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Who is the best ballstriker you’ve seen in person?

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“Ballstriking” is an amorphous term in the world of golf (indeed, it may only be a term in the world of golf). Putting aside the PGA Tour’s official statistical ballstriking category, golfers use the term to refer to the pure-striking flushers of the golf ball.

Thus, there’s an element of subjectivity in any evaluation of “the best ballstriker” a golf fan has ever seen. Certainly, the best striker has command of his clubface, and thus his ballflight. He or she is likely consistent in shot dispersion and generates an ample amount of power. Beyond that? Different ballstrikes for different folks.

Tmartin89 started a forum thread asking his fellow GolfWRX members about the best ball striker they’ve ever seen.

He writes

“I was lucky enough to caddie at the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale for a friend of mine who made it through local qualifying. I was on the range and saw Garcia, Jimenez, Stenson plus a bunch of other top players hit balls but the best ball striker I saw was Greg Norman.”

Cardoustie says

“Johnny Miller and Moe Norman. Moe beside me on the range. Johnny at the Canadian Open and in a lesson.”

Moe Norman beside you at the range? What an experience! Caniac6 adds

“I followed Nick Price years ago. I’m not sure of the event, it was either the GGO or the Kemper. He shot 30 on the front 9, and never made a long putt. I talked with his caddie after the round, and he said he hits it like that all the time. Now that I think of it, it was the Kemper one of the first years at Avenel.”

Widow-maker says

“George Knudson. I followed him in a US Open qualifier at Detroit Golf Club in 1970. He hit every fairway on the front 9, and all 9 greens and shot 1 under. His ball flight on his driver was exactly the same on every drive he hit.”

Excellent responses and plenty of interesting first-hand observations in this thread that’s less than a week old and more than 110 replies deep.

Check out the thread.

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Joe D

    Feb 1, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Gloria Alred

  2. Jon W

    Jan 31, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Watched Tom Lehman hit 6 irons on the range at the 1999 Ryder Cup for a half an hour. He probably hit 40 identical shots. Hi soft draw….not sure if hes the best ball striker, but pretty impresssive.

  3. Harry Adam

    Jan 31, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Sandy Lyle. Rated by Seve as the best striker of his era. He didn’t half give it a thump, and with such a sweet sound.

  4. Paul Vicary

    Jan 31, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Moe Norman. No doubt in my mind. Anyone who was fortunate enough to see him play or practice would have to agree.

  5. M-Herd4

    Jan 31, 2018 at 10:17 am

    We live a block away from a course that used to host the B.C. Open and now hosts the DSG Open so I’ve seen a lot of players over the last 35 years or so. Most recently I’d say Kenny Perry is right up there with the best I’ve seen. Couples moves it pretty good too especially back in the day when he won the B.C. Open.

  6. Patricknorm

    Jan 31, 2018 at 9:13 am

    I’ll say Moe Norman only because when I saw him he hit the ball exactly as he predicated. As many of you know Moe was not normal, possibly autism, there are theories, but I’m answering the question as it is asked.
    Is Norman the best golfer I’ve ever seen ? Of course not. That would go to Tiger and then Jack. I didn’t see Hogan either. Interesting questions. Good for this time of year when there’s a ton of snow on the ground.

  7. frank cichon

    Jan 30, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Back in the late 1950’s I was lucky enough to caddy in a tournament back in Ontario for Sam Young. ( Sam was one of the assistant Pros at Weston Golf Club in Toronto at the time) He told me that we would be in the same group as the best ball striker in the world. As it turned out I had never heard of Moe Norman…nor did I appreciate his talent…too young I guess…but about 10-12 years later I lived in Newmarket, Ont…just north of Toronto and played at a club at Lake Simcoe quit often with my first wife> I think it was Gilford golf club and the family that owned it let Moe play all the golf he wanted. It was a treat to watch him hit a ball….many a night after work he would cut in front of us & hit 3 balls as we were on the green By the time we got to the tee box (no more than 80-90 yds from the green) we just putted out on he was out of sight …most of the time his 3 drives were within 2 steps. I moved to Vancouver in 1975 and had a great time watching hime play Capilano Golf club in West Vancouver in the late 1970’s…the year before the Senior Tour was formed. He remembered me from Lake Simcoe and I walked down a few fairways with hime talking about the family back in Lake Simcoe.He hit the ball as PURE as humanly possible! George Knudsen was another Guy I saw in person play about a dozen times…I would rank him a close second to Moe. I should add I have been to over 15 PGA Tour events so I did see good ones…Tom Weiskopt …Lee Trevino… As a side note…..I could not believe JB Holmes on the 72 hole at Torrey Pines…..he should read a book about Moe Norman… If Moe had an empty course in front of him he would shoot in the 60″s over 90% of the time but do it in less than 2 hours 100% of the time….FACT!

