Which Butch Harmon pupil taught *him* the most? It wasn’t Tiger Woods

Coach Butch Harmon looks on at the range during the third round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Butch Harmon has worked with some of the game's greatest players.

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No matter how many interviews Butch Harmon gives, it seems the legendary instructor always reveals a fresh nugget of interesting information.

Though he’s retired from full-time Tour life, Harmon, 80, still keeps busy at his eponymous School of Golf in Henderson, Nev., just outside of Las Vegas.

Harmon has coached dozens of the world’s greatest players, both male and female, over the course of his career, but it’s his decade-long tenure with Tiger Woods that people tend to find most intriguing, because it aligned with some of the most successful golf of Woods’ career, from 1993-2002. During that period, Woods won eight majors and 34 Tour events.

During a recent interview with Scottish broadcaster Iona Stephen (“On the Road with Iona” on YouTube), Harmon spoke at length about his life and career, but one answer was particularly revealing.

Stephen asked Harmon which of his students revealed the most about himself.

Harmon thought for a beat.

“Wow, that’s interesting. I never really thought of that,” he said. “Probably Greg. Greg Norman’s one of the greatest players the game’s ever seen. He won’t get the credit for it, because he only won two majors and the disaster that he created or someone else created against him in majors. This guy won over 80 tournaments around the world. He was the best driver of a golf ball with a wooden driver I’d ever seen.

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“But because he had so many other businesses — his wine business, his sod business, his this business — if we only had two, three hours to work, if I flew to Florida and stayed with him at his house and we were going out to Medalist to work, it was 100 percent business. And he made me so much better at how I do my job when I had four, five, six players. He taught me how to budget my time to make sure I’m 100 percent vested, and when the time comes that you only have so much time with each player. And so Greg really made me better at my job than I think I was before that, just because I learned from him on how he budgeted his time and everything he did.”

Harmon, who started working with Norman in 1991, said Norman’s prowess with a persimmon driver was unmatched.

“It’s too bad he doesn’t get the credit he deserves because, God, he was good,” he said. “Nobody could drive a ball with a persimmon driver like he could. He could put it at 300 yards on any side of the fairway he needed to. He had a phenomenal short game that people don’t realize.

“But I learned more about myself from being with him and he actually created that in me,” Harmon continued. “I learned it from him and that helped me tremendously the rest of my career.”

For more from Harmon, check out the full interview with Stephens here.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.

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