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Ben Crenshaw - putting master

'Gentle Ben' is a true legend of golf

Posted Mar 17, 2011 by Legends

Ben Crenshaw - putting master

For any amateur golfer out there, there is generally one area where they lose shots and that is on the green, putting. But for one of the greatest professionals of all-time, Ben Crenshaw, that was the area where he excelled and managed to putt his opponents out of the game.
Now, although he had a natural talent, this putting ability was borne from dedication and hours of hard work on the green, going over and over his stroke, finding that perfect balance. In fact he dedicates this skill to his late trainer Harvey Penick, when he said: “The ball which arrives at the hole with the proper speed has an infinitely greater chance of falling in the hole from any entrance. Harvey Penick taught me the value of this method at an early age. This is what he meant by 'giving luck a chance’.”
Penick was also the inspirational behind Crenshaw’s emotional 1995 Masters victory, but in a way I’m sure ‘Gentle Ben’ would rather not had to go through.
Days before the start of the Masters at Augusta, legendary golf teacher Penick – Crenshaw’s mentor and friend - sadly passed away. Crenshaw, so close was their relationship, was a pallbearer at the great man’s funeral on the Wednesday, and then, as if asked by Penick, teed up on Thursday for the start of the Masters. Four days later, Crenshaw collapsed in the arms of his caddie in floods of tears after being crowned champion. It was one of the most emotional scenes ever to grace a golf course in the history of the sport.
Although he only won two majors in his 19 PGA Tour victories, Crenshaw will always be considered one of the greatest for his attitude and love of the game. And he was one of the first ‘play-boys’ of the tour with hoards of women falling at his feet with adoration. These females were to earn the nickname of ‘Ben’s Bunnies’ and ‘Ben’s Wrens’.
This little man with a fiery temper from Texas has brought so much to the game and was also responsible for one of the greatest comebacks in Ryder Cup history when, as captain of the Americans, who were seemingly out of it, staged a stunning comeback to win in 1999.
He has gone on to design some of the world’s best golf courses during the 1990s and noughties including the Kapalua Bay Resort in Hawaii and Sand Hills Golf Club in Nebraska.
He has always had his admirers, both male and female, and his skill and contribution to the game was recognised with his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.

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