St Andrews ladies putting club

Flatstick Wisdom

A selection of yarns on golf's most fundamental mystery

A putter, a ball, and a four-and-a-half inch ground-based cylinder. Add bright colors and windmills, and you’ve got an elementary school birthday party. Substitute acres of ryegrass and the rolling hills of a former Georgia flower nursery, and suddenly you’re dealing with the game’s highest drama. Part science, part art, all feel—no one can properly explain putting, so we’ve compiled our favorite tales from the green below.

“Wind has a bigger effect on putts than people think. With 20 miles per hour of wind, you can start to see putts break uphill.”

Mark Sweeney, AimPoint Inventor
TGJ Podcast 122
Photo by Leonard Kamsler/Popperfoto via Getty Images

I’ve often said, in my reaction, nobody died. I had a chance to win a big golf tournament, and I didn’t…I missed a putt to win the Masters. If that’s the worst thing that happened to me, even in just golf, so be it.

Ed Sneed, on his six-footer on the 72nd hole at the 1979 Masters. Sneed went on to lose to Fuzzy Zoeller in a playoff.
Courtesy: New York Times
Photo by Chris Smith/Popperfoto via Getty Images

I miss.
I miss.
I miss.
I make.

Seve Ballesteros, on his four-putt from 15 feet at No. 16 in the 1988 Masters

Ready to put your money where your Scotty is? Join the Broken Tee Society 3-Jack Fund, where every three-putt costs $1. At year’s end, we tally the pot for a 50/50 raffle. Last year, member Scott King took home the nearly $2,000 raffle prize, while the same amount went to two separate charities. Join here.