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A day with the Sean’s

Foley and O’Hair to be precise. 

I am in Orlando for a little over a week for a golf school, the Disney event, and the Titleist Performance Institute’s 2010 symposium.  The golf schools this past weekend was terrific because I had the chance to work with one of the best and youngest golf instructors out there by the name of Dan Carraher from Jacksonville.  For 25 years old, this kid has 25 years of info in his head!  I was there as an instructor and felt as though I was a student.  The TPI event this week will be very informative with 4 of my biggest influences speaking: Henry Brunton, Andy Plummer, Mike Bennett, and Sean Foley.  Andy, Mike and their close friend Nick Clearwater have been amazing hosts this week at Disney, introducing me to their players and giving me the chance to walk inside the ropes and observe on the range with Troy Matteson, one of the longest hitters I have ever seen.  They gave me the same opportunity this past summer at St. Georges walking alongside Charlie Wi, Dean Wilson, and Alex Cjeka- 3 truly awesome guys.  Their insight into the geometry of the golf swing and the different ways to swing the club have opened my eyes towards the infinite possibilities as well as the ideal situations. 

We arrived early this morning on the range and immediately I remembered how much of a fan I still am.  It wasn’t long before I looked down the range and saw Sean O’Hair testing out a few new drivers.  When I watched yesterday, the ball was sneaking off to the right a little too much and a little too often but he must have found a new weapon because it was like night and day.  He was pretty vocal about his excitement as his swing coach arrived to get his man ready for action this week.  Mr. Plummer and Bennett were going to the course to work with their players so I made my way over to say hello to my fellow Canadian and former colleague at Glen Abbey, Sean Foley.  We had O’Hair outnumbered 3-to-1 because he has Brennan Little on the bag this week who normally caddies for Mike Weir. Foley immediately introduced me to the crew and I was happy they welcomed me to watch their practice. O’Hair tested out some new TaylorMade wedges and went right into his drills.  Foley ensures his practice stays structured by hitting 50 shots for each drill as shown below. The first is to ensure his hands work more inside and deeper on the backswing and the second was to make sure he got to his front left side by putting pressure into the ground. 

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After a little lunch and some downtime, the 4 of us went to the back 9 of the Palm course.  I rode with Foley and Mr. Little got to know his new player for the week in the other cart.  The day was all about charting the greens, from last years pin placements to identifying where the grain was growing.  Over 9 holes, O’Hair hit the nicest little push fades where I don’t think he really missed a shot – especially when he carried a 3 wood 265 yards to 12 feet and a 198 yard 8 iron over a tree to 10 feet. I was surprised, Foley giggled, and Brennan Little may have realized that he was in for a very different experience.  The normally conservative Mike Weir is much different that the very aggressive Sean O’Hair.  Foley shared some insight with me to what he and O’Hair have been working on away from the golf course, and once he explained it, it was obvious he had made a positive impact.  O’Hair isn’t the first person to say that Foley has not only changed his swing but helped him change his life – both for the better.  Here’s the final cut.

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nickstarchuk

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Great article Nick. Isn’t it a shame that O’Hair fired Foley and proceeded immediately to get two big top finishes…a t19th at the Players’ and a T14th at Colonial. Guess all that hard work, help off the golf course, etc. must not have been that great. People don’t fire coaches if they are doing well and happy. Keep writing the articles though….they are great insight that last a few months…especially when we are talking about Foley!

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