Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Usually I make a point of never criticizing a fellow golf instructor, but this article needs to be written.

The ongoing saga of John Daly and Butch Harmon has been highlighted in the press worldwide. Harmon released a scathing statement to the media about firing Daly as a student because of his erratic behavior on the tour. I always stand on this principle: "Take a good look at yourself before you judge others."

We all know that Daly has had problems with alcohol. The problem with alcoholism is that it changes a person’s behavior and affects most of the people around him. Harmon, who has also dealt with alcoholism, knew about John's drinking long before he took him on as a student. So this might tell me that the relationship wasn't born out of respect, but for the notoriety that it would bring to his lesson tee.

Shame on Butch Harmon!

Back in the day it was a great honor to coach a fellow golf professional, but it was a quiet relationship based on respect. A truly great instructor is able to impart life lessons that help a person fully develop as a competitive golfer. Today's instructors are riddled with massive egos as they pontificate about their knowledge of the swing.

Issuing a press statement about the firing of a student is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Yes, there are consequences for one's behavior, but publicly airing a private affair is a sign that Harmon needs to take his own inventory.

He could have done more for John than simply show how offended he has been by Daly's behavior.

I ask myself why I feel qualified to offer my public opinion on this topic. It’s because I, too, suffer from alcoholism. Achieving a contented sobriety is a tough battle for the alcoholic, and it takes daily reflection and an ongoing commitment to not take that first drink.

As I explain to all my students, in order to make progress, you must have constructive change, and constructive change is difficult because it is the unknown. But throughout history the most courageous people have always conquered change. I hope this article is meaningful to those people who suffer from this disease.

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