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Dave's Daily Tip:      3/29/2015

Most golfers "hit" their putts using the small muscles in their hands and wrists to control their line and distance. To vary the distance their putts roll, they vary how hard they hit them. Because this method involves many small muscle systems, it is susceptible to the golfer's level of excitement, heart rate, adrenaline and muscle strength (to say nothing of outside influences like caffeine and sugar). Some players strike their putts with a swinging motion, with no action of their hands or “hit” involved. These players control touch by watching their practice strokes and estimating the distance each stroke would roll the ball. They then control their putt speed by the length of their stroke, based on practice and past experience.

Read more about this in Dave Pelz's Putting Bible, Chapter 5.

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Learn Your Strengths for Better Sand Play

I’d like to share some research data from the Pelz Golf Institute and PGA TOUR ShotLink on how pros deal with greenside sand shots compared to amateurs, and how understanding this difference might help your sand game.

The data shows Pros leave greenside sand shots, on average, less than 10 feet from the cup (on the green, with a chance for one-putt), while amateurs leave the same shots 19 to 26 feet from the hole, many of which are in the sand again or in some other kind of trouble.

Pros, like Phil Mickelson, accomplish hitting behind the ball in sand by positioning the ball farther forward in their stance and using their normal wedge swing. When you’re practicing and working on your sand game, you should use your normal wedge swing as a “reference swing.”

Amateurs we have watched do the opposite: they keep the ball in the normal place in their stance, and change their swing to hit behind the ball. This causes awkward swings that have different shapes, speeds and follow-throughs, and yields a variety of inconsistent results.

My suggestion for your future sand play is as follows: from a grassy spot outside the bunker always make a normal wedge swing and note where your divot occurs (somewhere near the center of your stance). Now assume this same swing will serve as your sand swing.

As you step into the sand, position the ball forward in your stance (up at the instep of your front foot) so your same normal divot will start in the sand behind the ball. This will cause your club to hit behind the ball as consistently as you hit normal wedge shots solidly from grass. If you also lay your wedge face open in the sand, the club will scoot under the ball, spinning it up and onto the green.

Aim your sand shots to a spot on the green (not necessarily at the flagstick) that leaves you extra space to stay out of trouble.

It makes sense that Tour pros aim dead at the flag since they usually hit it to less than 10 feet. When you practice as much as they do, you can aim there, too!

For now, aim to spots that give you more green to work with and take hazards (shot-adding situations) out of play. I think it will save you strokes!

Watch this video of Dave Pelz explaining the proper swing motion for a greenside bunker shot.

Enjoy a Limited-Time Gift Offer
with Three-Day School Enrollment

At Pelz Golf, we’re invested in your improvement. We’ve spent decades working with golfers and developing new ways to help you lower your scores. We’d like to encourage you to plan to make 2015 your best year in golf. Get the most out of the game: have the most fun, hit your best shots and shoot your best scores!

To help you get started, we’re offering the “Bring a Friend” Discount. If you and a friend (or family member) sign up for a 2015 Pelz three-day school session, you may take 15% off the cost of the second enrollment (when you purchase the first three-day school enrollment at full price). Attend the school with a friend or loved one and share this truly game-changing experience. Also, if you enroll between Feb. 9 and Feb. 25, you will receive a BONUS gift: an autographed copy of "Dave Pelz's 10 Minutes a Day to Better Putting."

To learn more, call our friendly enrollment staff at 800-833-7370 or click here to see the full slate of locations for 2015 schools.

Click here to see our full offering of upcoming schools, including:

La Cantera Hill Country Resort, San Antonio, TX
Cimarron Golf Resort, Palm Springs, CA
Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton, FL
PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Atlanta, GA
Centennial Golf Club, New York, NY
The HomesteadTraverse City, MI
Pronghorn Resort, Bend, OR
Strawberry Farms Golf Club, Newport Beach, CA

Exciting Honda Classic Returns to PGA National

The PGA Tour's Honda Classic rolls into PGA National Resort and Spa this week. In our little world, that means our school schedule will take a very brief bye, but we will be back starting Mar. 3 – 4 with a Two-Day School and a Mar. 6 – 8 Three-Day School. The excitement at the Honda Classic always draws an impressive field of Tour stars and huge galleries.

