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More Valuable Information Than I Learned in His Course!
am 20. Juli 2000
I took the Dave Pelz 3 day short-game course a few years ago, and got great benefit from it. As helpful as that was, I found this book to be a big additional assist. It explained the Pelz principles better than the school did, and it also looks like he has learned quite a few things since I took the school. There's a lot to learn about the short game, and it is helpful to have this as a reference. If you don't know if you want to get his videos or attend one of his courses, this is also a good introduction.
I found out about Dave Pelz by accident. I was playing golf one day at La Quinta with a woman who hit one amazing pitch shot after another close to the pin. The rest of her game was below average, so I asked her where she had picked up the pitching game. She told me that she had just finished Dave Pelz's short game school at PGA West and said it had helped her a lot. Remembering that caused me to take the course.
Dave Pelz is the ultimate golf engineer. He measures everything, and that has led to new learning. For example, he has found that 60-65% of all shots occur within 100 yards of the hole. More importantly, "about 80% of the shots golfers lose topar occur within 100 yards." In further measurements, he noticed that the largest errors in missing the target occur with wedges (for amateurs and pros). These misses are usually in distance, rather than left and right variance.
From these observations, Pelz developed a four wedge system with 3 lengths of backswing that will give you much more distance precision with wedges within 100 yards. The reason this important relates to putting. Almost all 2 foot putts are made, but pros only make half of the 10 foot putts (amateurs do worse). Beyond 10 feet, the odds drop way off. This means that if you can get your wedge shot to within 10 feet you have a good chance of finishing the hole in one less stroke.
I still haven't converted to four wedges, but reading the book convinced me that I should. I didn't realize how much scoring I was missing with only 3. I can get the ball to 15 feet most of the time, and then 2 putt. Maybe I'll get that extra wedge today and get a lot closer.
There's a lot of other good information on sand shots, chipping, trouble shots of all kinds (including how to hit the ball out from under water and stay reasonably dry).
You'll need more than this book to really improve though. If you like the book, you should begin doing the drills in the back. I would suggest you also try the videos. If that is all helping, consider the golf school. You will get a lot of individualized diagnosis of your weaknesses and instruction on how to improve. I still refer to the notes I got, and find them helpful. One strength of the book is that it has a measurement exercise in it that you can use to diagnose the weaknesses in your short game, so that you can concentrate on those parts of the book that will help you the most with your practice.
If you are like most golfers, you love to belt the ball. That's great, but I'm sure you've heard the old saying "Drive for show, and putt for dough." This book will add the perspective of the short game as essential to that dough as well. You'll have to give up two long clubs (he makes recommendations) to put those two extra wedges in your bag.
Use this book to overcome your stalled thinking about how to improve your golf game. Despite better equipment and balls and a lot of instruction, the score of the average golfer hasn't improved in the last 30 years. With the Pelz approach that can change.
As much as I liked this book, I liked his new book, Dave Pelz's Putting Bible, even more. I strongly recommend that you read that one as well. You can implement it without attending the Pelz course. These two books are the first two in a planned series of four. I'm looking forward to the rest of them.