January 2, 2004
David Pelz is the mad genius of golf instruction.
It’s easy to see that this is true. Just watch one of Pelz’s televised segments on the Golf Channel, and look carefully at his eyes as he talks directly to the camera.
You can just tell right away that the man’s just a little intense about golf.
I hasten to add the appropriate disclaimer that there’s nothing wrong with that. A golf instructor’s fanaticism about helping his students learn how to play their best golf in all segments of the game is the right attitude.
After all, if he didn’t care so much, why should you?
Pelz’s life work of teaching golfers the hows and whys of the game is widely available, through his Golf Channel appearances, traveling seminars, and now his books. His most recent edition is Dave Pelz’s 10 Minutes a Day to Better Putting ($29.95 SRP), and the way it was put together shows the influence of his television work.
First, it’s highly visual. Nearly every page is a full-color photograph, with short bursts of contrasting text in the foreground explaining the point being made in the picture at the same time.
Second, the photography is frequently beautiful, but primarily sharp and loaded with special effects. Pelz makes great use of multiple stop-action shots to illustrate his fundamental points about putter aim, alignment, and reading breaks.
Third, the instructions are clear and concise. Those seeking highly detailed explanations for why the golf ball reacts as it does to a putter and a green can read elsewhere about it, such as in Pelz’ longer work, the Putting Bible. This book is dedicated to a different set of students, who are given a set of guiding principles and techniques in easily digestible segments.
Finally, Pelz makes heavy use of the many props that he also utilizes in his schools and television shows. Those who’ve seen Pelz on TV will see again how his various teaching devices such as the Putting Track® or O-Balls® can help students.
The fact that Pelz also sells these devices is no coincidence, of course, but that’s fine. We are not averse to capitalism around here.
By the way, it’s also a fact that Pelz’s suggestions work. I’ve tried several of his suggestions on the putting green and out on the course, and he’s right. For example, recently I’ve aligned the ball further upslope than I had been, and that one move has helped sink several putts that I’m sure would have otherwise missed on the low side.
Like most instruction books, this is not one to be read straight through. For a short book that is mostly illustrations, there’s a lot here to digest.
I agree with Pelz’s recommendation to read each segment, try his suggestions until you have integrated their facets into your game, and then move to the next chapter.
This book won’t make you as fanatical about golf as Pelz is, if that’s a concern to you. On the other hand, this newest addition to his Scoring Game Series® will surely help you improve your putting.
Clubhouse Golf is sponsoring a virtual tournament, using golf simulator technology at their store on Rehoboth Avenue Extended. They are looking for two-person teams to sign up to play on either Wednesday or Thursday evenings, at $15 per match.
If enough teams sign up, there will be a top prize of $500 each in gift certificates for the eventual winners. The season begins January 14, so don’t delay if you’re interested. For more information call Ed Larkins at 302-227-3347.