Dave Stockton... golf's greatest putter?
Stockton is regarded by every generation of PGA Tour player as a great putter
and fountain of knowledge for the art of putting.
The fact that Stockton has managed to win more tournaments on the Champions Tour
than in his so-called "golden years" on the PGA Tour suggests that he has
maintained the ability to putt throughout his career as a player, given that a
senior player tends to hit the ball shorter from the tee. Therefore, his
achievements are all the more impressive when considering the pressure put on
his short game.
Fact file :-
Date of birth: November 2, 1941.
Claims to putting fame: Sank a 15 foot par putt at the 72nd hole of the
1976 USPGA Championship to force a play-off and eventually go on to win. Writer
of the best-selling book "Unconscious putting." Coach to Rory McIlroy.
Instrumental in helping Taylormade create their range of White Ghost putters
with his invaluable experience.
Putters used: Taylormade Rossa, Taylormade Ghost Spider
on Dave Stockton's putter ...
What can you learn from Dave Stockton's putting?
Stockton preaches a simple checklist in order to promote
consistent results on the greens.
He believes that your eyes should be over the ball no matter what. From there,
the stroke is a relaxed one that must not be over-thought; there is no technical
aspect to it at all - feel first and let the stroke follow.
"It's not about 'trying' to do this or that. I don't use that word when I'm
coaching," he once said. "It's all about feel and stroking the ball."
Stockton compares putting to taking a shot in a game of pool:
"What's the point of a practice stroke? If you're
shooting pool you don't take a practice stroke. Why should you when you're
So with no practice stroke to gauge the pace, Stockton does all his preparation
while reading the green. In a similar vein to Aaron Baddeley, Stockton always
looks at a putt from the low side and nowhere else. He'd rather have the wrong
read and think he has the right one rather than look at a putt from a number of
angles and get confused.
In terms of routine, Stockton is a brisk, no-nonsense putter. He's making his
stroke soon after he's addressed the ball. He does, however, place his putter
down IN FRONT OF the ball when he first takes his stance.
Here's why you
should do the same: "I've always done it because I don't want the putter head to
stop moving." Then once the putter reaches the normal position, you can just
"pick the spot on the ground and roll the ball over it."
by Murray Rose
Wikipedia on Dave Stockton
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