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Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

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  • Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

    Bought the book a few weeks ago and tried his method. I suppose you ought to call it "Old School" due to the pervasive marketing of Dave Pelz and his Bible. Basically he recommends level shoulders and weight on the left side. Today I made 12 pars with only 6 GIR (8.0 hcp), what cost me (80 gross, 72 net) was two bunker shots that didn't come out the way I had predicted. I haven't put in as much practice time on his bunker technique so that was expected.

    Anyone else that read it and began experimenting? The one thing I miss in the book is thoughts on speciality lobs and flops.

  • #2
    Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

    Is it worth the $25 they are asking for it??

    Chessbum...

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    • #3
      Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

      I guess everything is relative, someday it will be out in paperback for half the price. Compared to a new wedge it is very inexpensive and considering that I now have more options available to me in the short game I think it was worth every penny. For thos who already master that technique it will probably be a letdown.

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      • #4
        Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

        hi
        how does it compair to "pelz short game bible". or does it go over most of the same things just in a diffrent way.
        thanks
        bill

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        • #5
          Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

          Originally posted by bill reed View Post
          hi
          how does it compair to "pelz short game bible". or does it go over most of the same things just in a diffrent way.
          thanks
          bill
          I'm interested in this book too. I looked at the customer reviews on Amazon, which are very positive. But a few people mention Utley's approach as being different from Pelz's. So I'm curious about what he has to say. I know he has a book on putting too, in which he defends the "screen door" putting stroke, instead of Pelz's pendulum stroke.

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          • #6
            Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

            hi
            with regards putting i tend to think the Pelz style of putting works best as the face of the putter stays in line longer, if you swing in-to-out or out-to-in but the face is square then the ball will go down the target line, a bit like in snooker or pool, the barn door its harder to square the face at the right time every time. but both styles do work. with the short game i take it you could use Utely system but use it in the Plez 4x3 system using the 4 wedge system and three swings.
            bill

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            • #7
              Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

              Utley talks exclusively about technique, including the mental approach. He doesn't use a quasi-scientific approach, so there are no 4 x 3 wedge system, instead he goes into detail about how to use the bounce, leading edge, grip and setup to achieve different kinds of strokes. So far my own short game is much more on-line, but with Pelz system distance is easier to control. I've had several pitches graze the hole, but I've also hit some nasty bladed ones. Like everything else in golf it takes a while to settle in. I do miss some thoughts on extreme lobs and wet bunkers...

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              • #8
                Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                I bought and read the book last night. It's pretty interesting. Utley recommends using one club for pretty much all chips and pitches 50 yds and in--he uses a 58* sand wedge with 12* bounce. He doesn't think a lob wedge is necessary. He defines "chip" and "pitch" not in terms of distance and roll, but in terms of whether or not the club is delofted. A more lagged impact makes a chip. All shots are made with weight forward, narrow stance, ball position just ahead of middle. All shots are mini-swings, with pivot.

                I've played with one guy whose short game was like this--one wedge for everything. He was a scratch player and his short game was deadly accurate.

                Very un-Pelz, so if you're having success with the Pelz approach, I'd skip this book.

                I'm not sure whether I'll commit to this method or not. I need to try it a bit and see how it feels. I'd like to improve my chipping to take some of the heat off my rotten putting.

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                • #9
                  Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                  12 deg of bounce sounds like a recipe for a lot of thinned shots to me? I like the idea of the simplicity of one club, just I'm surprised the one club has 12 deg of bounce...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                    Originally posted by bulldog2k View Post
                    12 deg of bounce sounds like a recipe for a lot of thinned shots to me? I like the idea of the simplicity of one club, just I'm surprised the one club has 12 deg of bounce...
                    He seems to think it's important to use a club with plenty of bounce. I don't really understand that part.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                      When chipping you come down with the leading edge, on pitches and bunker shots you use the bounce.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                        But if you voluntarily de-loft the club just to avoid the bounce, isn't it a little self-defeating - or at least a strange solution to a problem with an easy solution (ie; carry a different club)?

                        And surely for pitches you'd need to come down with the leading edge too?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                          Originally posted by bulldog2k View Post
                          But if you voluntarily de-loft the club just to avoid the bounce, isn't it a little self-defeating - or at least a strange solution to a problem with an easy solution (ie; carry a different club)?

                          And surely for pitches you'd need to come down with the leading edge too?
                          You de-loft the club to get lower flight and more run...the essence of a chip. Using the bounce and loft to get higher ball flight and less roll is the "normal" use of the highly lofted wedges. So the question is: Why not chip with a 7 iron instead of de-lofting a sand wedge? Utley's answer, as I understand it, is that it's easier to get a feel with one club than with many. His approach is all about feel.

                          Until I have a chance to try this, I can't say whether I believe it. I can say that the "received" idea of chipping with the ball way back hasn't worked well for me at all. But I really don't understand the whole bounce thing. My gap wedge has a good amount of bounce, and I hit pretty well from the fairway with it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                            Utley's reason for coming down with the bounce (he uses 12 deg) on a pitch is that the club will slide along the ground (remember he is American and don't play links that are stiffer than Van Damme's abs) and thus dramatically increase your margin of error. You can hit the ground an inch behind, resulting in shorter carry but more roll, and if you thin it you get a longer carry but more backspin. I'm practising it a lot now and it does take a while to get used to his technique, legs are a lot more involved (or perhaps hips is more correct, I'm still debating this). I will say that on average they end up a reasonable distance from the pin (hitting from one position) but it is harder to control whether they end up left or right of the hole. Like everything else new it takes a while, but my chipping is clearly much better. I ususally hit between eight and ten greens, yet shoot an 80 - 85 with about the same amount of pars or better (the latter usually involves penalties). The other day I only hit six greens, yet I made twelve pars, so up and down 50% of the time.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Stan Utley's Art of Shortgame

                              I've been experimenting with this, and at the moment I'm having pretty good results with some, but not all, of Utley's suggestions.

                              For chips, I see the benefit of using one club and developing good feel with that club. But for me it's a strain to make a wedge do that job; I have better luck with my 8i. I used to jump around, choosing a 6i or 7i or whatever, depending on distance, etc. That wasn't good. If I had time to practice chipping with all those clubs, maybe it'd be different. But I can de-loft the 8i enough to get plenty of roll when I need it. I use Utley's mini-swing for the chips and that's fine. For pitches under 50 yds, I'm finding the sand wedge isn't a bad choice, but I still pull out the lob wedge when I need to hop over a bunker to a close pin location. The LW is good for that and I don't see any reason not to use it.

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