Off-season is the time for changes. After enjoying a nice sunny vacation in Hawaii for two weeks, Gary Woodland flew to Vegas to train under the wing of his new swing coach Butch Harmon.
The 27-year-old golfer took this decision shortly after swapping his agent Blake Smith from Hambric Sports Management for Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management. At first glance, it seems that the two things are unrelated, but it turns out that Blake is the son of Randy Smith, Woodland’s long-time coach. Though Woodland had hoped to continue working with Randy, Smith thought that the situation was too sensitive to keep working with the golfer who fired his son.
This is why Woodland had to look for another coach, and it helped that Butch is one of the most successful golf coaches in the world. He called Harmon and expressed his interest in working with him.
Obviously, Harmon couldn’t pass up the chance to work with the 2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup winner. But before giving a definite answer, he called his other clients including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney to check if they had anything against it.
The golfers had no objections, so Butch called Woodland back with the happy news. So far, it seems like a mutually beneficial union – Gary is talented, has a big swing and fits Butch’s profile, while Woodland hopes that Harmon will bring him to the top.
Harmon is known for taking two world-class golfers, Tiger Woods and Greg Norman, to the No. 1 position in the world rankings. It will be interesting to see where Butch will take Woodland who finished 17th on the PGA Tour money list this season.