My Five: Best Ball-Strikers

Golf Digest Senior Writer Jaime Diaz ranks golf's best ball-strikers

Joe Durant last Sunday just missed ending the year as the PGA Tour's leader in both greens in regulation and driving accuracy, a feat that was last accomplished in the 1980s by Calvin Peete. Durant, who has led each category several times in his career, is a great ball-striker, a much admired designation that involves more than stats. It's also about subjective things like the sound of impact, penetrating flight, mastery of different shots, and ultimately, control of the ball. With the caveat that I missed Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead, here are the five best pure ball-strikers I've ever seen.
Lee Trevino

1. Lee Trevino

Trevino's move was called "agricultural" by British scribe Leonard Crawley because it was flat and marked by a pronounced extension toward the target, but in fact it was a picture of grace, balance and strength. Built close to the ground at 5-8, 180 pounds, Trevino blended an individualistic technique he truly "owned" with great hand-eye coordination to hit nearly every shot dead solid. Trevino had a bit of trouble hitting it high enough to hold extremely firm greens, and he's the first to say that he won two U.S. Opens and two PGAs in wet conditions, but he was otherwise flawless. His feel and precise contact made him a genius wedge player, with the risky low burner that took one hop and stopped being his specialty. And nobody has been straighter off the tee under pressure; Jack Nicklaus said the certainty that Trevino wouldn't miss a fairway made him his toughest opponent head to head.
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