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Best ball striker you have seen in person?


197 replies to this topic

#1 tmartin89

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:14 PM

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. I've watched Tiger at the 2005 Open at St Andrews and obviously he stripes it. I've also been to many Scottish Opens when it was at Loch Lomond and saw guys like Poulter, again great ball striker but nothing I've ever seen was like Greg Norman.

Who is the best ball striker you have seen in person?

As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.

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#2 oz dee cee

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:41 PM

Saw the title without seeing the content and instantly thought of Greg Norman also. I saw Tiger in 99 and man, the sound off his club and trajectory was just different to everyone.  Hard to split both and like them for different reasons. Good topic OP.

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#3 tmartin89

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:56 PM

View Postoz dee cee, on 27 January 2018 - 08:41 PM, said:

Saw the title without seeing the content and instantly thought of Greg Norman also. I saw Tiger in 99 and man, the sound off his club and trajectory was just different to everyone.  Hard to split both and like them for different reasons. Good topic OP.

I remember watching Tiger hit a drive and like you say the sound it makes is like nothing else. The ball probably moved about a foot through the air, striped right down the middle.
As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.

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#4 nitram

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:58 PM

Hal Sutton
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#5 BNGL

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 09:00 PM

Myself....

haha, Tiger was pretty good. Although last year I was on the range at Bay Hill and Lucas Glover stood out to me, just his rhythm the ball leapt off his club face. Played with Rob Oppenheim a few times, watched him fire 63-62, both of those rounds were absolutely  outstanding.

Tried to post a video apparently it didn't work

Edited by BNGL, 27 January 2018 - 09:04 PM.


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#6 GordonBombay

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 09:09 PM

I've never seen anything close to that level.  I played with a fringe D2 guy once that put up a 71 on a relatively easy course...that's the best I've seen in person

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#7 Hawkeye77

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 09:12 PM

Tiger! -  but the young Rory and Westwood were pretty good in my book at the PGA at Hazeltine that Tiger lost.  Spent time out in practice rounds and on the range watching a variety of players.  Those stood out at the time.

Edit:  and was thinking about this after breakfast, I remember sitting on a range near KC on a hot late afternoon watching Monte put on a ball striking clinic with a 2 iron I will not forget.

Edited by Hawkeye77, 28 January 2018 - 01:38 PM.


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#8 cardoustie

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    haha, we don't play for 5's

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 09:14 PM

Johnny Miller and Moe Norman

Moe beside me on the range

Johnny at the Canadian Open and in a lesson
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#9 Golfingfanatic

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:55 AM

Sergio a couple of years ago in Crans-Montana.

In regards to non tour guys: there is a guy at my club. He used to play for the belgium national team. +4 hcp. Incredible ballstriking, too.

Edited by Golfingfanatic, 28 January 2018 - 02:57 AM.

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#10 Big Ben

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:12 AM

Freddie Couples

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#11 cliche

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:13 AM

a couple of years ago i've attended the event in crans-montana. they where all there. rory, jimenez, kaymer, casey. but the one who stood out was raphael jacquelin. the sound when he hit the ball with his irons and his ballflight where unique.

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#12 theboypinoy

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 06:29 AM

Tiger. Watched him on the range in prime position, right behind him, fairly close.

He shaped the ball every way, changed trajectories. Ball went far with such little effort.

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#13 Sean2

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 07:00 AM

A very good friendís daughter plays on the LPGA Tour. Phenomenal ball striker. A small dime size mark on the sweet spot on her irons.
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#14 rgk5

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 07:15 AM

DL III back in his early Tour days.

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#15 caniac6

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:10 AM

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.


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#16 matt062286

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:19 AM

Haven't seen too too many tour players in person but I'd have to say Bernhard Langer. Followed him for 18 and he hit it so straight it got boring after a while.
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#17 EKELLY

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:28 AM

Seen most all of the best, nobody even close to Moe Norman.....I watched that guy hit probably 2,000 balls combined in a few sessions in Palm Coast, Florida. It was ridiculous!...

