A Lesson from Tom Watson

By Laird Small, Pebble Beach Golf Academy Director

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As the Director of the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s best players and instructors. Tom Watson certainly fits that bill as a winner of eight Major Championships, including the 1982 United States Open here at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

I was intrigued when Tom told me that even players of his caliber lose the rhythm of their swings during a round of golf. Thankfully, he told me what he did to get his tempo and timing back, and I am excited to share it with you!

  • Grip the club on the shaft near the club head. So, basically, you have turned the club upside down to where the bottom of the grip is facing the ground instead of the bottom of the club head.
  • Make a few practice swings. The club should feel extremely light in your hands.
  • Because of this lightness, you will quickly find where your swing is lacking rhythm and tempo.
  • Now turn the club back around to its normal orientation. You will have a new awareness of the weight of the club head and your swing will become smoother.
  • Once you have your rhythm back, your body, hands and arms will begin working together again, which will result in solid golf shots!

Try this drill at the driving range or even at home. Tom and I believe you will like the results. And when the wheels start to come off on the course, you will have a quick fix to get you right back on track.

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