Former coach says Tiger Woods considered joining US Navy SEALs
NEW YORK (Newscore) – Tiger Woods was seriously considering leaving golf to become a US Navy SEAL.That is the stunning revelation made by his former swing coach Hank Haney in an excerpt from the upcoming book, “The Big Miss.”
Haney writes that he tried to convince Woods — whose father, Earl, was a special forces soldier in Vietnam — not to go on secret training exercises with the SEALs, but that Woods was obsessed with joining the navy’s elite fighting unit.
When he told Woods that SEALs could not be older than 28, hoping to show him it was a pie-in-the-sky ambition, he writes, Woods responded, “It’s not a problem. They’re making a special age exemption for me.”
“I thought, ‘Wow. Here is Tiger Woods, the greatest athlete on the planet, maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime, basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.’”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg hit back at Haney’s claims Tuesday, saying, “Because of his father, it’s no secret that Tiger has always had high respect for the military, so for Haney to twist that admiration into something negative is disrespectful.
“The disruptive timing of this book shows that Haney’s self-promotion is more important to him than any other person or tournament. What’s been written violates the trust between a coach and player and someone also once considered a friend.”
According to Haney, Woods undertook dozens of trips to naval bases across the country “in a program that approximated the training for a Navy SEAL candidate.”
“To my knowledge, he did training in parachuting, self-defense, urban-warfare simulations and shooting,” Haney writes. “I never heard of Tiger doing any training in the water with the SEALs, but he was already a pretty accomplished diver.”
According to the book, Woods talked about a three-day trip during which he parachuted as many as 10 times a day and touted his long-range shooting skills.
“He talked all about the different guns and how to allow for wind and the flight of the bullet, almost as if he were describing a golf shot,” Haney writes.
Tiger seemed most proud of his self-defense achievements, according to Haney, who writes that Tiger told him “he really wanted to be able to protect his family and his home if anything ever happened.”
The more stories Haney heard, the more concerned he became about the golfer.
“When I later learned the full truth about the dangerous exercises that Tiger engaged in with the SEALs, it caused me to question whether the greatest golfer the game has ever seen severely hampered his chance at surpassing one of the most revered marks in all of sports — Jack Nicklaus’ record — because of his fascination with the military.”
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