Soly catches up with veteran swing coach Sean Foley to discuss his career coaching some of the best players on tour and lessons learned from mistakes over the course of his interactions with tour pros (12:30). We also examine the different styles of coaching when it comes to professional players (20:30), the intersection of swing thoughts and relying on natural instincts (32:30), working with Tiger (44:00), adjusting his teaching methods for the next generation (57:00) and more.
We're also bringing you something new after our chat with Sean as our own Kevin Van Valkenburg reads his recent essay "I Walk Alone: Embracing Solo Golf" (1:13:10), which you can also read here.
Here's a sneak peak at Soly's conversation with Sean Foley... (Note: Full answers edited for clarity and conciseness)
Soly: We could do a whole podcast I'm sure on just this guy. I'm pretty proud of myself for waiting almost 45 minutes before asking about Tiger. But you brought him up so I'll ask you about it. Looking back on that you said you're grateful that the coaching relationship came to an end. I'm wondering kind of what you meant, how would that go today if you were to start with him, and let's just ignore health for him for the sake of this arg of this conversation. But if you were starting with Tiger Woods today, how different would that look compared to when you started with him? Was it 2010? I believe it was.
Sean Foley: I don't know if you can discriminate on the two, because I started with T Dubs nine months after everything kind of fell apart. And so you're dealing with someone who's incredibly wounded, probably embarrassed just in a way different place than he's ever been in his life, right? I mean it was like going from a deity to a punchline almost overnight. And so, you know, I think as I kind of came in, he was starting to see some of the mistakes he made and some of the effects that that was gonna have. And so I think we did a pretty good job together. I think what I would have done much more, that I understand now is I would've probably spent less time coaching him and more time just being his friend as I was. Like how arrogant was I to think 'Do you actually teach Tiger Woods about golf?'