One of the oldest cliches in golf is "Drive for show and putt for
dough," but on today's PGA Tour the driver is a critical
offensive weapon. Quail Hollow required long, accurate tee shots,
and David Toms was up to the challenge--until the very end. Toms
bashed his way around the 7,396-yard course, averaging 297.9
yards a pop while tying for second in driving accuracy. His
six-under 66 on Saturday was one of the best rounds on Tour this
year, and on Sunday, Toms continued his aggressive play, not
making a bogey through the first 17 holes. So what happened on
the 18th tee, where he badly fanned his drive, which led to a
quadruple-bogey 8? Toms's swing is all about timing. He perfectly
matches the movement of the club with the coiling and unwinding
of his body. Trying to protect a six-shot lead at 18, Toms made
his most defensive swing of the tournament. Instead of the syrupy
rhythm he had displayed all week, his arms quickened on the
downswing, and with the handle moving well in front of his body,
he hit a big block into the trees. The ensuing sloppiness
shouldn't obscure what was otherwise a week of brilliant
May 18, 2003
TIMING THE SWING starts by centering the club in front of your
body at address. A block like the one toms hit is a result of the
handle of the club moving forward of its starting position and
away from the body--leaving the club face open (WRONG). Here's a
drill to help your timing. Rest the butt end of the club on your
belt buckle and choke down on the shaft so your arms are in a
naturally extended position (THE DRILL). Make your backswing and
then time your release so the butt of the club returns to the
center of the body at impact (RIGHT).
OUR TOP TEACHER SAYS...
"I've known Tom Watson since he was at Stanford and I was an
Oregon Duck. Early in his career Tom made more putts over 20 feet
than anyone I've ever seen. After his long bout with the yips,
it's nice to see that he's regained some of his old putting
"I can't believe how slow today's pros have become. The PGA
Tour should institute a shot clock, with players given 30 seconds
to hit from the time they reach their ball."
"Every time I see Jim Colbert do that peacock strut I wonder
where he learned it--and if I can still get a lesson."
"A lot of instructors haunt the Tour trying to make a name.
Reputations are made by helping the best players, but they are
the easiest to teach."
"Fans think that Tour players have perfect swings, but they
all have compensating moves."