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19th Hole

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

The Florida Mid-Am final ended with a player getting punched in the face. Or did it?

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On paper–that is the Florida State Golf Association’s paper, not the police report–Marc Dull won the Florida Mid-Am when his opponent, Jeff Golden, withdrew.

Dull had just birdied the 16th hole to pull even, when the skies opened.

A FSGA statement on the final match indicates what happened next

“With the players on 17, play was halted by heavy rains. When conditions permitted play to continue nearly two and a half hours later, Golden was unable to continue due to an unfortunate injury and defaulted the match.”

Indeed, the statement is technically correct. However, it hardly tells the full story…and what a story it is.

Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner did some digging into the “unfortunate injury,” and what he found was certainly surprising.

Per a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office police report, Jeff Golden (the man who suffered the “unfortunate injury”) called police. Golden claimed he was assaulted in the Coral Creek Club parking lot by his opponent’s caddie. According to Golden, Dull’s caddie, Brandon Hibbs, punched him in the face.

Why in the world did this happen? Apparently, during the ninth hole of the Golden-Dull match, Golden asked Dull about the condition of one of the holes, inquiring as to whether the cup was damaged.

“Don’t worry about it,” Hibbs (again, this is Dull’s caddie) told Golden. “If you’re going to make it, you’re going around it.”

Following this, Golden told a rules official that he believed the caddie’s statement constituted advice (to Golden, who was not his player). Apparently/incredibly, the rules official agreed, and Golden was awarded the hole.

Hibbs, presumably furious, left the course at this point and returned to the clubhouse.

During the previously mentioned rain delay that interrupted the match, Golden claims Hibbs approached him in the parking lot while he was at his car getting additional clothing.

Per the report, Hibbs “approached him, apologized, then punched him on the left side of the face.”

Now this story would be ridiculous enough if these facts were agreed upon. However, Hibbs says the incident never happened. He claims after leaving the course, he was in the clubhouse during the entire rain delay.

Nobody saw the alleged attack, and there were no surveillance cameras trained on the parking lot. Further, Golden’s face was not swollen or cut and Hibbs’ hands showed no evidence that he’d punched anything.

Golden maintains he was punched and that his shirt had blood on it, also claiming that he suffered “concussion symptoms.”

Golden declined to press charges, and both Hibbs and Dull maintain nothing happened.

Per Ryan Lavner, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that Golden “didn’t want to play anymore.”

“Regrettably, the golf course was very playable and Jeff understood that he needed to resume the match. I think he was just ready to go,” adding police “found absolutely no evidence of an assault.”

What do you make of this, GolfWRX members? The scales of justice don’t seem to be tipped in Mr. Golden’s favor, do they?

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19th Hole

Ricky Barnes DQd at the Byron Nelson

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Ricky Barnes took a trip to Dairy Queen at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Barnes was disqualified following his second round 1-over 72. He signed for a three at the par-4 sixth hole, when in fact he had made a par.

Ultimately, he won’t rue his impromptu trip to get a Blizzard: Barnes was 3 over and was in no danger of making the cut.

Because this is the world we live in, Barnes apparently found out about the DQ via LuckyTrout Golf Pool on Twitter.

Of course, no scorecard error will ever top “What a stupid I am,” Roberto De Vicenzo signing for 66 when he shot 65, handing the green jacket to Bob Goalby at the 1968 Masters. Such an unfortunate legacy for a man who won hundreds of tournaments around the world.

Also unfortunate: Ricky Barnes is on the way for being remembered as a man who never lived up to the promise he showed at that same tournament, The Masters, as an amateur.

Let’s hope that changes.

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19th Hole

WATCH/LOOK AWAY: Jordan Spieth misses a 15-inch putt

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Aren’t you glad there isn’t video of all the 15-inch putts you’ve missed? I certainly am.

Unfortunately for Jordan Spieth, his failed attempt from little more than a foot at the Byron Nelson was captured on video, and it will exist on the internet for all eternity.

Spieth, who has struggled with the flatstick lately, stood over a short par putt at the par-4 15th hole, and well…

Spieth is currently 183rd on the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained: putting, losing .412 strokes per round to the field on the greens.

But at least he hit the hole, right?

Here’s the offending weapon: Spieth’s trusty Scotty Cameron 009.

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19th Hole

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