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Tiger's Coach Talks Philosophy and Fear

Golf coach Sean Foley is the sport's most progressive thinker.

What's the role of fitness in the golf lifestyle?

The human body was not designed through evolution to rotate at high-peak speeds, 150 times an hour. That’s why in javelin, golf, and baseball, there are a lot of lower-back issues. There are many elbow, shoulder, and hip issues in golf. It’s obvious we weren’t supposed to rotate at 700 degrees per second. The lumbar spine isn’t supposed to rotate at all. Like Olympic lifting, I think, if you utilize the ground, your glutes, and your whole posterior side from your ankles to your traps, you’ll produce power more efficiently, so you won’t have to overuse your shoulders and your arms.

Have you learned from coaches in other sports?

Definitely. I’ve watched a lot of [former NBA coach] Phil Jackson’s news conferences. He deflects the attention onto himself and away from his athletes, and I think that’s important. [Legendary UCLA basketball coach] John Wooden was just a man of principle. I don’t think he really taught Kareem Abdul-Jabbar how to play basketball, just like I’m never going to teach Tiger Woods how to play golf. Wooden got his team to tie their shoelaces and be on time for class. In the big picture, you end up with a lot of success if you just do the small things in the process all the time.

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