Tiger? No. Rory? No. Come on, who’s better than those two?
Let me add this caveat; best golfer on the PGA Tour given his age, health and natural athletic talent. Before you answer, think about who’s the most consistent golfer on tour. Whose game deviates the least? On Sunday who are you going to have to beat because he won’t beat himself?
My answer is Steve Stricker. Here’s a guy who was a nat’s eyelash from quitting the game, rebuilt his swing to make it as simple as possible and who has made a very nice living on tour. Steve Stricker is Mr. Steady Eddy. He has the simplest swing on tour. He’s not long, he’s closing fast on 50 and he’s had some back problems. But when he plays he’s usually in it, chugging along, getting his share of birdies and NOT making bogies.
He’s not a long hitter by today’s standards. He doesn’t spin the ball much. He doesn’t hit wild recovery shots from behind trees and hospitality tents (because he never lands there in the first place). His game is so consistent that it’s not exciting. Hit it down the middle, pitch it close and 2 putt at worst.
Why should you care about this? Because Steve Stricker is actually a guy that you and I can try to imitate. If you’re an average amateur over 40, you’re never going to be able to swing like Tiger, Dustin, Rory or Bubba. We are too physically limited. But a lot of us could come close to swinging like Stricker.
Go to YouTube and search on his name. His swing is as simple as it gets. He never loses the connection between his torso and the club. He doesn’t has a simple wrist cock. He never crosses parallel. He doesn’t sink down and try to generate an extra 10 yards by using the earth as a launch pad.
Steve simply turns around his spine, keeps everything else quiet and hits the ball on target most every time. He’s not blowing it over bunkers that need a 300 yard carry, but he’s almost always hitting from the short grass. And he’s one of the top 2 or 3 putters on tour which helps with birdies but, more importantly, pretty much eliminates the 3 putt.
Next time you see him in a tournament pay close attention. It could be the best thing that happens to your game this year.