Padraig Harrington has confessed that he is addicted to practice and swing tinkering.
The good news is that he is starting to listen to the members of his inner circle, who are clearly fed up with his obsession to fix something that clearly isn't broken.
His wife Caroline started the ball rolling on Monday, followed by his caddie Ronan Flood on Tuesday and mental coach Bob Rotella on Wednesday.
In drug treatment parlance, it's called intervention and Harrington confessed that it could make a huge difference to him in the long term.
"It might prove significant in the context of my career," he conceded after carding a second successive 72 in The Players Championship at Sawgrass.
"I do have a problem in that I get totally addicted at times with my swing and in recent weeks it has become an obsession.
"I had a long chat with Bob Rotella and my caddie Ronan last night, it was like an intervention. Things are definitely turning the corner.
"I've gone down this road before, I will go down it again, that's the nature of the game. I kind of get stuck into things and then get very obsessive about it.
"I'm happy that I've done it but it's time to get back to playing golf. I have definitely become addicted to my golf swing over the last couple of months and I definitely need to get rid of that."
Harrington admitted he was still a little way off ending his latest swing experiment but said he recognised the need to do so.
"There's two things (needed to do that). The first is to realise it, the second is to commit to it. I'm not committed to it fully as of yet because I do want to finish off what I'm doing, but I'm fully committed to a time frame.
"It would take a few weeks to turn it around but, yes, in four weeks' time, I intend to be fully finished with the game of swing."
Harrington's coach, Bob Torrance, explained recently that his star pupil is trying to achieve a more penetrating ball flight.
Torrance said: “He is trying to keep the ball down a bit. His launch angle is too high and he tends to hit underneath it a wee bit. The trajectory is too high after impact.
“We are getting steep on the ball to improve his strike so that he can compress the ball more, the way Jimmy Bruen used to do back in the 30s and 40s.
“He is trying to come at the ball steeper to get more penetration in his flight. It is the launch angle of the ball leaving the club. It will come in high but it will still be going forward when it is landing, instead of dropping straight down.
“There will be more backspin on the ball. A ball that drops straight down from the sky is not going to come back. But a ball that comes in lower with spin is going to go forward and then screw back."
According to David Dusek at Golf.com, Harrington's search for a driver is becoming almost as obsessive as his search for his swing.
So far this season, Padraig Harrington has not played like a guy who has won three of the last seven major championships.
"When you win something, especially when you have success, I see that as a reason to stop and start changing things to get better," Harrington said in a press conference earlier this week. "I'm not trying to play as well as I played last year to win the two majors. I'm trying to play better than that."
To that end, Harrington is not just tinkering with his game; he's also continuing his search for a new driver.
During much of 2008, Harrington used a Wilson Dd6+. In January and February, he was swinging a Wilson Smooth. But as we reported, he switched to a TaylorMade R9 with a Grafalloy ProLite 35 shaft at the Shell Houston Open.
That club was pulled out of the bag in Augusta the following week, when Harrington put a Titleist 909D3 (9.5°) into play. Last week at Quail Hollow, he used a Titleist 905TR (9.5°), and in a practice round this week he tried a Callaway FT-9.
When it came time to tee it up on Thursday, the Wilson Smooth Harrington used through much of 2008—including at Royal Birkdale and Oakland Hills—was once again in his bag.
Harrington went into detail about his mind set just a few weeks before the Masters, explaining: "There’s no doubt when I was playing a couple of events, all the events up to the Match Play, I was more focussed on how I’d play the following week rather than how I was playing in that week’s event.
"It’s a distraction and I just let it run into too many tournaments and got caught out. I’d usually get away with it but my short game wasn’t 100 per cent sharp; I didn’t putt as well as I would and normally I can hide a bit but I got caught out this time around.
"There’s no doubt in my mind got too far ahead of itself and I wasn’t competing at the time. But I’ve done that every year, that’s me. I’ll always be fighting that battle of playing tournaments or wanting to go and practice like mad to get better.
"It’s only now I realise there’s so many events I was leading or was in contention to win over the years that I spent Saturday evening changing my swing so I’d play better the following week. In many ways I’ve let that work … like when I stop during the winter, nobody looks forward to their winter break more than me because I’d have gathered up so much information during the year that I want to change thing
"I’m so enthusiastic during the winter working on things and changing them but I let that drag into the season this year and that’s eh … it could be the extra emphasis on the Masters but I’ve done it many times. I probably do it every year it’s just I got caught out this year by the fact that some of the other parts of my game, my bunker play or something like that, weren’t quite right. Maybe I was pushing for results as well and just got at bit hard on myself on the golf course. There are a num ber of elements where I just didn’t get away with it this year, early-season.
"Actually, the season feels a lot worse than it sounds. I’ve just missed two cuts like. I’ve done worse, let’s say but, definitely, I know why and what was happening and the attraction of trying to change and improve things always draws you in. I’ll never get away from it to be honest. I like working on my swing to get better."
After three missed cuts from nine starts in the US, Harrington made the cut on the level par mark as did Graeme McDowell, who made a fantastic birdie three at the last to sneak in for the weekend.
The Ulsterman hit a 313 yard drive over the water and a 140 approach to 11 feet for the bravest of birdies as Rory McIlroy missed the cut.
McIlroy, 20, was two under playing the 17th on Thursday but took six there and bogeyed the last to card a 74.
On Friday he bogeyed the 11th and 15th and then birdied the 16th to leave himself needing a three under par homeward nine to make the level par cut.
Bogeys at the third and sixth ended that dream and he eventually trudged home in 40 blows for a 77 that saw him miss the by seven shots on seven over - his first failure on the PGA Tour.