"The Short Game Bible" by Dave Pelz

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Originally Posted by sk golf

It is funny that you say that.  The Handicap system is way to harsh.  So I made my own short game skills test using some of those shots, but with different scoring and handicap.  It has been really useful for my students.  I have them take the test and keep the scores and re test in a month.

Coming from another pro, this has made me feel much better! What I've done is modified the handicaps for each shot to make it much more realistic.

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Does anybody know of any other golf websites with similar Short Game and Putting (and Long Game) Skills Tests where you can calculate your handicap for each area of your game?

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For those of you interested in calculating your Short Game and Putting Handicaps, I've found another good skills test searching the www:

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Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

For those of you interested in calculating your Short Game and Putting Handicaps, I've found another good skills test searching the www:

Thanks for that.  I haven't done the test in a long time so I will do both the Pelz and this.  This doesn't seem easy and I like how it punishes bad shots.

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Originally Posted by Leftygolfer

Thanks for that.  I haven't done the test in a long time so I will do both the Pelz and this.  This doesn't seem easy and I like how it punishes bad shots.

You are welcome!

I gave this a quick go today and got 90 points (handicap 3). It's not easy but definitely easier than Pelz's system. I agree, being able to lose points makes sense and adds a little more tension to the exercise. Basically, the 2 pt-zone is slightly bigger (0-5 ft instead of 0-3 ft) and you at least get a point for being between 6-10 ft on wedge, bunker and pitch shots. Under Pelz that's an automatic 0.

Full breakdown of score:

Wedge = 8 pts (handicap 12)

Bunker = 14 pts (handicap 2)

Pitching = 17 pts (handicap 1)

Chipping = 13 pts (handicap 10)

Long putting = 16 pts (handicap 6)

Short putting = 22 (handicap +1.5)

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I was a little suprised to see Pelz book get torn apart on here. I felt like I learned a great deal from the book. I liked the technical discussion and approach to each of the various shots. Having never taken a bunker lesson I got a great deal from his scoot and slide discussion. I can't say I use each of the shots discussed regularly, but it was easy to discern the meat and potatoes and the stuff to skim through. I still use the 3 x 4 method though I do find the 9 o'clock position is always my best shot so I often rely upon those distances and put the differences. Having only had a limited amount of instruction prior to reading the book I thought it was well worth the thirty something bucks. Thats way cheaper than most lessons. And unlike thoughts from a lesson I have the book on my shelf to go back to for reference on days when I can't play, but wish I was.

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The short game bible certainly has helped me a ton. it really solidified the need for spending a lot of time practicing my short game and in turn has urged me to spend more time with my putting.

Dave's technical savvy also helped me understand the ins and outs around the green.

I give it 3.5 out of 4 stars.

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There is a lot of flush filling up the book, but for newer golfers I'm sure it would be a great way to start your game. I found the putting sections to be helpful and I noticed a solid improvement. If you follow his structure for the putting stroke the mechanics can really help even if you are a feel player over the mechanics.

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I have a question about the shortest pitches of 15 to 30 yds. Pelz shows a 15 yd "horizontal-to-vertical" swing (page 63) and 30yd "vertical-to-full" swing .

Using dead hands, body rotation without tension and good ball position, I am getting (with a 60 LW) way too much distance. I get 35-55 yds with the 30yd swing and 30-50yds with the 15yd swing.

Do you guys get 15 and 30yds only and consistently? It seems like he is showing the same swing for 30yds as the distance wedge technique for 9:00 (page 98).  Are there two finesse swings?

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Originally Posted by hrpschrd

I have a question about the shortest pitches of 15 to 30 yds. Pelz shows a 15 yd "horizontal-to-vertical" swing (page 63) and 30yd "vertical-to-full" swing . ...

Do you guys get 15 and 30yds only and consistently? It seems like he is showing the same swing for 30yds as the distance wedge technique for 9:00 (page 98).  Are there two finesse swings?

shortest pitches and distance control: Pelz advocates personal calibration drills (pp. 84-5) to get yardage more exact on partials. You learn what tempo of your half swing, for instance, will get you ideal distance, say, of 52 yards. This, of course, requires a helper to tell you how far each shot went.

I don't go to this length, although I have a decent idea of how far my partial wedges will go. You need a day-to-day reality check, however, on how weather and turf conditions might influence yardage - I can get some sense of this during warm-ups. One variation I use: I don't choke up but maybe a half-inch on the base partial wedge shots. So, if I want my GW to go 28 rather than 30yds., I'll choke up a little more to shave off yardage.

