Category: Dave Pelz

November 27, 2012

Dave Pelz says 2013 could be 'career year' for Phil Mickelson

Posted at 1:07 AM by Mike Walker

PhilanddavePhil Mickelson with short-game coach Dave Pelz at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. (Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson turns 43 next year, but his short-game coach Dave Pelz says that Mickelson's best golf might still be ahead of him. In an interview with to promote his new book Dave Pelz's Putting Games, Pelz said Mickelson was hitting the ball better than ever in 2012, and that it was just his putting holding him back.

This year you may have noticed [Mickelson] was experimenting with his putting. He’s been doing this because his short game is the best in the world and it’s the best it’s ever been, and his driving is better than it’s ever been. It’s not the best in the world yet, but it’s pretty long and it’s reasonably straight. So his ballstriking is the best it’s ever been and his short game is the best it’s ever been. But his putting wasn’t up to standard this year. One time he was playing with Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele and he was hitting the ball better than either one of them for 36 holes and they dusted him. That really made him mad and he started messing with the belly putter and the long putter and experimenting to see if we could find any way that he can improve and get his putting up to the level of everything else. If he can get that next year better than it’s ever been then he will have the best year of his career.

One sign that Mickelson might be in store for a great year in 2013 is that he's feeling healthier, Pelz said. Mickelson revealed that he was suffering from psoriatic arthritis at the 2010 PGA Championship. He has not blamed his uneven play on his illness, but Mickelson's 2012 season was all over the place. He steamrolled Tiger Woods with a final-round 64 to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February and finished third at the Masters, but then was a nonfactor at the rest of the year's majors before showing some of his old form in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and in the Ryder Cup.

He’s had some problems the last couple years because of psoriatic arthritis. He’s taken some medication that has made it more difficult for him to practice as much as he wants to. But he’s actually getting that under control and this year I think he’s started hitting it better than he’s ever hit and I know his short game is better, we measured that. So he’s really doing great. If he can get his putting going, even at his age -- he’s not old but he’s in his 40s -- I think he’s going to have the year of his career.

Pelz also shared the most amazing shot he's ever seen Mickelson hit during their nine years working together.

I saw him lay the ball against the far edge of the bunker -- imagine the bunker’s like a bowl and the ball is on the upslope on the far side. He’s got a downhill lie to an elevated green and there’s just no way to hit the shot. So he turns around with his back to the hole and swings the other way and hits it back over his own head. He did three shots. One went in the hole, one was about four feet from the hole and the other was 15 feet from the hole. I went over there and tried that for an hour and I couldn’t get one on the green.

Mickelson liked that shot so much, he put it in his own instruction video.



August 16, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Calc's deer antler spray banned by Tour

Posted at 1:32 PM by Michael Chwasky

If you thought professional golfers were free from worry regarding the use of PEDs, you were wrong. Believe it or not, Mark Calcavecchia, who has been endorsing a spray made from deer antler velvet, was recently told by the PGA Tour that the product did not conform to the Tour's anti-doping program. Evidently the product, called The Ultimate Spray, was found to contain an ingredient called IGF-1, which is a growth hormone currently banned by the World Anti-Doping Association and all major sports organizations. 

Mitch Ross, the founder of S.W.A.T.S. (Sports With Alternatives to Steroids), the company that manufactures the spray, said Calcavecchia informed him via text message that he had to stop using the product and that he wanted his testimonials removed from the company's website immediately.

"Got a call from the tour," the text read. "The Spray is officially illegal. Told me to stop (using) now."

Calc's friend Ken Green, who was also endorsing The Ultimate Spray, asked to have his testimonial removed from the company's website as well.

"I feel deceived," said Green.

Tiger likely to be picked for Presidents Cup

Despite missing the cut at the PGA Championship while playing some of the worst golf of his career, Tiger Woods looks to be a lock to be selected for the U.S. Presidents Cup team. Woods is nowhere near qualifying for the squad, but Fred Couples, this year's captain, has previously stated that Tiger will be chosen with one of his two captain's picks, if Woods feels physically ready to perform. Given that Tiger has already indicated he'll be playing in the Australian Open, which is held the week prior to the Presidents Cup, it looks quite likely that the former world's No. 1 player believes he'll be ready.

The unfortunate thing about this development is that, if Tiger does indeed play, another deserving player won't have the chance to do so, including the likes of Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Gary Woodland, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore, and others. The potential good side to Tiger's participation is the interest (and TV ratings) his presence will bring to an event that hasn't had a whole lot of heat in recent years. 

