- PAGE 2: TIPS FROM DAVE PELZ (Archives)
- PAGE 3: PELZ NEWS ARCHIVE
- PAGE 4: PELZ PRESS RELEASES
An Online Tip From Dave Pelz
Keep Your Belly Putter… Change Your Grip
The countdown is on: Less than two years until the USGA’s ban on anchored strokes takes effect. I’m not a fan of the ban, but I’m done arguing about it. I, along with millions of golfers who saw belly and long putters as important -- and legal -- putting alternatives, have officially lost the anchor battle. Even if you agree with the USGA, and you think I’m nuts, it’s important to understand how the ban will affect your putting game.
Here’s what many have missed: Belly and long putters are, and will continue to be, legal, even after the ban is implemented on January 1, 2016. The USGA’s ruling deals only with anchored strokes, not the tools traditionally used to make them. So even though you’ll no longer be allowed to anchor your long or belly putter against your belly, chest or chin like you’ve done in the past, you can still keep it in your bag. This is important to remember, especially for golfers who have reaped the benefits of the elongated putter design (such as Adam Scott), and for those with bad backs.
My ban-busting advice? Secure your putter against your left forearm, which, if my knowledge of human anatomy serves me correctly, is below your elbow. This will provide an anchor-like feel without establishing a fixed point—the crux of the USGA ruling. Here’s how to do it:
1. Press the top of the grip against the inside of your left forearm (inset photo, right) while tucking your left elbow into the side of your torso. It should feel like the grip runs along the lifeline of your left hand all the way up your left forearm.
2. Set your right hand on the grip so that both of your palms face each other. This should level out your shoulders at address.
3. As you swing the putter back and through, keep the grip snug against your left forearm.
This technique is legal and very effective; it gives you a smooth, pendulum-like stroke. If it looks familiar, it’s because Matt Kuchar putts this way. With this technique, Kooch finished in the Top 25 in strokes gained by putting in 2013.
You still have two years to make the switch. Until then, anchor your belly or long putter however you see fit. But you’ll want to start experimenting with my anchor alternative soon. As with any swing change, you need sufficient practice in order to feel comfortable with it and for it to be effective on the course. If it doesn’t work, hang in there! I’ll continue to show you a variety of USGA-legal setup, grip and stroke options in future issues of Golf Magazine, from now until the ban takes place.
For a more in-depth explanation of this “modified” technique and grip, watch the video I shot for golf.com. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Dave Pelz Joins the Cleveland Golf Staff
Pelz is proud to announce he’s joined Cleveland Golf/ Srixon as a member of their professional staff. Dave will endorse the brand’s putter and wedge line as well as the Srixon golf ball. He will also offer instruction and insight through Cleveland Golf’s web site, social media and marketing channels. Watch www.clevelandgolf.com for upcoming updates, tips and fun information.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Dave Pelz, who is universally acknowledged to be one of golf’s foremost masters of short game instruction,” said Todd Harman, President of Cleveland Golf/ Srixon – U.S.A. “His depth of knowledge regarding the most critical aspects of the game of golf aligns perfectly with Cleveland and Srixon’s emphasis on scoring from 120 yard and in.”
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Cleveland and Srixon products,” said Pelz. “Cleveland Golf’s dedication to the short game along with their industry leading wedge offerings fits perfectly with what I teach. In particular, I love their innovative wedge fitting system that gets golfers into the best wedges for their games, as well as their latest Smart Square putter alignment technology. I’m excited to be on Cleveland’s team and provide even more value to golfers looking to improve.”
Click here for more information on Cleveland’s 2014 product line.
Pelz, Troon Golf Announce Dynamic Partnership
Pelz Golf is partnering with Troon Golf to conduct new groundbreaking research and to grow the experience of the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School by expanding into several of Troon’s hallmark private club, daily-fee and resort locations.
The partnership brings together two of golf’s most influential brands that have been elevating the golf experience around the world and making the game more enjoyable for players for more than 20 years. Bringing the proven methods of Pelz instruction together with the world-class skills, resources and experience of Troon creates a formula for success aimed at raising the golf instruction experience to new heights and utilizing research findings that move the game forward.
