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The Best Ball Striker Of All Time


Stetson884
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8 hours ago, Nels55 said:

There are gym rats all over the world who can shoot threes really well.  One of the many reasons that they are not in the NBA is that they would get the ball shoved down their throat trying to get their shot off.  Curry can catch the ball and shoot a three so fast that if you blink you will miss it.

 

Agreed.  The best “Ball Striker” in history, or for that matter, the best putter in history, may never have even sniffed the Tour, much less any type of pro career.  A truly bad putter cannot make it up with ball striking.  Similarly, horrible ball striking cannot be overcome with putting.  (Although there are many 8 cappers who would be 18+ Caps if not for amazing and consistent putting).  That being said, the pro game is the only stage we can try to compare world class abilities.

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16 hours ago, DanoCanuck said:

Best ball strikers? Of course it's the 2021 European Ryder Cup Team according to the captain. 
 

"the best team of ball-strikers Europe have ever sent out in a Ryder Cup"

Harrington was correct, you know.
To win 9 points with that abysmal kind of putting means that they are very good ball-strikers.

Back to topic: In the case of Tiger Woods, I don't think that his amount of success can be an argument for his ball-striking ability. Many of his wins came from insane chipping and making every 25-foot putt he looked at.

Most impressive I have seen, while following golf intensely since about 1985:
Collin Morikawa.
It used to be Sergio Garcia, and before that Greg Norman tied with Nick Price tied with NIck Faldo.

Edited by avrag
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I see a gap. There definitely is a gap.

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I do not believe there is a best of all time, mostly because from our perspective, ball striking can't be measured outside of stack ranking in relationship to type of equipment the man plays.  There are many good ball strikers. 

 

I look at the guys that are/were ranked high and played/play actual difficult blades to see who is a real ball striker.  Ball strikers move the ball both ways as needed.

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21 hours ago, mat562 said:

The best ones I've seen in my time watching golf, in no particular order, would be:

 

Watson, Norman, Price, Faldo, Woosnam, Lyle, Love, Els, Woods, Westwood, Montgomerie, Duval, McIlroy, DJ  and Koepka.

 

 

Agree, all were solid strikers, except Koepka.  Said because all of them except that one played blades.

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There is a possibility that the greatest ball striker of all time was Count Yogi who was not allowed to play on the PGA Tour.  Also number one could easily be Harry Vardon or Bobby Jones not to mention Young Tom Morris.  It is a really fun discussion but there is no definitive answer.  Lots of interesting opinions though!  

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On 9/25/2021 at 2:09 PM, Stetson884 said:

I’m a 80’ Baby. So to me, the Best ball striker of all Time to me growing up was Fred Couples. His driver swing appears to be practice swings hanging out by the tee box for his turn and they go 300-350 yards. Iron play and accuracy is legendary. If he had those skills to match up with his putter skills I think he would of won 10 major titles. 
 

Now here in 2021 I believe Rory still is the best ball striker. Even though his wins of late don’t show it., his driver and iron ability is Unmatched. 

 

But my question is this. “Moe Norman” he’s considering the best golf ball striker to ever live. I’ve never saw him play or really know much about him. Ive see his YouTube videos. He claims he hasn’t missed a fairway In 5 years on one video. Sounds to me the stuff of legends is probably exaggerated a bit. Hard to imagine keeping a player that good off the PGA, no matter what he did or only being a Canadian golfer. IMO if your goof enough to, they will get you on the biggest stage, and I. Front of all the to see. 
 

Sorry for the long post. I’m writing f this now because apparently there is a guy that knows everything there is to know about Moe Normans Golf swing. He left all his knowledge to only one man. Only one man knows his secrets and that’s all sounds to me like a money grab. I’ve seen the advertisement and it’s pretty far fetched. 
 

Has anyone used the Todd Graves instruction to hit like Moe? Anyone get online or in person golf lessons? Good? Bad? I’d love to hear your opinions on both the Moe Norman Story, and the Guy Todd Graves, who teaches his golf technique. 
 

please share !
 

 

 

 

 

 

The reason that Moe never missed a fairway was that he wasn't long enough to miss offline, or run through the fairway.  I watched him play in the Canadian Open in 1972.  There were others who were more impressive, such as Lee Trevino.

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5 hours ago, Yuck said:

Agreed.  The best “Ball Striker” in history, or for that matter, the best putter in history, may never have even sniffed the Tour, much less any type of pro career.  A truly bad putter cannot make it up with ball striking.  Similarly, horrible ball striking cannot be overcome with putting.  (Although there are many 8 cappers who would be 18+ Caps if not for amazing and consistent putting).  That being said, the pro game is the only stage we can try to compare world class abilities.

I don't know if that's the case because brilliant ball-striking in golf would give you such an advantage that even mediocre, by far worst on Tour putting if you were GOAT-level ball-striking, you'd still make a career out of it.

 

What's more likely is that some of the best ball-strikers ever were simply mid-level Tour professionals rather than best on Tour. I'm thinking John Senden and Joe Durant-type players (who were always near the top of GIRs but didn't do that much). 

 

Meanwhile, I think it's entirely possible the best putter in the world isn't on Tour, because putting is such a unique skill that you could hole everything within 20 feet, but it's for par or bogey, you will never make it on Tour. As Lee Trevino said 'things that don't last long dogs chasing cars and pros putting for pars'.

