G4G Mailbag: Daly Show, Foley's Followers

I’ve been busy covering a conference this week, but I’m back at the blog now, catching up on some loose ends and actually thinking of digging my clubs out of hibernation this week. I had been planning on heading to FLA for some warm weather, and perhaps take in the ensuing hysteria should Tiger Woods have decided to play, but that was called off unfortunately, leaving me dreaming of my trip to Wales in a month’s time.

Anyway, I’ve received a lot of comments and emails lately, some of which I’d like to address. Here’s some missives I’ve received about my column on John Daly that ran on Sympatico last week.

First up, reader “Kevin” sets the tone by suggesting I might be able to move back into the world of daily journalism with a job at a tabloid:

Do us all a favour and keep your simply opinions on John Daly (or anyone else for that matter) to yourself. I am and always will be a huge fan of Mr. Daly and do not care to be subjected to your views on how good a golfer or how he should live his life or whatever else you think you are an expert on. To each his own. Think what you will of people just don’t write it down in a sports column. Makes for a very uninteresting read. Like opinions? Here’s mine. Maybe you should start submitting your articles to rags like the Enquirer, where they are more suitable for WOMEN like you. Moron.

When I worked at the National Post and received these sorts of emails I always wrote back thanking the commentator for their “thoughtful and considered insight.” Not sure if they understood my remarks were awash in sarcasm. Anyway, Kevin could avoid my views by simply navigating his browser somewhere else, but instead decided that only a feminine pundit could be critical of Daly. Interesting. Nice use of all-caps as well.

Doug in Kelowna had this to say:

Thanks for your insightful assessment of John Daly and his new reality show. Like you, I was confused by the shows’
purpose – if it was to generate support for his latest comeback it was a dismal failure. I’ve always supported underdogs and have hoped over the years that he could get his act together. It now seems apparent that he is a chronic underacheiver and this is yet another attempt to generate income with the least possible effort. There are a lot a great young players out there who are much more deserving of Sponsor’s exemptions and the Golf Channel’s resources than this guy.

A dismal failure indeed. Anyone see the second episode of “Being JohnDaly?” Nope? Didn’t think so.

But back to reality. Reader “Don” was short and concise:

Keep your thoughts to yourself.
The guy is trying.

Is he? I couldn’t tell.


Now on to the Sean Foley comments. Basically I let those who read this site to battle it out among themselves and I try to stay out of the fray. But rarely has there been such a polarizing figure as Canadian swing doctor Sean Foley. I’ve written critical comments about Foley, but I’ve also made it clear that he has always been considerate with his time when it comes to answering questions about his students. Last week I wrote that David Leadbetter had some critical remarks about Foley — likely just competitive stuff spilling out of the game’s best-known swing coach. Foley has had a ton of success and Leadbetter is noticing. Nothing wrong with that. Anyway, some still think I have some hate-on for Sean, which isn’t the truth. On the other hand, I’m not about the ignore an interesting remark by someone as high profile as Leadbetter. As those who have read the comments have noticed, there’ s  a real schism when it comes to Foley on this site. Let’s start with reader Geoff:

After reading this article on Foley it just reinforced how a Ëœjournalist approaches a subject rather than a blogger. Thought you would enjoy an actual story arc, start middle and ending. Not just pure negativity and envy.

Funny, Geoff, you’re referecing Steve Elling, a writer who works on the Web (largely) and putting me down for the same thing. Interesting. So let me get this clear — if you drool all over Foley you’re a “journalist.” If you quote David Leadbetter talking about Foley in an interview you conducted, you’re not a journalist? Interesting distinction.

CPGA, who writes under a couple of different names on the site, had this to say about Henry Brunton, the head of the RCGA’s national men’s team:

Brunton is by far the worst teaching procoach who currently claims such prowess and fame. He has an award on his website as the U.S. Kids Top 50 teacher. Who gives a shit. I just find it interesting that as long as he has coached(drove busses and booked flights) the national team for, he does not work with any of the players once they stop paying their way. Not a single professional. Henry is fantastic at displaying other peoples findings, but the guy has never had an original thought. They are all a bunch of fakes of who pull the wool over peoples eyes when if you put there resume to the test it is a lot of smoke and mirrors. As a CPGA member I find it emberassing that they champion guys like him. Zokol would have emberassed him.

