ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Inbee Park has a swing coach, Gi Hyeob Nam, who also doubles as her fiancé, but she doesn’t have a putting coach.
“I’ve never had a putting coach,” Park said. “I just watched a lot of good players and figured it out. Putting has been my instinct and my feelings.”
It’s notable she is her own putting coach, given Park is one of the purest putters in the game. She tees it up at the Ricoh Women’s British Open ranked No. 1 among LPGA pros in putts per green in regulation (1.703). How good is that? No woman has finished a season with a better average since the LPGA began keeping the stat 10 seasons ago.
Park putts left-hand low with an Odyssey Sabertooth putter. She impresses with her ability to judge speed. She's a terrific lag putter.
While Park might be her own coach, she does have putting idols, players she has studied and learned from.
Park was so enamored with Webb’s putting growing up, she sought out a putter exactly like hers.
“I was really young,” Park said. “She was using a Scotty Cameron then, the Titleist putter. Everything seemed like it was going in, and that’s what I wanted to do. So, I switched to her putter.”
Park still studies Miyazato.
“Her rhythm is so good over the putting stroke,” Park said. “Sometimes, I don't get a good rhythm. I try to watch her stroke and follow her rhythm.”
Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner says Nancy Lopez is the best putter she ever played with.
“I thought Nancy was a great putter,” Carner said. “Inbee Park is even better. Nancy really believed in herself, and she putted boldly. She was like Inbee; she made a lot of long putts.”
Lopez likes watching Park putt. It brings back familiar sensations.
“She has the most consistent speed off her putter blade that I’ve seen since . . well, I used to putt like that,” Lopez said. “I knew the speed of my putt coming off the putter all the time. She knows it, and it’s beautiful.”
Hall of Famer Beth Daniel marveled watching Rolex world No. 1 Park dominate No. 2 Stacy Lewis and No. 3 Suzann Pettersen in their featured grouping together in the first two rounds of Park’s U.S. Women’s Open victory last month. Park finished 12 shots better than Lewis over those two days, 19 better than Pettersen. Park didn’t beat them down pounding drives by them. She beat them down with her putter.
“She pretty much demoralized them,” Daniel said. “She was making everything with her putter.”