Swing around your head

April 10, 2008

MODEL SWING: These photos show Sam's steady head, which helped his rhythm. Keep your head in place, and you'll improve your tempo and ball-striking.

When I go to the Masters now, I miss watching Sam Snead practice. He was my swing model. He had the best rhythm I ever saw. Sam told me late in his life that his secret was to swing around his head.

Sam was the best at keeping his head still. It contributed to his great tempo and, with good ball position, resulted in consistent ball striking. It helped that Sam was probably the best athlete who ever played our game -- he was more limber than anybody else.

Let's face it: A steady head with a moving torso is hard to achieve because of our varying degrees of fitness and flexibility. That's why even the best players move their heads some. Byron Nelson, my mentor, would move his head down at impact and Tiger Woods does, too. But they became successful through years of repeating the same swing.

In bad swings, the head moves up and down too much, causing the weight to go to the heels or toes. Strive for keeping your head in place during the backswing and into impact.


Fred Funk will have an even better year on the Champions Tour because of added experience playing the courses on the schedule. And Eduardo Romero will contend in the majors because he has all the tools. He has the best rhythm with power on our tour today.

Watson is the golf professional emeritus at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Click here for more tips from Watson.