By Dave Pelz
Dave Pelz has made a career of turning the cold equations into warm formulae for the nourishment of the golf swing. His scientific analysis of the short game and putting—born of his background as a rocket scientist—has made him
What Pelz has done in Golf Without Fear is to conduct a series of interviews and surveys to determine what shots scare golfers the most. He found that thirty were mentioned more than any other and that ten stood out above the rest. Explaining how to hit those ten shots are the basis of the book.
Those ten shots are:
10: Lag Putts
9: Against A Wall
8: The Greenside Pitch
7: Hitting Through Trees
6: Buried Lies In Sand
5: The High, Soft, Cut-Lob Shot
4: Downhill Lies
3: Tight Lies
2: Greenside Sand
1: Short Putts
Interestingly, the one most feared surely is easiest to make. My most feared shot: the 180 – 200 yard par 3 isn’t on the list. One of my others—the downhill lie—is.
The book actually begins with an examination of the nature of fear and of what it means to a golfer’s game. Pelz also gives some general advice on removing fear from your mind.
The rest of the book is a shot by shot examination of the problem and the solution. First, Pelz describes the shot and its uses. Then, he identifies the core of the problem in hitting that shot—often accompanied by statistical data—and information on why what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working. After identifying the problem, Pelz offers some clear descriptions of how to hit the shot. Finally, he offers a “conditioning program”—drills, really—to help you groove the shot.
Golf Without Fear is lavishly illustrated and clearly written, but to be sure, if that was all there is, there wouldn’t be much to make it stand out from hundreds of other clearly written, lavishly illustrated golf instruction books on the shelves. What makes Golf WIthout Fear unique is the “Golfers Eye View” photos.
The Golfer’s Eye View photos are exactly what you’d expect: photos showing a player’s view at address. The photos are spread over two pages. On the right side is a view of what your stance, feet, club and ball should look like for that particular shot. On the left page is a photo showing what you’d see of the target if you turned your head in that direction. Together, they do a pretty good job of allowing you to visualize the shot.
If two or three of the shots listed above are on your “most feared” list, I think you’d get some mileage out of this book.