IN A PROMOTIONAL video, Tiger Woods' former swing coach, Hank Haney, promised not only his expertise, but also a "meaningful relationship" with every student who attended his Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy.
"I'm not just a name on the door. I'm here helping the kids," Haney said in the video, according to a lawsuit filed recently in U.S. District Court accusing Haney and the school of stiffing a young golfer, Matthew Teesdale, of Ambler, out of lessons and advice.
Teesdale's mother, Maureen Fitzgerald, said her son got only seven minutes of instruction from Haney in exchange for the $30,000 she paid in 2009 to the golf academy on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
And that was over several sessions, two lasting three minutes apiece and one of them just a minute, she alleges. Haney had promised monthly lessons for a year, the suit says.
The advice the pro-golf instructor provided Teesdale also was standard fare, "vague and generic," the suit adds.
When he should have been reaching out to his students at the academy, according to the lawsuit, Haney spent his time coaching Woods, with whom he later parted in the wake of Woods' sex scandal, and other celebrities, including Ray Romano and Rush Limbaugh.
Haney could not be reached for comment yesterday. A message left with the golf school was not returned.
Neither Fitzgerald nor Teesdale was immediately available for comment.
"Defendant Hank Haney's interactions with Matthew were so fleeting that no personal relationship could have been formed," Fitzgerald alleges. The lawsuit seeks compensative and punitive damages for fraud and consumer-law violations.
Teesdale enrolled in the golf school after finishing high school, the suit said. He had a number of impressive golfing feats under his belt and his "passion and drive to succeed at golf were unparalleled, the suit said.
"He worked extremely hard that summer and poised himself for [what he thought would be] a year at the best golf school in the world under the close supervision of the best coach in the world," the suit says.