rory McIlroy, 274/-10, $1,458,000

2: Abraham Ancer, 275/-9, $882,900

T-3: Viktor Hovland, 276/-8, $477,900

T-3: Keith Mitchell, 276/-8, $477,900

5: Gary Woodland, 277/-7, $332,100

T-6: Luke List, 279/-5, $273,375

T-6: Patrick Reed, 279/-5, $273,375

T-6: Matt Wallace, 279/-5, $273,375

T-9: Bryson DeChambeau, 280/-4, $228,825

T-9: Aaron Wise, 280/-4, $228,825

T-11: Satoshi Kodaira, 281/-3, $188,325

T-11: Ben Martin, 281/-3, $188,325

T-11: Scott Piercy, 281/-3, $188,325

T-14: Tommy Fleetwood, 282/-2, $143,775

T-14: Emiliano Grillo, 282/-2, $143,775

T-14: Xander Schauffele, 282/-2, $143,775

T-14: Charl Schwartzel, 282/-2, $143,775

T-18: Keegan Bradley, 283/-1, $96,390

T-18: Joel Dahmen, 283/-1, $96,390

T-18: Brian Harman, 283/-1, $96,390

T-18: Russell Knox, 283/-1, $96,390

T-18: Joaquin Niemann, 283/-1, $96,390

T-18: C.T. Pan, 283/-1, $96,390

T-18: J.J. Spaun, 283/-1, $96,390

T-18: Bubba Watson, 283/-1, $96,390

T-26: Cameron Davis, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Talor Gooch, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Lanto Griffin, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Brandon Hagy, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Pat Perez, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: J.T. Poston, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Kevin Streelman, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Nick Taylor, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Justin Thomas, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Vincent Whaley, 284/E, $53,275.91

T-26: Kyle Stanley, 284/E, $53,275.90

T-37: Stewart Cink, 285/+1, $36,045

T-37: Matt Jones, 285/+1, $36,045

T-37: Sean O’Hair, 285/+1, $36,045

T-37: Patrick Rodgers, 285/+1, $36,045

T-37: Brian Stuard, 285/+1, $36,045

T-37: Richy Werenski, 285/+1, $36,045

T-43: Wyndham Clark, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-43: Corey Conners, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-43: Jason Dufner, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-43: Harris English, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-43: Peter Malnati, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-43: Andrew Putnam, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-43: Scott Stallings, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-43: Jhonattan Vegas, 286/+2, $25,069.50

T-51: Kramer Hickok, 287/+3, $19,899

T-51: Zach Johnson, 287/+3, $19,899

T-51: Hank Lebioda, 287/+3, $19,899

T-54: Hunter Mahan, 288/+4, $18,954

T-54: Ryan Moore, 288/+4, $18,954

T-54: Seamus Power, 288/+4, $18,954

T-54: Sepp Straka, 288/+4, $18,954

T-58: Michael Gligic, 289/+5, $18,063

T-58: Patton Kizzire, 289/+5, $18,063

T-58: Kyoung-Hoon Lee, 289/+5, $18,063

T-58: Matthew NeSmith, 289/+5, $18,063

T-58: Roger Sloan, 289/+5, $18,063

T-58: Johnson Wagner, 289/+5, $18,063

T-58: Tim Wilkinson, 289/+5, $18,063

T-65: Jonas Blixt, 290/+6, $17,172

T-65: Shane Lowry, 290/+6, $17,172

T-65: Carlos Ortiz, 290/+6, $17,172

T-65: Bo Van Pelt, 290/+6, $17,172

69: Phil Mickelson, 291/+7, $16,767

T-70: K.J. Choi, 292/+8, $16,524

T-70: Brendan Steele, 292/+8, $16,524

T-72: Russell Henley, 293/+9, $16,038

T-72: Ted Potter, Jr., 293/+9, $16,038

T-72: Kevin Tway, 293/+9, $16,038

T-72: Jimmy Walker, 293/+9, $16,038

76: D.J. Trahan, 296/+12, $15,633

77: Beau Hossler, 298/+14, $15,471

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