With an exciting closing stretch, known as “The Bear Trap,” the tournament almost always comes down to the wire. Last year, Russell Henley survived a four-man playoff to win the Honda over Rory McIlroy, Russell Knox and Ryan Palmer. This year, the field includes World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Victor Dubuisson, Billy Horschel, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Chris Kirk, and Jamie Donaldson.

Who do you think will win this year’s Honda Classic? E-mail us at askpelz@pelzgolf.com and let us know before the first shot goes in the air Thursday. We might scare up a fun little prize for anyone who guesses correctly! (Guesses must be e-mailed to us before tournament play begins. Only one entry/player name may be permitted per contestant.)

If you haven’t experienced PGA National, join us at an upcoming school this spring. The revitalized resort has something for everyone in the family and our dedicated school location is one of the finest teaching facilities in the state of Florida. With five championship golf courses, incredible resort amenities and acres upon acres of recreational space, PGA National has established itself as the premier golf-focused resort in southern Florida.

If you're ready to dramatically improve your game and lower your scores, check out our upcoming slate of schools at PGA National. You will thank yourself all year long!

Would You Ever Try Sidesaddle?

With the United States Golf Association's ban on anchored putting set to go into effect in about 10 months, many golfers on the PGA Tour and other elite levels of play must decide which putting style they will use starting in 2016.

Sports Illustrated writer Gary Van Sickle stirred up an interesting twist on the topic, suggesting some pros consider the unorthodox, but seemingly very effective, sidesaddle technique (with the entire front of the golfer's body facing the hole and putter head next to his feet). Read the full article here. Proponents of sidesaddle say that having both eyes facing the target improves their ability to read the line, speed and break of their putts much better. The also suggest the orientation of their bodies reduces in-stoke compensations, producing a more pure, in-line putting stroke.

We want to hear from you... Would you ever consider putting side saddle? Some golfers have told us it looks and feels like cheating and just isn't in the spirit of the game. Others suggest it's perfectly legal and if it's a technique that has helped others dramatically improve their make percentages, it may well be worth a try. The small percentage of golfers who use the technique seem to swear by it, claiming their percentage of makes is dramatically higher with sidesaddle. They say it isn't even close. Email us at askpelz@pelzgolf.com and let us know your opinions. We look forward to the conversation!

New Location: Scenic Pronghorn
Summer Schools Coming to Oregon

You asked for it and now there’s a Dave Pelz Scoring Game School in Oregon. Pronghorn (Ben, Ore.) set on 640 acres amidst a beautiful 1,000 year-old juniper forest, features world-class golf, endless outdoor pursuits and uniquely customized experiences that will inspire and invigorate your soul. The resort's Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus signature courses are surrounded by ancient lava rock ridges, and outcroppings completed with postcard views of the Cascade Mountains.

Oregon has quickly become one of the most sought-after destinations for golf in North America and Pronghorn is truly one of the region's "Must Visit" properties. These summer schools will fill up fast, so click here for more details on our newest school location.

The SYNLawn Advantage

A recent article on GOLF.com features the relationship Dave and Eddie Pelz have forged with SYNLawn Golf and how, together, the two brand have revolutionized the arena of backyard golf practice:

Dave Pelz’s backyard short-game playground is well-known in the world of golf. It has a level of prominence that only makes sense for the backyard of the man who authored The Short Game Bible. What isn’t well known, however, is how Pelz assembled his distinctive backyard.

There’s a company behind the grandeur: SYNLawn. Back in the summer of 2008, Pelz was looking for a turf company to purchase the most realistic turf he could find. He had already been affiliated with other synthetic turf companies. So he called SYNLawn for the job.

SYNLawn, which can be found in all 50 states as well as Canada, specializes in outdoor turf, landscape and playground surfaces with a successful golf branch. That’s why Pelz was interested. The turf led to building one green, which led to another and another and then many surrounding areas of fringe, fairway, and first-cut lengths of turf.

“It took months, maybe even a year,” says John Knox, manager of the SYNLawn golf brand. “They had to do some demolition back there...we moved a lot of dirt back there. Dave has some intricate designs that we don’t normally do.”

But SYNLawn made it work for Pelz, and now 100 percent of his backyard is SYNLawn products, even the sand seen in the bunkers.

Pelz's backyard is unique and far from the normal SYNLawn project. The typical job is a 1,000 square-foot green, which costs between $13,000 and $17,000. The price depends on specifics in design like humps, bunkers, fringe locations, etc. -- many adjustments that allow the owner creativity for however he or she wishes to transform their lot.