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#18 cardoustie

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    haha, we don't play for 5's

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 01:38 PM

I tell you what, watched a skins game up here years ago and Ray Floyd was more impressive than Couples
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#19 farmer

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:02 PM

Was a few feet behind Johnny Miller on the range at Preston Trails in '74.  He and Jerry Heard were playing a call shot game.  JM never missed one.  Most impressive I've ever seen.

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#20 Texsport

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:04 PM

Ben Hogan

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#21 Dave230

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:07 PM

I've seen Rory, Fowler, Rose, Els, Rahm, Westwood, Montgomerie, Garcia etc over the years in person but the most impressive for me was Hideki Matsuyama last year. What a swing to see in person. Pure athleticism and purest ball-striking.

Edited by Dave230, 28 January 2018 - 02:07 PM.


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#22 buckeyefl

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:20 PM

View Postcardoustie, on 27 January 2018 - 09:14 PM, said:

Johnny Miller and Moe Norman

Moe beside me on the range

Johnny at the Canadian Open and in a lesson

I was going through pictures the other day and found some of me and Moe. That was a special experience and that's saying something given some of the players I was lucky enough to hang out with years ago.

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#23 RobertBaron

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 02:38 PM

I went to the GHO or whatever itís called today 25 years ago or so, so whoever I was watching there. I remember watching Scott Verplanck on the range but wasnít paying close enough attention to his hitting

When I was in high school a few years later, I played on the golf team with a kid who went on to play in a US Am and D1 golf at Univ of Florida and man could he hit. He was really the first great ball striker I took notice of because I was so close to it.


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#24 dlygrisse

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:17 PM

Iíve followed Tom Watson up close on a few occasions. I just love the tempo, and confidence in which he plays.
Visualize shot
Pull club
Quick waggle
Hit shot, always pure and crisp
Walk quickly to ball

No messing around

Iíve watched Trevino up close but he was out of contention and just seemed to be trying to get it in the house.  But it was like the ball was on a string and he was in full control of it. Not huge impressive power but pure control.

Edited by dlygrisse, 28 January 2018 - 03:18 PM.

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#25 buckeyefl

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:18 PM

Not sure if anyone mentioned Scott Hoch. Pure.

Edited by buckeyefl, 28 January 2018 - 03:20 PM.


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#26 dlygrisse

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:20 PM

View PostTexsport, on 28 January 2018 - 02:04 PM, said:

Ben Hogan

Winner winner chicken dinner.

Would you mind expanding on your answer?

Thanks.
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#27 moonshine

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:25 PM

I got to caddie in US Senior Open in late 90's and stood right behind Mr. Palmer for an hour and watched him hit balls.  The amazing part was David Graham was giving him some advice and he would stripe one and do a little dance afterward.  I watched Gary Player send his caddie out 100 yards and lay a towel down.  He then hit 10 balls and all of them hit the towel when they landed.  I also worked at a club in Akron, OH and lived next door to Firestone.  The head pro where I worked was friends with David Frost and he used to come to our practice range and hit balls instead of practicing at the Stone.  Amazing ball striker for sure.
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#28 EKELLY

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:51 PM

When I worked part-time at Bay Hill in the early 90's, it was routine to see Norman, Price, Allem, and Frost show up. That was a stripe show on the range warming up, for sure....

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#29 Shilgy

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 05:18 PM

View Postcardoustie, on 27 January 2018 - 09:14 PM, said:

Johnny Miller and Moe Norman

Moe beside me on the range

Johnny at the Canadian Open and in a lesson
Your Moe Norman comment reminded me. Best I've played with, well best hands really, was a guy named Wedgy Winchester. He won the long drive years back and then did trick shot exhibitions for Ping. We were on the range one day and he's doing a Moe voice impression while absolutely striping one irons from the most hideous lies you could imagine on the range. Jawdropping.
  Best I've played with were a couple tour winners and a proam round with Art Sellinger of long drive fame.
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#30 MidwestGolfBum

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 05:50 PM

Up close and in person playing would have to be Steve Stricker. From behind the ropes, Tiger.

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