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Answering Your Letters

Dave Pelz, one of the foremost short game and putting instructors in golf, offers schools and clinics across the U.S. Click here to find out more information.

Send your questions to askpelz@golf.com


Dear Dave,
Do you favor putting with an oversized putter grip? A couple of years ago I took my favorite putter and cut it down to better suit my height (I'm only 5'6"). When I re-gripped it, I had an oversized putter grip put on. I also went to lead-hand low.

Since the, my putting has improved a lot, I have more feel and I seldom three-putt. But since I changed three variables at once, I can't tell which one actually did the trick.

Do you have any feeling for this putter grip size thing of mine?

Sincerely,
Bill Havrilla

Dear Bill, I do in fact like large putter grips. I have recommended them to many of my students who use their hands too much in putting, because opening their hands tends to relax their grip on the putter, while decreasing their tendency to hinge their wrists during their strokes. I also use a very large oversized grip on my putter myself.

Good luck and good putting to you,
Dave Pelz

Dear Dave, I am tired of seeing the United States get clobbered in the Ryder Cup and really not knowing why. I generally know that the Euros out played the U.S., but I don't have a clue in what statistical categories. It seemed like they were making more putts, and "scoring" better, but I don't know that for sure.

Where is the U.S. team really leaking oil? I am a low handicap player, and I track fairways hit, GIR, putts, penalty strokes, etc. after a round. It usually tells me what I did well and poor. Stats are kept for just about everything on all the pro tours. After the last couple ryder cups, I want to know what it is that we are doing so poorly, or the Euros are doing so well. The U.S. team should retain you to break down all the stats from 100 yards and in, and see what is going on here. Are the Euros playing way over their heads, or the US just playing lousy? If we know exactly where the oil is leaking, it is at least a start at plugging the hole.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Regards,
Craig (from Michigan)

Dear Craig,
The PGA Tour has a system to measure where every shot from every player starts from and ends up, in every round of their own events. Their system is called ShotLink. It is the system which generates the statistics the Tour keeps on its own players every year, and is the backbone of the stats section of GOLF.com.

I agree it would be fun and possibly beneficial to analyze the performances of our Ryder Cup players with this system. I'm sure it's expensive to use and I don't know if the PGA of America, who runs the Ryder Cup competition, is interested in or allowed to use it. You might write to the PGA of America to find out if this will be possible in the future.

I was in Ireland and watched the Ryder Cup matches and was disappointed as you were. From the holes I saw, the European players did appear to putt better; but like you say I have no measurements to back that up. Hopefully, both our measurements and our players' performances will improve in the future. And thanks for your kind comments.

Best regards and good scoring to you,
Dave Pelz


You can write Dave a question about your short game by e-mailing him at askpelz@golfonline.com.

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