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"The Putting Bible" by Dave Pelz


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On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2008‎ ‎12‎:‎52‎:‎02‎, 88rules said:

I've thought about getting his book(s), but there's something about him that doesn't quite sit well with me. He makes good points. He has a lot of data to back up his points, but to me it's almost too much over-analysis.

I mean, has Phil Mickelson really benefited that greatly from having Pelz work with him. When I first heard of that relationship coming about, I was concerned that the greatest short-game player on tour might lose some of his feel due to too much considerations for probabilities or circle graphs or whatever...

I know this topic is old, but for future readers, I offer this. If you will pardon me, and I believe in his own words Phil said something like this. I was 0-43 in majors before Pelz and have 4 since plus a players championship (at the writing of his book). Now is that all on Pelz? I would say doubtful but clearly the association didn't hurt.

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On 9/3/2015, 7:55:18, Big Lex said:

 

I entirely understand what you mean by "manipulation." But I believe that is a misleading and ultimately inaccurate term.

 

You essentially imply that there is some qualitative biomechanical difference between rotating the shoulder girdle in one plane than in another....in a plane perpendicular to the spine, versus all other planes....and that the perpendicular movement is simpler and easier.

 

Is what you are saying that because the shoulders are ball and socket joints the arms can basically act as pendulums swinging back and forth from the shoulders? It's true they can do that, but seems to me that once you join the hands together, the freedom of movement for the arms to swing SBST is curtailed by their connection through the shoulders, which are not free to swing like a pendulum relative to gravity.

I think some of the spine diagrams are a little simplistic. The upper spine can round such that the top portion is nearly (or perhaps actually) flat. I see a bit of angle around the neck for Luke Donald, but far less than his mid or lower back. Nicklaus would have been nearly level at the neck. However, this part of the spine is still connected to the rest of the spine and can't move as independently as the arms in the shoulder sockets. So I think there remains some arcing influence on the stroke from that more upright lower spine foundation even with a horizontal neck. Closer to SBST, yes, and probably functionally so for short putts on fast greens.

The potential downside I see is that changing your technique from short putts to longer ones could create a discontinuity in your distance touch. But Lydia Ko uses two different grips putting from different distances so...I agree with the 'real' critique of SBST, but if it's a 'feel' or mental image that makes you a better putter in practice, go for it.

Edited by natureboy
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On November 24, 2008 at 10:59:37 AM, MiniMoe said:

I am on the fence with Pelz. I agree with his ideas and his research data. I agree with him on how to read greens and what kind of shots to hit in different situations, and overall concepts of the short game. I do not agree with how he gets people to use that information. The short game is more about feel than perfect mechanics. It is easy to have too much information and lose your imagination. Imagination is the key to good golf, not perfect mechanics.

Again I address the new readers as this is a very old topic. This commenter has wandered off topic a little. He started out on the putting but ended up on the short game. So the second part of his post is what I would like to address.

In Pelz's research he discovered that you don't drive for show and putt for dough. The pro's who could get the ball up and down from 100yds and in more often were the one's making  more money. The miss ratio for pros was something like 4%-9% on average. Meaning the best ball strikers Ben & Moe (come to mind) would miss a 200yd shot on average by 8 yds. While the borderline pro would be closer to 9%-10%. When he averaged the short game shots he found the miss rate was closer to 15% to as high as 20 something %, mainly because they were guessing or playing by feel. Generally speaking if we have a 160 yds. shot then it's a x club or if we have a 180 yds. shot it's a y club. There was no such thought process for the 100yd and in shot, but Pelz figured out a repeatable system using no power and only a rhythmic gravity fed swing to a full finish.

If you try this system yourself with a simple test,  say a pitching wedge to 9 o'clock (the easiest and most popular position), and depending on the degree of your pw and your height your ball will travel about 75yds. I am not 6'7" like Pelz so my 9 0'clock is good for about 68 yds. However  I do need clean contact  from 9 o'clock with a rhythmic gravity fed swing to a full finish. Now 4 wedges and 3 different "times" 7:30, 9:00, & 10:30 you have 12 basic shots under a 100 yds. If you have a little imagination you can cover almost every yard inside 100 by gripping down or (up) or going just short of your number or just long. Like instead of nine o'clock you go to maybe 9:30. My own 12 basic yardages are actually  24 because I can cut my 12 basic shots off at waist high to add 12 more distances. For instance my 68 yd. 9;00 to a full finish produces only 62 yds. when stopped at 3:00. To remember, just tape the numbers to the back of your shaft. My 52 reads like this  52  38/43--59/64--80/86. Once you get "your" numbers you will turn your short game into a Dart Game. The numbers are all from memory, but close enough for you go get the idea. It's all in his book, all I managed to do is butcher it up a little.  Bottom line is this book is much like Bill James's Moneyball   as Big Lex pointed out.

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33 minutes ago, gmc1950s said:

In Pelz's research he discovered that you don't drive for show and putt for dough. The pro's who could get the ball up and down from 100yds and in more often were the one's making  more money.

It's :offtopic: for this thread, but that's been pretty conclusively shown to be bogus information these past few years. I had a hand in it, as have others of course like Mark Broadie, etc.

Driving and approach shots each account for more of what separates any two groups of players.

