Already guaranteed an early exit Friday at The American Express, Mark Hubbard decided to have a little fun on his last hole of the tournament. As Hubbard lined up a 4-foot par putt on the ninth hole at PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course, he broke out “The Snail.”
What exactly is “The Snail,” you ask? The unorthodox putting stroke, which Hubbard invented in college at San Jose State, is almost a dance move of sorts and includes Hubbard striking the putt with his right pinky wrapped around the shaft, just inches from the ground.
“You really got to sell it that you’re going in for a normal stroke, really look focused and determined, and then right at the last second shimmy in there,” Hubbard told PGATour.com’s Kevin Prise. "A little bit reminiscent of Jack Parkman from Major League 2 shimmying at home plate.”
But is it legal? According to PGA Tour rules official Jordan Harris, "The Snail" is not anchoring and does not violate Rule 10.1b.
“He’s in good shape there,” Harris said to Prise. “That’s just a weird way to go about it.”
Hubbard had done “The Snail” in competition on both the PGA and Korn Ferry tours, but this is the first time TV cameras caught him in the act. Unfortunately for Hubbard, he didn’t execute this time, missing the par putt and settling for bogey and a second-round 76.
“It usually makes for pretty automatic putt inside of 5 feet,” Hubbard said. “I’m a little disappointed I missed that one. I don’t miss too many of those with ‘The Snail.’”