Pro was going to miss cut. So the Snail returned and things got wacky

Mark Hubbard

Mark Hubbard on Friday on the 16th green at TPC Scottsdale.

PGA Tour Live

Phoenix Open’s 16th now has seen it all. 

No, this was not a streaker, though TPC Scottsdale’s stadium-seating-encircled par-3 also got that on Friday. Nor was it a beer bath, but the iconic hole has gotten that before. But look at those two moments, and think of others on 16: They continue a trend. Most of the wackiness has featured the hole, but not the play.   

Then we got a snail. 

We had seen it before from Mark Hubbard. A little over two years ago, at the American Express, on the verge of a missed cut and on his final hole, he introduced the masses to the move. Don’t know it? It’s a Hubbard special. To do the Snail like him:

mark hubbard putt
‘What in the heck is that?!’ Pro employs oddest putting stroke you’ll ever see
By: Nick Piastowski

You hold the putter with your left hand.

You shuffle your feet. 

You extend your right arm out parallel to your shoulders. 

You extend your pinky finger out, too. 

You start to gyrate, while circling your right arm out in front of you, while squatting downward. 

You grip the putter just above the head with your right pinky, while staying hunched over. 

You putt! 

At the American Express, the Snail was a stunner, though he missed the putt. 

“What?” announcer Terry Gannon said on the Golf Channel broadcast at the time.

“What in the heck is that?” analyst Curt Byrum said.

“That is next level right there,” analyst Trevor Immelman said.  

It’s here where we’ll give you a word on Hubbard. He’s fun. Jump ahead about a year from the American Express, to last year’s Wells Fargo Championship, and he no-looked a putt. Afterward, though, Hubbard teased a return. On his Instagram account, he wrote:

“Next up, the no look snail?” 

Not quite. But that brings us back to the 16th. 

Where, after hitting his tee shot on the 158-yarder to 7 feet and the weekend cut not in play, he held his putter with his left hand. And shuffled his feet. And extended his right arm out parallel to his shoulders. And extended his pinky finger out, too. And started to gyrate, while circling his right arm out in front of him, while squatting downward. And gripped his putter just above the head with his right pinky, while staying hunched over. And putted! 

“Homeless Hubbs [his Twitter account is named this way] is not afraid to mess around with his putting stance,” a PGA Tour Live announcer said. “Oh why not.” 

“With the pinky stroke,” another said. 

The 16th got a snail. 

And Hubbard a birdie. He made the putt. 

He twice saluted the stadium, then walked to 17. 

“The Snail almost never misses!” fellow pro Joel Dahmen tweeted Friday night. 

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.