From the Publisher
"The influence of Byron Nelson and other great mentors helped Tom Watson develop a swing that has won dozens of times. That adds up to a book that will help you if you help yourself by reading it and practicing what it teaches."
“Tom’s swing through the years has looked the same but has changed for the better. He still makes a wonderful full turn. What he did in the 2009 Open Championship was truly unbelievable. Tom is one of the game’s great champions and a super guy.”
“Tom Watson has always ferociously lived a golfing life of self-improvement. We might not have his talent, or his burning desire, but with The Timeless Swing we can now have his wisdom and perspective. Perhaps no one has worked harder to figure out what makes for success in this wicked game.”
“Tom Watson’s swing has been and continues to be the epitome of the adjectives timeless and consistent. It has been an honor and a pleasure to watch, learn, and play against such a simple but most effective, efficient, and successful swing, which has lasted for decades.”
“If you are going to try to find a golf swing that will make you a better player now and for years to come, who better to learn from than Tom Watson?”
“Tom Watson has a very basic golf swing, nothing fancy or complicated, so his instruction and observations on these pages will be easy to absorb and adapt to the talents of all players. He is a strong player, thanks to his outstanding golf swing.”
“I've known Tom since he was fifteen years old, and watched his swing develop into one of the most enduring in golf. He knows how he did it and has a wonderful ability to communicate it."
“This book will definitely teach you how to play better golf, but keeping the same handicap will be up to your own sly self.”
A picture-heavy instruction manual from PGA Hall of Famer Watson that pays particular attention to improving posture and swing.
With assistance fromGolf Digest editor Seitz, Watson provides a comprehensive yet simply written guidebook of golf fundamentals, complete with practice drills and tips for improving ball maneuverability. The author's straightforward prose is geared to golfers of all levels, and at any stage of life, including a chapter focused on adjusting seniors' swings based on age. Watson answers all the common golf questions, including how far to stand away from the ball and how to improve hooks and slices. Firsthand accounts from specific games during the author's career, dubbed "Watson Moments," pop up repeatedly throughout the text, and serve as reminders that even the best golfers need to brush up on their technique sometimes. Concepts are continually reinforced, yet every sentence and illustration is integral to the author's instruction. Watson poses for a number of instructive photographs that detail the sequence of each swing, with extreme close-ups of grips and stances. Award-winning sports photographer Dom Furore's shots are sharp and well-captioned, making the visual component of this book its most effective feature.
An excellent visual reference that can be stored in a golf bag for use on the course.
Read an Excerpt
INTRODUCTION BY NICK SEITZ
I’VE BEEN COLLABORATING ON instruction writing with Tom Watson for thirty years now, and been a grateful recipient of his swing advice. My grip will never be strong enough to suit him, but he persists. Boy, does he persist.
You get the feeling that he cares as much about your game as he cares about his own, and that he enjoys working and playing with average golfers as much as with tour players. He has gone overseas for The Open a week early to play links courses with old high-school pals from Kansas City. He relishes coaching his partners in pro-ams and corporate outings.
A strong traditionalist, he just plain loves all aspects of the game, from its earliest history to its latest techniques. As he grows older himself, he has developed a special feel for instruction that promotes longevity. If that doesn’t make him unique among the great players, it makes him one of the rare few.
“The most amazing thing about him,” says Jerry Tarde, the editor in chief of Golf Digest, “is that his interest in the instructional aspects of the game remains undimmed by the passage of time. As opposed to other superstars who either have a withering interest or never had much at all.”
Watson’s quest for learning and improving is never-ending, and his own swing reflects it. Leading teachers and players believe he is swinging better than he’s ever swung.
On the practice range at a major championship not long ago, Padraig Harrington turned around to see whose shots were making such a crisp, pure sound. “I’ve never heard or seen a ball hit like that,” Harrington marveled. It was Watson.
You no doubt are familiar with Watson’s age-defying feats in recent years. He lost the 2009 British Open in a playoff at nearly sixty years of age and not long removed from hip replacement surgery, captivating the entire world of sports and a broader public as well.
In 2010 he hit the leaderboard in the early rounds of the Masters, made the cut, and finished under par in a tie for 18th place. Then he made the cut in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where he won it in 1982, playing on a special exemption probably meant to be sentimental and ceremonial. Watson doesn’t do sentimental and ceremonial.
He was paired for the first two rounds with young international stars Ryo Ishikawa of Japan and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. Their ages combined didn’t total his sixty. Watson finished 29th—ahead of both of them.
At one point over the weekend, a young man in the gallery shouted, “You rock, Tom Watson!”
It’s fitting that Watson became the second golf professional emeritus at the five-star Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, succeeding the late Sam Snead. Snead could have given Old Man River two a side; he was the oldest man to win a PGA Tour title (at fifty-two) and contend in a major championship (third in the PGA Championship at sixty-two).
He is one of the role models Watson credits in this book. Both had long swings built to last and competitive fires that never needed stoking.
So how does a legendary golfer produce a book like this? How much does Watson really get involved? Here’s a snapshot of the process. He and I and Dom Furore, a top golf photographer, get together for a week at a golf course, in this case the Greenbrier. I know that sounds enviable, but consider that the work days began at dawn and didn’t end till dusk.
Watson demonstrates a topic, Dom photographs it digitally, I capture Watson’s commentary on a tape recorder. Afterward the recording is transcribed with copies for Watson and me, and Dom prints the photos. Watson picks the best pictures, often making notes on the proof sheets to suggest graphic highlighting. Watson and I go back and forth until we’re satisfied with the text, then we both review the finished layouts. He could not be more involved in the entire process, start to finish.
A word of explanation to our left-handed and/or lady golfing friends. We realize that the accepted language of the game isn’t ideal, intended as it is for right-handed, male players. Over the years, leading publications like Golf Digest have experimented with “neutral” references that seemed forced and unnatural, and caused more confusion for most people than the usual terminology. We hope you will make the conversions that may well have become second nature by now.
And I hope Watson’s swing advice helps you as much as it has helped me over the golfing years. May there be many more for all of us. It’s not called the game of a lifetime frivolously.
© 2011 Tom Watson