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2 hours ago, avrag said:

Harrington was correct, you know.
To win 9 points with that abysmal kind of putting means that they are very good ball-strikers.

Back to topic: In the case of Tiger Woods, I don't think that his amount of success can be an argument for his ball-striking ability. Many of his wins came from insane chipping and making every 25-foot putt he looked at.

Most impressive I have seen, while following golf intensely since about 1985:
Collin Morikawa.
It used to be Sergio Garcia, and before that Greg Norman tied with Nick Price tied with NIck Faldo.

 

This is demonstrably false, he was a great putter for sure but his wins were largely driven by insane SG:Approach relative to the field.

 

I think it's Tiger from an iron play perspective, his length off the tee was an advantage for a while but hard to call him one of the best drivers of all time. Hogan has to be up there, along with Jack. 

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Once Hogan sorted out his swing, he could drive it, fairway wood, and irons all the way through pitches.


i would pair Tiger At his peak with Sam Snead

two guys who athletically separated themselves from everyone else. They hit it solid and could play shots whenever needed. Again, wedges and pitches were part of their ability to control the ball.
 

trevino was frightening, and his own Statement of hitting too low might be the only reason I wouldn’t have him up top

 

Old man biases accepted

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Mistake
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Tiger won the Vardon Trophy nine times.  I know he is a great putter (best pressure putter ever), but you don't have that low of a scoring average year after year by not hitting great irons shots over and over again!

 

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On 9/25/2021 at 7:58 PM, aenemated said:

I honestly don’t get the Moe Norman thing. Not trying to be a troll but it just reminds me of people who say Sonic Youth is their favorite band.

 

Man, no one actually likes Sonic Youth, they just like saying they do.

I can honestly say I have never met a single person who claimed to be a fan of Sonic Youth. But Nickleback, now that’s another conversation. 😩

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11 minutes ago, mich750 said:

Tiger won the Vardon Trophy nine times.  I know he is a great putter (best pressure putter ever), but you don't have that low of a scoring average year after year by not hitting great irons shots over and over again!

 

True.  Tiger was a master at controlling ball flight, distance and shaping it to all 9 windows, either direction.  Genius level stuff. BUT, he drove the ball like dog poopy for 1/2 his career, so I can’t say he was the best, hitting the driver counts in this conversation.  JMO. 

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23 hours ago, CasualLie said:

Peak Duval would only work with chunky people.  Peak fitness Duval didn't win much.

Fits most golfers over 30 then.

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On 9/26/2021 at 1:52 PM, Dave230 said:

In person I thought Matsuyama was amazing of the modern players, the sound and contact. Only for putting he’d have won plenty more tournaments. 
 

Otherwise in modern times Tiger obviously, Westwood, Scott, Rory, Morikawa. 

The problem with Morikawa is his short distance putting.

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20 hours ago, grm24 said:

No. You might want to check your numbers more closely. And if you actually drill down even further between the late 1941-1945 time frame you will find that Sam won more even more official events outside of WWII that you want to give him credit for.

 

Sam "only" won 10 events during late 1941 through 1945. Disproves you comment easily. And for easier reading comprehension there is this simplified:

 

Sam is credited with 36 official PGA Tour wins from 1936-1945.

He then had 46 more official PGA Tour wins from 1946-1965. IOW after WWII.

 

Oops.

Let’s be honest here.  You don’t think the guys born in 1912 benefited greatly by reduced competition? C’mon man. The war for US golf did not last just from Pearl to the Armistice.  Count at least ‘41-46 and 50-53 for the Korean. He had 82 wins with 30 years between them and 40 of them were in that ten years.  

Couple that with WW1  and the depression causing a drop in golf it created the perfect storm to make these guys, as good as they were, even greater in comparison to the reduced fields.

 

Do you think it is a coincidence that top three seasons with most wins were from 46-50?

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10 hours ago, gvogel said:

The reason that Moe never missed a fairway was that he wasn't long enough to miss offline, or run through the fairway.  I watched him play in the Canadian Open in 1972.  There were others who were more impressive, such as Lee Trevino.

Did Moe hit a lot of greens, proximity to the hole? If he did I would argue it is very impressive since he was short of the tee and had long clubs in

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3 hours ago, 80sFredriksson said:

Did Moe hit a lot of greens, proximity to the hole? If he did I would argue it is very impressive since he was short of the tee and had long clubs in

He hit lots of greens and lots of flagsticks. Shot loads of rounds around 60 (including three 59s) despite being completely uninterested in putting. Something like 30 odd course records and, I think over 15 aces.

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2 hours ago, TheDeanAbides said:

He hit lots of greens and lots of flagsticks. Shot loads of rounds around 60 (including three 59s) despite being completely uninterested in putting. Something like 30 odd course records and, I think over 15 aces.

Kim Jong Il says... hold my beer

 

"The round I have in mind took place in a setting far more punishing than any Open venue, and the 18-hole tally makes Miller’s sizzling score look like a number posted by a weekend chop. I’m referring to—what else?—the 38-under-par 34 reportedly fired by the late North Korean despot Kim Jong Il, a man known to his people as Dear Leader and to you and me as Dear Top-the-Leader Board. According to official North Korean state accounts, Kim’s round, the first he’d ever played, was highlighted by five aces."

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