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Sunday, September 04, 2011


The Key to Putting: Not Thinking



Dave Stockton suddenly seems to be the "it" instructor on the subject of putting. Current or recent students include Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott, Yani Tseng and Suzann Pettersen. But he's actually been teaching other pros for years—just more quietly.


"In those days, I just wanted to play. I didn't want people coming up all the time and asking me questions. So when I worked with someone, I'd tell them, 'You don't owe me anything, I just want you not to tell anybody that I helped you,' " he told me this week.


He advocates minimal attention to mechanics, no practice strokes and rolling the golf ball smoothly, like an artist applying paint to a canvas. His most successful early student was Annika Sörenstam. She credits Stockton for helping take her from a two-win 1999 LPGA season to 24 wins over the next three years.

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