Golf is a funny game. There are golfers that can hit the ball 300 yards plus, and straight as an arrow which is great. There are others who can shape shots, find creative ways to get out of jams and great sand players, and those are also really good skills.
Putting, however, is where the entire game hinges. It doesn’t matter how straight, far or good a golfer is with a wood or iron in hand, if they aren’t skilled with the flat-stick, then none of the other stuff matters. Funny. The following golfers are certainly some of the best ever, and it is because these guys could putt, I mean really putt.
5. George Low Jr. – Okay, so George is the odd man out here, because most golfers that could putt the way he did would have been forever etched in the history of golf greats. Unfortunately George Low Jr. who played from 1930 to 1945 didn’t have a great driver and was middle of the pack with the irons, but his putting skills were ridiculous. How good? Names like Byron Nelson, Arnie and the Golden Bear were all students of his. He is accredited by most as the guy who realized the inside-out putter swing.
4. Bobby Jones – The legend of Bobby Jones would probably be even greater had it not been for him hanging up his clubs at the early age of 28. Somewhat of an anomaly, Jones didn’t prescribe to a standard routine or putting style. He was more of what we call a “feel” putter, and adjusted is style and stroke depending on the putt in front of him. This uncommon putter proved his putting ability and uncanny feel by locking up 13 victories in Majors while only playing in 20 Major events! That’s a money putter.
3. Ben Crenshaw – Had it not been for some misfortune in a few Majors, Ben would probably be more recognized for the incredible putter he is and has been throughout his career. If there is any question about just how good of a putter Crenshaw is, the beast call Augusta National (where he won twice) proved him. In 1995, one of his two victories, he tamed that beast by one or two putting all 72 greens. That just doesn’t seem possible.
2. Tiger Woods – The golfer and his name need no introduction, like the guy who is number one on this list. Tiger just didn’t and still doesn’t miss any of the putts he shouldn’t. That alone, supported by golfing statistics, puts him high on the list. Perhaps what makes him one of the greatest ever is he also can putt from Egypt and bury the golf ball when it just shouldn’t happen.
1. Jack Nicklaus – Two things basically make the ‘Golden Bear’ the best ever. The ability to have ice in his veins and drop pressure putts, and victories. On the PGA tour, wins don’t happen if you can’t putt. Aside from his ridiculous number of total victories, he is still the man everyone is chasing (including No. 2) for total Majors won. He did that by putting, and he won those Major events by pressure putting.
Yes, golf is a funny game and putting is a mysterious skill. Is it practice, feel or great form that makes a golfer a great putter? We simply don’t know, and we’ve seen a variety of different approaches and styles find success. Regardless of where you rank these guys personally, one thing is for certain – these guys are good.