Hank Haney makes disparaging, racially-charged comments about U.S. Women’s Open field

May 29, 2019

Hank Haney, the former swing coach of Tiger Woods, kicked off his radio show Wednesday with racist and sexist comments about the field in this week’s U.S. Women’s Open.

Minutes into his program on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Haney was joined by fellow golf instructor Steve Johnson for a predictions segment. The dialogue began with Johnson saying, “You know, this week is the U.S. Women’s Open, Hank.”

“Oh, it is,” Haney replied.

“The 74th Women’s Open.”

“I’m gonna predict a Korean,” Haney said. Johnson laughed, offering, “That’s a pretty safe bet.”

“That’s gonna be my prediction. I couldn’t name you, like, six players on the LPGA Tour,” Haney continued.

“Yeah.”

“Nah, maybe I could,” Haney said. “Well, I’d go with Lee. If I didn’t have to name a first name, I’d get a bunch of them right. I don’t know…Lexi Thompson…Michelle Wie’s hurt. I don’t know that many. Where are they playing, by the way?”

“Country Club of Charleston,” Johnson said.

“Oh, that’s a good course, that’s a good course. That’s a really good course,” Haney said. “Have you pissed anybody off yet today?”

The conversation then moved on to other topics in the golf world. You can listen to the show here, with his comments beginning within the first few minutes.

Haney’s comments quickly made their way to social media, where commenters have almost unanimously found them to be offensive.

Before long, his comments would reach the LPGA Tour as well. Michelle Wie, who isn’t competing this week, aired her thoughts almost immediately.

Haney’s show ran from 10 a.m. to noon ET Wednesday, and he was notified of it before his show ended, prompting him an opportunity to apologize. Haney apologized repeatedly on the air before he and Johnson walked their way through an explanation.

Haney: “I read some deal where, on the scoreboard, there’s a lot of girls — isn’t there a lot of girls on the LPGA Tour with the same name, right?”

Johnson: “Yeah. They have exactly the same name and they call them, like, there’s six of them. They’ve got a Lee no. 1, a Lee no. 2, a Lee no. 3. One of them was on the leaderboard a few weeks ago, she was the no. 6 Lee.”

Haney: “Okay.”

Johnson: “It just goes to show you, Hank. Everybody has an agenda. The guy who has an issue with this…”

Haney: “So because I say If I was going to name four players, I would, my comment would be ‘I’d pick a Lee.’ “

Johnson: “Yeah, exactly. I mean, I don’t know…”

Haney: “Anyway, I apologize if that offended people. I guess it did. I guess it did.”

Johnson: “You are not a racist. You are not a racist.”

Haney: “Well yeah, I know I am not a racist. But I guess it offended somebody. So, anyway. I definitely apologize for that. We’ll have to watch it. So, it’s probably not going to have a lot of more LPGA talk — that’s for sure — on PGA Tour radio.”

Johnson: “Okay, okay, yeah. Okay, we’ll boycott. Let’s boycott”

Haney: “Nooo, we’re not going to boycott. We’ll follow the U.S. Open. It’s this week.”

Upon finishing the show, Haney would tweet out another apology. SiriusXM declined to comment.