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An Online Tip From Dave Pelz
Pay Attention to Bounce for Better Wedge Play!
By Dave Pelz
I find that most of my students are pretty tuned in to their woods and hybrids. They know what to expect from each club and can usually rattle off the key specs (loft, clubface angle, shaft flex, etc.). Although they’re less informed about their irons and assume that what they bought off the rack works for their swings, they’ve often done some homework when it comes to their wedges. Most of them are aware of the trajectory and backspin they get with each one, as well as the loft built into each model. When I ask about bounce angle, however, the room usually just falls silent.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you may have a problem. It’s critical to outfit your wedge set with a variety of bounces, and at the very least, you should be able to point out the wedge with the lowest amount of bounce and the one with the highest. Even if you own a perfect wedge swing, it’s the bounce that ultimately determines how each club will react with the turf, sand, water—or whatever else your ball may be sitting in—through impact. The bounce on your wedges is just as important as the attack angle of your swing. The two combine to help you maintain speed through the ball or—gulp—dig into the ground and slow down.
For example, let’s say the ball is lying on hard, wet sand. If you try to hit this shot with a high-bounce sand wedge, you’re going to have a difficult time getting the ball out of the bunker. But if you know that your lob wedge has less bounce and that less bounce performs better from this type of lie, you’re in a much better position to save par. The opposite applies when you have to play a shot from soft sand. In this situation, more bounce will help the club glide instead of dig.
Take a few minutes to research the bounce angle on each of your wedges. If your clubs don’t have a bounce value stamped on them (for example, 55/12 means 55 degrees of loft and 12 degrees of bounce), ask your pro or custom club shop for help. The important thing is to learn if the range of bounces in your wedge set is wide enough to tackle whatever the course throws at you. Regardless of the lofts you carry, make sure that your wedges offer a low-bounce, mid-bounce and high-bounce option.
The perfect wedge set features loft gaps of 4 to 5 degrees between each club ? and a range of bounce angles to handle all the conditions in which you typically play. If your current set falls short of this standard, then you’re just making the game more difficult—and adding strokes to your score—every time you play.
Make This Summer Your Time to Improve
Summer. It’s your time. It’s your time to plan, play and do what you love most. We feel the same way about the sunniest season and send our teaching staff to some of our absolute favorite places in the country to host Dave Pelz Scoring Game School. Our biggest news of the summer is the long-awaited return to the exceptional Lodge & Spa at Cordillera. This luxurious Rocky Mountain retreat is the perfect summer getaway with its alpine setting, abundance of outdoor activities and sensational mountain golf.
Cordillera’s Dave Pelz-designed school grounds and adjoining 10-hole Short Course add a personal touch to the school experience. Our instructors will be in Cordillera from July 19 – Aug. 10. Join them for an opportunity to improve your game in an incomparable destination for golf and leisure. Click here to learn more about our schools at Cordillera, including a special Signature Session, featuring appearances and live instruction from Dave Pelz.
In addition to Cordillera, we will also be offering schools at some of the top locales around the country, including the destination voted “The Most Beautiful Place in America” by Good Morning, America viewers—The Homestead in Glen Arbor, Michigan. This idyllic hideaway on the shores of Lake Michigan combines the intimacy of a small ski village with majestic beauty and family fun at every turn. This place is one of a kind. We offer programs at The Homestead all summer, so pick a week and prepare to be amazed. Click here for details.
Join us at an upcoming school in Florida, Georgia, California, New York or Michigan. We’re 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
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Atlanta, GA
The Homestead, Traverse City, MI
Centennial Golf Club, Carmel, NY.
Carpenter Enjoying Successful
Senior Season at Abeline Christian
One of our favorite Pelz Alumni families shares some big-time news. The Carpenter family has attended the three day school numerous times and presently has three brothers playing on the Abilene Christian University golf team. Senior Alex Carpenter (who plays on the team with twin brother Adam and sophomore younger brother Luke) recently set the record for wins during an NCAA collegiate career and was named to the Palmer Cup team for the second time in his college career.
For the second time in his distinguished collegiate career, Alex will represent the United States this summer at the 2013 Palmer Cup. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played June 7-9 at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.
The Palmer Cup teams for both the United States and Europe were announced Monday. Previous players at this event include current PGA tour professionals Luke Donald, Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell.
