Tuesday, January 19

Billy Casper on Putting

YESTERDAY I WAS RUMMAGING through my golf stacks when I ran across a 2005 Golf Digest article on Billy Casper. Recently, I ranked Billy at No. 5 on my list of all-time greatest putters. I believe the three-time major winner had one of the best strokes the game has ever seen.

In the Golf Digest piece, Billy tells an anecdote about a time he played with Ben Hogan. Billy and Fred Hawkins (also splendid with the flatstick) took on Hogan and Dow Finsterwald in a practice round. Well, Billy and Fred got on a roll (pun intended). Hogan was steamed.

“If you two guys couldn’t putt, I’d be buying hot dogs from you on the 10th tee,” Hogan said after watching them hole everything. Then Billy shared what happened the following day.

“The next morning, Mr. Hogan called me over. He looked around to make sure no one was within earshot. Then he whispered, ‘Billy tell me: How do you putt?’”

By then, Hogan was plagued with the yips.

From the same article, a gem from Casper: If your putting sours, practice your chipping. His reasoning: “When you chip, you pay a lot of attention to making the ball roll perfectly end over end. Practicing that will make your putting stroke come back overnight.”

Lastly, a secret to Billy’s greatness on the greens: putting at night. “Putting in the dark is the best thing I ever did for my game,” he said. “You develop a feel for everything. I got more out of those nights on the putting green than I ever did on the practice tee in broad daylight.”

−The Armchair Golfer

20 Greatest Putters of All Time

An Unplanned Visit with Hall of Famer Billy Casper


Unknown said...

Now all I need is a golf course that will let me use their practice greens at night.

Good post. Casper was an interesting guy.

Mike said...

Billy Casper is not only one of the most underrated players of all time, but one of the most underrated putters as well. I have always been impressed that such a great putter actually made changes to his very successful stroke because he said it was just too much work to maintain... and it didn't seem to hurt his game at all.

Now that's a man who's confident in both himself and his game!

Cornhole Game Boards said...

Great tips indeed...there is a lot in the game to be learnt and practiced.A game of perfection really.

Ben Wolfe said...

I love this article, and recently discovered it on SI's Vault -- the images that go along with it are vintage and also very helpful! Nice post!