Tiger Woods has a new swing coach: himself.
Woods announced Dec. 22 that he and former swing coach, biomechanics expert Chris Como, have parted ways. In a tweet he posted, Woods announced the relationship status change: “Since my fusion surgery I have been working hard to relearn my own body and golf swing. I’ve done this by primarily relying on my feel and previous years of hard work with Chris. For now, I think it’s best for me to continue to do this on my own. I’m grateful to Chris Como for his past work, and I have nothing but respect for him.”
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) December 22, 2017
Woods and Como worked together dating back to November 2014, when Woods announced the partnership approximately eight months after a first microdiscectomy surgery and a planned return at the 2014 Hero World Challenge the next month.
Happy to have Chris Como consulting and working with me on my swing. I’m excited to be back competing.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 22, 2014
Woods made the announcement as a way of teasing a comeback to competitive golf, but he finished tied for last at the 2014 Hero World Challenge before playing in 11 tournaments in 2015. Woods didn’t have a productive year, withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open in February when his glutes weren’t activated and shooting a career-worst 85 in the third round at the Memorial Tournament in June. After missing the FedEx Cup playoffs following a last-ditch effort at the Wyndham Championship to win and get in the PGA Tour’s post-season, Woods went under the knife for the first of two back surgeries performed in Fall 2014 in an effort to relieve back and nerve pain Woods experienced months after his first of two microdiscectomies in March 2014. Woods did not return until December 2016, when he came back again at the Hero World Challenge. He made two starts in 2017, missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open and withdrawing from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February before undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April 2017.
Como was a curious choice, as he studied biomechanics at Texas Women’s University. His exploration of the golf swing as a coordinated set of motions has led him to debunk some long-taught views on the swing. Woods was introduced to Como by friend Notah Begay III.
Como and Woods end on good terms, with Como reciprocating Woods’ complimentary parting statement, saying to the AP: “When our professional relationship began, I was asked to help Tiger utilize his own instincts and feel while playing pain free. I think we’ve accomplished that and I’m proud of the results. Tiger is ready to have an incredible run in his career. I’m eager to watch what will be one of the most exciting sports comebacks of all time.”
It’s unclear if Woods has someone informally keeping an eye on his swing for 2018, or if the 14-time major winner is handling it all by himself. Either way, Woods appears to be set for a return to competitive golf come the new year, with a rumored start at the Genesis Open at Riviera in February at a tournament his TGR Live firm runs. He could play sooner than that — three weeks sooner, in fact — at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines near San Diego from Jan. 25-28, 2018.
Tiger Woods swing coaches: A timeline
- Earl Woods: 1975-1996 — coach before turning pro
- Butch Harmon: 1996-2003 — 8 majors, 34 wins in 127 official starts
- Hank Haney: 2003-2010 — 6 majors, 31 wins in 93 starts
- Sean Foley: 2010-2014 — 0 majors, 8 wins in 55 starts
- Chris Como: 2014-2017 — 0 majors, 0 wins in 13 starts