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19th Hole

Retired pro cricketer blasts Kevin Na for slow play. Is he right?

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A tweet and follow-up video from a retired English cricketer are making the rounds in the golf social mediaverse and snackable content realms. And while most agree that it’s not a good look for golf when Kevin Pietersen, who has more than three million Twitter followers, mocks Kevin Na for taking a small eternity over a putt and slow play is an issue on Tour, Pietersen may not exactly be hitting the mark.

Anyway, here’s the tweet and succeeding tutorial.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Surely it’s hyperbole to call the putt a “tap-in,” no? But given the length of the putt, how excessive is the amount of time Na took?

And for the millionth time, expecting players like Kevin Na (who prefers a…deliberate pace) to play quickly because it’s courteous, isn’t going to happen. Pro golf is the man’s job, and he clearly believes he does it best when he does it slowly with great deliberation. Expecting Na, or any other player of a similar mindset, to change without outside influence (slow play penalties) is unrealistic.

In other words, Pietersen ought to include @PGATour in his tweet as well.

Update: Na posted this defense/explanation on Instagram. 

 

 

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19th Hole

On the range at PGA National: Gerald is missing, a major winner throws down the WITB gauntlet, Artisan sighting

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And just like Monday, there was plenty of visual interest Tuesday. We got WITB looks at Sergio Garcia, Harold Varner III, and Ian Poulter, in addition to others, as well as a look at a new Toulon offering. Two galleries of general range photos as well, for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few of the best shots.

We’ll start with Sergio Garcia, who is gaming some absolutely savage stuff since signing with Callaway. Apex MB irons with the Sergio Garcia logo and a chrome finish that’d make an exhaust tip blush.

Garcia is also gaming this Toulon Azalea putter, appropriately.

Also in the Toulon department, Cody Gribble’s Toulon San Diego is, classy. It…stays classy, if you will.

Interestingly, we spotted Gribble with this Nike Engage wedge. And is that an Artisan Golf stamp? Hmm…

A quick scan of Harold Varner III’s bag revealed Gerald, Varner’s iconic puppet-like headcover to be absent. Upon closer inspection, Gerald is embroidered on HV3’s putter cover. Does this mean Gerald the headcover is no more? Say it ain’t so!

The only Ben Hogan staff bag on Tour. And a beauty it is! J.J. Henry with a set o’ Hogan PTx irons.

We spotted Ian Poulter with some Superspeed Golf sticks and a…baseball bat? That can’t be right. What is that thing? At his side in case Ted Bishop comes around?

Poulter, one of the most frequent flatstick flippers, also looks to be a new admirer of the work of Rife Guerin, as he was testing both an Evnroll and Rife Antigua putter. We’ll see what he puts in play.

Oh boy, the putter buffet was fully stocked at PGA National Tuesday. Golden Corral has nothing on these offerings.

A helping of Odyssey…

Bettinardi…

SeeMore…

Toulon…

…makes you want to fill up a plate and come back for seconds.

Check our full spread of photos from Tuesday at PGA National below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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19th Hole

11 insights from Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington’s wide-ranging chat

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Paul Kimmage of the Irish Independent got Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington to sit down for an extensive and wide-ranging interview. That alone is an achievement.

McIlroy and Harrington, the greatest golfers in recent memory from Northern Ireland and Ireland respectively, have never been the best of friends. That isn’t to say they’ve been adversaries, they’ve just never been particularly chummy.

Both men, accomplished and insightful, are great interviews individually. Together, however, the transcript is even better. Harrington, for example, can probe McIlroy in a way a reporter can’t. And McIlroy is compelled to answer the elder statesman when he calls him on the carpet for trying to act like Tiger Woods in press conferences, for example.

