Putt Like the Pros: Dave Pelz's Scientific Guide to Improving Your Stroke, Reading Greens and

Putt Like the Pros: Dave Pelz's Scientific Guide to Improving Your Stroke, Reading Greens and

by Dave Pelz, Nick Mastroni
     
 

Putting has often been described as an art, but the author of this book, by trade a physicist, has analyzed it as never before, using scientific principles. Pelz has come up with a system to perfect your putting stroke — or at least to come as close to perfect as humanly possible.

Overview

Putting has often been described as an art, but the author of this book, by trade a physicist, has analyzed it as never before, using scientific principles. Pelz has come up with a system to perfect your putting stroke — or at least to come as close to perfect as humanly possible.

Editorial Reviews

Golf Magazine
Dave Pelz knows more about putting than Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw combined!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060920784
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/1991
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
194,903
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.60(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

How Important Is Putting?

During my first four years working full time in golf, from 1975 through 1978, 1 measured the performance of golfers over many hundreds of rounds of golf. These were rounds played by both PGA and LPGA Tour professionals, by good amateurs and by average players as well.

Figure 1.1 provides a complete breakdown of the percentages of shots by category that golfers played in the rounds charted. As you can see, putting represents 43 percent of all shots played. All your iron shots combined equal only about one-third the number of strokes with the putter. (That should really make you think about where to devote your practice time. Most golfers practice iron shots more than anything else.)

What is a "putt"? I define a putt as any stroke made with the putter in which the player uses a normal putting stroke, including strokes made when the ball is putted from the fringe. I do not include any trouble shots that might be hit with a putter, such as banging the ball up a steep bank or hitting a putter left-handed (for righties) to knock the ball away from a tree trunk. Real, honest-to-goodness putting strokes only!

Based on this definition, the 43 percent value of putting holds up very well for all golfers except those who score over 100. The professional who shoots 70 will average about thirty strokes with the putter; most 85 shooters will use the putter around thirty-five times; and the 95 shooter will putt about thirty-eight times per round.

In reality, putting is more than half the game! Why? First, the putt is the "terminal" shot on every hole (except, of course, if you shouldhole out from off the green, and that occurs only rarely). If you happen to hit your drive, fairway iron, or chip shot poorly, you can still recover and save your par. In fact, often it is still possible to make a birdie while making one bad swing on a hole. But when you miss a putt, you have lost a stroke you can never get back. You simply add one stroke to your score, then you putt again!

Second, putting is the part of the game that comes under the closest scrutiny. The rest of your foursome is standing close by, watching. Without a doubt it is the most pressurefilled aspect of golf. Third, I am convinced that if you have developed an accurate, reliable putting stroke, you automatically hold a tremendous advantage over less-talented putters, even in the long game! On iron shots, you don't have to gamble on knocking your approach shot stiff to a tightly tucked pin. If you hit the middle of the green, you know you will get a sure two-putt and you might sink your first putt anyway. Confidence in your putting can take a lot of pressure off your tee shots as well. You can play your drive to the safest area rather than risk trouble by trying to get into "Position A" for that perfect approach shot.

The end result is that if you are confident in your putting and that confidence is based on a technically sound, repeatable stroke, you will take pressure off your full swingwhich means you will execute better in the long game, too. You can, in effect, build your entire game around the soundness of your putting. It is amazing how free and easy your swing can become when you believe that, even if you make a mistake, you can save yourself with the putter.

So now you see why I say that, although statistically putting represents 43 percent of the game, in reality it is more than 50 percent. Your putting ability has a profound effect on bow you play all your shots, bow you score, and how much enjoyment you get from this great game.

Meet the Author

Dave Pelz was a physicist with NASA for many years. He had harbored hopes of becoming a touring pro, but twenty-three college contests against the young Jack Nicklaus (none of which Pelz won) decided him against it. For the past fifteen years Pelz has devoted himself to the study of the physics of golf, doing consulting work with the PGA and many PGA Tour professionals.

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