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  • 2 months later...

Like the other "Bible" there is plenty of questionable content in here.  I would equate the "8 seconds" between pre-shot routine and striking the putt as about as accurate as the story of Noah's Ark.  Perhaps good intentions behind both but at the end of the day, adhering to this as a universal rule is ridiculous.  Putting is as personal as it gets and confining it to these strict "rules" is foolish in my opinion. Look at old footage of Crenshaw or Nicklaus.  Count to 8.  I think you will find a range of variability here.  I think calling it the "Putting Bible" is kind of ridiculous too...  Having said that it has content that could improve your game and is probably worth the read.

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1 hour ago, BlackandGold said:

Like the other "Bible" there is plenty of questionable content in here.  I would equate the "8 seconds" between pre-shot routine and striking the putt as about as accurate as the story of Noah's Ark.

This makes sense to me. Not really sure how important it is.  

I remember a video done once and this article touched on it,
http://www.golftoday.co.uk/news/yeartodate/news05/woods20.html

Tiger was very consistent with how long it took him to go from crouching behind the ball to striking the putt.  I kinda wonder if that is more important.

I can see having a not rushed but as comfortably short time between practice stroke and making the putt could help you not stand over the ball excessively long and retain the distance control feel. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, BlackandGold said:

Like the other "Bible" there is plenty of questionable content in here.  I would equate the "8 seconds" between pre-shot routine and striking the putt as about as accurate as the story of Noah's Ark.  Perhaps good intentions behind both but at the end of the day, adhering to this as a universal rule is ridiculous.  Putting is as personal as it gets and confining it to these strict "rules" is foolish in my opinion. Look at old footage of Crenshaw or Nicklaus.  Count to 8.  I think you will find a range of variability here.  I think calling it the "Putting Bible" is kind of ridiculous too...  Having said that it has content that could improve your game and is probably worth the read.

 The very first thing Dave Pelz says In his book----- after the acknowledgements is.

" I want to start this book with a short explanation. Look closely at the title. Notice that  I don't claim this to be  "THE" putting bible. I call it Dave Pelz's Putting Bible because it truly is "my" bible on putting. It is a compendium of my research, my studies, my test results, my teaching philosophy, and my beliefs about the art and science of putting. It is my bible or if you prefer, my notebook or data log  book-into which I have transcribed my thoughts, interpretations of test results, observations, and theoretical work that have been instrumental in forming my understanding of putting. It is also from this work that I draw my philosophy for teaching the putting game in the Dave Pelz Scoring Game Schools". 

 

  As far as the 8 seconds is concerned, and with apologies to Mr. Pelz let me summarize

on page 122

5.6 Two Types of Muscle Memory

Ridding a bicycle is one type of memory (long term) you never really forget.

Your mind remembers only the body's most recent sensations (short term memory), and these, too, fade by 30 percent every 8 seconds.

True or not I will still take his word for it. As it was done as scientific research.

"about as accurate as the story of Noah's Ark"...............don't know, can't say, wasn't there, but will say this. If a booming voice coming out of the sky tells me to build a boat....trust me, I'm building a boat!!

 

     

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  • 8 months later...
On 12/6/2015 at 10:31 PM, gmc1950s said:

In Pelz's research he discovered that you don't drive for show and putt for dough. The pro's who could get the ball up and down from 100yds and in more often were the one's making  more money.

Pelz observation / data that higher scrambling rate was associated with greater long-term success was probably spot on. He just made the wrong conclusion that it was short game within 100 yards that made the difference.

If you are a good, consistent ballstriker all your shots including your misses are closer to the hole on average. Starting closer to the hole increases your odds of hitting the next shot within makeable range than a player who starts farther away. So if you are a top ballstriker you generally have less demanding shots inside 100 yards. Then if you can also putt in addition to having an above average long game, you're going to scramble well. But it's really long game plus putting that is the common link to the money.

If he'd have had the Shotlink data when he started his efforts (& the baseline on accuracy vs. distance to the pin), he may have come to different conclusions. Respect his articles even if I don't always agree, because his data-driven approach helped blaze the way for SG analysis of game strengths / weaknesses.

I do think Pelz identified an opportunity for guys like Kite to nab some low-hanging fruit to make up some of the gap with the top ballstrikers by improving his play inside 100  yards. It was a smart, easier way to make up strokes than the time-consuming (but rewarding) long game work. Plus there's likely some carry over effect to long game where confidence in shorter shots frees you up to attack more pins and compensate for a better ballstriker's advantage.

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  • 2 months later...

I have owned this book for about ten years and I finally decided to dig into it beyond the first couple of pages.  I figured I would read it in weekend and start doing some work. Boy was I wrong. The amount of information is truly Biblical, in that its not something you read in a couple of days and then do a couple of drills and you got it.

So after about two months of off and on reading and digesting the information and watching some videos on youtube I have set up a little putting studio in my basement for some winter training.

I videoed my putting stroke in slo-mo from behind and I was pretty shocked how much I cut across the ball.  I found I was standing too close to the ball causing my path to be a reverse arc, like Pelz shows with Zoeller.

After changing my set up slightly my path looks so much better and am hitting it much more solid more often.

I've got some teacher clips on order and looking forward to putting those to use.

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