‘It’s Completely Legal’: PGA Tour Pro Defends Controversial and Bizarre ‘Snail’ Putting Technique

Published 02/11/2023, 1:17 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Golf has seen players develop and use many techniques over the years. We have seen players performing ridiculous moves on the course, stunning the entire golf world. And at the ongoing Tour event, the WM Phoenix Open, a PGA Tour star unveiled one such technique: ‘the snail’. The public instantly shunned the pro for his controversial style, but he stood by his move.

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The Tour has seen many people play the game their own way, straying away from the norms. Players have even gone on to win major championships with unconventional styles of play.

The PGA Tour star shields the snail from illegal calls

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At the famous 16th hole of the Phoenix Open, Mark Hubbard surprised the fans with his special move. Initially, the fans paid no attention to him. He was, after all, quite low on the leaderboard at 6 over par. But his putt for birdie with the snail at the hole suddenly had their undivided attention.

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So, what is this infamous snail putt? Hubbard first discovered the technique while just exploring and having fun on the greens. But the fun move soon turned into a secret technique when he realized how well he was able to putt using it. “It usually makes for a pretty automatic putt inside of five feet,” he said, as per Golf Digest, after the round.

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The putt definitely looked weird to the naked eye. It was, after all, nothing like a regular pro’s putt. Hence, the public was quick to suggest that there was no way it was legal. But they couldn’t have been more wrong! The move involved Hubbard “locking” it into his right arm but not “anchoring” it to any part of his body. “I checked with the rules officials on it, and it’s completely legal,” he claimed.

A deeper look at Hubbard’s secret technique

It isn’t often that the PGA Tour pro shows off his snail. But a 7-foot birdie at the fan-filled 16th hole of the open almost demanded it. For the move, the 33-year-old takes his putting setup, then straightens his arm and goes on to wrap his pinkie around the bottom part of the shaft. The little finger on the shaft is curled up like a snail, which led to the controversial technique’s name.

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via GIPHY

Although the putting stance may look absurd, it is rather effective. His putter and trail arm are linked together and move as one. And with a soft nudge of the right shoulder and no wrist movement required at all, Hubbard seems to put it to quite good use.

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What do you think of this absurd-looking putting technique? And is it one you would sometime try on the course? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Sheldon Pereira

690Articles

One take at a time

Sheldon is a golf writer at EssentiallySports. He is a business graduate from Christ University with a degree in Finance and Accounting. He also has experience as a Senior Audit Associate at an MNC, but his love for writing drove him towards his dream, and he switched careers.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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