LUKE DONALD has gone back to his old swing coach with no regrets from having tried something new.
Donald had spent just over a year working with Chuck Cook when he decided a few months ago that it wasn't working. More than a search for more length, Donald was trying to get his shoulders more open to consistently have the club more square at impact.
"After 13 months, I really hadn't gotten better," said Donald at the HSBC Champions. "Either I physically couldn't do it or I just wasn't getting better. I was frustrated with the game the last three or four months. It was an amicable decision. I just thought it was time to do something different."
Donald said he measured how open his shoulders were at impact when he started working with Cook, and after 13 months there was no change.
But there was a change in his play.
Donald won the Dunlop Phoenix late last year. He also finished one shot behind at Hilton Head when Matt Kuchar holed a bunker shot. He had only three other top 10s, and did not make the Ryder Cup team for the first time since 2008. A year ago, he was at No 14 in the world going into the HSBC. This year he is at No 36.
Donald returned to Pat Goss, his coach at Northwestern. He said Goss had to work more on the fundamentals of short game than ever.
"It has not been much fun on the golf course the last three or four months," Donald said. "I haven't enjoyed it. I talked to Chuck and he was very open about what we wanted to do. He felt like his teaching was like keeping a Band-Aid on, and that's not the way he teaches. I was trying my hardest but wasn't able to do it. I had a choice to go back with Pat or try someone different. I had a lot of good years with Pat."
Donald, who last was No. 1 in the world in early August 2012, doesn't feel the move was a failure because at least he got an answer, even if it didn't work.
"I would have felt worse if I hadn't tried it. Not many guys have changed their swing pretty radically and been successful. Tiger showed it can be done, but it's very hard."