My latest column examines the role of Sean Foley in Stephen Ames’ win at Disney on the weekend. Given that many think I’ve been pretty hard on Foley — though I’m not sure that’s actually true — I’ll say I really enjoyed my hour-long conversation with him. I’ll post some of that conversation at a later point as most of it didn’t make the column.
Anyway, here’s a taste:
By the time Stephen Ames finished the second playoff hole at the home of Mickey Mouse on Sunday, he’d managed to turn a decidedly average year into a pretty solid one.
By shooting 64 on Sunday to come from out of nowhere to win the Children’s Miracle Network tournament for the second time, Ames vaulted himself back among the Top 50 golfers in the world and demonstrated once more that even at the age of 45, he’s among the game’s best ball strikers.
“This is like icing on the cake,” said Ames after the victory, which saw the outspoken Calgarian play loose, fun golf all the while accompanied by his 10-year-old son, Ryan, who walked inside the ropes with his father.
But it wasn’t just sweet frosting for Ames. As good as his year turned out, it’s been even better for his outspoken Canadian swing coach, Sean Foley. At one time Ames was by far Foley’s most easily recognized student. No longer. These days Foley, 35, has a couple of the best young golfers in the game “ Sean O’Hair and Hunter Mahan “ as disciples who seek out his take on biomechanics and the geometry of the golf swing. Others, including Justin Rose, Greg Owen and Parker McLachlin, as well as up-and-coming Canadian Chris Baryla, all turn to Foley for advice. With Ames, Foley was creating a cottage industry for his radical thoughts on the golf swing. With a dozen pros in his camp, and other junior players throughout Canada and the U.S. turning to him, these days that cottage industry is looking like a coaching empire.