You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that Tiger Woods' swing coach, Hank Haney, is poised to fill the void at Mission Hills Golf Club, in Shenzhen, left by the abrupt departure of David Leadbetter. Haney's high-profile visit during the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, which ends today, led to speculation the 54-year-old American was about to agree to a partnership with the world's largest golf complex. 'China is the future of golf and I'm here because I would like to help future Chinese players develop,' Haney said as he sat alongside Mission Hills executive director Tenniel Chu in the Dongguan Clubhouse. 'If you're interested in golf in China, it leads you to Mission Hills. This is the greatest facility I have ever seen.' Asked if he were in the process of formalising a business relationship with the Chu family, who control Mission Hills, Haney would hint only that it was being discussed. He added: 'I've always enjoyed coaching Chinese players at my academy [in South Carolina]. They are highly respectful of coaches, they have great focus and they work hard.' Leadbetter's exit comes after his contribution earlier this month to Michelle Wie's maiden victory on the LPGA Tour at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico, with Wie paying tribute to the Briton for 'never giving up' on her. Chu said: 'The David Leadbetter Golf Academy at Mission Hills has ceased to exist as of November 2009 ... Mission Hills is truly appreciative of the contributions the David Leadbetter Golf Academy has made to the growth of a new crop of golfers in China.' He said the academy would now be directed by former Chinese national team coach Wu Xiangbin, but added cryptically: 'In the coming weeks, Mission Hills will have an announcement about its next exciting, ground-breaking instructional initiative.' Signing up Haney would be a handy coup for Mission Hills, with another of his coaching peers, Butch Harmon, setting up a school in Macau last year and with rumours of a planned expansion on Hainan Island. It could also be a potential 'in' with Haney's top student, Woods, who has not played at Mission Hills since 2001. Every year, Haney spends at least 100 days with the world No 1, who was in Shanghai for the WGC-HSBC Champions earlier this month but again skipped the World Cup. If Haney signed on with Mission Hills, Woods might have reason to add more Chinese dates to his calendar. The Texas-based instructor gave a taste of possible things to come as he conducted coaching clinics with juniors, amateur players and members of the international media at the Shenzhen resort last week. From a coaching perspective, is there anything about Chinese golfers that stands them apart from Americans? 'They tend to be pretty hard on themselves and expect a lot,' Haney said. 'Sometimes it's better just to give yourself a pat on the back instead of being so self-critical all the time.' Haney said his goal was to help train groups of instructors to cope with the predicted explosion of interest in golf across China leading up to the sport's inclusion in the 2016 Olympics. 'One of the main purposes of this visit is to come up with a programme and a team of coaches who can help develop tomorrow's future players in China,' he said. 'When you look at the success of Chinese gymnasts, it's the same kind of thing. They start at a very young age, they have very good coaching and they progress from there. It's no different with golf.' After guiding Mark O'Meara to the Masters and Open Championship in 1998, Haney started working with Woods six years ago, taking over from Harmon. When Woods missed the cut at July's Open Championship at Turnberry, some critics began asking if he needed to make some urgent adjustments. But although he ended a calendar year without a major for the first time since 2004, he still recorded seven victories in 17 official events, and that was after coming back from major knee surgery. Haney said the locations of the big four tournaments next year could help Woods add to his 14 major victories. That is if he can improve his putting, which, Haney said, had cost him dearly this year. 'Augusta, Pebble Beach and St Andrews are all places where Tiger has had tremendous success, so he'll have a little better opportunity than he'd normally have,' Haney said. 'And he's played well before at Whistling Straits, where the PGA Championship will be held.' Haney uses the same philosophy whether he's working with the best or the worst, including former NBA star Charles Barkley, a weekend hacker with perhaps the ugliest swing in North America who struggles to break 100 for 18 holes. The challenges of tutoring Barkley became a TV reality show called The Haney Project. Haney remains a handy scratch player, who still finds time to play at least 100 rounds a year. So who coaches the coach? 'Tiger does. We play a lot together. You can't see yourself, so I get all my advice from him on my swing and technique. He's a good coach.'