Teacher’s Comments: Timeless advice from a seemingly timeless player
At first glance, I thought that Tom Watson’s “The Timeless Swing” was rather pedestrian. There are no new or innovative techniques; no radical insights or closely held secrets. It’s all classic grip and stance, takeaway and transition; impact and follow through.
But upon further reflection, it occurred to me that’s exactly why Tom Watson’s swing can be called Timeless. Sound, classic fundamentals are what enabled Watson, at age 59, to come within a stroke of winning the British Open.
So in that light, I think The Timeless Swing is a success. Unlike Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons (which I found to be somewhat obtuse with all its talk of pronation and supination) Timeless Swing is very accessible, clearly written and lavishly illustrated with photos. The Timeless Swing is a great book for beginners, and for veteran golfers who need to be reminded of the basics.
For me, The Timeless Swing was a refresher course—and a welcome one after the usual four to five months of Michigan winter layover. Before heading out to the course for the first time this year, I read through the text and studied the photos, reminding myself of all the things I already knew. Each page was met with an “ah, I remember that from my lesson with Joal (or Dennis, or Paul or Jim) … I need to pay attention that that on the course.”
One tip that was new to me was Watson’s method of visualizing his shot. Uniquely, I think, Watson visualizes a football goalpost as his target zone. Any shot that flies through that goalpost is ok with him. I’ve gave that a try on my first couple of nines this year and it works decently well.
The book also has an interesting feature: it’s Smartphone-enabled. On pages throughout the book, there are Microsoft Meta Tags—little colored boxes—that you can photograph with your smart phone (assuming you have the free app installed) and which will take you to an online video lesson with Tom Watson. Nice touch.
Simon and Schuster also has a contest where readers can win an autographed copy of the book.