January 05, 2012
With the exception of Hank Haney leaving Tiger Woods' camp a couple years back, you rarely hear of golf instructors parting ways with star clients -- especially when the new season is only a couple days away.
But in one of the more interesting stories of the early season, instructor Randy Smith decided to do just that, parting ways with Gary Woodland, after the 27-year-old golfer left Hambric Sports Management for Excel Sports Management.
On paper, the management switch doesn't seem like the kind of move that would force an instructor to walk away ... until you realize Woodland was being represented by Smith's son, Blake, at Hambric.
"I'm thankful for what Randy has given me. Randy's been a big influence in my life the last couple of years,'' Woodland told the Topeka Capital-Journal. "It's a decision he felt like was best for him and his family, for us to part ways right now. I respect his decision and I look forward to the opportunities I have that are coming up.''
Smith and Woodland had worked together for the past six years, so you can understand this was probably a tough decision to make. But based on what transpired, it's clear Woodland's decision to drop Smith's son and jump ship for another management team fractured the instructor-player relationship.
Woodland will reportedly start the search process for a new instructor after the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Based on the way his career is headed at the moment, he won't have any problem finding someone to help him with his swing.