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Dave Stockton Has Become the Best Investment in All of Golf

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2010

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 16:  Adam Scott wins the Valero Texas Open and hold the winners trophy at the TPC San Antonio on May 16, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Marc Feldman/Getty Images)
Marc Feldman/Getty Images

As David Feherty might say, there are golf coaches with the ability to make a difference in their students' lives, and there’s whatever this is.

Adam Scott’s one-stroke victory at the Valero Texas Open has just sent Dave Stockton’s stock into another stratosphere. 

Stockton’s instruction has quickly become the best investment a touring pro can make, and the forward press is beginning to evolve into putting’s version of the titanium driver.

Stockton first made a name for himself as a player when he won the 1970 PGA Championship. Six years later won a second PGA Championship in a playoff with Raymond Floyd and Don January.

All in all, Stockton had a solid PGA Tour playing career with 10 wins and two Ryder Cup appearances.  However, one can certainly make the argument that Stockton is now having a larger impact on professional golf as a putting instructor than he did as a player.

At the advice of his caddie Jim “Bones” MacKay, Phil Mickelson began working with Stockton prior to the 2009 Tour Championship, which he won.

Mickelson then carried his hot putter with him to Shanghai, where he defeated Tiger Woods on Sunday to win the WGC-HSBC Champions.

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After witnessing the success Mickelson had under Stockton’s tutelage, J.B. Holmes decided to give Stockton a try early in the 2010 season…and the results have been nothing short of miraculous.

After a few short months of working with Stockton, Holmes has gone from 161st on tour in putts per round to fifth in putts per round.

Needless to say, a hotter putter on the PGA Tour typically leads to extremely large amounts of money being deposited into a player’s bank account, which has certainly been the case for Holmes in 2010.

In 2009, Holmes earned $1.21 million and finished 72nd on the tour’s money list.

We are only half way through the 2010 season, and Holmes has already earned $1.55 million and is currently 16th on the money list.  

Talk about a good investment.

And then we come to Adam Scott.

Scott couldn’t roll a golf ball through a basketball hoop over the past two years.

As a result of his poor putting, Scott dropped from No. 3 in the World Golf Rankings all the way back to 43rd in less than two years.

“My putting is pathetic,” Scott said after a superb ball striking week at Augusta National that produced only a tie for 18th due to his inability to sink anything outside of two feet on the greens.

This guy was quickly approaching David Duval land before he began working with Stockton just a few weeks ago.

Like Mickelson and Holmes before him, Scott has greatly benefited from Stockton’s instruction.

Scott finished 26th at the Players Championship and earned just under $70,000 before moving on to San Antonio where he won last week’s Valero Texas Open and earned $1.09 million.

Not bad.  Two weeks with Stockton has yielded a return of more than $1.16 million. Just to put that into perspective, Scott has earned more in the past two weeks than he earned all of last year on the PGA Tour.

Stockton’s two sons, David Jr. and Ronnie, work alongside of him in what has become a rapidly growing family business.

Anthony Kim (won in Houston and is currently 19th on tour in total putting), Hunter Mahan (Won in Phoenix earlier this year) and Sean O’Hair (three-time PGA Tour winner) are also amongst the family’s list of well-known clients.

Now, obviously Stockton is not the one out there wielding the putter on the PGA Tour.  The likes of Mickelson, Holmes, Kim, Mahan, O’Hair, and Scott have taken Stockton’s instruction onto the golf course and produced their own results.

However, word is quickly spreading around the PGA Tour that Stockton’s instruction is the best investment in all of golf.

For more PGA Tour news, insight and analysis, check out The Tour Report .

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