Tiger Woods relied on 'prick' mentality to dominate golf, coach Butch Harmon says

Harmon served as Woods’ coach from the start of his pro career through 2004.

Tiger Woods relied on an intense competitive edge – and extreme self-confidence – to fuel his unprecedented run of golf success, according to his former coach, Butch Harmon.

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Harmon, who served as Woods’ coach from the start of his pro career through 2004, was asked on an Instagram Live session with his son whether Woods played with a degree of cockiness. The elder Harmon noted that Woods “absolutely” played with an edge, noting, “you got to have a lot of prick in you” in order to succeed at the sport’s highest level.

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“You have to be that kind of guy when you walk between the ropes,” Harmon said, according to Golf.com. “You and I know DJ [Dustin Johnson] as well as anybody. When he walks between the ropes, and Brooks [Koepka] is the same way, Tiger’s the same way, they just want to cut your heart out. They want to beat you. They’ll go to dinner later on, or we’ll have a beer afterwards and joke, but when it comes time to play, I’m going to really get you.”

A competitive fire has served Woods well doing his career. The 44-year-old golfer has won 15 majors during his career, second-most in the sport’s history. He is also the top-earning player in golf.

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Harmon said Woods always played with the killer instinct present in other athletes at the pinnacle of their sport, such as longtime NFL superstar quarterback Tom Brady.

“They have that ability to reach inside, and they love the pressure. They thrive on it. They want it,” Harmon added.

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Aside from Woods, Harmon has worked with several of the world’s top golfers. Other clients include Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

Woods’ skills will be on display next month when he and fellow golfer Phil Mickelson play a charity golf match alongside Brady and fellow former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. The event will raise money for coronavirus relief efforts.

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