- PAGE 2: TIPS FROM DAVE PELZ (Archives)
- PAGE 3: PELZ NEWS ARCHIVE
- PAGE 4: PELZ PRESS RELEASES
An Online Tip From Dave Pelz
Rolling with the Breaks
One of the reasons I love our synthetic turf projects like the indoor practice facility I helped design at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., is that they really and truly mimic what you find on the course. The some of the practice greens at Blessings even have slopes as severe as four degrees. (Yep, that's a lot!) Moving your practice from flat greens to sloping ones is a powerful way to learn how to hole breaking putts.
In the photo at the top of the page, I'm practicing three six-foot putts you'll typically face on a sloping green: a downhill left-to-right breaking putt, a downhill right-to-left breaker, and a straight uphiller. I'm using three of my Putting Tutors to give me feedback on putt break and starting lines. By cycling through these putts while keeping my stroke fundamentals the same on every attempt, I learn that all putts are straight putts, which then either break away from their starting lines to the hole or stay straight. Either way, I groove my putting by stroking all putts with the same mechanics (switching only start lines and speeds in the event of a miss).
At first, this kind of practice may seem a little boring. It's actually a lot of fun and a true learning experience. The trial-and-error involved in cycling through putts with various speed and break requirements while keeping stroke fundamentals the same gives you priceless feedback. It teaches you how much putts actually break and how to aim correctly. It also provides a true vision of good speed control. Your mind absorbs these mini-lessons and learns a little from each one.
When you're done with six-footers, switch distances. In the above, I've set up a variety of three-, six-, nine- and 12-foot putts. Cycle through them as in the first drill, noting the speed and starting line required for each while sticking to your stroke fundamentals. Indoors or out, structuring your practice this way will make you the boss of all breaks.
Take a Sneak Peek at Our Michigan School
We understand the enthusiasm our Dave Pelz Scoring Game School students have after completing a school session. They’re eager to go play and use their improved scoring skills on the course. That gets us excited, too, because love hearing about great results. If you think you might be ready to take YOUR game to new heights, watch this video and see what other golfers are most pumped up about once they take our school:
Should You Use a Larger Putter Grip?
In a survey several weeks ago, we asked our readers about your putting styles. One of the responses that jumped out to us was how many of you use a larger-than-standard grip on your putter. In all, 53% of respondents either use a midsize or oversized putting grip.
Dave Pelz tends to side with this bunch. Watch this short video and see Dave discuss why he thinks a large putter grip can be helpful:
Join Us at an Upcoming School
What's the best thing you can do to effectively improve your handicap? Simple. Improve your short game and putting.
If you can turn three shots into two around the greens, you'll gain confidence and your scores WILL IMPROVE.
Our Dave Pelz Scoring Game School staff is ready to help you reach your scoring goals with better pitching, putting,
sand and wedge play skills and give you a working plan you can trust for as long as you play this great game!
A Three-Day Pelz School is the best way to focus on and sharpen the skills that are most critical to scoring.
Join us at a school and see what improved skills inside of 100 yards will do for YOUR GAME! Conducted in some of the world’s finest resort locations including the mind-blowing
(San Diego's Fairmont Grand Del Mar, pictured),
Dave Pelz Scoring Game School is designed to equip students with skills and practice techniques that promote a lifetime of lower scores and enjoyment of the game.
We are excited about what our students are telling us about their progress and what they are achieving after learning proven short game and putting methods.
From club champions to career-best shooters to countless students who tell us the simply enjoy the game more, we’re take pride in the results out students earn. Join the success stories!
To learn more, call our friendly enrollment staff at 800-833-7370 or click here to see the full slate of locations for 2016 schools, including:
Centennial Golf Club, New York, NY
The Homestead, Traverse City, MI
The Club at Cordillera, Vail, CO
Pronghorn, Bend, OR
Escondido Golf & Lake Club, Austin, TX
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes GC, Phoenix, AZ
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Atlanta, GA
Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton, FL
PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa Valley, CA
Cimarron Golf Resort, Palm Springs, CA
Escondido Golf & Lake Club, Austin, TX
Mickelson Credits Pelz for Links Wizardry
Phil Mickelson’s thrilling head-to-head battle with Henrik Stenson at the recent Open Championship shined a light on how much the 2013 “Champion Golfer of the Year” has improved his play on links golf courses. Golfweek’s Ryan Lavner writes “Much of (Mickelson’s) confidence stems from his first few sessions with short-game coach Dave Pelz back in 200(4)… Maybe it’s The Open (with four top-25s in the past five years) where he’ll experience the most long-term success. It was unthinkable about a decade ago, before his reinvention with Pelz.
“It was all new to him,” Pelz said, “but when he started doing it, it was like a whole other game and he liked it almost immediately. It’s taken a while, like it would for any player, but now he’s gotten very good at it. He’s embracing it more and more.”
Read the full article here
Hit Better Short Game Shots With the Dave Pelz Position Mat
The Dave Pelz Position Mat, recently re-packaged and brought to market with improved visuals and materials, is a simple and easy-to-use tool that will help you hit great short game shots with perfect ball position. Bad ball position will ruin a shot even if you make a great swing. Knowing where the ball should be and being in proper position will help you practice and and improve the quality of your chips, wedge shots and sand shots.
