The Greatest Putters in Golf

We all know that putting is a match in a match and individuals who take care of to excel at the black arts are usually the ones to go property with an individual else’s revenue in their pocket

Willie Park Jr famously explained that the person who can putt is a match for anybody and in the rarefied environment of present-day pro Excursions that has in no way been more true. Players can strike the ball so much, with such accuracy, that the man who can putt the ideal settles tournaments and championships on the greens. It has normally been so but hardly ever additional than right now, when everybody, it appears, is a peerless ball striker. Average gamers can have a warm streak in which the hole is as huge as a bucket and the ball drops with relentless certainty but people streaks do not previous and the golfer who wants to create a very long career desires to be ready to putt regularly very well.

So below we present the definitive list of the finest putters that ever lived, with two deliberate exceptions. Women of all ages are excluded for the reason that women of all ages are unable to putt. And any person who wields a extensive putter is excluded simply because they have now conceded, by obtaining the monstrosity in their bag, that they are fallible on the greens (and since it can be not golfing to use a single).

25. Billy Casper

The 1959 US Open up champion of whom Gary Player after explained, with just a tiny trace of irony: ‘I come to feel sorry for Casper, he won’t be able to putt a lick. He missed three 30-footers out there now.’ Casper hated analysing his perform and once when requested about technique, replied: ‘How does a seagull fly? How does a centipede get all all those legs doing work at at the time?’
Thanks Billy.

24. Ken Brown

Just one of the traits that several men and women in this checklist have is that they moved with an unhurried, tranquil slowness – and there was hardly ever a slower player than Brown. Finest close friend Mark James wrote: ‘When he stood in excess of a putt you were never ever guaranteed which would occur very first, his backstroke or darkness.’ But the painstakingly deliberate technique helped Brown sink extra than his truthful share.

23. Phil Mickelson

Just one of only two remaining-handers in the record (alongside with Bob Charles), he’s always superior but generally influenced. At previous year’s US Open he and Retief Goosen putted the lights out on some of the toughest, swiftest and lumpiest greens at any time generated for a Important, and of course at the Masters he merely looked as if he knew he would gap anything he appeared at. And he did.

22. Nick Faldo

Especially in his youthful days, Faldo was remarkably gifted, with the same kind of free-flowing, rhythmical motion that characterised his long match and he himself said in his autobiography that in all those times he did not imagine he would at any time miss. When he re-designed his swing more than two extended several years he neglected his placing but then re-focused himself to that as nicely, with 6 Majors becoming the outcome.

21. Lee Trevino

Unorthodox in almost everything he did, Trevino grew up very poor and his actual instruction in golf came in funds matches that he could ill-pay for to reduce and against opponents to whom it was unwise not to pay up – number of factors will come across the faults in a placing stroke quicker. In consequence the Mexican genius produced a audio, reliable, repeatable motion that would not get the job done for everyone but definitely did for him.

20. Jose Maria Olazabal

Ollie’s driving issues have been an just about perennial component of his profession but so, thankfully, has 1 of the most successful putting steps in the globe. You only require to get two items right to hole a putt – tempo and direction – and this guy will get them proper a helluva good deal of the time.

19. Walter J Travis

Golf author Charles Price tag summed up the Australian who played by means of the change of the last century with the terms: ‘Travis holed out from these immeasurable distances that his opponents claimed he could putt the eyes out of a chipmunk.’ He failed to just take up the game until he was 37 and three yrs later won the US Amateur.

18. Isao Aoki

The well known Japanese participant most likely experienced a person of the most idiosyncratic steps of all but, uncomfortable though it looked, it was helpful. He would tackle the ball with the toe of the putter pointed skywards, in a way that made you scared he would dig the heel into the ground through the stroke – but he under no circumstances did. The first Japanese celebrity led the way on the greens.

17. Brad Faxon

Some say that if Brad couldn’t putt he probably would not be on Tour but he is blessed with a single of the smoothest, most efficient placing strokes at any time noticed, and you don’t make two Ryder Cup teams on putting by yourself. He is constantly rated quantity a person by his fellow pros – most of who would sacrifice their initially-born for Faxon’s stroke – and they should know.

16. Walter Hagen

The Hague virtually owned the USPGA Championship when it was matchplay, and it’s matchplay the place the greatest putters dominate. Which also describes his Ryder Cup file of performed 9, gained 7, halved 1 and misplaced 1. He had all the gamesmanship and psychological tricks but they never function if you won’t be able to again it up, and he could.

15. Ernie Els

Irrespective of individuals two woeful misses on the 18th green in final year’s Open, about the system of his vocation Ernie has been a textbook putter. His reading of greens is exceptional but, as with so numerous other really greats, it is the easy and unhurried but accelerating rhythm of his stroke that elevates him to the ranks of the pretty most effective.

