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Debating with your friends who’s the best Golf coach?

Butch Harmon, David Leadbetter, or Hank Haney?

Here is our list of the best Golf coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Golf Coaches:

  1. Butch Harmon
  2. David Leadbetter
  3. Hank Haney
  4. Sean Foley
  5. Dave Pelz
  6. Jim McLean
  7. Harvey Penick
  8. Pete Cowen
  9. Bob Torrance
  10. Chuck Cook
  11. Mike Bender

#1 Butch Harmon

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached Top Players like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson
  • 📅 Years Active: 1970s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Instructional Books, DVDs
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Butch Harmon is widely recognized as one of the most influential golf coaches of all time, having worked with some of the sport’s greatest players, including Tiger Woods during a transformative period of his career.

His coaching philosophy emphasizes simplifying the golf swing, making it accessible and understandable for golfers of all levels.

Harmon’s contribution to golf extends beyond coaching individual champions; through his books and DVDs, he has instructed countless golf enthusiasts across the globe.

#2 David Leadbetter

  • 🏆 Achievements: Renowned Instructor; Developed the “A Swing”
  • 📅 Years Active: 1970s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: The Leadbetter Golf Academy
  • 🌐 Nationality: British

David Leadbetter is celebrated for his innovative approach to golf instruction and for coaching numerous major champions, including Nick Faldo and Ernie Els.

Leadbetter has pioneered many new teaching methods, including his development of the “A Swing,” designed to help golfers achieve consistency and improve their game.

His global network of golf academies has helped popularize his teaching philosophies, making him a household name in golf instruction.

#3 Hank Haney

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached Tiger Woods; Host of “The Haney Project”
  • 📅 Years Active: 1970s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Coaching Tiger Woods, Golf Books
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Hank Haney is known for his tenure coaching Tiger Woods during several of Woods’ most successful years.

His coaching style focuses on improving his students’ swing performance to increase consistency and develop better play strategies.

Haney also gained fame through his instructional books and by hosting “The Haney Project,” where he took on celebrities and transformed their golf games.

#4 Sean Foley

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached Tiger Woods, Justin Rose
  • 📅 Years Active: Early 2000s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Modern Coaching Techniques, Use of Technology
  • 🌐 Nationality: Canadian

Sean Foley has been at the forefront of golf coaching with his modern approach and emphasis on biomechanics and technology to enhance his students’ techniques.

Foley is recognized for his work with several top players, including Tiger Woods and 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.

His progressive teaching methods have made him a sought-after coach among players looking to leverage the latest in golf science.

#5 Dave Pelz

  • 🏆 Achievements: Short Game Guru; Pelz Golf Schools
  • 📅 Years Active: 1980s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Research-based Teaching, Short Game Instruction
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Dave Pelz is highly regarded for his specialized work on the short game and putting, where his scientific approach to instruction has impacted countless players.

Pelz’s expertise in the science of the short game has made him a leading authority in that area, with his schools and clinics offering in-depth coaching on this essential aspect of golf.

His book “The Short Game Bible” is considered a go-to resource for players seeking to improve their performance around the greens.

#6 Jim McLean

  • 🏆 Achievements: World-renowned Golf Instructor; 8-Step Swing Program
  • 📅 Years Active: 1980s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Jim McLean Golf Schools, Instructional Books and Videos
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Jim McLean is a well-respected figure in the world of golf instruction, known for his innovative teaching methods and comprehensive understanding of the golf swing.

He has developed the “8-Step Swing” program, which has been effectively used by a range of golfers, from beginners to professionals.

The Jim McLean Golf Schools have expanded across the United States, offering high-quality instruction based on McLean’s principles.

#7 Harvey Penick

  • 🏆 Achievements: Legendary Teacher; Penick’s “Little Red Book”
  • 📅 Years Active: 1920s–1990s
  • 💭 Best Known For: Timeless Teaching Lessons, Simplicity of Advice
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Harvey Penick was known for his simple, yet profound teaching style, which he imparted to students over several decades.

His influence stretched far and wide through his classic work “Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book,” which offered easy-to-understand lessons and became the best-selling golf book ever published.

While Penick passed away in 1995, his teachings continue to resonate with golfers of all levels, as they embody the essence of the game’s fundamentals.

#8 Pete Cowen

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached Multiple Major Winners
  • 📅 Years Active: 1990s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Coaching Top European Tour Players
  • 🌐 Nationality: British

Pete Cowen is renowned for his expertise in the short game and swing mechanics, which has led to successful partnerships with many of Europe’s top golfers.

#9 Bob Torrance

  • 🏆 Achievements: Father of Sam Torrance; Coach of Major Champions
  • 📅 Years Active: 1950s–2012
  • 💭 Best Known For: Traditional Coaching Methods, Influencing European Golf
  • 🌐 Nationality: Scottish

Bob Torrance was revered in the golf world for his traditional approach to coaching and his role in developing the talents of many European Tour players, including his son, Sam Torrance.

His expertise in the fundamentals of the golf swing and his ability to communicate complex ideas in a straightforward manner earned him the respect of his peers and students.

Torrance’s passing in 2012 marked the end of an era, but his influence on the game continues through the many successful golfers he guided.

#10 Chuck Cook

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coach of Major Winners
  • 📅 Years Active: 1970s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Teaching PGA Tour Winners, Instructional Videos
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Chuck Cook has made a significant impact on the game through his work with PGA Tour winners and major champions, helping them refine their skills and achieve success.

His approach to instruction often incorporates video analysis and a focus on biomechanics, giving his students a detailed understanding of their swings.

Cook’s contributions to golf instruction are heightened through his instructional videos, which offer insights into his effective coaching methods.

#11 Mike Bender

  • 🏆 Achievements: PGA National Teacher of the Year
  • 📅 Years Active: 1980s–Present
  • 💭 Best Known For: Mike Bender Golf Academy
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Mike Bender’s reputation as a top-tier coach was further cemented when he was named PGA National Teacher of the Year.

Bender has developed a systematic approach to teaching that builds solid fundamentals and addresses the individual needs of each student.

His dedication to coaching is exemplified through the Mike Bender Golf Academy, where golfers can receive personalized instruction based on Bender’s successful methodologies.


Who is the greatest golf coach of all time?

Butch Harmon is often regarded as the greatest golf coach, having guided players like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to major victories.

Who was the most successful golf coach?

Butch Harmon is considered the most successful golf coach, having coached multiple major winners, including Tiger Woods during a dominant period in his career.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning ‘real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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