Being the game’s premier golfer is something that may last for two or three years, but to be voted the premier coach since 2003 is a unique achievement.
When your father was the winner of the 1948 Masters Tournament it is a given that the game of golf is a large part of your sporting DNA.
Born in 1943 Burch Harmon started playing the game at 8 yrs. old and entered the world of professional golf in 1965. After serving three years in the US army and seeing action in Vietnam he joined the PGA tour and enjoyed one win on the circuit before decamping to Morocco in the ’70s for several years, during which time he was the personal instructor to King Hassan.
On his return to the States, he became the club pro at Crow Valley in Iowa. It was here that his reputation started to grow due to his work with Greg Norman in the early 90s.
In 1993 Butch became Tiger Woods’s coach and stayed with him until 2004. Thereafter he has coached other champions including Phil Nickelson, Ernie Els, Stewart Cink, Davis Love 111, Fred Couples, and Justin Leonard. Before his semi-retirement from the tour, he had also coached a clutch of exciting new players such as Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.
His methodology in coaching is not to go through a list of processes but to study his pupils’ natural game and then to improve what they are doing in a way that they learn to be comfortable with. By adopting an informal and friendly approach the pupil feels less pressure and improves in an almost organic way.
In 2019 Butch retired from coaching on the PGA tour, however even though he is now 78 yrs. old he is still coaching from his academy at the Rio Secco Golf Club in Las Vegas. The Butch Harmon School also has branches at the Els Golf club in Dubai and the Floridian in Palm City Florida.
For many years Butch was a commentator for Sky’s golf coverage, and he has written several instructional books as well as collaborated with Greg Norman on his Better Golf project which comprises three videos, a book, skill cards and an audiotape. He also writes a regular column in Golf Digest magazine.
Whether you get the chance to experience the Butch Harmon method first-hand or take advantage of his books and tutorials you can take some comfort from knowing you will be learning from the absolute best.