Hank Haney announces he's returning to the airwaves

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Hank Haney announces he's returning to the airwaves

Golf

Hank Haney announces he's returning to the airwaves

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Hank Haney is back.

The longtime golf instructor and author was driven off his popular SiriusXM show on May 30 at the “PGA Tour’s instruction” following remarks viewed as insensitive to Korean players’ domination in women’s golf. On Monday, Haney announced via Twitter that he is returning to the airwaves, this time as a podcaster.

Speaking exclusively to Golfweek, Haney confirmed he has signed with iHeartRadio to produce podcasts on a nearly daily basis, or less often when topics are fleeting.

“I’m going to post every weekday, and in the morning so it’ll be available early,” he said. “It’s a great format because people can listen to it whenever they want. And it doesn’t have to be 45 minutes, it can be 40 minutes, it can be 20 minutes, it can be an hour and a half, it can be whatever. And I’ll post it every day, for the weekdays at least. But then, maybe more during major championships, Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, the Olympics.”

Haney says he will come out firing with strong opinions despite what he says is a tainted reputation following his and then- co-host Steve Johnson’s flippant prediction of a Korean player winning the U.S. Women’s Open. Haney admits he could not name six LPGA Tour players prior to this year’s U.S. Women’s Open and landed on that number somewhat coincidentally.

The tournament was won by Jeongeun Lee6 of Korea, who has the number six affixed to differentiate herself from five other prominent players named Jeongeun Lee.


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“You don’t ever recover from scrolling across the bottom on ESPN for 12 hours,” Haney said of the controversy, noting his name has been “tarnished forever, in certain people’s minds.”

Regarding the comments he has apologized for via a Sirius/XM’s PGA Tour Network press release and on Twitter, Haney explained how it all went wrong.

“I could have worded it better and been more expansive in my explanation,” noting that he recalled reading various stories about Jeongeun Lee affixing six to her name.

His respect for the rise of Korean women is evident.

“I always knew that the Korean women are the game’s best players,” he said. “They’ve won 10 out of the last 13 U.S. Opens and 16 of the top 30 players in the world are Korean, so I knew that. I knew that they were the dominant players.”

Haney says he’s received a warm in-person reaction.

“It’s really just unbelievable,” he says. “Every single person is like, ‘Hank I miss your show,’ or ‘When are you coming back?’ I have never had any person ever say a negative thing.”

Multiple people tell Golfweek that SiriusXM attempted to retain Haney, and the instructor remains friendly with the network’s head Scott Greenstein. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. But Haney feels the podcast, which will be distributed by the world’s largest distributor of audio content, iHeartRadio, will allow him to be more opinionated.

“I’m coming out hot, why not?” he said. “I know in podcasts you’re still going to get quoted and everything. I feel like it’s going to be better than ever. And I like the fact that I can do longer interviews, I like the fact that I don’t have to stick to talking about the PGA Tour when there’s nothing to talk about. It’s a nice deal to not feel like every day you got to find something to talk about because that’s pretty tough in golf.”

Haney’s new show anchors what is expected to be a broader golf lineup the company formerly known as Clear Channel is preparing under the “iHeart Golf” brand.  Haney’s new podcast debuts Sept. 23.

 

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