Tiger Woods to revamp swing

Updated: September 8, 2010, 6:28 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

LEMONT, Ill. -- For the third time in his professional career, Tiger Woods appears set to revamp his golf swing in an effort to gain long-term consistency, this time under the direction of Sean Foley.

Woods was typically coy Wednesday when asked specifically about his relationship with Foley, a Canadian who is based near Woods' Florida home.

But he did not dodge questions about committing fully to Foley's system and undergoing the possible lulls in his game that could occur.

"I've committed to the concepts, and more than anything, I understand what he's trying to teach," Woods said after playing in the pro-am for the BMW Championship at Cog Hill. "So that's the biggest thing."

Asked to characterize his relationship with Foley, Woods said, "We're working on it."

Then asked if Foley was his coach, Woods said, "He's coaching me."

Woods would not say if he has a financial deal with Foley, although these arrangements do not always include payment. Foley, who also works with PGA Tour players Sean O'Hair, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and Stephen Ames, among others, stands to benefit from the publicity.

Foley walked with Woods during a few holes of the pro-am and also worked with him on the driving range afterward. He said his proximity to Woods in Florida is the key to the relationship.

Woods has had two other high-profile swing adjustments that led to significant drop-offs in performance. One came about a year after he turned pro, during the 1997 season when he won the Masters and three other PGA Tour tournaments. Butch Harmon helped him make changes for the sake of consistency, and Woods acknowledged it took nearly two years for them to kick in.

The second occurred after Woods parted ways with Harmon following the 2002 PGA Championship. That year, Woods won two majors and had run his career total to eight, but opted for a change. He started working with Hank Haney in 2004 and went through a lean year, winning just once. But he won two majors in 2005 and added a total of six, with 31 tour wins, under Haney.

"I'm pleased at the progress I've made in my game working with Sean," said Woods, who worked extensively with him at the PGA Championship, a week following his worst 72-hole tournament as a pro.

"That's been nice to see the progress, to be able to go out there and hit the golf ball the way I know I can, know the fixes and understand the concept. That is something I am proud of, and I'm showing some good signs so far and just got to keep building."

Woods had managed to advance to the third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs and needs a top-five finish here to move on to the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Either way, he said, Woods is prepared for the inevitable highs and lows that come to committing to a new approach.

"That's where experience helps," he said. "I've been through it with Butch, I've been through it with Hank. ... I've been through it before and it's taken some time, and I understand that. I have no problem with that, as long as I keep making progress along the way."

Bob Harig is the golf writer for ESPN.com.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com