Tiger Woods probably won’t emulate this nifty trick that his new swing coach, Chris Como, once attempted (and kids, don’t try this at home!) — swinging a golf club after leaping from the high diving board into a pool.
While we imagine the biomechanics graduate student had some scientific reason for performing such a stunt, free-falling through space may be just the training Como needs to take on Tiger and all the craziness that comes with him. For starters, Como's website crashed after Woods announced his hiring on Saturday and was down at least into Sunday night.
Como, 37, teaches at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas, and was one of Golf Digest’s "best young teachers" of 2013. He has also tutored PGA Tour players Aaron Baddeley, Trevor Immelman, and Richard Lee.
Nothing in his practice, however, could have readied Como for what comes next -- the pressure of enormous expectations and scrutiny of his every move, especially if Woods gets off to a sluggish start to his 2015 season. Some jokesters figured why wait even until next week, when the former world No. 1 will swing back into action at his Hero World Challenge after almost four months since his last competition.
Is Chris Como ruining Tiger Woods’ swing??!?! (Trying to get a jump on this angle.)— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) November 22, 2014
Tiger announces that Chris Como is his new swing coach. I'm guessing this is going to help with his explosiveness. pic.twitter.com/1wL8AqsKEO— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) November 22, 2014
Como’s new gig will "dramatically change his life," Notah Begay III, who introduced the coach to his long-time friend, Woods, said on Saturday. "I don’t think anybody’s ready [for the high profile of being Tiger’s instructor]. I don’t know that any one class, or seminar, or counseling session could prepare anybody for what’s going to happen in even the next couple of hours." (See screen shot above.)
At least two of the three former coaches who have worked with Woods since he turned professional echoed Begay’s cautions and offered little in the way of how-tos to instructor No. 4.
"There’s not really any advice you can give anybody. You’ve just got to try to do the best job you can do," Hank Haney, Woods’ coach from 2004-2010, told Golf Channel.com’s Jason Sobel. "It’s harder than it looks."
Como’s immediate predecessor, Sean Foley, expressed similar sentiments to Sobel.
"There’s no way you could explain it," said Foley, Woods’ guru for four years, from 2010-2014. "Until you go through it, there’s no way to explain it."
Foley suggested that Como "enjoy the ride" of his "once in a lifetime opportunity" to work with "the greatest player of all time," while Haney believed the new guy was in over his head.
"The hard thing with Tiger is that he’s not your average student. You may have great, great information, but to deal with somebody like Tiger, I think experience helps you, too," Haney said. "I had a lot of experience and Butch [Harmon, Woods' first coach] had a lot of experience, and both of us were really successful. It remains to be seen whether someone with great knowledge and information but less experience can get through to someone like Tiger Woods."
Whether Como can do that or not was irrelevant to Haney, who coached Woods to six of his 14 major championships.
"Tiger is at a point in his career where I don’t care what kind of information he gets, for him to have a year like 2000 or a stretch when I worked with him," Haney said, "It’s probably not realistic to think that’s going to happen."
Welcome to the high dive, Chris Como.