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The Legacy of Hank Haney

May 27, 2010

Hank Haney
Hank Haney: Coach Extraordinaire

Hank Haney is a golf coach, through-and-through.  He is an award- and championship-winning instructor, a savvy businessman, a famous mentor to the world’s best golfer, a TV show host, etc. He’s a great golf coach.  Let me rephrase that.  He’s a great coach who chose golf as his forum.  And that’s why we’re thrilled to have him at the Global Institute for Leadership Development.

Hank’s name gained household recognition for his work with Tiger Woods and a lot of publicity after his recent resignation from that post.  I started working with Hank and his organization in February, and it didn’t take long for me to gain a lot of respect for him.  He is a very humble man, quiet but straightforward.  His employees speak highly of him and show a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and dedication in working for him.  His Director of Marketing, Nancy Donoghue, has given me countless examples of Hank’s hands-on approach to leading his company.  Long-time PGA writer Kathy Bissell wrote recently, “In the times I have had dealings with Hank Haney, he has been a straight shooter.”  That’s a great way to describe him.  He worries less about fame and more about results – prior to his resignation, his website only mentioned Tiger once, and Hank knows his success isn’t only because of that relationship.

Hank credits Tiger as “the most knowledgeable golfer I’ve ever been around,” and it says a lot about Hank that he was selected as Tiger’s coach in the first place.  Now, he has “had a great run, learned a lot,” and is ready to move on.  Once I processed Hank’s resignation, I wasn’t really surprised by it – not that I have any more information than the next golf fan, but I have at least had the chance to speak with Hank and I know he is looking forward to digging deeper into the other aspects of his life, including leadership coaching opportunities such as GILD.  And I know all of the “Haney projects” will continue to thrive because it is his results-oriented mindset, goal-achieving strategy, and honorable character traits that have driven his success, both on the course and off.  Hank is a leader with a Plan (capital P and all).

In speaking with Hank about non-Tiger things, one can see that Hank’s passion is teaching.  He majored in Education and has been a golf instructor – a teacher, if you will – for more than 30 years.  The fact that Hank is best known for his students says a lot about him, and I don’t think this point has been highlighted enough in the media; Hank wants his students to be successful, and that is what he truly measures himself by.  I believe that his legacy will be not as “Tiger Woods’ golf coach,” not as the man who guided Tiger to wins in more than one third of the tournaments he entered while they worked together, not as the man who customized the most famous swing in the world to make it more consistent and longer-lasting (have to protect the knee, remember!).  No, I believe Hank’s legacy will be as a Leader and a Teacher.

Over the last 15 years, more than 1,100 instructors from around the world have attended Hank’s “Teach the Teacher” summit.  Hank’s organization is committed to growing the number of talented and well-prepared golf instructors, with a new certification curriculum system.  He has a Vision and a Plan, which can be copied and shared to produce measurable results.  What more could you want from a coach?

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