There Have Always Been Great Players
Throughout golf’s rich history, there have always been great players.
Some were great ball strikers. Others were great wedge players and some great putters.
Which would you prefer to be?
I’ve personally seen, and competed, against them all and let me tell you…I’d rather play someone with a weak short game anytime!
Great ball strikers have full command of their swing. Hit it a ton, stiff the irons but can’t make a putt to save their life!
Let’s look at 2 examples of great ball strikers.
- Moe Norman – rated by some as the greatest ball striker ever. Aesthetically, a swing you would never want to copy! But there were things IN his swing that made him so pure. He didn’t like putting and thought the short game was a waste of time.
- George Knudson – another rated by his peers as one fo the top 5 ball strikers that ever played the game! He too disdained short game and putting. He liked to say he would just take 2 putts and walk off the green.
Now let’s look at a couple of short game wizards.
- Seve Ballesteros – a true magician with the short game. Because of his erratic ball-striking, he HAD to have a great short game, and boy did he ever!
- Phil Mickelson – another maestro of the short game. Phil is NOT known for his ball-striking but again, he is never out of a hole due to his wedge game. His putting can be sporadic at times, but you don’t win Majors without great putting.
With all of the stats available today, from the PGA Tour, you can see who is leading – and falling behind, in the Shots Gained categories.
The majority of the world’s best players have coaches to use as a second pair of eyes. To point out some seemingly minute “flaw” that can turn them around, or get them back on track.
Look at the differences in today’s top players.
The set-up is different, grips are different, backswing and downswing are different, alignment is different but the key is that for the most part, they ALL hit the ball the same! It’s whoever has the hot short game that wins it!
Dustin Johnson this past week lead all but one category for Strokes Gained – putting. He was 74th in that category. He would have been much higher but for a couple of days of missed putts.
In this case, I can hear you saying to yourself, the best ball striker DID win! And I agree…in THIS case!
Look, it doesn’t matter what your strength is, keep building upon it BUT look at your weaknesses…THERE is where the majority of the work should be put in.
And hey, if you REALLY can’t figure it out come see me. If you can’t get to Arizona, then contact me for a referral to someone in your area.
I’ll be in Kansas City around the second week of June doing a Junior golf combine at Tiffany Greens Golf Club and Staley Farms Golf Club. My home base though is here in AZ.
Hope to see ya soon,
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher
Devoted KC Chiefs Fan