Boss of the Moss


The very first time Loren Roberts qualified for the Masters in 1991, I was an assistant professional at Augusta National. I was lucky enough to play a practice round with Roberts in the weeks leading up to the Masters, and it was evident then why they called him the “Boss of the Moss.” He had as fluid a putting stroke as I’ve ever seen.

The one thing that impressed me most about Roberts was how good he was at using his eyes to program the distance and pace of his putts. When he made a practice stroke, he wasn’t looking at the putter or focusing on mechanics, he was eyeing the terrain and trying to gauge how hard or soft he needed to hit the ball to make it travel at the speed and distance he wanted.

That’s one thing amateurs could learn from Roberts, who won his second Senior British Open Championship in four years on Sunday in a sudden-death playoff at Sunningdale. When you take your practice strokes, use your eyes to get a feel for the distance and speed of the putt. That will tell your brain how much effort you need to put into the stroke and it will also allow you to see the line better. If you take a practice stroke and all you’re doing is looking at your putter, you’re going to have a hard time judging the distance and speed correctly, and that’s the key to sinking any putt.