Sultans of Swing: Low Scores in High Places

  • Kim Fredericks

The Dave Pelz Scoring Game School claims that it will change your golf game forever in just three days. Doubters of this assertion may be swayed by the success of Vijay Singh, Tom Kite, Phil Mickelson, and other graduates, all of whom enlisted Pelz to improve what he calls their “scoring game.” 
                                             
A combination of short irons and putting, the scoring game comprises as much as 65 percent of a golfer’s total shots per round. Pelz, a former NASA scientist turned short-game and putting guru, has studied this particular aspect of the sport for nearly 30 years. His research demonstrates that golfers lose nearly 80 percent of their strokes to par within 100 yards of the hole, and so his schools focus solely on these shots.
 
The Scoring Game program begins with a video analysis of each student’s swing, followed by an explanation of Pelz’s instructional philosophy. “We teach golfers how to practice,” says Ty Waldron, managing senior instructor for the Pelz schools. “Many golfers go out and practice without understanding what they are doing. We make sure they first understand, and then develop.”
  
At the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, one of six locations that hosts the scoring schools, Pelz built a series of greens, hitting areas, and bunkers to simulate on-course shot situations. Students also practice on the Short Course, a one-of-a-kind, 10-hole masterpiece designed by Pelz as a place to test the skills his program aims to develop. After three days of honing those skills, golfers can swing away on one of Cordillera’s three championship courses.

Dave Pelz Scoring Game School

Location: The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, Colo., hosts schools from June through early September. Sessions are also available, at various times throughout the year, at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia; the Cimarron Golf Resort in Palm Springs, Calif.; the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida; the Homestead in Michigan; and Vineyard Knolls in Napa Valley, Calif.

Instructor: Ty Waldron, managing senior instructor for the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School.

Format: Three days of short-iron and putting instruction; schools are limited to 16 golfers with a maximum four-to-one student-teacher ratio.
 
Rates: $2,955 to $4,125 per person for tuition and three nights’ lodging at Cordillera.

Accommodations: Set on a mountain overlooking the Vail Valley, Cordillera features 56 guest rooms and three championship golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, and Tom Fazio.

Contact: 800.833.7370, www.pelzgolf.com

Photo by James Lipman
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