Pelz says belly putter is best

In the wake of Keegan Bradley's dramatic victory at the PGA Championship, it's a good bet that more than a few weekend duffers will be trying their luck with a belly putter. According to short game guru Dave Pelz, that's actually a great idea

“When you anchor the shaft in your tummy, and then you swing the putter, you can not break your wrists. There’s no wrist break at all, it’s all in the swing of the putter as determined by your hands. If you look at Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson or Steve Stricker … they swing their putters with their arms and they don’t break their wrists or rotate their forearms with the stroke.”

Pelz adds that in his trials with hundreds of students, the best results came from the belly putter, with the long putter second and the conventional putter last. 

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Gmacpresser_bigger @Graeme_McDowell: RT @Inspired_Ones: Choose a job you love, & you will never have to work a day in your life. -Confucius


February 04, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Phil Mickelson reveals the secret of his precision

Posted at 11:53 AM by Alan Bastable

When Phil Mickelson ordered his caddie to tend the flagstick for a 72-yard wedge shot last week at Torrey Pines, there was some debate as to whether it was a smart play or a showy one. At the Waste Management Open this week, Mickelson helped put that discussion to rest when he revealed one of the laborious iron-game drills he executes under Dave Pelz's watch—and the staggering precision he has gained from it. Golfweek's James Achenbach reports:

"We don't work with technique, we work on how to practice," Mickelson said. "When we work, we're building a foundation that carries over to the golf course. For instance, I do a towel drill where I try to fly my irons a specific yardage, and I hit 1,500 balls a month to those specific yardages and have for the last seven years.

"So when I get a wedge shot like No. 18 (at Torrey Pines) that's 72 yards and my towel drill number is 75, I only have to alter it three yards to get it to fly to my number. And over seven years of doing this, I can usually fly it within a yard 95 percent of the time."

Mickelson also said he has switched to a softer, spinnier ball in 2011, the Callaway Tour i(s), which has been a boon to him in chillier weather.

"When it gets cold, [my former] ball doesn't compress as well, and when it hits the face, the face actually moves, and the misses get exaggerated, and this golf ball doesn't do that. This golf ball compresses very easily, so I hit it a lot straighter in cold conditions."

Think Phil's a savant? Get a load of Bubba Watson.

Phoenix Open = 'Chaos with cleavage'
Nice job by The Wall Street Journal's David Weiss
, who captures the ever-colorful and much-publicized scene at the Waste Management Phoenix Open without dragging out the same old tired clichés. (He did slip up by framing the rowdy 16th hole as the "Roman Colosseum of par-threes," but that was neutralized by likening Hunter Mahan to a "jam-band rhythm guitarist"):

Saddling the game's younger fans with hoary concepts like politesse and restraint is so last millennium. Phoenix locals have come to regard this PGA Tour event as a mere green-screen backdrop for 96 hours of drunken tomfoolery; they could as easily be at a NASCAR race or the Kentucky Derby. The atmosphere at this weekend's festivities is more WWF than R&A, a kind of bentgrass, suburban Woodstock.

The same TV network that treats Augusta National as sacred ground doesn't object. "Chaos with cleavage," is what golf pro and CBS analyst Gary McCord calls this week's proceedings at TPC Scottsdale. "That's about it—and if the weather is good, it's frightening." (So far it isn't—more like frigid.)

So we can cut the PGA Tour a little slack this weekend. With the rock 'n roll Super Bowl sucking all of the media oxygen out of the country, crew-cutted and conservative golf needs a little razzmatazz just to keep up. They don't have Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson to spice up the proceedings with "accidental" nudity, even though CBS could find plenty of girls-gone-wild moments in the gallery if they so chose.

Chicago 'golf dome' deflated by storm
Golfers can't seem to catch a break this winter, especially in Chicago, where even indoor golf has been ravaged by the inclement conditions. Witness the "inflatable" practice range in Frankfurt, Ill., which after this week's storm now looks like a "giant deflated balloon," according to The Joliet Herald-News.

The range owner, Maggie McEnery, said she guessed the dome's skin will be completely replaced within two weeks. She did not know the cost of the damage but said insurance will cover it.

Unfortunately, McEnery said, she will miss out on potential business during the time it takes to fix the dome. "We were just starting to start rocking that dome," McEnery said. "The (customers) were trying out all of their new Christmas toys."

OK, so a pack of pot-bellied guys with R11s isn't exactly the Black Eyed Peas. But you hear her point.

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Ogilvy @geoffogilvy: Went for a run in the Valley of the Sun this morning. It was like running in a fridge.

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