“Our partnership with Pelz Golf creates the perfect chance to expand the opportunity golfers have to improve their games, enjoy their time on the course, and ultimately play more golf,” stated Dana Garmany, chairman and CEO, Troon. “Dave Pelz has made huge contributions to the game through his progressive research and we are pleased to play a role in new discoveries that will benefit the industry as a whole and to bring the experience of the Pelz Golf Institute to members and guests of our Troon private club and daily-fee facilities.”
Among the many commonalities between the Troon and Pelz Golf brands, lies the overall mission to grow the game by making golf more enjoyable for individual players. Troon’s motivation to elevate golf facilities through implementing the best services, amenities and playing conditions is the perfect pairing to Pelz Golf’s mission to help golfers enjoy the game more by improving their skills and lowering their scores.
“We’re excited about working with Troon because it provides us the opportunity to reach and help more passionate golfers than ever before,” Pelz said. “Troon members can expect to see testing opportunities in several Troon locations starting this spring and summer. We hope this testing will lead us to practical new ways for all golfers to lower their scores. Also, watch for upcoming Pelz schools and clinics as we expand into some fantastic Troon-managed locations.”
The first Troon property to sign on to host Pelz One-Day Clinics is San Diego’s Maderas Golf Club. The Pelz staff will visit Maderas, a spectacular daily-fee course with incredible views of the surrounding hills and canyons, July 29 – Aug. 2.
2014 Schools Announced
in Florida, California, Georgia and Michigan
It’s hard to believe that this is the 21st year of the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School and that dates for our 22nd have just been announced. In 1993 (when this version of the Pelz school started), several players on the PGA Tour were still playing persimmon drivers and two of Dave students won majors. Lee Janzen captured the U.S. Open and Paul Azinger brought home the PGA Championship that year. More than two decades later, our school’s commitment is the same: helping golfers of all skill levels play and score their best.
Our 2014 slate of schools are underway at several of our flagships locations:
Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton, FL
PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Atlanta, GA
The Homestead, Traverse City, MI
Cimarron Golf Resort, Palm Springs, CA
If you’re not playing to your peak potential, visit an upcoming school and our expert staff will help you discover the best route to lasting improvement. Golfers lose 80 percent of their shots to par inside of 100 yards. If we can get you playing better chips, putts, pitches, sand and wedge shots, your scores will certainly improve. “If you’re playing better and your scores are improving, the game is fun,” says Dave Pelz. “We focus on the shots that most affect your scores because we know your scores will improve if your shot patterns improve in this critical scoring zone.”
Click here to see our full menu of 2014 School Schedules.
Your Destination for Lower Scores
Five Incredible Locations... Choose Yours
Dave Pelz has long been an influential figure in golf. In the early 80s, he convinced PGA Tour player Tom Kite to add a 60-degree lob wedge to his set. Kite became one of the game’s best wedge players and one of the most consistent money winners of that decade. In 2004, he convinced Phil Mickelson to refocus his preparation for the majors. Mickelson has won five Majors since. After Odyssey Golf licensed the patent for Pelz’s design that would become the Two-Ball putter, it went on to become the best-selling putter design in retail history. In all, 10 of Pelz’s professional students have won a total of 20 majors.
All of that, Pelz says, pales in comparison to the joy he and his staff get from helping “Average Joe” amateurs improve their handicaps. “It’s awesome that we’ve helped some top players improve and have success, but the weekend players deserve to have more fun with the game, too. That’s why we bring short game and putting instruction to amateurs. They have the most to gain. 80 percent of the shots golfers lose to par occur inside of 100 yards. That’s why we focus our lessons on that critical Scoring range,” Pelz says.
Join us at an upcoming school in Florida, Georgia or California and see Dave Pelz's vision for how good a golfer you can truly become.
Our expert staff is ready to help you learn the short game and putting skills that bring confidence, consistency and awesome skills to your game. Sign up today for Three Days That Will Change Your Game Forever.
Click here to learn about our “Bring a Friend” discount for three-day school enrollees.
Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton, FL
PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Cimarron Golf Resort, Palm Springs, CA
Strawberry Farms GC, Newport Beach, CA
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Atlanta, GA
Pelz Schools to Visit Paris International,
Sweden's Bro Hof Slott in 2014
We are proud to announce two new European locations for 2014. Our staff from Killeen Castle (Dublin, Ireland), will be traveling to the acclaimed
Bro Hof Slott Golf Course outside of Stockholm, Sweden (July 11 - 13) and to the luxurious Paris International Golf Club in France (May 16 - 18).
Many people consider Bro Hof Slott on Lake Mälaren
to be the best course in Sweden. It has hosted the Scandinavian Masters. This golf facility offers an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Choose between The Castle Course, a challenging first-rate
beauty with a Scottish links character and small challenging bunkers, and The Stadium Course, one of Europe’s
absolute finest courses.
One of France's top courses, Paris International is the epitome of luxury
and golf as it was intended to be. Opened in 1991, this incredible property offers the finest in amenities and services. The 18-hole
Championship golf course is the first Jack Nicklaus Signature course in France. It was
laid out over the Baron Empain land, winding its way through 100-year-old trees and scenic water hazards.
Check out our
upcoming school offerings at Bro Hoff Slott
or Paris International.
Tour Dave Pelz's Ultimate Golf Backyard
Many of you have seen HGTV’s “Million Dollar Rooms” segment featuring a sneak peak of Dave Pelz’s backyard research and practice area, but we've gotten several requests lately to re-post the video.
While technically not a room, Pelz’s golf complex-- complete with seven target greens (which are replicas of Pelz’s favorite green complexes), an 80-ft lag station, targets to drill 10-, 20-, 30- and 40-yard wedge shots and a large tee box that allows him to take aim into a large valley of “driving range” some 80 feet below his hilltop yard—is astounding.
Watch the video here:
“What I did with SYNLawn in my yard certainly goes to the extreme. It’s my dream come true to be able to hit shots any time I want, but I did this to show people what’s possible,” Pelz says. “People can take elements of what’s here and apply to their personal spaces—no matter how small. If you’re hitting an eight-foot putt on a good realistic surface, you’re accessing golf and you’re getting better.”
HGTV’s Carter Oosterhouse hosts the show and was wowed by the scope of golf features in Pelz’s yard, including replica greens of the 17th at TPC Sawgrass, the Road Hole from St. Andrews and the 12th and 13th from Augusta National. When Oosterhouse marveled at the “golf course” at Pelz’s back doorstep, Pelz was quick to counter, “It’s not a golf course or golf holes, it’s golf. I’m able to hit the shots I really want to work on to get better at my own game and to help teach others the skills they need to get better. With synthetic turf and improved installation techniques, you can have realism in backyard golf designs. When my son Eddie started Dave Pelz Synscapes, it was to give people the best installations on the best surfaces so they could have the best practice experiences. It’s got to be true to what golfers see on the course, and this is.” Oosterhouse said even if the yard didn’t cost $1 million to construct, it made him feel like it to hit shots to such “cool” targets.
Pelz Staff Hits the Road For Clinics
We are pleased to announce this season's slate
of traveling Dave Pelz Scoring Game Clinics. The Pelz One-Day Clinic is the ideal introduction to the chipping, pitching, putting, sand and wedge skills you need to be a better golfer. The short game makes up two thirds of the strokes you play in a typical round of golf. If you’re not improving in that all-important scoring range, you’re probably seeing your handicap stuck in neutral.
Sign up for a one-day clinic near you and get your game in gear.
Come learn the practical, proven methods your game is missing. You’ll be glad you spent the day “changing the way you look at Up and Down.”
Pelz Students Deserve Special Treatment:
SPECIAL OFFERS FOR PELZ STUDENTS:
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:
BOCA RATON RESORT & CLUB
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.
PGA NATIONAL RESORT & SPA
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.
CHATEAU ELAN WINERY & RESORT
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.