Pelz has interesting advice on overall iron set configuration (Chap. 10). He suggests dropping some longer irons, and adjusting the distance patterns through loft bending and shaft cutting. He suggests 15-yd. increments for full shots up and down the set (3i through your four wedges). That's way too much hassle - even for people who play for a living. But, given the ever stronger lofts of iron sets, there may be merit for the longer irons. I am planning to keep my 3i, dump the 4i, and lengthen the 5i by a quarter inch and bend it one degree strong. This would make the distance gaps for 3i to 5i+, and 5i+ to 6i, about 14 yards. Right now I get yardage compression on the long end.

Dumping the 4i would allow me to have a fourth wedge, or maybe add a 7W or a Hybrid. The 7W/H might bump into 3i yardage, but the 7W/H would fly high, while the 3i would fly low. ( Note: despite my HDCP, the 3i worked well as a driving iron last year on short par 4s or windy holes. I had a par 80% of the time when I teed off with a 3i.)

--------------------

Question : I have a year 2000 printing of Short Game Bible . Has it been revised or updated since then?

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Originally Posted by hrpschrd

I have a question about the shortest pitches of 15 to 30 yds. Pelz shows a 15 yd "horizontal-to-vertical" swing (page 63) and 30yd "vertical-to-full" swing .

Using dead hands, body rotation without tension and good ball position, I am getting (with a 60 LW) way too much distance. I get 35-55 yds with the 30yd swing and 30-50yds with the 15yd swing.

On page 146, Pelz talks about the execution of the pitch shot.  Mechanics are similar to the distance wedge, but the feet are closer together. The pitch shots don't require you to take it all the way to 7:30.

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I didn't make myself clear, sorry. My question is more specifically, how do you make a 15yd pitch as shown on pages 63, 69, 148, and 149 by Payne Stewart and Dave Pelz.

Both of them are doing the same thing and according to the captions getting 15 yds.

I try the same thing and get between 30 and 40 yds. Not a little adjustment room here! It is hard making this short of a swing so making a shorter swing is very irreproducible. There is very little body turn back and the finish is short (vertical shaft). I used the finesse swing as Pelz describes.

Anybody else able to get only 15 yds following this?

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Just picked this up at the library. Figured it's worth a read.

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Read the whole book, except the bit on wedge grooves as that is now outdated. Planning on working on a bunch of things. Very enlightening for me. I can see where I can make some good gains.  Time will tell.  Season getting closer for me.

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So far, this has been the book that was the greatest eye opener for me.  I found the initial 40 pages or so of background information somewhat interesting and the “hour hand swings” useful.

My main problem with the book is how narcissistic Mr. Pelz appears to be, and it has truly hurt both his book and his ability to convey useful information.
1) As stated, it takes over 40 pages to get to any sort of instruction.  The book itself is probably two-thirds fluff.
2) The parts of the book that are instruction fail to go into necessary detail.  For instance, he does not explain “dead hands” sufficiently for me.  I had to look elsewhere to figure out if he meant my hands should be locked tight, as if in rigor mortise (so my wrists do not move), or completely loose as if my hands were asleep.  (I think it’s the latter)
3) The book horribly suffers from poor photos.  Mr. Pelz’s large physique is NOT something that adequately demonstrates how someone should be standing for any of the shots he discusses.  This has carried over into is many articles in golfing magazines.  His points would come across much stronger if he had drawings of the ideal form, or proper poses by people much thinner than himself.
4) From what I can tell, he has no decent videos posted anywhere to help explain his instructions.

This fine book could easily be shortened to 100 pages, half of which could be drawings or photos of people thin enough to show exactly how one’s spine, shoulders, arms, and hands should be.  Instead, Mr. Pelz took it upon himself (he’s the author, he has the right) to give us a few photos, mostly of himself, and remove all the other useful photos.  He then padded the book with at least 1,000 words for each photo that should have been in there instead.

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7 hours ago, MRR said:

1) As stated, it takes over 40 pages to get to any sort of instruction.  The book itself is probably two-thirds fluff.

It is a bit long. But I had the same reaction to Stan Utley's book. Lots of personal bio and discussion of philosophy. Less actual instruction details that I would have liked. It's probably more common than not among golf books.

7 hours ago, MRR said:

2) The parts of the book that are instruction fail to go into necessary detail.  For instance, he does not explain “dead hands” sufficiently for me.  I had to look elsewhere to figure out if he meant my hands should be locked tight, as if in rigor mortise (so my wrists do not move), or completely loose as if my hands were asleep.  (I think it’s the latter)

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10 minutes ago, natureboy said:

It is a bit long. But I had the same reaction to Stan Utley's book. Lots of personal bio and discussion of philosophy. Less actual instruction details that I would have liked. It's probably more common than not among golf books.

Man… Utley must have said almost nothing instructional.

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

Man… Utley must have said almost nothing instructional.

Not saying the Dave Pelz Short Game Bible isn't padded, but my impressions of reading both was about the same percentage of the kind of info I wanted.

Obviously just on volume, Pelz' book is more of a total slog.

Edited by natureboy

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