Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
iacas

"The Short Game Bible" by Dave Pelz

73 posts / 59733 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

Just finished Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking to improve their game from 100 yards and in. I hadn’t been exposed to the 3x4 wedge system before & think it is a great way to get precise with your wedge distances instead of just going off feel.

OK, like others here have said, there are small portions of the book that could’ve been left out, like the proper way to hit a backwards one-handed chip & his chapter on how he would design a golf set, but this represents a very small amount of the book in comparison to the book in whole.

What I like most is that for every shot covered from distance wedge to pitch to chip, he not only tells you how to stand, where to place to ball in your stance, and the type of backswing & follow through to take, but he explains why for each. It helps you to learn and remember so much more when you understand why you are doing something. So many golf tips simply say “play the ball back in your stance” or “choke down on the club” but give no reason whatsoever why you are doing it.

I’ve taken the methods on all 3 types of shots (distance, pitch, chip) to the range & practice green twice so far and can honestly say I already see improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want to hide this ad? Register for free today!

Its interesting to me that some people say "its too mechanical" or "too technical". Those are usually "feel" players. While I admit it isn't for everyone, I've found that Pelz's 4x3 wedge system has actually improved my feel. Before I started practicing his system, I had no idea what a 30 yard shot felt like. I would hit shots all over the place until I got a few that felt right. But then I couldn't replicate it on the course.

After practicing Pelz's system and getting my distances down reasonably well with each "time", I found that I could play in-between distances with much better feel. Just my experience, YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally liked Pelz's book for the reasons that it explains the hows and the whys, and provides plenty of pictures as illustrations. It has helped my short game tremendously. Agreed that it's also highly repetitive in many parts, but that re-inforces the message.

I also have Utley's short game book and while I like the idea (of using just 1 club - think of the $ you'd save on wedges), I don't know of any weekend duffer with enough the time to practice so much that they can "feel" the difference in the yardage within 100 yds using just 1 club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's so so. There's some good practical advice but personally I feel like I have to do math out there when I read Pelz - too much thinking for me at least, leads to poor thinking. I've found that the less I think and stick with what I know works for me, the better I play and the more I feel my way around a course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a very big fan of Mr. Pelz. I read his book and it made a lot of sense without question but I didnt like how mechanical it was. Having too many wedges gives you too many options while trying to choose and going back and forth between a 52, 56, 60, and 64 degree wedge is not the smartest thing to do while playing. If you start thinking too much you're screwed. I also didnt like how, at times, he seemed a little full of himself. Besides, look what that guy has done to Philly Mick. He has put too many thoughts inside his head and now it always seems Phil is second guessing himself. I know he has one a couple majors under Pelz but Tiger won several majors under Butch Harmon and he fired his ass. If I were Phil I would give Pelz that fat middle finger.

Just my 2 pennies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great book throughout, but the passage that describes the concept of "Dead Hands" completely changed my short game. His 3x4 thing is a little too rigid for me, but it is helpful. I tend to stick to my 60* when pitching the ball from inside 100, but I do know specific distances of my 7:30, 9:00, and 10:30 swings. I tend to adjust from there by choking up/down on the club, also just "feeling" a slightly longer/shorter backswing. The chapter on bunker play is also very good.

I used to always lay back on shorter par 4s and par 5s, trying to make sure I had a full swing to approach the green. While this was effective, and often resulted in pars, but I wasn't taking advantage of my length off the tee. I now have to confidence to bomb it up by the green, and have the ability to get it up and down for birdie.

I shudder to think where my short game would still be without this book.
(hint: I would still be constantly air-mailing greens from 75yrds!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This book changed my approach to golf. For years while I was younger as a caddie and playing golf in school I was a power game player and a decent putter. The rest of my game was an after thought. I had a number of good games but I was far from consistent. After reading this book a few years ago and then reading his other book on putting my approach to the game evolved.