14. Loren Roberts

It was Loren’s caddy who to start with christened him with the dreadful monicker ‘Boss of the Moss’ but the nickname has more than plenty of grounding in real truth to have trapped. Together with Faxon and Crenshaw has continually been the man most envied by his friends and the very least very likely to split a putter above his knee.

13. Hale Irwin

Sure, he famously missed a one-inch putt to get into a playoff for the 1976 Open but that was through carelessness. And of course, with the exception of that well-known 1990 energy on the 72nd hole of the US Open up at Medinah, he’s not renowned for generating bombs. But he is the master at receiving the task carried out – a few-putting rarely, leaving himself panic-free of charge 2nd putts, and holing out when he has to.

12. Paul Runyan

Even now remembered on the US Tour as the kind of opponent that everybody hates. He was a quick, slight guy who was continuously out-driven by everyone – generally by a large margin – but could get up and down far better than practically any person who at any time lived. Gained the USPGA in 1934 and ’38 when it was even now matchplay and when the top quality of opposition was great.

11. Greg Norman

Men and women try to remember the numerously ingenious methods he located to end second in Majors but none of them arrived on the greens, where he was as excellent as anyone. He sank a 40-footer on the final environmentally friendly in the ’84 US Open up to power a playoff with Fuzzy Zoeller, understanding that he had to make it, and that requires bottle and technique. And when he bought warm, no-one could scorch spherical a golfing course improved.

10. Ben Crenshaw

Widely regarded by his peers as the very best they have ever found, Crenshaw’s sleek, unhurried rhythm was the crucial to his results. Tom Kite, who grew up with Crenshaw in Texas, as soon as reported of him: ‘I do not keep in mind Ben at any time lacking a putt from the time he was 12 right until he was 20.’ He did not miss out on as well several soon after that either. Inevitably his only two Main successes arrived at Augusta, wherever placing is the to start with game you want to carry.

9. Bobby Jones

The Master stayed trustworthy to his putter ‘Calamity Jane’ throughout his career, and she remained devoted to him, serving to produce a amazing string of accomplishment. Amongst 1923 and 1930, when he retired, Jones performed in 23 of the Majors for which he was eligible, and received 13 of them – a strike amount of 62{4794e2a5af98421425d757e3e406e9ebc22e0d7579733cf825e9c79e4a650b20}, which no other player has appear in the vicinity of matching. And a lot of it was down to putting. In practically each individual regard he was, simply, the Finest.

8. Seve Ballesteros

Missing a putt, to Seve, was a particular insult, and he hated to be insulted. From the marvellous fist-pumping excesses of St Andrews 18th green when he conquer Tom Watson in the ’84 Open up, to the miles and miles of putts he holed in the Ryder cup to defeat the hated Us citizens, Seve performed on the eco-friendly particularly as he did everywhere you go else on the program, with no fear. He was aggressive, daring and even in direction of the close of his profession, under no circumstances frightened of the 1 coming back again.

7. Tiger Woods

When Phil Mickelson was requested in March this yr by US magazine Golf, who he’d select to make a 5-footer for his daily life he mentioned: ‘Tiger, because he is created more clutch putts below the gun than any individual I have ever noticed other than perhaps Nicklaus.’ He went on to cite the sliding 5-footer from Bob May at the 2000 PGA Championship, and the putt he designed in the Presidents Cup in the dim from 15-18 toes. As Phil reported: ‘He’s made a great deal of ’em.’ Fantastic putters make them when they have to and there has almost certainly under no circumstances been any person more consistent from 10-feet and below when it counts.

6. Jack Nicklaus

His uncomfortable, crab-like stance, hunched over the ball, right knee bent and all his weight on the remaining side, never ever seemed to be the most aesthetically gorgeous factor in golfing but couple of steps ended up as helpful. His very best working day arrived in the ’86 Masters, his past Significant, when he wielded an over-sized MacGregor Response putter to devastating effect above the again nine to pinch the environmentally friendly jacket from under the noses of Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman, but that was only the most new of many unforgettable times of the limited grass for the Daddy of them all.

5. Peter Thomson

The Australian who took 5 Open championships, 3 of them in a row, is likely the most neglected multiple Big champion in golfing history. His quietly spoken, calm manner disguised the depth of his bloody-minded perseverance to gain and he probably had the smoothest and most effective-on the lookout placing stroke of everyone on this listing. It wasn’t very as powerful as some but was a point of splendor, and it got the work performed.

4. Young Tom Morris

Bob Ferguson, who himself won the Open 3 instances in succession, stated of the guy who was 1st to accomplish the feat: ‘Tom Morris would putt and ahead of the ball was midway to the hole, switch away and say to the boy carrying his golf equipment: ‘Pick it out of the hole, laddie.’ And this was in the times when greens resembled sheep-grazing tracks (which, by the way, they usually have been) and clubs had been designed from the jawbone of an ass. It is significant, though, to make the distinction in between Tom Morris Jr and his father, who could not putt a tennis ball into the Grand Canyon.

