2-time PGA Champion Dave Stockton is the 2012 PGA Distinguished Service Award Recipient. He will receive the award at the PGA Championship in August at Kiawah Island where he led the U.S. Ryder Cup team to victory in 1991. Stockton was very surprised to hear that news that he would receive this honor and the fact that he will receive it at Kiawah makes it extra special. He and his family are also being honored by the Metropolitan Golf Writers as “Family of the Year” which is also a wonderful and humbling honor.
At this point in his life, he has a lot of joy and pride in being able to help out so many pros on the PGA TOUR and the LPGA Tour and it is wonderful to then see them go out and play well after those lessons. He is very busy at this stage of his life but he is having a lot of fun. The schedule is making him feel a lot younger as he is getting older which is a good thing.
The process he teaches to his students is the same process that he used when he was playing and winning on the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour. He feels that many players are too slow when it comes to their putting routines and that slowness has a negative impact on their ability to be successful on the greens so he promotes the idea of a shorter routine.
So far, he has worked with every player who has asked for his advice. Some players have stayed with him while others have moved on after just a few lessons. There are a number of players who he really respects and who he wants to help but they are the ones who have to ask him. He said he will help anyone who wants help and he gives a lot of credit to Phil Mickelson who has essentially served as an ambassador for players who need and want help with their putting.
In 1974, Stockton won the L.A. Open and beat among others a 62-year-old Sam Snead. He came to 17 with a two shot lead and Stockton had to wait to hit his third shot because Snead went up to mark his ball. Stockton made par while Snead made birdie to reduce the lead to one in part because Snead got Stockton off of his routine. He enjoys the fact that there have been a number of times in his career where opponents tried to get him off of his game when in contention but did not succeed.