Pelz Online Tip Archive
How to Unplug a Plugged Bunker Lie
There’s nothing quite as fun—or rewarding—as pulling off a difficult shot with all your friends watching. Case in point: Blasting it close from a plugged lie in the lip of a greenside bunker. I’m sure you’ve faced this shot before, because most amateurs tend to come up short on their approach shots, and if your ball lands in the lip area of a bunker it’ll often plug (bunker sand is softest near steep lips, since nobody walks there). I’m also sure that you sometimes take more than two shots to get up and down from this situation. But not anymore! This lie only looks difficult. You can knock the ball close to the hole and save par using the technique below.
Step 1: Create the most secure stance possible so that you don’t slip on the uneven terrain. You can see from the photo that, for me, this means setting my left foot outside the bunker.
Step 2: As you set up, close the face of your sand wedge (or other wedge, depending on the distance to the pin and the lip height) well past square to a very shut angle. Set your stance parallel
to your target line.
Step 3: Cock your wrists fully in your backswing, and then power your wedge into the sand just behind the ball with as much force and clubhead speed as you can muster. Don’t hold back on this one!
Because you start off with a closed clubface, the toe of your wedge will enter the sand first and then square up (as pressure from the sand increases). This causes the clubhead to “flip” into the ball and produce an upward trajectory and a lot of splash (check how much sand I take in the large photo above). As a result, the ball will carry onto the green with some “knuckleball” roll. Practice this technique first, then bring it out on the course to save a few strokes from a seemingly bad situation—while also impressing your friends. And next time, use one more club to get over those front bunkers!
Managing U.S. Open-Style Rough
Three Techniques for Escaping Rough Without Damaging Scores
I’ve noticed a trend through the years that when U.S. Open time rolls around, superintendents and green committees across the country often join in the fun and let the roughs at their courses grow a little longer and more lush.
Where you once could play simple chips from around the green, you now have to carefully search for your ball in grass so thick and tall you can barely see your shoes! Heavy rough around the green calls for you to use an arsenal of shots you might not be used to playing- maybe even shots you’ve only ever seen Tour professional hit.
When these conditions are mimicked at the courses you play in the region, it’s important that you be prepared for it.
I’d like to suggest a few shots that can help you better manage these seasonal conditions.
1) When the ball is fairly close to the green (only six to 12 inches outside of the deep rough line), sitting with a decent lie in grass that is tall but not too thick, try the “Drop Shot”. Play the ball well back in your stance (off of your back ankle). Take a narrow stance, leaning as far forward as good balance will allow. Maintain that forward lean to the top of your backswing and cock your wrists fully.
Drop the club into the back of the ball with a vertical, descending blow. The clubhead should slide between the blades of grass without cutting much grass, making reasonably clean, solid contact. There does not need to be much of a follow through (I told you this was a different skill set!). The ball will come out low and somewhat softly, so don’t try this if you have several feet of rough between your ball and your escape route.
2) The “Chop Shot” can be used when your ball is more than a foot into a deep cut of rough, and there is significant grass for the ball to get through. You need more force in this instance, which requires a wider, more solid stance and a more powerful lob wedge swing. With the ball just inside your back ankle, lean slightly forward and keep your weight there throughout the swing.
The backswing is a little longer and the wrists should cock fully for plenty of power. The idea is to “chop” through the shot. Deliver a descending blow that cuts the grass behind the ball on the approach, trying to take a divot in front of it. You won’t actually take a divot, but you’ll generate enough power to get out of the rough. Accelerate the clubhead through the grass to a solid finish, at least two feet past impact. You won’t throw any grass out, but you’ll see a good cut in the rough where the clubhead plowed through it.
3) If you find your ball so deep in the rough you fear you might not be able to escape in one shot, neither the Drop nor Chop shots will work. In this case I suggest you try the “Rip Shot”.
To “Rip” the ball out with your lob wedge, you use a basic philosophy: If you can get the club through and out of the grass, the ball will come too! With the ball positioned in the center of your stance, choke down so your lower hand is near the bottom of the grip. Stand a little closer than normal to the ball, and bend at your knees to reach it. Then make a big backswing (with your left arm at least getting to parallel) so you can rip it through impact.