I could add lots of “sic” in there, but frankly my stomach is churning enough without them. Next…

Onto Jason, who thought Elling’s article was a bit over the top:

Big deal about who Foley can quote. Anyone can google those names, insert the world Ëœquote after the name and come up with a ton of quotes then commit a few to memory.

That brought CPGA/Tim out again:

Nice hating Jason. The guy is the hottest coaching entity on the PGA Tour and hes only getting started. He is one of those geniuses he quotes. His critics would gladly switch spots with him

I think CPGA/Tim meant geniuses… but I still think he missed the point. Jason hit back:

hat·ed, hat·ing, hates
a. To feel hostility or animosity toward.
b. To detest.

Not sure how my comment falls into the hate category and I am secure enough in myself not to be jealous of anyones success, I applaud success of any kind. And yes, I have spoken to Foley on several occasions for lengthy and periods and found him to be a great guy and commended him on his success. My comment was more aimed at Ellings gushing.

Finally, the last word on the subject belongs to noted Ontario golfer Mark Leon, who Googled Foley and found the site:

First off, I have never written on one of these blogs until now, but unfortunately I have nothing better to do on a Friday night. Like Mr. Corbin, I attmepted to google Sean to find out when he was speaking in some Ontario PGA summit, and this article was the first to pop up.
For a guy that teaches at least 8 PGA/LPGA tour pros, along with the best female amateur in Canada (not enough people in the Canadian golf press talk about how incredible Jenny Kirbys 2009 summer was by the way), he gets quite a bit of negative press. The reality is that he is one of Canadas best exports to the world of golf. He is a charismatic, caring, one of a kind person and regardless of his CPGA certification, he has an otherwordly ability to get people swing the golf club more effectively. Sean certainly doesnt need me to defend him, his stable of players, and the millions of dollars they earn against the worlds best are defense enough. For those who think that coaching people who are already world class ballstrikers/players is an easy task (youre mistaken¦.they are far more impatient and discerning, and can hire any coach they choose), then youtube Brogan McKinnon or Ryan Corbins golf swing. Both examples of what happens when Sean takes a kid from scratch and teaches him/her how to swing. Both swing the club as good as any PGA tour or LPGA pro, and hopefully their games will both prove world class one day.
I agree that he gave a bad answer in an interview, but that should not be the most noteworthy google item concerning the man.

Thanks Mark. Love the guys who make “blogs” sound like a communicative disease. Trust me Mark, posting on a blog won’t cause anything to swell or get infected. At least I don’t think it will. And last time I checked I didn’t run Google. Strikes me that swing doctors need to brand themselves. As soon as Foley has his own web presence, my comments from two years ago won’t be the lead items on Google. Until then…

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • RT,

    Interesting about what Leadbetter said with respect to Foley and Immelman. Sean actually mentioned this at the Ontario PGA Professional Development Conference last month at U of T. The way Leadbetter explained it was almost the same as Foley did. The way I understood it as Sean explained it was that Trevor always seemed to slip back into what Leadbetter was teaching and never fully grasped what Sean was trying to teach. Finally Sean recommended to Trevor that he go back to Leadbetter because that was that Trevor knew. Sean said that Trevor kept trying to explain things to Sean as if to suggest he should teach like Leadbetter. My feeling was that everything was amicable amongst all parties. In fact Foley praised Leadbetter a lot and even went as far to say he was a big influence in his career. So unless Leadbetter was saying it in a negative way then I think it may be misunderstood. I will say that Sean had some interesting remarks about Leadbetter as well and even referenced some nick names that players refer to Leadbetter by. I can’t recall them to be honest; needless to say they weren’t flattering. It looks as though there is some professional jealousy amongst all PGA Tour Coaches whether they would like to admit it or not.

  • I love the mailbag RT. What I really love are the people who hate you but can’t stop reading you. It makes me laughing thinking about them pacing around their cubicles with steam coming out of their ears waiting for your next post.
    Keep up the great work

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