Watch a video of Dave describing his relationship with SYNLawn and the evolution of the “World’s Greatest Backyard.”:

“We go there, physically take the measurements and look at integrating the putting green into the design of the backyard,” Knox said. “If [the customer] wants a hump, or if they want a tier, these are various things we build into the base.”

That base is made of stone, and requires a specific level of excavation to drain precipitation correctly. Depending on the region -- the level of digging depends on the frost line -- there is a day of excavation and initial laying of the stone work. It will take one more day to finish the stonework before a final day of laying the turf in place.

In just a few days, a typical backyard can become a golf refuge. From there, maintenance is minimal. Knox says the leaf blower that already owns a place in the garage is all that’s needed to clean the turf. Any precipitation flows through pores in the turf and through the stone as well. Anything left on the turf is then blown away to keep the green clean.

“If leaves get on it, blow it off,” he says. “Literally that’s it.”

Nowadays, Pelz is not only an ambassador of the turf product but also a partner of the company. (His son now runs SYNLawn distribution in Austin, Texas.) Pelz even created a product of his own to layer beneath the turf to make the greens more receptive -- and act more similar to actual soil -- for longer-range approach shots.

His addition isn’t for everyone -- admittedly, not all SYNLawn clients have as much area as Pelz had to work with -- but the idea of a backyard green is catching on with others.

Just last week, a well-known golfer called in and eventually wrote a $70,000 check. It was six-time major champion Tom Watson.

Watch the video tour of Dave Pelz's backyard golf paradise here:

Putting Tutor More Popular Than Ever

Hardly a business day goes by without our staff being asked about the Putting Tutor. A number of high-profile (and successful) players on the PGA and European Tours use the device regularly and many are seen with it on Golf Channel’s “On the Range” segments.

The Putting Tutor helps golfers improve their aim while groove a pure putting stroke with no excessive rotation or opening or closing of the club face. Additionally, the Putting Tutor helps golfers improve their greenreading skills. If you’re making a pure stroke that allows the golf ball to pass through the Tutor’s marble gates (without dislodging any) and the putt rolls on your intended line, you will see how well you read your putt and how well you controlled the putt’s speed. Once your stroke is solid, you simply adjust your aim and work on playing the right amount of break and making the putt at the proper speed.

Watch this video with co-developers Phil Mickelson and Dave Pelz to see the Putting Tutor in action. If you’re ready to try this groundbreaking learning aid, order yours here.

Pelz Students Deserve Special Treatment:

Our three day schools are hosted at some of the finest golf resort’s in the country. Check out some exclusive package offers currently available if you book your school visit soon. It’s always a great idea to extend your stay and get in some rounds of golf at these awesome locales:

Uniquely Boca Inclusive Package from $349 per night

Experience the best of everything the Resort has to offer with this incredible inclusive package; the activities are endless and the savings are unprecedented. Ideal for a family staycation or even just a romantic evening away.

Uniquely Boca Package Includes: Parking, Breakfast, Late checkout, Inclusive of resort fee, 25% Off Golf Greens Fees (excluding cart), 25% Off treatments at Spa Palazzo, 25% Off Tennis Court Time, 25% Off Camp Boca. Click here for more information.

The Gold Golf Package provides the perfect South Florida golf vacation with options for players of all skill levels at an incredible savings. The Gold Package includes the choice of one round per person each day at the newly updated Palmer course, or The Haig, Squire, or Estates courses. Advance tee times are recommended.

PGA Gold Golf PACKAGE INCLUDES: 1 round per person per day at The Palmer, Haig, Squire, or Estates course, Upgrades available to The Champion course for a surcharge, Nightly deluxe accommodations in a standard hotel room with private balcony or terrace, Daily breakfast buffet per person, Complimentary bag storage, Complimentary unlimited practice balls during stay. Click here for more information.

A deluxe overnight room in the Inn at Château Élan, two rounds of golf plus cart and range balls on the Château course or Woodlands course and breakfast for two the following morning in the Versailles Restaurant or Golf Grille. Tee times are recommended at the time of booking. Click here for more information.

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One Day Clinics
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Pelz Schools in 2015 ...
Make it Your Best Year in Golf!

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The Pelz Putting Tutor

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