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BY ALAN SHIPNUCK THE


PERFECT GOLFER


BEST HAIR Robert Rock.


There’s a reason this guy never wears a hat—no


amount of money would be worth covering up those luscious locks.


PRETTIEST SWING Louis Oosthuizen. You can’t beat the grace and fl uidity of King Louis’ action, which is the sweetest swing this side of Sam Snead. Oosthuizen almost never practices, yet this golf savant has conquered the Old Course and very nearly Augusta National, too. One of the game’s most talented players, Geoff Ogilvy, calls Louis “my golf hero” and says, “He just makes golf look too easy to me.”





Even the greatest golfers of all time had their weaknesses. Jack Nicklaus was a mediocre chipper, Ben Hogan’s putting was streaky at best and Arnold Palmer’s course management could charitably be described as reckless. Around the turn of the century you could make the case that Tiger was the perfect golfer, but with the Woods epoch waning we thought it would be fun to construct an idealized golfer using the skill sets of


contemporary players. Feel free to disagree— after all, nobody yet has constructed the perfect sportswriter.


BEST WEDGE GAME Jiyai Shin. The 5’1” dynamo from South Korea ranked 113th on the LPGA this year in driving distance, at a mere 242 yards a pop, yet she has won 36 times around the world thanks to her deadly wedge game. From 100 yards Shin says any shot outside of six feet is “unacceptable.” I once asked the bubbly Shin the secret to her success. “Short girls with glasses can’t make bogeys,” she said.


HONORABLE MENTION Luke Donald. In the same season he’s been both 170th in driving distance and number one in the world.


BEST FLOP SHOT


Or perhaps it should be Phlop shot, in honor of its preeminent practitioner,


Phil Mickelson. Nobody else is even close.


PHOTO: PGA TOUR


PHOTO: USGA


PHOTO: PGA TOUR


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