By Dave Pelz
Thursday, September 20, 2007

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.\n

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Dear Dave,
I am a 9.0 and consistently shoot between 78 and 82, but I have too many problems with my putting. I can't seem to shake the habit of taking a really long time to putt. I have tried to count down, control my breathing and even mentally not caring ... I just can't seem to pull the trigger. Subsequently I average 31 to 34 putts per round. Help!¬óDennis Goode

Establish the cadence of your ritual by counting 1 - 2 as you make practice strokes back and through. Back - through equals 1 - 2. Make sure both your long and your short strokes (for long and short putts respectively) flow with this same cadence and timing. Never stop in the middle of your ritual. Once you start you have to finish it. Practice this without a ball until you have memorized your ritual, then try it on your carpet at home after your preview stroke. When you learn to move from your preview stroke - and stroke your putt in the cadence of your ritual at home on your carpet, take it to the practice green until it feels comfortable. Then go to the golf course and see if you can't make more putts!

Dear Dave:
Our course just re-worked the green side bunkers, adding high steep lips to many of them. I handle these shots well most of the time, but in the mornings, when my usual foursome plays, the sand is wet from the sprinklers. Neither I nor any of my buddies can consistently navigate these high lips from the wet, compact sand. Any tips to help me and my fellow early birds? ¬óJeff Brown, Visalia, California

You can write Dave a question about your short game by e-mailing him at

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