The Position Mat features a durable turf surface so you can hit shot after shot from it with excellent feedback! Learn more about the Position Mat.
The Breathtaking Club at Cordillera
With it's dramatic, natural setting and inspiring Colorado panoramas, The Club at Cordillera-- and our school at the exhilarating Dave Pelz-designed Short Course-- provide an unforgettable Mountain vacation experience. We are excited to announce an upcoming series of Three Day Schools and One-Day Clinics at the Dave Pelz-designed learning facility in the picturesque setting at the Cordillera Short Course from Aug. 3 - Sept. 4.
This exciting series of schools at Cordillera is your chance to lower your scores by fine-tuning your chipping, pitching, putting, sand and wedge play skills. Improving your short game and putting skills is your surest route to measurable, lasting improvement and MORE FUN on the course.
Students will welcome play on the Dave Pelz-designed 10-hole Short Course, an innovative layout that showcases breathtaking alpine vistas. Recognized as one of the world's most extraordinary vacation getaways, Cordillera (in idyllic Edwards, CO) has a wealth of activities for visitors.
Don't miss this opportunity to improve your scoring skills at one of the truly special Dave Pelz Scoring Game School locations THIS SUMMER.
VIDEO: "The Traveling Golfer" Visits Our School
Veteran journalist Tony Leodora, host of "The Traveling Golfer" television show, recently spent time with our teaching staff at PGA National Resort & Spa.
Take a short peek at
his interview with Dave Pelz and his time at PGA National in this first of two fun-filled video segments:
On the Horizon: Pelz Working on ‘Combine’
Dave Pelz is passionate about researching the game of golf and sharing data and instruction that helps golfers understand the game better so they can shoot lower scores. Pelz’s “knowledge is power” technique has evolved over four decades and helped educate golf enthusiasts in his best-selling books, popular television shows and regular magazine articles.
Dave is currently in the process of developing a new, breakthrough way to help golfers improve. The project will be called the Dave Pelz Golf CombineTM. As you probably know, all Pelz projects are born of research, testing and careful development. The Dave Pelz Golf CombineTM is currently in the
developmental stage, but we know we’ll be excited to share the details with you in due time. If you have questions about this project, feel free to e-mail
us at email@example.com.
Tell Us About Your Personal Putting Style
The way you putt reveals a personal style, personality and approach that is all your own. We'd like to learn more about how YOU putt. We see the pros
trying several unique putting styles and wonder if amateurs are as open to experimenting and conducting trial-and-error tests to see what works best for
them. TAKE OUR SHORT SURVEY and we will reveal the answer data and the best comments in the next PELZ PRIMERS.
Tell us about How You Putt and see the results from our last survey on your
"#1 Short Game Goals for 2016." TAKE THE SURVEY
In a previous Survey, we asked "What Aspect of Your Short Game Would You Most Like to Improve in 2016?" Nearly one-fourth of all respondents answered "Distance Control on Wedges." The second- and third-most popular response were "Pitching" and "Chip Shots". See all answers below:
Green Reading Study Update
If you signed up to participate in Dave Pelz’s Green Reading study, you’re in good company. Due to the high volume of replies and requests to take part, the Pelz Golf Institute has extended the timeline and is working on some exciting interactive features we’ll share with you in the coming weeks and months.
Please watch this welcome video from Dave Pelz. We look forward to working on this project with you!
Line Up Your Putts Accurately With the LazrAimer
Dave Pelz always says “Aim is the first fundamental of good putting.” The Dave Pelz LazrAimer is an innovative feedback tool that helps you aim your putter face correctly so you start each putt with confidence.
The LazrAimer’s red laser pointer reflects off of a small mirror on the face of your putter to help you square your putter face. The more accurately you learn to aim the better you’ll putt.
The voice-activated LazrAimer gives you immediate visual feedback of your putter face aim at address so you know you’re starting every putt from a good set-up position. The more you practice with the LazrAimer, the more confidently you’ll set up to the ball. You’ll also see truer-rolling putts.
The more you practice with this innovative feedback tool, the more accurately you’ll set up to the ball. You’ll also see truer-rolling putts.
Learn more here.
Watch Dave’s introduction to the new line of feedback-driven learning aids:
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:
What do YOU Want to Improve Most in Your Game?
with many of our students recently, we’re reminded that every golfer has his own set of goals and needs for improvement.
In the past few days, we’ve heard from folks who are “clueless about green-reading”, worried they might have the chip yips and some who are ready to start hitting wedge
approaches to “kick-in” range. Three of them would like to win The U.S. Open next month!... We all have something in our short game and putting that could be better. What are your goals right now? Email us at askpelz.com and let us know what Short Game and Putting goals you would like to achieve in 2015.
If you have any questions or need any support with your game, don’t hesitate to reach out.
We look forward to seeing many of you at an upcoming School or Clinic session.
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, Fazio, 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.