Here are a few of the more insightful portions of Kimmage’s Q&A.

Harrington and McIlroy prepare for tournaments in very different ways

PH: And we have a very different way of preparing for tournaments. He likes to play early, I like to play late. I’m not prepared to do his thing, he’s not prepared to do mine…
RM: Yeah, what’s the best way to prepare?
PH: I like a good sleep and to play later.
RM: I’m up at five every morning.
PH: I can think of nothing worse than playing practice rounds when you do.

McIlroy’s tournament week is structured with little socializing outside his inner circle

RM: Yeah, for example, I’ve rented a house this week and I have a chef and everything revolves around that house. I get back (after playing) and there’s six people in the house and that’s my week: I don’t see anyone else; I don’t want to see anyone else.

See above

PK: What about you, Rory? Any player you’re close to?
(Long pause)
PK: I’ll take that as a no.
RM: Not particularly, but I think that’s more to do with the stage I’m at in my life. If Erica wasn’t with me, I’d reach out to some people or play a practice round or whatever. But I wouldn’t be particularly . . .

They keep their trophies in very different places

Where do you keep your Claret Jug?
RM: (Nods to Pádraig) Ssss . . . plural.
PH: Sitting on the breakfast bar in the kitchen at home.
RM: I don’t have it on display. I have a trophy room, but if you were in the house you would never find it.

Three majors would be a failure for Rory, both agree

PH: I’m at a stage where I’ve done what I need to do. You’re at a stage, Rory, where you’re still trying to get more . . . actually, I’m going to say this, and it’s probably not what you want to hear, but four Majors for you is a failure.
RM: I 100 per cent agree.
PH: Three Majors for me was an over-achievement. I love what I’m doing and I’d like to win another one, but I’m well aware that I’m not going to change my legacy at this stage. Whereas you’re still on that path.

McIlroy admits he doesn’t have Harrington’s “mental stamina”

RM: (smiles) Yeah, he’s the ultimate . . . at 46, I’ll probably be at the point where I accept what I have – he does not accept it. There’s always something to work on; there’s always something to get better at. That’s where we differ as well; I don’t know if I have the mental capacity or the mental stamina to get up every morning and do that.
PK: You don’t?
RM: Yeah, to practise like that. The way he goes about it is too mentally draining for me.

Self belief or the lack thereof determines the quality of Rory’s play

PH: There are two things that stand out with Rory; the first thing kills him but it also makes him and that’s his belief: when it’s there it’s phenomenal, and when it’s not there it hurts him. When he has it he sends people running scared, and when he doesn’t have it he fades – you can see that from the sideline.

Harrington thinks McIlroy often comes off as cold in interviews

PH: I don’t think I’ve ever been in your company where I haven’t walked away thinking you’re a nicer guy than I thought beforehand. And yet, media-wise, you can sound quite cold and clinical at times and I think: ‘He’s trying to be Tiger Woods.’ Because you present this . . . wall.

When Rory and Tiger played in November, Tiger insisted Rory bring his dad

RM: On the night before we played (in November) Tiger sent me a text: ‘Why don’t you bring your dad along?’. Dad wasn’t sure. “I’ll leave you two to it,” he said. “I don’t want to get in the way.’ So I sent him a text: ‘No, I don’t think he is going to make it.’ He texted me back: ‘Oh, come on! When he is ever going to get a chance to play with two former number ones?’

McIlroy thinks Spieth is golf’s most underrated player

RM: I had a chat with Brandt Snedeker last night and we both said it: “Jordan Spieth is the most underrated player in the game.” When you look at what he’s done, and what he’s achieved, but all you hear are negatives.

Neither seem to be fans of Brandel Chamblee

PH: They can’t see the X factor. Dustin Johnson hit a drive a few weeks ago (in Hawaii) and one of the main TV commentators said it was the greatest shot ever hit.
PK: Brandel Chamblee.
PH: Talk about hyperbole.
RM: It was nonsense.

All this is but the tip of the iceberg of a frank, insightful, and often funny exchange. Check out the full transcript of the sit down here.

 

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