At least that’s the question that stuck with me after reading Lorne Rubenstein’s interview with Foley, swing coach to Stephen Ames, in this morning’s Globe.
Now I’ve only encountered Foley once. He called two days late this spring following an interview request, and then proceeded to talk my ear off, ripping into several Canadian and American coaches, and talking about how strange life was on the PGA Tour. He’s clearly a guy who marches to his own beat, as is Ames, which is likely why the pair get along so well.
Anyway, on to the Globe story, which was more about Foley’s reading habits than anything else:
Have you read Jared Diamond’s last couple of books? Foley asked, referring to the UCLA geography professor’s Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.”
You have to read the afterword of Chomsky’s Failed States, he said. The subtitle to the linguist and political pundit’s book is The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. Chomsky examines what he considers U.S. imperialism, and it’s a safe bet that few golf coaches and fewer, if any, PGA Tour players would be reading his work or sympathetic to his views. This only makes Foley that much more interesting.
Maybe. I’m not so sure. I’d rather hear about why Ames is a better golfer because of his work with Foley, but that’s not what Rube’s piece is about.
Interestingly, given the rumours that Tiger Woods may be on the outs with Hank Haney, apparently Foley is lining up for the job:
I think I could inspire him to do amazing things, given his money and intellect, Foley said. I don’t see why I should paint a small picture for myself. I believe it will happen.
Maybe Foley has also been investigating The Secret, since his desire to work with Woods is very “Ask, believe, receive.” He believes he’ll work with the world’s best golfer, so it’ll happen. I think there’s more to it than that.
However, this is just one interview. In my chat with him Foley appeared to lack any caution with the media, speaking his mind. Which is refreshing. And Ames believes in his approach, and it appears to be working. Interesting to note that Foley has been “hanging out” (his words, not mine) with Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, the swing gurus behind the whole “stack and tilt” theory. Interesting, I guess, because the way Ames describes his work with Foley sounds very much like the way Mike Weir describes working with Bennett and Plummer.
I’ll end with this — Foley’s work with junior golfers is admirable. But he better hope Ames’ success continues because the lifespan of most swing doctors is about as long as fresh meat.