Getting off the tee, while important for obvious reasons, was so far less important than getting it in from ~100yards from the pin. I attended one of his one day clinics in Chicago and have religiously practiced my short game at a local multihole range ( Boilingbrook practice facility in suburban Chicago ) and as a result my game is predictable and consistent. When I stand over a 65yd wedge shot I understand all of my options using the 4x3 wedge system. The mechanical nature of the 4x3 gives you the confidence you need to play under pressure but to say that it doesn't require feel and control is crazy.

I highly recommend this book and the other Pelz books to everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the book very helpfull, i just changed the 3x4 to a 3x3 PW 52° & 56° and I have dropped 5 strokes so far and its all due to my shortgame. I used to be a power hitter on all shots , had no idea of feel or distance now when im within 100m I am confident I will hit the green, now with more practice im hoping to be able to put it in the "golden 8"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Until I read the Short Game Bible, I didn't have a clue how to get up and down with any regularity. Chunked chips, thinned chips, flop shots (what's that?), sand shots, forget it. It took several years, and several readings, to fully absorb all the information contained. Yes, it's too wordy in places, but overall it's the best book on the short game that I've read, and I've read everyone from Stan Utley to Raymond Floyd to Fred Couples.

Also, Pelz discusses in detail in the first part of the book why getting into one-putt range from inside 100 yards is far more important than hitting a perfect 5-iron to 10 feet (where you'll probably miss the putt anyway). This alone tells you the importance of the short game.

Mickelsen, Kite, Singhn, Janzen, Sorenstam, Jacobsen etc. can't be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm an ~18 handicap. My buddy who's a 4 suggested I read this book, and I was fortunate that Santa followed through and put it under the Christmas tree for me!

Checking out the thread, I noticed a pattern that the higher handicappers seemed to give lower marks to the book than the lower handicappers did.

Tom Kite, Lee Janzen, Jan Stephenson and the others referenced listened and found significant improvement, but only after hitting lots and lots of balls; practicing like committed professionals.

Pelz tells exactly what needs to be done to execute the shots, from setup, to swing plane, to the dead hands technique, to hitting to targets with known distances. He even suggests where to place the camera to get proper feedback!

I'm not going to give up practicing my "power game;" I still need to gain consistency, reducing my Percent Error Index with my full shots. But now I know what to work on and how to do it to reduce my PEI in my "finesse game."

If players with handicaps on the other side of zero can improve with these techniques, I'm certain I can.

OK, so I haven't tried it yet, given I've only had the book for a week. I'm committed to putting in the time to practice. I'll let you know how things worked out later in the season!

Happy New Year!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I admit I like Pelz and the "Short Game Bible". I think Pelz does a good job of explaining the short game techniques, why they work and how well they work. I have learned several good tips from his book, as well as tips in whichever golf magazine he contributes to and the specials on The Golf Channel. With that said, after reading Stan Utley's "The Art of the Short Game", I prefer Utley's approach. I think most of his stuff is simplier to execute with consistentcy than the Pelz techniques.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its interesting to me that some people say "its too mechanical" or "too technical". Those are usually "feel" players. While I admit it isn't for everyone, I've found that Pelz's 4x3 wedge system has actually improved my feel. Before I started practicing his system, I had no idea what a 30 yard shot felt like. I would hit shots all over the place until I got a few that felt right. But then I couldn't replicate it on the course.

Exactly, definately agree with the part about not being for feel players. This book screwed me up for about a month, as I was constantly thinking about half, quarter and two-third shots...I'm more of an aim and shoot kinda player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Dave Pelz's book, I think it's a book that should be in every golf library.

That being said, I did not really care for the book as I'm definitely more of a feel player. I think science is a very important part of the game, I'm just as techie as the next guy, but the last thing I want to be thinking about on a shot is what "o'clock" my hands need to reach during a swing.

I think the most important lesson from the book, regardless of how you view his "system", is to practice. Anybody's short game will improve with the kind of dedicated practice his book encourages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked this book out from the library last spring and it helped my short game immensly. I think I need to check it out again for a refresher.

Carl - FYI, I picked up the book "used" from Amazon for $10. It was the HC version and basically looked brand new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked this book out from the library last spring and it helped my short game immensly. I think I need to check it out again for a refresher.

I have it checked out right now. also I have it in PDF form to read at work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...