Tiger wanted to be a SEAL! Woods thought about quitting golf for military, claims Haney
Tiger Woods was considering abandoning golf and joining the Navy SEALS, former coach Hank Haney has claimed.
The 36-year-old has won 14 majors, four short of Jack Nicklaus' record, but Haney insists Woods would have turned his back on the sport to join the military.
Haney even claims Woods had told him the Navy SEALs would 'make a special age exception' for him given their upper age limit is 28.
On the course: Tiger Woods at PGA National on Wednesday ahead of the Honda Classic
Writing in his book, 'The Big Miss',
excerpts from which appear in the April edition of Golf Digest, Haney
said: 'Wow! Here is Tiger Woods, the greatest athlete on the planet,
maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime,
basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.'
Woods' father Earl had been in the Army Special Forces and served in Vietnam.
Military man: Former world No 1 Woods in 2004 arriving at a golf clinic in Fort Bragg on a humvee
In 2004, Woods took part in four
days of special-operations training in Fort Bragg which included
hand-to-hand combat exercises, four-mile runs wearing combat boots,
parachute jumps and drills in a wind tunnel.
His attendance at these camps
increased and shortly before the 2006 US Open Haney revealed he had sent
Woods an email saying: 'You need to get that whole SEALs thing out of
your system and stick to playing Navy SEAL on the video games.
Career change: Woods was ready to leave golf for the Navy SEALS, according to former coach Haney (right)
'You have history to make in golf and
people to influence and help. Focus on your destiny and that isn't
flushing bad guys out of buildings in Iraq.
'Just play those games some more. That Navy SEAL stuff is serious business. They use real bullets.'
In action: Tiger Woods hits from the sand during a pro-am before the Honda Classic on Wednesday
However, Woods attended such camps more frequently, although Haney claimed the extent of his visits were hushed up in the belief there would be a media frenzy.
Haney added: 'When I later learned the full truth about the dangerous exercises that Tiger engaged in with the SEALs, it caused me to question whether the greatest golfer the game has ever seen severely hampered his chance at surpassing one of the most revered marks in all of sports – Jack Nicklaus' record – because of his fascination with the military.'