Kevin Na used to be known for playing really slowly. Then he was known briefly for whiffing at drives on purpose as he battled the driver yips. These days, a more-seasoned Na is best known for walking in putts.
There aren’t many weeks that go by these days where Kevin Na isn’t showed on PGA Tour broadcasts walking one in. On the particularly short putts, Kevin Na can beat his ball to the hole, plucking out the ball from the cup the second it goes underground. However, on the longer putts, Na doesn’t make it all the way there before he sinks the putt.
Na’s penchant for walking in putts probably started getting increased attention in March 2019 at The Players Championship. On the 17th hole of the third round, Na was playing alongside Tiger Woods on the infamous par 3 when he walked in his putt. Not to be outdone, Tiger Woods did his best Kevin Na impersonation, quickly chasing his putt into the hole.
Na walks in all kinds of putts: long and short, birdies and pars. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes he fist pumps before it goes in. Sometimes he just retrieves the ball quickly. Sometimes he just follows it into the hole. But it’s Kevin Na’s thing to walk in putts, and the history of him doing it dates back way before his professional career.
As he said in an interview with the PGA Tour:
It started in junior golf. We always saw guys raise their putter and start walking, but you never see someone really chase after the ball in the hole.
I would take a big stride and reach for it with my hand.
When I hit a good putt and it starts on line, half way there, and I’m reaching for it. And, you know, as good as the greens are on Tour, it’s pretty predictable what the ball is going to do the last few feet.
It’s great for birdie putts. Even on par putts, it gets you pumped up for the next hole.
For me, I think it helps me play a little more aggressively.
With Na on fire with the putter winning the 2019 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, it might be time to start thinking about walking some in ourselves. After all, Na is 105 feet of putts in the final round away from owning the PGA Tour record for the most total feet of putts made in a single tournament, which belongs to Ben Martin, who made 551 feet, 2 inches of putts in finishing tied for 10th in the 2015 PGA Tour event at Colonial.