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4.4 out of 5 stars38
4.4 out of 5 stars
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This book deserves many more than five stars!
This is simply the best book to improve your putting that has ever been written.
Let me give you an example. I recently played in Southern California after a rain-soaked night. The greens were dripping. My opponent said "I wonder how hard to hit it through this water." And I quoted from this book. He made his putt, and so did I. In fact, the highlight of the round was a tricky 23 foot birdie putt. Thank you, Dave Pelz!
I have taken Dave Pelz's short game course, so I didn't know how much this book would help me. So I came to this book thinking, this will be a good refresher. That was right, but the insights I got from this book exceeded all that I learned in that course about putting.
The book explains the engineering approach that Pelz has brought to putting. He measures everything he can think of. The beginning explains key concepts of green problems -- like the raised donut around the hole where no one steps (the rest of the green is downtrodden by thousands of footsteps daily).
The next section explains the 15 building blocks of putting -- like aim, path, touch, rhythm, ritual, feel, face angle, stability, attitude, and routine.
Then Pelz puts special attention on speed and reading the green. Chapter 7 on green reading was worth the price of the book alone. He answered questions I have asked dozens of pros, and received no good answers to.
Then, he describes how to use these basics to improve your putting. I have been using a number of these for the last several years, and can certainly attest that they work.
Each point is beautifully explained. He has photographs of great players, graphs of experiments he has conducted, graphs of research he has done with average and great players, and diagrams of what to do and not to do. The language is simple and unambiguous.
For the average golfer, this book can take 4-6 strokes off your game. It will mean winning a lot of weekend bets.
One of the book's great strengths is that it starts with the thinking that most people have about putting that gets them in trouble. He helps you identify your stalled thinking that holds back your putting, and then shows you how to break out of the stall and develop an improved habit.
If you have a father, grandfather, uncle, brother, or son who is a father and plays golf, this is the perfect gift for Father's Day. I took the liberty of giving a copy to myself as my Father's Day gift this year. Maybe it will help me win the Father's Day golf tournament!
Keep in mind that in the average round you'll make more putts than you will tee shots, fairway shots, or finesse shots around the green. Get better at putting, and your score can really improve! A two foot putt and a 300 yard drive count for the same on the score -- one stroke.
Enjoy your putting game the most!
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on 11 June 2001
I highly recommend this book, just have patience. It is heavy stuff! Don't buy this if you have a short attention span. The man loves the look of his own words in print, and boy are there a lot of his words. At times the level of detail is boring, like the effect of hitting the dimples, BUT if you want to improve your putting, this IS the book for you. In three months I have reduced my admittedly miserable average by 4.61 putts per round in the first 6 medal rounds of this year. The instructional part is very clear and easy to understand, and it has certainly worked for me. There is a supporting video available and it is good, but I highly recommend the book if you are seriously keen to improve your putting.
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on 19 January 2009
I read this shortly after I took up golf seriously and then spent a month working hard on the drills in the book having parted with a large amount of money for the practice aids he recommended.

The result was that I started putting superbly - averaging less than 30 putts a round which for a relatively new golfer was excellent, especially as my chipping was not all that hot. My golfing buddies used to look on in amazement and would comment that within 15 feet they could bank on me making a very high percentage of those putts. My average score started to tumble from being someone who struggled to break a hundred at times to someone who expected to be in the low 90's and ocassionaly in the 80's.

Now for the down sides:

1 He teaches a straight back and through stroke. Great for short and medium putts but not so good on longer putts especially when you do not play on tour speed greens most of the time and have to hit the ball relatively hard. Also some putters will naturally have a small arc in their putt and will not like this kind of stroke and should therefore work on different fundamentals eg more like the approach Stan Utley suggests.

2 The book is very long. The key is working on the drills which are summarised at the end. I summarised what I needed on 15 small cards which I refer to every now and again.

3 Many of the drills need expensive aids eg putting tracks, metronomes etc. Much of this can be home made or bought more cheaply from a big golf store/internet retailer but this is still a problem. You will get little benefit if you do not do the drills.

4 I would describe the stroke he teaches as high maintenance as the straight back and through approach is not entirely natural to most golfers who will have a bit of an arc in their stroke if left to their own devices. When I spend a couple of hours a week on the drills I putt good, but if I do not practice I go back to being a 34-37 putts per round man.

