Golf's Best Putter: ... Brad Faxon?
The words "Brad Faxon" and "great putter" will surely be mentioned synonymously
well after his retirement.
Faxon is known worldwide as one of the best 'pure putters' in golf history.
Perhaps his best display of putting genius came in 2000 when he set the season
record on the PGA Tour with just 1.704 putts per greens in regulation. So what
is the secret that you can learn from Brad Faxon's putting?
"My only secret is confidence" Faxon told said in an interview with Golf Digest in
2003. "I just try to hit every putt as if I've just made a million in a row."
Fact file - Brad Faxon:
Date of birth: August 1, 1961
Claims to putting fame: Putting leader on
PGA Tour (1996, 1999, 2000);
All-time lowest putts per GIR in a season (1.704)
Putters used: Scotty Cameron (Brad Faxon Model) Ping Anser,
> on a Scotty Cameron Brad Faxon putter
Of course a near perfect putting stroke is not something a player is born with.
Faxon grew up playing at the Rhode Island Country Club, a Donald Ross course
with small greens, thus forcing him to rely on his short game more than most.
Though he admits his ball-striking has never been something which he would call
a strength of his game, his sheer ability to deliver on the greens makes up for
it dramatically. His reputation as an outstanding holer-out started right back
in his college days and has never changed.
Faxon has also always been a source of advice for many players on tour. In 2011
he shared a practice round with long hitter Gary Woodland, whom Faxon was
shocked had no tour wins to his name at that point. After a trip to see Faxon to
work on his short game, a win shortly followed, and they became regular practice
partners after that.
Faxon said of his work with Woodland: "I'm not a guy who has a method; I'm more
about the complete picture. There are certain things I like to see in a guy's
stroke, and he has a lot of those things."
Perhaps one of the most astounding facts about Faxon's putting is that his
statistics improved as he has got older. He himself puts this down to Scotty
Cameron and the help they have provided with their facilities, and likes to
think that his maintaining of standards throughout his career will be
encouraging for other senior players.
What you can learn from Brad Faxon's puttingFaxon's key philosophy when it comes to putting is the mental acceptance of
missing or making a putt. The ability to deal with whichever result will
inevitably make you a more confident putter.
For example, aiming a putt at the right edge of the hole that does not break
left is not something that you should beat yourself up about when it doesn't
break. Ultimately you did all you could do in terms of both process and
Faxon's top tips:
1) Look at the hole while making practice strokes. Doing this makes you less
stroke conscious and in turn more aware of where your target is.
2) The visual aspect of putting is a personal thing to everyone according to
Faxon. His claim is that you don't have to hit a putt at a certain speed in
order for it to go in. A caddie may see a variation of the line you see, plainly
because you like to drop your putts into the hole rather than hit the back of
the cup before dropping.
3) Trust your first instinct. Second guessing will only hinder your confidence
as you will have two ideas confused before a putt is even struck.
by Murray Rose
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