Apr
19
2012
Dave Stockton can cure Westwood, Els, Garcia
By Conor Nagle under PGA Tour

Poetry in motion: Stockton is renowned as a flat-stick virtuoso.

Through his work with a number of PGA Tour stars, including Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Rory McIlroy, former Ryder Cup captain Dave Stockton has developed a reputation for providing uncomplicated and potent short game advice.

But, as he explained to the Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive”, the players most in need of tuition are often the ones least interested in receiving it.

Committed to espousing a philosophy that emphasises comfort and intuition over technical perfection, the coach believes his advice could prove invaluable to a number of high-profile players.

Cure Lee Westwood’s infamous final round jitters, Sergio’s fear of scoring? Why not?

“I have my wish list. There are just certain people I look at and shake my head.”

“I had a couple of days with (Lee) Westwood last year in Akron. He had just started working with (sports psychologist) Bob Rotella at the same time that week, and kind of went that direction. I look at Westwood, or Sergio, or Michelle Wie now, Ernie Els – people that I really respect and you would just love to have 10 or 15 minutes of their time, because you know you can fix them.”

While adopting the Stockton philosophy has clearly yielded results for some players, I’ve yet to reach a judgement as to whether its success lies in the integrity of its principles or the charismatic, forceful way in which Stockton communicates them.

Conor Nagle