By guest blogger and fellow golf writer Howie Munck
Tom Watson has released an instructional two-disk DVD set entitled “Lessons of a Lifetime” in which he draws upon his many years of experience and observation of reliable golf swings.
Watson's swing has been a model of repeatable simplicity and effectiveness. He credits his longevity in golf primarily to good family genes, a regimen of aerobics and weight training. He also credits The Champions Tour with keeping his game sharp.
Watson is generous with crediting those from whom he has learned: his father, Stan Thirsk, Cory Pavin, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, lee Trevino, Byron Nelson, Johnny Miller, Seve Ballesteros, Claude Harmon, Billy Casper, Dave Stockton, George Archer, Tiger Woods, Freddie Couples, Harvey Penick, and Gary Player.
A cursory on-line check reveals several of his You Tube sessions of recent vintage, but the new set provides a picture of his collective fundamentals that can be helpful to all.
Things not generally found in other instructional videos include the importance of maintaining the bend in the wrist at setup all the way through impact and his abandonment of the reverse C finish in favor of maintaining spine angle and swing plane. His observation of Cory Pavin’s unusual swing prelude in 1992 at Harbour Town led him to swing down the target line with a higher right shoulder at impact and more consistency.
Asked last week how long it took to internalize the new move, he said, “It took me three swings.” That translates to more than three for those without eight majors.
The set includes 44 instructional points. It plays in two hours and forty minutes. As to how the dvd’s should be viewed, Watson said, “You certainly can’t go through all 44 points. You’d be a basket case. There’s a sequential order to it. We started with the grip, then the setup and grip pressure, where your feet should be and your weight balance. You have to start with that before you swing the golf club.”
The set was in the planning last year, and he credits the mental process in working out the script as a factor for his fine performance at Turnberry. He does not dwell on quick fixes, but following the fundamentals he presents should minimize the need for them. View selected lessons with the dvd player for what you need. Available for $49.95 at golf stores or at www.tomwatson.com.
Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a romantic thriller about blood diamonds in the Congo.