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Original Issue

THE QUESTION: The old saying about golf is: "Drive for show and putt for dough." Do you agree?

Former Masters and PGA champion
Cleveland, Ohio
No. The driver is the king of golf, and the best shot in golf is the drive. Harry Vardon was a great driver and a mediocre putter. Yet some authorities consider him one of the best. Ben Hogan is a super driver, a super iron player but an ordinary putter. The top golfers are rated on courses that require great driving.

Winner of Broadmoor Invitational 1957
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Yes I do. I don't care how well you play on the fairways, if you can't get the ball in the hole you are dead. A good putter can consistently beat a good driver, and I've often seen it done. The really topflight golfers spend hours and hours in tedious practice, trying to improve their putting.

Not at all. I refer you to a remark made by Ben Hogan after he won the British Open. He said that he won with his drives. In my opinion, putting plays too important a part in golf. In reality it's a game that children and ladies can play on the lawn, hardly an athletic sport. Why not double the diameter of the cup?

Financier and developer
Duck Key, Fla.
Yes, and there's no truer statement ever made. In match play, a good putter can spot his opponent 25 yards on drives and beat him consistently on the greens. No one knows better than I, because I used to play for large side bets. My drives were long and straight, but I lost most of the money on the greens.

Former Masters and PGA champion
White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
If I had my choice in golf as it's played today, I'd rather be a good putter than a good driver because putting is 75% of the game. Gene Sarazen suggested a long time ago that we de-emphasize putting by using eight-inch cups. But it doesn't seem right that a "pecker" who pecks along should beat a great, natural golfer.

1937 British Amateur champion
Palm Beach, Fla.
Well, you have to be a great driver and a great putter to win the top tournaments, but generally speaking, a great putter who is a fair driver can beat a golfer who is a great driver but a mediocre putter. All the great golfers are good putters. Bobby Jones used to sink 50-and 100-foot putts.