For those who aren't familiar, Dave Pelz is one of the most influential characters in the game. Phil Mickelson's longtime short game coach, Dave has devoted himself to his lifelong passion for golf, specifically, the short game. Specializing in the technical approach to improvement, Dave Pelz, also the inventor of the 2-Ball Putter, and long before Bryson Dechambeau was even born, figured out that if you leave the pin in when chipping, you have a statistically higher percentage chance of making it. Revolutionary nowadays, but to Dave, that’s old news, and he is looking forward to bigger things. “My profession is to help the best players in the world improve their games, but my passion is to help everyday players reach and surpass their potential.” Amongst coaching Patrick Reed to his green jacket in 2018, Dave Pelz is known for his world famous backyard. At 2.5 acres, it is hardly the biggest backyard on the planet, but for the golfer, it is certainly the best. Fence to fence covered with realistic nylon turf, Dave has recreated some of the most iconic holes in golf, including the likes of the Island Green at TPC Sawgrass, as well as holes from St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, and Augusta National. The secret to the success of the Pelz greens, and the underrated factor of this backyard phenomenon, is the patented method of creating artificial turf that responds to shots just like “real grass” greens. That is why students Phil Mickelson, and Patrick Reed, choose to practice there before their major appearances.
The famous “Island Green” in Daves’ backyard, featuring the PELZ Player Cottage Golf Kit floating targets.
“There’s not a shot I can’t hit out here” says Pelz, who claims that every conceivable shot from every conceivable lie can be had just steps from his living room. “I can walk out the door in the morning, in nothing but my skivvies if I want to, and practice all day long. I can putt, chip, pitch, and even hit full shots on my 400 yard range off the back of the property.” It’s no wonder that when Phil Mickelson comes to Austin to play the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play, he stays at Dave’s place. The two work together all week, focusing on practicing distance control from 40 yards and in, which Dave claims is the “hardest shot in golf,” and the prime teaching component of both the Cottage and Backyard Golf Kits.
If you think Phil Mickelson has imagination coursing through the veins of his short-game, then you should know where he learned it form. At our time in Dave’s home, showered by his warm Texas hospitality, I saw Dave go from saying “I haven't even warmed up yet,” to hitting flag-hunting wedges at the Sunday pin tucked on the right side of his 17th at TPC Sawgrass replica. Dave, at 79 years old, has game. His understanding of golf, its techniques, and his ability to put into words how concisely easy it really is to dial in your short game, is as inspiring as it is jaw-dropping. It’s no wonder that Dave has the creative resume that has its hands in some of the most important innovations in the game over the last forty years. When asked, Dave says “I get my inspiration for products and training aids from everyday golfers that come to my Scoring Schools. I see what they need, and I’m lucky that I found Catalyst Golf when I did, because they can make what’s in my head come true and bring it to golfers everywhere.”
The PELZ Player Product Collection is exclusive to Catalyst Golf as the online retailer, and includes products like an innovative new practice putting cup, that helps you fine tune your speed and line in the living room or on the putting green; a Cottage Golf Kit, that includes floating golf balls, a hitting mat, and two inflatable targets, with the intended use of hitting wedges off the dock; and the backyard version, replacing the inflatable targets with target nets. Dave Pelz came up with the idea for the PELZ Player Cottage Golf Kit while visiting the lakes of Muskoka north of Toronto, “Looking out from the dock, I realized that this lake has as much potential to be a golfer’s playground as my own backyard. You can set targets out to any distance you need to practice, and you can spend all day by the lake getting better at golf, now that’s a win-win for everyone in my books.”
These products are designed for everyone says Dave, whether you own a cottage or not, as long as you have a carpet in your living room or a park near your house, “It doesn't matter whether you’ve been playing for seventy-years like me, or its your first time picking up a club, the PELZ Player Collection is for you, your friends and your family.”
“The concept is simple,” says Pelz, “the best teacher is competition, so if you want to get better as a golfer, you need to groove your technique, and then you need to test it. It doesn't matter if you play for bragging rights or the bar tab, playing against your friends and family in competition makes you test yourself, and that’s what the golf course does, so after practicing with the PELZ Player Collection, you are ready to be a player on the course, a PELZ Player.”
With innovative concepts from the mind of one of the game’s greatest released daily, you can become a PELZ Player and share the love of the game all year long by visiting catalystgolf.com
About the Author:
Living tee time to tee time, Rob Gavarkovs is a proprietor of the pre-apex club twirl and a passionate proponent for taking driver off the deck.