With your clubface turned slightly open (the heel of the club should lead into the grass), you must accelerate down and through impact, making sure your club does not even come close to decelerating! By gripping down on the shaft even strong acceleration through impact won’t create tremendous club head speed, and the ball will come out fairly softly. As the ball and probably some grass start out of the rough, make sure you continue your arms and shoulders on through (well past) impact. Remember, you must rip the club through the grass to make sure the ball gets out too.
Before you play on a course with this kind of “tough” rough, a few practice swings with each of these shots will prove beneficial. You’ll find you at least get the ball out consistently, and the more your practice - the better you’ll become at controlling distance and direction on the shots.
Good Scoring to You,
Pelz Online Tip Archive
Read Putts in Reverse to Hole More Putts
Another Perspective Could Be All You Need to Putt Better
You just never feel confident that you've determined the proper line for any putt.
After studying the dynamics of reading greens and how putts break for the better part of three decades, I've developed a simple and uncomplicated method that will help you improve in both areas. Here's how it works:
Step 1: Walk from your ball to a spot behind the hole that's on a direct line between the ball and the cup. From this vantage point, imagine the last three feet of your putt and how the ball will roll as it slows down and curves at perfect speed into the hole.
Step 2: With this last three feet of curve in mind, picture the ball rolling backward to where your putt starts. Connect the two to get the curving track that the ball will roll on once you stroke the putt.
Step 3: Walk back behind your ball and then slide from the ball-hole line [yellow] over to what I call the AimLine™ of the perfect ball track [green]. Look down the AimLine™ to see where you must start the putt in order for it to curve into the cup.
Step 4: Move to the ball and "feel" your practice stroke rolling the ball at perfect speed to allow it to break along the perfect ball track. Step in, square your putterface to the AimLine, pull the trigger and... voila.
Why it Works
You'd aim a rifle by getting one eye looking directly down the barrel through the sights.You wouldn't aim it from the side.This phenomenon also applies to putting; you can't see the aim direction or imagine the break trajectory if your eyes are positioned away from the starting line of the putt. Aligning your putts with your eyes on the AimLine™ is the same as looking down the barrel of a rifle. It lets you "see" your stroke target and makes it easy to aim your body, stroke and putt.
Good Putting To You,
--- Dave Pelz
Buried, But Alive
Try the 'Cock and Pop' On Buried Lies in Sand
When faced with a badly buried lie in the sand (See Photo 1), you have to adjust your expectations for the result of the shot. If you can get the ball on to the green with a chance to one-putt, that’s a big win. A buried lie is a hideous sight- the ball is plugged almost entirely below the surface and it’s really easy to hit a low, ugly screamer over the green.
Dial In Your Greenside Bunker Swing
Since it’s impossible to create a lot of backspin, most golfers think they can’t get it close. You can. Next time you are faced with one of those lies, try the “Cock and Pop”- it’s a shot I learned from my good friend and Champions Tour pro Tom Jenkins.
In the Cock and Pop method, you’ll play the ball off your back foot and close the clubface at address so the toe of the club will enter and dig into the sand first (See Photo 2, right). When you take your backswing, you’ll take the club back just a short distance, but you’ll cock your wrists as much as possible before making your descending blow (See Photo 3, right).
Pop down on to the ball and don’t make a significant “full” follow-through as you would in normal sand swing. Just pop down on it! (See Photo 4, below left) The resistance of the sand will square the clubface as it flips the ball on to the green. Expect a lower trajectory than from a normal blast.
Try a few Cock and Pop shots from buried lies the next time you practice. Your shot pattern will be more spread out than normal, but trust the technique and you’ll be surprised at how often you give yourself a chance of getting up and down when it looks impossible.
Great Escapes to You,
There’s Only One Sweet Spot
Improve the Accuracy of Your Putting Stroke For Sweet Results
(April 2010) If you take a close look at your game, you'll find that you make most of your two-foot putts, but begin to miss a significant number of putts somewhere between three and six feet from the hole. Everyone does.
There's a combination of things that lead to putting inaccuracy as you get farther from the hole. Where you aim your putterface and how firmly you stroke the putt are major factors. Then there's the break due to the slope, and the speed and quality of the green. But you know all this: After a few years of playing the game, your aim became instinctive, you developed the touch to create the proper energy in your stroke for good putt-speed control, and the knowledge of just how much your putts tend to break at the speeds you roll them became ingrained in your DNA.
