Sweet-Swinging Purtzer Works On Putting


2005 SBC ClassicWhen the SBC Classic begins in the Los Angeles area Friday, observers will once again marvel at the man with one of the sweetest swings on the planet. They will look at Tom Purtzer and exclaim, If I could only swing like that!
Purtzer has had this gift since he was a teenager. Now he is 53 and on the Champions Tour, and he hasnt lost it yet. Its based on an amazing inner clock that Purtzer has had since he can remember.
I think when somebody watches me swing, I think they probably see more than anything else the rhythm and the tempo of the swing, said Purtzer. Id like to say that I worked really hard on that, but that was one of Gods gifts to me. Ive always had a rhythmic golf swing. I think that helps in that I dont feel like I have to hit it hard to hit it a long ways.
But he still is a work in progress. Purtzer doesnt believe that you can ever know everything about the golf swing. He learns something every year that he plays.
Thats whats probably lasted the longest, you know - my inner drive to try and get better each year, he says. I still feel like Im improving, which is kind of odd in that Im 53 years old.
But I learn new things every time I talk to different teachers, and Butch Harmons helped me a lot in the last five years. I just wish I would have started with Butch about 20 years ago instead of just the last five years.
What did he work on recently? Thats easy, he said. He worked on the areas most responsible for low scoring.

Ive learned a lot and I think my putting has always held me back a little bit, my putting and my chipping, said Purtzer. And really, I think that was more of a mindset than anything else.
My putting stroke isnt that bad and I look at it on film and stuff. I just never really trusted my short game. I guess thats probably the big thing that I kind of felt maybe has kept me back a little bit. But I would just say the tempo and the rhythm of my swing is whats kind of helped me last this long.
Last year, Purtzer finished sixth at the tournament in Valencia, Cal., when Gil Morgan won. However, two years ago, Purtzer sunk a 58-foot eagle putt to topple Morgan ' who made bogey. Purtzer also tied for third at Valencia in 2002.
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