“I'm really excited to make the team,” said Carpenter. “I knew there was a good chance that I would be selected, but I hadn't heard anything leading up to today and didn't want to get my hopes up. There are a lot of great players they could have chosen from the non-Division I level, so it was good to find out that I was picked.”
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and Alex is well deserving of this honor,” said ACU head golf coach Mike Campbell. “There was only one spot reserved on this year's team for a non-Division I golfer and Alex was right at the top of the heap when comparing everyone's statistics. I really believe the best golfers in D-II are in the same class as D-I, so he's seen a lot of good competition throughout his career.”
Carpenter, who previously represented the U.S. at the 2011 Palmer Cup, has recorded five victories this season and recently accepted his fourth Lone Star Conference Player of the Year award. The three-time all-America also made Sports Illustrated's 'Faces in the Crowd' page in its April 22 issue after winning his 20th collegiate tournament on April 9 at the Dallas Baptist Classic.
Carpenter is believed to hold the NCAA career record for individual collegiate wins (20), having surpassed the previous record of 16 set by Phil Mickelson from 1989-92. Coincidentally, Carpenter earned the 2010 Phil Mickelson Award presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation as the most outstanding freshman in NCAA D-II men's golf.
A native of Little Rock, Carpenter won the 2011 Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA D-II Player of the Year, and earlier this spring, he finished tied for second Sunday at the Jones Cup Invitational, one of the top amateur golf tournaments in the United States.
“I work hard because I love it,” Carpenter said, “and I enjoy improving in different areas, and reaching the goals I've set for myself. So it's really special when I receive these types of honors (named for the greats of the sport). I also feel it's important to take advantage of being at these different tournaments and really enjoy the experience.”
Congrats to Alex and proud parents, Larry and Lisa! Go get ‘em!
Scott's Masters Win Reignites Anchoring Debate
In sinking two of the most clutch birdie putts in the history of The Masters, Adam Scott became a popular champion and also added fuel to the ongoing debate on anchored putting. Scott’s success with the long putter was impressive but also sparked discussion on both sides of the anchoring argument. The USGA and R & A have proposed a ban on any putting strokes in which a player’s club is anchored to his body. USA Today writer Steve DiMeglio wrote recently:
(Scott’s) victory completed an "Anchored Slam," as all four majors now have been won by players anchoring the putter — Scott in the Masters, Webb Simpson in the 2012 U.S. Open, Ernie Els in the 2012 British Open and Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship.
That's four of the last six majors won with an anchored putting stroke.
A run like that, however, might never happen again.
The Royal & Ancient and the U.S. Golf Association proposed a ban on anchoring clubs to the body last year. The custodians of the game allowed for a three-month comment period, which ended six weeks ago. No final decision has been announced. It is expected within the next six weeks.
If the proposal becomes a rule, implementation would begin Jan. 1, 2016.
The PGA Tour and the PGA of America have formally protested the ban. All other professional tours who have commented on the impending decision have not opposed it. Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National, did not side either way last week when asked about the proposed anchoring ban.
"Given that the ruling bodies have not yet declared a decision following that open-comment period," Payne said, "I do think it would be inappropriate for us to express an opinion other than to say that we hope and believe that they can reach common ground so that golf will continue under one set of rules."
Scott, 32, has frequently opined — he's a vocal opponent, saying once that there seems to be no logic to the whole issue. He was asked Sunday while wearing his green jacket whether or not his victory would have an impact.
"I don't know what it's going to do," said Scott, who has seven top-15 finishes in his last nine majors. "We are all waiting to hear what's going to happen. I don't know that this is going to impact any decisions at all.
"You know my feeling on it all; that it was inevitable that big tournaments would be won with this equipment because these are the best players in the world and they practice thousands of hours. They are going to get good with whatever they are using. It's inevitable."
Angel Cabrera doesn't think much of the proposal, either.
"No, I don't think there is any advantage," he said. "If it really is an advantage, why doesn't everybody play it?"
Scott is expected to play next in The Players Championship May 9-12.
Dial In Your Distances
Dave Pelz has a unique feature in his backyard golf practice area: target pads set at 10, 20, 30 and 40 yards from a hitting area. The circumference of each target corresponds with the average “leave distance” of PGA Tour players from those yardages. Dave knows that if he can hit shots into the targets consistently, he’s playing those shots as well as a Tour player. OK, easier said than done, but it is a benchmark and a good way to practice.
