Chris Como became one of the most famous golf coaches on the planet on Saturday when Tiger Woods announced that he hired him as a swing “consultant.”
Only the hardest of hardcore golf nerds knew who Como was before Tiger announced the hire. He’s a 37-year-old based in Plano, Texas who’s finishing a Master’s degree in biomechanics at Texas Woman’s University. The three professional golfers he has worked with — Aaron Baddeley, Trevor Immelman, and Jamie Lovemark — are hardly household names.
Golf Digest put him on their “Best Young Teachers” list in 2014, noting that he charges $US1,500 for a half-day lesson at Gleneagles Country Club near Dallas.
Como is regarded as a sports science expert. His biomechanics degree has involved co-authoring a paper called, “Assessment of planarity of the golf swing based on the functional swing plane of the clubhead and motion planes of the body points.”
That’s basically all that the golf world knows about Como, and some people around the game are leery that this is the right move for Tiger.
An anonymous professional caddie who’s familiar with Como told the New York Daily News that this is going to be a disaster. He said Como is, “way worse than [Tiger’s last coach Sean Foley], way too technical. This guy will try to get Tiger a putting coach, a statistician, a green reading guy, etc. It’s his worse choice ever. He can turn a guy from an athlete into a golf geek.”
Jason Sobel noted on Morning Drive that Tiger’s biggest weakness right now is accuracy off the tee, yet the three PGA players Como has worked with all finished outside the top-135 in driving accuracy.
Alan Shipnuck of Sports Illustrated said Tiger is making a mistake in even hiring a coach in the first place:
“I wish Tiger would have resisted the temptation. He’s maybe the most naturally gifted player ever; he doesn’t need a coach — especially one who’s into biomechanics and neuroscience — he needs to find it on his own. Success will be to win a couple of Tour events and contend at one or two majors. Anything beyond that is a home run.”
There’s intense debate in the golf community about what is wrong with Tiger. Some people think he gets too technical and tinkers with his swing too much. Others think he pushes his body so hard in the weight room that he picks up needless injuries.
Tiger has been working with Como for a month after his friend Notah Begay introduced them over the summer, according to USA Today. Based on Como’s background, some are speculating that Tiger could be headed for a few more swing tweaks in order to prevent further injury to his back. Como works under Dr. Young-Hoo Kwon, who lists “sport injury mechanism” as one of his areas of expertise.
Como seems like an innovative character.
In one YouTube video he demonstrated the concept of “passive torque” by crawling on the ground:
In another he jumped off a high dive and swung a golf club:
Tiger is going to be 39-years old when the 2015 season begins. While his era of dominance is over, there is still time for him to turn things around from his disastrous year in 2014, and hopefully Como will help.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.