One of the greatest golfers to come out of New Zealand
Possibly the best putter of all time?
Bob Charles was a self-taught golfer who never had a formal lesson. This had no negative effect on Charles, and in fact, he possessed one of the most natural swings in golfing history. Yet although his swing is one for the connoisseurs of swing mechanic history it was Sir Bob`s putting legacy that he will be most remembered for.A clean and beautiful stroke puts the New Zealander in an elite group of putting greats.
New Zealand is a country of only 5 million people, yet it has more golf courses per capita (presently 400) than any other country outside of Scotland, and thanks to emigrating Scots it also possesses some of the oldest, with the earliest dating back to 1863.Naturally, with such a history New Zealand has produced many fine golfers, and from all of those great players of the past and present, arguably the most famous is Sir Bob Charles. Charles's achievements over five decades rank him among the most successful left-handed golfers of all time, being the first lefty to win a golf major (British Open 1963) plus more than 70 other titles.
The simplicity of the Bob Charles swing is the first thing that hits the eye when anybody takes the time to study it. There seem to be few moving parts as Bob swings his arms high before flowing through the ball to a well-balanced finish.
As an all-round sportsman, Charles took his time to really become interested, and although his first experiences with the golf sport began at five it was not until he was 11 years old that it overtook all other physical activities.Charles turned professional in 1960 and the next year won the New Zealand PGA Championship and soon after ventured overseas to the European and North American circuits.One of the most interesting aspects about Charles is that he is ambidextrous, with a left-handed father and right-handed mother he could have been equally successful playing the other way around.As was normal in earlier days left-handed clubs were rare and Charles's first two clubs were right-handed hickory shafted specimens.
Irv Schloss found the Charles swing so technically good he decided to present the film he made in both right and left-hand versions.
Here is the right-handed version:
I think Irv was right to do this and we should probably do it more often when studying the qualities of a top left-handed player.
For more photography and information on Bob Charles click on this link.
Thanks John, totally agree with how well his swing aged.
People used to tell me that I was wasting my time watching Bob play at our hometown Tour event but I always loved how ridiculously simple he made swinging the club look and actually tried to emulate him for a while (even though I'm a "righty"...). Love this right-handed view of Bob's swing and wow, did his swing age well.