A factor you may not be paying attention to, however, is the quality of your impact.
The precise location of the strike on your putterface influences both the amount of energy transferred to the putt and its starting direction. There's only one small point on any putterface that's truly "sweet" — the point on the strike area that results in zero putter-head rotation and maximum energy transfer at contact.
To see if you're stroking putts on the sweet spot, place a piece of impact tape on the face of your putter and roll 30 different-length putts on the practice green. If your impact pattern is less than 3/8 inch in diameter and near your putter's sweet spot, that's good. If it's larger, or centered away from the sweet spot, you need to practice with a feedback device called the "Teacher" clip (visit pelzgolf.com) to train your putting stroke for solid impact. And I promise: Groove a sweet-spot stroke and you'll see sweet putting results!
Good Putting To You,
--- Dave Pelz
Build Winning Habits in the Sand
Find Your “Go-To” Sand Shot and Trust It
(March 2010) You're one up in your match on the 18th hole. Your approach shot found a greenside bunker, but your opponent has opened the door by dropping his approach in the water. All you need to do to win your match is to get out of the sand and into the hole in three shots. Your lie in the sand is good, the flag is tightly guarded (the green slopes down to the flag with water four steps behind the hole), and there's plenty of green out to the right. Thirty people including your three best friends are watching the final hole of your championship match. Don't blow it now!
In this situation, you need to play your “Go-To” shot. Go-to shots aren't the greatest shots you can possibly hit, but the ones just good enough to insure that you win. You need go-to shots all the time in golf, so let's take a look at your options here.
1st Option: Blast at the Pin
Plentiful backspin can be applied from good lies in sand, so you can stop this one quickly. The pros usually blast shots out high and soft, stopping within 10-feet of the hole, even on downslopes. But why go at this pin (with the water lurking in the
background), if you don't need to.
2nd Option: The Safe Blast
All amateurs should play this shot out to the right, to the fat part of the green. It's silly to play at this flagstick and risk a penalty.
3rd Option: Chip it Clean
If blasting from sand is a weakness in your game, picking the ball cleanly off the sand with a 7-iron is a good option when the bunker lip is low. There's plenty of room for this shot here.
4th Option: The Putt
The safest escape for many golfers facing a smooth, no-lip exit from sand is to putt the ball out. A putting stroke should never hit behind the ball and with a little practice you can almost always get out. The question then becomes, can you get down in two more strokes?
FIND YOUR GO-TO SAND SHOT
To identify your go-to shot from sand, hit 10 balls with each technique outlined above. Count how often you fluff and leave shots in sand, or skull balls long. It's not how many good ones you hit; keep track of the bad ones. Your "go-to" shot is the one that gives you the lowest bad-shot percentage. You never know in this game when you'll need to play safe, and it's good to know how, when you need to do it!
Good Putting To You,
--- Dave Pelz
Dave Pelz Explains Proper Sand Technique
The Pelz Golf Institute has conducted a comparative analysis of professional vs. amateur play from sand. The results paint a vivid picture of where amateurs (at varying handicap levels) are skill-wise compared to the pros, and what they need to do to effectively improve their games.
Working with the PGA TOUR ShotLink staff (using their data collection hardware and software), we tracked hundreds of amateurs’ play under tournament conditions at the annual golf.com World Amateur Handicap Championship.
I’d like to share one aspect of this research with you: 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 accomplish hitting behind the ball in sand by standing farther behind the ball (positioning the ball farther forward in their stance) while using their normal wedge swing. Use this as a “reference swing”.
Amateurs 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!
Good Scoring to You,
Pelz News Archive
Dave Pelz Invites You to a School in 2011 ...
Make This Your Year!
(Jan. 1, 2011) Dave Pelz spends his working life developing and communicating ways to help golfers play better. What’s most important to him? The next score you shoot. Take advantage of Dave’s 35 years of innovative instruction and proven methods by joining our staff at an upcoming school.
