‘Thunder Dan’ Majerle explains why a jump shot and a putter aren’t all that different

Dan Majerle knows a thing or two about the jump shot. The 14-year NBA pro built his game around the fundamentals of his own jump shot to great success as a three-time All-Star and Olympic medalist. In his second life as a professional basketball coach — first as associate head coach of the Phoenix Suns, and now as head coach at Grand Canyon University — Majerle spends significant amounts of time dedicated to teaching and helping others understand those same fundamentals.

On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar podcast, hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz had a simple question for Majerle: if you can teach a jump shot, can you also teach a putting stroke?

“God I hope so,” he said. “Depends on what you say is great. I think you can obviously become a much better putter.”

For Majerle, the connection between putting and shooting is very real. Ultimately, both come down to fundamentals — those with a strong sense of them can become both good shooters and good putters, but it’s all about consistency and repeatability.

“I think with your shooting, there’s always guys who have different shots and different forms, but if you do it a lot, and you have great form, you can become a good shooter,” he said. “You guys know golf obviously a lot better, if someone could teach you putting, does that make you a good putter?”

For “Thunder Dan,” success in sports — golf in particular — comes down to feel, and feel is the product of hours of commitment to one’s fundamentals. For proof, look no further than some of basketball’s greatest shooters.

“Reggie [Miller] has done it millions and millions of times,” he said. “It’s repeatable, he knows what he’s doing. I actually had really good form on my jump shot, and I used to work on it all the time. So when I was doing it I didn’t have to think about it, it came more of a feel to me.”

To hear more of Majerle’s Subpar interview, including his experience talking golf with Michael Jordan, check out the video below.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, in addition to using his broadcast experience on various social media and video projects. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — are still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.