Look out "Mike and Mike in the Morning." Tiger Woods might have a new favorite radio show after Craig Carton from WFAN-New York's "Boomer and Carton" radio show called Hank Haney a "snake in the grass" — among other things — for writing a book about his former student Tiger Woods. The full interview is online here.
Haney appeared on the morning sports show to promote his Tiger Woods book, "The Big Miss," which was released this week. Haney has spoken of the book as a testament to Woods's greatness, but Carton said it was a violation of Woods's trust.
Haney responded that he has received mostly positive responses from people who have read the book, and that he did not cross any line in writing about Woods's personal life. He mentioned that he left out many personal details about Woods. Haney wouldn't answer questions about how much he was paid to write the book.
Here are some highlights from Carton and Haney's exchanges, which grow increasingly heated and end with Haney hanging up after 23 minutes.
CARTON: You talk about his wife in the book.
HANEY: I talk about his wife only in areas where it pertains to his golf. The first time I talk about his wife is when she asked Tiger, "What are we going to do to celebrate?" And Tiger said, "We don't celebrate victories like this because…"
CARTON: Hank, you talked about the icy stares between the two of them after the accident when you saw him on the range outside of his house. What's that got to do with golf?
HANEY: Because Tiger was preparing for his first tournament back, which was the Masters. I was there preparing with him.
HANEY: It was pertinent to his mindset at the time. When you're a golfer, obviously, it's a very mental game, and I thought that was pertinent to his…
CARTON: Let me ask you this: Do you not…
HANEY: His preparation. So when I'm saying something like that in the book, one little comment about an icy stare, I don't think that's getting terribly personal.
CARTON: But it goes beyond golf. It goes beyond what happens inside the ropes.
HANEY: People have different opinions and I'm very aware that's going to be the case, but I'm not the first coach who's ever written a book…
CARTON: But it doesn't matter. Don't you think it's a violation?
HANEY: I don't feel like it was.
CARTON: You don't see that Tiger Woods allowed you into his world, obviously paid you I assume a decent amount of money to be his coach. Without Tiger Woods, you're not getting TV shows, you're not writing books. And you don't view it as a basic violation of the man's trust?
HANEY: Listen, I view it as my memories too. These weren't just his memories. He didn't have an exclusive on those memories. I wanted to share my observations, my thoughts, about his greatness, the complexities that make him up as a golfer, as a person. If I had all positive things in the book, it wouldn't have been an honest book. I wanted to write an honest book about working with Tiger Woods and the observations I made about his greatness and what it was like to coach him. And I realize people are going to have different opinions, but I'm not the first coach who's ever written a book. Phil Jackson wrote a book…
CARTON: It doesn't make it right though.
Then Carton says the book is egotistical.
CARTON: You come across a couple times in the book, in my opinion, almost like you want to be a martyr. "I did so much for Tiger. I was there for Tiger. I wanted to quit so many times but I didn't for Tiger." And the other thing you do, which is fascinating to me and shows me insight into you having never met you, is that you spend a chapter in the book when it's so important to you to compare Tiger Woods' win-loss percentage with you as his coach versus Butch Harmon as his coach. Which is such an egotistical play, I'm trying to figure that one out for myself.
HANEY: Well, like you said, you've never met me.
Later, Carton asks Haney how he would feel if a student wrote a "warts and all" book about him.
CARTON: Would you feel violated if someone did it to you?
HANEY: Would I feel violated if someone did it to me? I didn't do that. I kept everything in the book that was personal.
CARTON: It's a simple question: would you feel violated if someone did it to you?
HANEY: There are so many things I left out of this book that would have been going way beyond the line that I…
CARTON: Well, that's a cheap threat right there, c'mon.
HANEY: I felt like I did not cross the line.
CARTON: Why won't you answer my question then? We're men. I asked you a simple question
HANEY: I felt like I did not… No, I wouldn't. I feel like I did not cross the line because the book has to do with golf.
CARTON: So if a guy talked about your former wife and talked about the way you talked about it and a relationship with her and the kids and everything else, you wouldn't feel violated by that?
HANEY: I talked about that Tiger was a good father.
CARTON: You talk about their relationship.
HANEY: I did not.
CARTON: You talk about when they first got married things were great to the point where when Elin decides there's no TV at dinnertime it was a very icy, cold relationship, but no talking. You told secrets about a family man's life.
HANEY: That's a secret?
CARTON: Sure. I never knew that you couldn't watch TV in the Tiger Woods house. Nor do I give a damn. What's that got to do with golf?
HANEY: It pertained to his mental state
CARTON: So the fact that the Woods can't watch TV at dinnertime. So in other words, Tiger Woods going along with his wife — and listen, we have the same policy but no one gives a damn — the fact that they can't watch TV at dinnertime has what to do with winning the Masters?
CARTON: Nothing. It's a salacious book to make money.
HANEY: No, it's not a salacious book.
CARTON: What was your advance? How much?
HANEY: Guys, we're going to have to agree to disagree.
CARTON: How much money were you paid to write the book?
HANEY: That's totally irrelevant.
Then Carton's attacks on Haney get even more personal.
CARTON: Let's agree on one thing: That even now, how many years later since you've no longer been Tiger Woods' coach, you are still milking off the teat that is the Tiger Woods cow.
HANEY: That is not correct.
HANEY: But you just go ahead and have whatever opinion you want to have, OK? I wrote a book on my coaching Tiger Woods that detailed his greatness and the events that I partook in and you have your opinion and that's OK, but I think when people read the book, they will have a different opinion. The majority have. That's a fact. But you are entitled to your opinion.
CARTON: What do you think the general opinion is? Overall, outside of the guys who will kiss your ass like the guys who will kiss my ass and Boomer's ass and Tiger's ass, what do you think overall the perception of your book is, Hank?
HANEY: It's perception into the greatness that is Tiger Woods. That's the feedback that I am hearing
CARTON: Am I the first guy to give you a hard time about breaking that trust?
HANEY: You're definitely the most vocal and you're the only one who yelled and screamed and called me a coward.
And we're only at the 17-minute mark. Amazingly, Haney stays on for a full 23 minutes, signing off while Carton called him "scum of the earth."
CARTON: You probably got half a million up front to write the book and you probably pitched it as a tell-all book about the one guy who knew Tiger almost better than anybody, and it's guys like you, the scum of the earth, that abrogate a relationship and say things about men that only they know, which is so patently offensive to the trust that public figures on the level of Tiger Woods have to be careful about. It's disgusting.
I hope that every golfer in America is fearful of allowing you to be their swing coach because here's the reality of Hank Haney: Hank Haney's going to get to know you, and like a snake in the grass if he can make money off you one day in the future, he's going to do it. And I can't stand guys like you.