Hope at last from the Dave Pelz Scoring School
So we’re sitting in the classroom at the Dave Pelz Scoring School, and it’s the first moment of truth. It’s Day 1 of a three-day school conducted at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort outside of Atlanta, and we’re getting our initial evaluations. (Click here for a Q&A with Pelz recently posted on WorldGolf.com.)
One by one, lead instructor Ty Waldron is reviewing video of the short game tests he gave the small class of four students earlier in the morning. Having just watched Waldron critique one of my fellow student’s 30-yard pitch technique, I couldn’t wait until he got to mine. Finally, at long last, I’m going to get the answers I need. “No more double bogeys when I miss a green by three yards,” I thought. “Real chances at birdies on par 5s, when I’m just off the green in two shots. Golf could be fun again.”
Well, I knew the video could reveal some poor technique, but nothing as hideous as what I saw on Wednesday afternoon. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve got a feeling that Waldron and co-instructor Jason Sigler will be submitting my clips for America’s Funniest Home Videos. Or maybe they will use them to encourage future students who might be getting discouraged. “We helped this guy; you’re going to be a piece of cake.”
My bunker technique looked even worse, if that’s possible. And chipping, well, oddly enough it was just merely bad. Combine the three, and it’s no wonder I can’t get through a round of golf without making at least two double bogeys and a triple.
So after the unintentional humiliation came the first round of instruction, and I heard this Hallalujah statement from Waldron: “You have chunked your last chip.”
“Really? You did watch the video, didn’t you?” I thought.
He repeated it again, and back out to the stations we went. Armed with new knowledge and a few drills, our group hardly noticed it was 52 degrees outside with drizzle. We couldn’t wait to try out what we learned.
And you know what? I didn’t chunk a chip - not one. I tried to, I think, but my new fundamentals wouldn’t allow it. And when I say fundamentals, I do mean fundamentals, no “swing of the month” as Waldron puts it, just a good foundation and new-found understanding of what I’m doing.
The most important thing I learned today is that the finesse swing (which include chips, pitches and distance wedges) is different than the full swing - way different in some ways. Just knowing that makes a huge difference.
Am I ready to give back the two a side I usually get from my lower handicap buddies? Not quite; it’ll probably be a while until I get even. But this I do know: I can’t wait for tomorrow.
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