5 A good golf pro can help pick up your stroke problems better than you can and will make sure you work on the right things. A video camera would also help. Either way there is only so much you can teach yourself from a book and a pro or a video camera are an easier way to work out how to improve most quickly.

In spite of the above, I would say this helped me improve my putting stroke quite a bit. If you are serious about improving and can make the commitment to this type of putting stroke including the associated practice aids and drills, I would recommend it. If not, by all means read it, but do not expect your game to improve.
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on 29 June 2000
After reading Dave Pelz's previous book, the 'Short Game Bible' I was very impressed with his scientific and factual approach to golf. Golf is a game of numbers and Pelz provides all the figures you need to understand how to score on and around the greens. The 'putting bible' answers all the questions you ever had about putting and those you had not even thought about. Did you know, for example, what a 'pendulum stroke' actually means? Pelz explains it in a way that leaves no doubts. Teaching of putting has always been characterised by a great emphasis on the 'art of putting', mystifying it and stressing that technique is less important than ill-defined ingredients like mental attitude, feel and so forth. Pelz puts all these components (he defines 15 in total) into the proper context. Having read this book you wil be able to understand what you can control on the putting green and what you can't - and how to live with this. I am sure that anyone who reads the 'putting bible' and applies its principles will putt better and improve his or her scores.
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on 29 January 2004
I used to train my putting like many other amateurs - just getting on the putting field, trying to hole the ball in the next free hole. Now I train with a purpose every time I take my putter.
Pelz' scientific approach not only helps with setting up a training regime for using your training time effecient but also expands your knowledge about green reading, speed, clubs, strokes, training aids...... and everything else you ever wanted to know about putting. This book is a "must-have"
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Untill I read this book I hated putting, especially those long ones from the edge of the green. Pelz really covers all aspects, from stroke mechanics to the roll on the greens. After reading this I have seen a lot more putts drop and my confidence soar. The only reason why I didn't give this one top marks is due to the laborious read; although definately worth purchasing if you are keen to overcome those putting nightmares, it felt a bit like one of my old uni text books.
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on 23 April 2007
I have just finished reading this and found it contained some really useful bits of info and should definitly help most golfers improve their putting. However, one big problem I found with this is that most of the practice drills that you are urged to do, if you are really serious about being a great putter, include the use of the, mostly expensive, practice aids that are sold on the Dave peltz website. If you want to follow his teachings by the book, then expect to devote at least 5/6 hours a week practicing and dig deep into the wallet!
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on 2 August 2010
I was always convinced from my own experience that well-played golf comes from all the strokes taken within 100 yards of the hole - probably because my driving game is terrible. I therefore bought Pelz's "Short Game Bible" and devoured it, as his engineering approach fit my philosophy perfectly. Having improved my game because of this, I then bought his "Putting Bible" to finish the improvement process where it counts the most - putting the ball into the hole! Again, I am not disappointed at all - his realistic, statistically-enhanced commentaries are simply pure gold. It now seems so obvious that a 1° error in alignment at the tee is nothing compared to a 1° alignment error on a putting green... you can recover from the former, but the latter is deadly to your score. The two Pelz books and the Tom Watson DVD purchases have given me more than enough to improve my game - and certainly increased my confidence that I'll do so. In fact, the process has already started...
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on 16 July 2000
Well, my golf playing was fantastic but due to my lack of knowledge of the pendulum swing, my handicap remained as high as 27! I couldn't sink a putt as well as i could sink a u.s. navy destroyer. I can now put a putt from a large distance away. I thank Dave Pelz for writing such an exhubarant and informative outlook on the world of putting. My handicap has plumetted to a low 10. Fantastic. Cheers Dave!
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on 15 May 2001
When the book first arrived and I flicked through for the first time, I almost regretted buying it. The photos are very limited, mainly in black and white, there are signifigent ammounts of American waffle, and sometimes way over the top analysis (eg dimples,wind etc). However this book does contain everything you could ever want to know about how to improve your putting. It could have been put in a much more succinct, user friendly and quite frankly interesting way, but if you want to improve your putting and are willing to put the time in to do so, then it is well worth buying this book.
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