Bo Van Pelt: Steal My Feel

By Bo Van Pelt Photos by J.D. Cuban
November 12, 2012

There's one essential quality all good ball-strikers share: They have precise control over the flight of their ball. Hitting shots on your intended trajectory is a key to scoring well.

When I first turned pro, there were too many moving parts in my swing. I would tweak my ball position, change the width and angle of my stance, and try to use different feels to produce different shots. If all the parts didn't come together at the same time, I struggled and was inconsistent.

Then I made a change to the way I approach each shot: I started varying only the width of my stance depending on the type of shot I wanted to hit. Now, if I need to flight the ball a little lower, I just narrow my stance. Conversely, if I want to hit it higher, I widen my stance. Most important, my ball position stays the same, as does my swing. I use this feel with all my clubs, from driver on down to sand wedge. This change has been a key component to my improved play over the last few years.

VAN PELT, 37, won the 2011 CIMB Asia Pacific Classic and 2009 U.S. Bank Championship. This year, he leads the tour with nine top-10 finishes.