We recently unveiled our 2011 schedule of schools in Florida, California, Georgia, Colorado, Michigan and Ireland. Visit our school pages and find the date and location that works for you. We’re ready to help you turn your scoring goals into reality. What you learn at the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School will help you improve and refine your scoring skills for as long as you play golf.
Our schools are so much more than a golf vaction, they’re the start of your new beginning in golf. Let us show you how to play your best and keep improving long after your three days with us. Click here to find and enroll in the school that changes YOUR GAME forever.
We are now selling gift certificates for upcoming schools and clinics. Surprise the golfer in your life with “The Gift of Lower Scores”. Call 800-833-7370 or click here for gift certificates.
Dave Pelz Promotes New “Golf Without Fear” Book
Dave Pelz has been on the road talking to the media about his latest instruction book “Dave Pelz’s Golf Without Fear”. He recently appeared on The Charlie Rose Show and The Golf Channel describing the book and how he organized the content to help golfers identify and improve on the shots they fear the most. “I’m really excited about golfers reading this book and discovering ways to turn the shots that cause them the most anxiety into shots they play confidently,” says Pelz. Currently, “Dave Pelz’s Golf Without Fear” is the number-one golf book being sold on amazon.com. To learn more about this book or to buy a copy, click here.
Click here to watch Dave’s interview with The Golf Channel’s Scott Walker.
Click here to listen to Dave Pelz talk to Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports as they discuss "Dave Pelz's Golf Without Fear", Pelz's work with Phil Mickelson and his application of research to help golfers understand the game and play better, heard on Busbee's "Devil Ball Golf" golf blog. Listen to the conversation here.
Pelz Talks Teaching, Great Players, Grooves on pgatour.com
Dave Pelz sat down with Brian Wacker of pgatour.com to discuss his work and insights on the game. Pelz tells pgatour.com who he thinks the best short game players in the world are and what amateur golfers can learn from watching the pros practice. He also expresses his thoughts on how the USGA groove ruling affects amateurs.
Here’s a brief excerpt of the conversation:
Click here to read the full article.
Pelz Offers Elements of Practice to SynLawn Owners
(Aug. 1, 2010) Backyard Putting Greens Meet Practical Golf Improvement
For years, golfers have asked Dave Pelz which backyard putting green system is the best. After years of research and immersion in the synthetic putting turf industry, Pelz has
discovered that SYNLawn putting greens can provide the most realistic and effective
backyard practice options. Pelz’s goal in his endorsement relationship with the company is to help SYNLawn provide even better designs and systems for backyard practice.
Pelz developed a system of games and drills called “Elements of Practice” (EOPs) for SYNLawn Putting Green owners. Each of the EOP games are designed to focus on
fundamental aspects of the short game and putting as well as common challenges golfers face on the course. EOP games will help golfers with skills such as lag putting, short putts, chipping, pitching and even sand play. It all depends on the design of your green and your practice goals - but you can turn your backyard into a golf pratice paradise!
For more inofrmation, call 866-796-5296 or visit www.synlawn.com.
Odyssey Names Dave Pelz ‘Brand Ambassador’
The Number One Putter in Golf Teams with Putting Authority
For Callaway Golf Company recently announced a formal relationship between its market-leading Odyssey brand and world renowned short game and putting instructor Dave Pelz.
The agreement brings together a former NASA scientist whose unparalleled dedication to putting and short game instruction has yielded 19 Major Championships, with an innovative manufacturer that is #1 in Wins, Usage, and Top-10 Finishes across the world's major professional tours.
"We are thrilled to welcome Dave Pelz to our very elite group of brand ambassadors that include Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Johnny Miller, David Leadbetter, Annika Sorenstam, and one of Dave's students, Phil Mickelson," said George Fellows, President and CEO, Callaway Golf. "Dave's canon of putting research and accomplishments as an instructor are unequaled. His knowledge and contributions to Odyssey's growth will be significant."
The collective goal of Odyssey and Pelz is a long term commitment to lower the scores of all golfers, and putting is central to that mission. Odyssey's dedication to the craft of making the world's best putters, combined with the scientific approach and putting expertise of Pelz, creates an excellent blend to the collaboration.