3. Sir Bob Charles

The to start with still left-hander and New Zealander to acquire the Open up (in 1963), Charles is now 65 and has just announced that following season will be his very last as a golf qualified, soon after practically 50 decades of exhibiting his fellow execs how it must be done on the greens. So fantastic and regular has his putting stroke remained that he gained 23 occasions on the US Senior (Champions) Tour, at an age when a lot of others are battling the yips, and he has 70 qualified wins in whole. 1st arrived to prominence as an 18-calendar year-old beginner prodigy when he received the NZ Open and he has not stopped profitable due to the fact.

2. Bobby Locke

The South African was unconventional in all the things he did. He was not even named Robert but was christened Arthur D’Arcy – the Bobby came from his routine of bobbing up and down in his pram. He familiarly wore a white cap, shoes and shirt (which includes necktie) and dim as well as fours, in which he carried his portly frame down the fairways with such ponderous magnificence that his passing could have been likened to that of a royal barge on the Thames. His golfing sport was also out-of-the-normal, and involved sending just about every shot at least 40-yards correct of goal and hooking it back again it into participate in. But it was on the greens wherever he broke people’s hearts and he generally preserved that any round of golfing involving more than 28 putts was a terrible one particular. He won four Opens and when he went to America they laughed, until eventually he gained six periods in a brief area of time with these dominance that the ever-insular US Tour changed its guidelines so that he could not go back again. A single of the People in america he defeat, Lloyd Mangrum, stated in 1982: ‘That son of a bitch Locke was capable to gap a putt more than 60-ft of peanut brittle.’

1. Sir Michael Bonallack

Quite simply just, in the eyes of a lot of, the previous secretary of the R&A is the most effective putter there has at any time been. As a lifelong newbie he was never ever tested versus the very greatest pros but quite a few of those people who witnessed him in motion agreed that he was peerless. Like so quite a few masters of the eco-friendly, he stayed trustworthy to a single putter and had an idiosyncratic type that was all his have. Peter Alliss reported of him: ‘Michael Bonallack was a amazing player. He had a superb shorter recreation that was all of his possess building. When placing he took up a huge, huge stance with his nose just about sniffing the ball and had a brief, jabby swing but all the putts went in the gap.’ Sir Michael’s honours in the amateur recreation are considerably far too several to point out but involve five novice championships and 4 English amateur titles. In the 1963 English Amateur at Burnham & Berrow, he bought up and down in two 22 instances in 36 holes towards Alan Thirwell. Much far too modest to agree with this assessment, he however was the best.

Absolutely not on the list

Ivan Gantz early US Tour professional who was famed for hitting himself in the head when he missed a small putt, and as soon as even knocked himself out.

Larry Nelson who when said with commendable honesty: ‘I engage in along every 12 months, waiting around for just one week, perhaps two, when I can putt.’

Clayton Heafner of whom fellow American professional Cary Middlecoff said: ‘The only time he could putt was when he was mad ample to detest the ball into the gap.’

Experienced it but lost it

Tom Watson Fearlessly intense in his early days and by no means minded knocking it 5 feet previous because he would constantly get the a single coming again.

Now he does not

Ben Hogan Nevertheless a wonderful swinger of a golfing club perfectly into his 50s but could not putt for his existence.

Tony Jacklin Hardly ever the identical following Lee Trevino broke his heart and picked his pocket for the ’71 Open up by chipping in from almost everywhere.

Peter Alliss Shed it at the Italian Open when he retired mid-round just after lacking a two-footer.

Sam Snead Rescued himself for a whilst by placing sidesaddle but when that was outlawed he was back to the yips.

Honourable point out

Bernhard Langer for acquiring, and beating, the yips three occasions, which is just about distinctive at the highest amount.

Almost designed it into the major-25

Arnold Palmer Usually incredibly aggressive but his assortment of much more than 80 putters reveal how he struggled at situations.

Retief Goosen A person of the most steady holer-outs in the environment and his two US Opens are a evaluate of his ability.

David Toms Almost never a few-putts and WGC Matchplay get may just propel him to the upcoming amount.

Probable to sign up for the greats

Paul Casey The blend of Luke Donald’s iron enjoy and Casey’s putting wrapped up last year’s Planet Cup of golf.

Adam Scott At his most effective a great putter but not at his best normally more than enough nevertheless.

Stewart Cink Rolls them in from everywhere

Mike Weir Won the Masters on the greens but not but actually dependable adequate.

Sergio Garcia: Currently apprehensive about his inconsistency but has the stroke and creativity to be a planet beater.