Not only do the sizes of the targets provide feedback on the quality of the practice session, the practice of hitting several balls to each target greatly improves a golfer’s ability to learn their individual distances and the corresponding swings that land shots at the targets. The more you know how much of a backswing with which club produces which shot to which yardage, the better you’ll be on the course. You will be amazed at how quickly you can improve around the greens just by hitting shots with different swings to known yardages.
Even if you just have a small space in your backyard, set up targets at specific distances and hit 10 shots to each target. Take note of how many hit the target out of 10. You’ll want to try shots with low, medium and high trajectories to see which ones you’re better at hitting to specific distances. Definitely hit shots in which the length of your backswing helps you control the distance of the shot as you accelerate your wedge swing to a full finish. Keeping that consistent technique and tempo will help you learn better distance control. If all you’re changing is the length of your backswing and the club you’re using, you’re going to get better and more consistent as you learn your yardages. Soon, you'll have a shot for almost any shot around the green! Try this and send us your feedback to email@example.com.
Get Sun Safe For Summer
If you play golf, some things are inescapable—greenside bunkers, tricky breaking putts and, of course, the sun! Dave Pelz’s hat from Imperial has become somewhat of a trademark for the six-foot-five Scoring Game guru, but its sun-safe properties can benefit any golfer who wants to play a lot of golf but also avoid the harmful effects of sun exposure.
“I wouldn’t go anywhere without this hat,” Pelz says. “As much as I need to be in the sun, I need full coverage from a hat and this one provides it. It’s also light-weight, breathable and very easy to pack in a suitcase.”
The Imperial lightweight, full-brimmed hat with patented “MCST Blocker” and CoolMax sweatband provides an evaporative cooling effect by wicking away moisture. The dark underside of the brim enhances visibility and minimizes glare.
For more information on the hat Dave Pelz wears, click here.
To learn more about what you can do to stay “sun safe” on the golf course, visit our friends at Sun Safetee, www.sunsaftee.com.
Enroll Your Future Star
in Our Summer 2013 Juniors-Only Camp
For years, customers have asked about a Pelz Junior Camp at our school locations. The wait is over as we're proud to announce that this coming summer, our schools at The Boca Raton Resort & Club and PGA National will host Five-Day Junior Camps for serious juniors ages 12 - 18. Help your young golfer establish a competitive edge at this one-of-a-kind camp.
For five straight days at each location, our staff will work exclusively with junior golfers who are poised to take their games to the next level. Geared for tournament players or juniors aspiring to play on teams or in elite events, our 20-hour curriculum will help students improve their key scoring skills—chipping, putting, pitching and sand play. These skills make up 65 percent of the shots played in golf and 80 percent of the shots golfers lose to par.
If you want your junior player to stand apart from the field, sharp short game and putting skills offer the surest path to optimum scoring. Our expert staff has worked with some of the finest players in the world. It’s time to trust the proven name in Scoring Game instruction and put the results to the test. We look forward to seeing a great group of juniors this summer in Florida!
Click here for more information on the Pelz Junior Golf Camp
New Clinic Locations Highlight Summer Schedule
We are pleased to announce a full slate of traveling Dave Pelz Scoring Game Clinics. A new addition to the schedule is The Courses at Watters Creek located just north of Dallas, TX. This completely renovated property offers a state of the art teaching space, renovated golf holes and a brand-new six-hole “Futures” Course all crafted by Champions Tour player D.A. Weibring and his design partner Steve Wolfard. Clinics at Watters Creek will run from June 12 – 15.
Also newly “re-added” to the 2013 schedule is the popular Pinehills Golf Club near Boston, MA. Pinehills winds through 300 idyllic acres of rolling hills punctuated by glacially-carved undulations. The two 18-hole championship courses (by Rees Jones and Nicklaus Design) take full advantage of an amazing natural setting. Consistently ranked one of the top daily-fee operations in New England, Pinehills is a “complete” golf destination. Join us for clinics at Pinehills June 26 – 29. Call 800-833-7370 to enroll.
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.”
Join us at one of these upcoming locations:
Oak Creek GC, Newport Beach, CA May 23 – May 25
Centennial Golf Club, New York, NY May 17 – Aug. 31
Cypresswood GC, Houston, TX June 6 - 8
Watters Creek, Dallas, TX June 13 - 15
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.
| Pelz News Releases
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!