"Odyssey approaches putter manufacturing with the same approach I've committed to researching and teaching putting over the years. While I've had many opportunities to endorse putter brands before, this is the first time I've ever done so because Odyssey is special," Pelz says. "They put the golfer first and focus on providing tools that best
facilitate lower scores. Odyssey's dedication to innovation and commitment to quality make me excited about what we can do together to help golfers play their best in the future. I'm thrilled to join their team."
For information on Odyssey's innovative product line, please visit www.odysseygolf.com.
Still Confused About the New Groove Rule?
Read Dave Pelz’s golf.com Article Explaining the Topic
You’ve probably noticed a lot of talk about wedge grooves during telecasts of the PGA Tour’s early-season events. The Tour is the first organization conducting events under the USGA’s new rule for the grooves on iron faces that essentially has players using V-grooves instead of the U- (or box-) grooves most of them have been playing the past 20 years.
While most amateurs can continue to play with their current wedges, the pros have made the switch with varying degrees of adjustment and success.
To brush up on the groove issue and get some grip tips on maximizing spin on your short game shots, read this GOLF Magazine article Dave wrote last March. You’ll learn a lot and find some teachniques for better wedge play.
Here’s the introduction to Dave’s article:
We all need backspin. Without sufficient spin, stopping shots near the pin is very difficult (think about how many times your "good" short-iron or wedge shots have landed on the green and then proceeded to roll off the back). The bad news is that spin is becoming harder to get. Manufacturers keep lowering short-iron and wedge lofts (meaning they travel farther, but come in lower and harder) and the USGA has installed a new rule that will limit the spin capabilities of future wedge designs.
The good news is that you're already making swings capable of producing shots with good backspin (at least occasionally). But your swing alone isn't enough. That cracks just one-third of the backspin code. You also need the right ball and the right face grooves. Nail these factors and your spin potential will fly off the charts.
To read the entire article, just click here.
Chicago Tribune Writer Reviews The Pelz Clinic
(Aug. 2010) Chicago Tribune writer Teddy Greenstein recently attended the Pelz One-Day Clinic at Cog Hill Golf Club, just outside of Chicago, IL. Read his impressions of the instructional day and his new-found prospects for improving a shaky chipping game here.
Greenstein writes "Our student body included a father-son team from the North Shore, a husband-wife combo who described their ages as 'retired … no, rejuvenated' and a police officer who grew up playing at Joe Louis Golf Course in Riverdale.
I told them I would contact them in September to check on their progress — and see if they felt the investment (time and money) was worth it.
As for me, I hit the best chips of my life after learning the proper setup.
'Fantastic,' Holesha said after observing a few. But that was just practice. I won't know if I've been cured of the chanks (chipping yanks) until I hit the course."
Read the full article here.
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Pelz O-Ball Putters Available on Oddysey's New Line
Check Out Odyssey’s White Ice Putter Designs With “O-Ball” Markings
Odyssey debuted its White Ice line of putters earlier this year, and now, many putters in that line that feature the popular 2-Ball design are available from Pelz Golf with the patented red converging “O-Ball” markings.
What difference does this Pelz O-Ball modification make?
Dave Pelz explains, “Research at the Pelz Golf Institute shows two red converging lines help golfers aim better than any other alignment aid tested. Better than straight lines, better than black lines, better than multiple (more than two) lines, better than one straight line. Golfers seem to see in their ‘mind’s-eye’ where converging red lines are aimed, and react to that knowledge by aiming their O-Ball putters better as a result.”
These putters offer golfers the ability to putt confidently with most effective visual guides available. The 2-Ball is one of the most popular putter designs in the history of golf, now with converging red lines, its the best-researched, easiest-to-aim putter on the market.
The new White Ice Putters from Odyssey combine Tour trusted shapes with a new look and improved feel. Developed after extensive feedback from players on Tour, Odyssey engineers have enhanced the sound, responsiveness and consistency of the insert. Coupled with a new Dark Nickel finish, White Ice putters combine Tour-proven looks with Tour-inspired feel.
Click here to learn more about the best alignment putters you can find!