[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 11 - Date 05/02/12

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The venue where I give lessons, the Plum Creek Driving Range and Practice
has their new simulator up and running. Rates can be found through a link on
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to R. Montesano for pointing out that I misspelled Geoff Mangum's first
name in the last newsletter.  All feedback is welcome - please direct it to


- Tom's Bonus Tip:  Quality Practice
- Tom's Featured Tip:  A Tale of Two Putting Strokes
- Golf Lessons
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC

Tom's Bonus Tip - Quality Practice

Quality practice equals quality play.

Tom's Featured Tip - A Tale of Two Putting Strokes

For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from
a right handed perspective; lefties .... well, you know what to do

Which type of putting stroke is good for you?

How do you decide which stroke to practice?

I classify putting strokes into two general categories: a PILS stroke, which is a
pendulum Pure In Line Square stroke a la Dave Pelz, or an Arcing stroke,
which is generally an inside, down the line, inside stroke, with some release at impact.

When I evaluate a student for which type of putting stroke would be best for them,
I ask them what the flight of the ball is for most of their stock (normal) swings.

If they tell me they hit a straight shot or a fade, they will be best suited to a
pendulum PILS stroke; if they hit a draw or hook, they should putt well with an
Arcing stroke.

My opinion is that your putting stroke should be generally congruent at impact
with your full swing. 

The student that hits a straight ball or a fade won't have to manipulate the clubhead
at impact during a PILS stroke to keep it square going back and square going through
the ball.  The release at impact is more of a momentum release vs. any crossover.

However, the student that hits a draw or hook would have to really manipulate the
putter head to keep it square going back and through, due to their tendency to
execute a crossover hand movement at impact.  This student is much better off
learning an arcing stroke.

I teach the PILS stroke just like Dave Pelz does in his book The Putting Bible.

I teach my own version of an Arcing stroke, which is a little different than how

others may teach it because of my non-traditional view on alignment.



I basically teach an arcing stroke that incorporates a forward hand press, coupled with

an open stance and a slight inside out swing path.


With the open stance, the student can execute a slight inside out swing path,

which will feel very natural to anyone who draws the ball. Therein lies the congruent

feeling at impact with the full swing. A much shorter version of the swing, but

congruent none the less.

Although the swing path is inside out, the ball actually rolls down the aimline due

to the open setup because the inside out path goes down the aimline.

I realize that an open stance files in the face of traditional putting instruction,

but I'm more interested in results than tradition and this really works. In fact,

I'm on vacation right now in Florida and I utilized this stroke with a putter I made

especially for the technique - and I putted lights out at the La Playa Club in

Naples yesterday.  BTW, my playing partner was Terry Downs, the person I took

my first lesson from many years ago, and it was a wet but enjoyable round.

The Arcing stroke sequence is as follows:

1) set up open to the aimline

2) hands are set in the forward press position

3) stare at the target ( one count)

4) stare at the target again ( one count)

5) glance at the ball

6) stroke the putt with a shoulder motion


Here's a little more on the forward press.


One of best examples of players using a forward press in their putting method is
Phil Mickelson. Phil worked with Dave Pelz and gave the PILS Stroke a try. 
Unfortunately it didn't work for him, because in his words he felt like he was
"manipulating" the putter head during the stroke.  He was accustomed

to an inside out swingpath, and that's a prime example of an incongruent feeling

at impact with the putter


What I like about the forward hand press is that with the way I teach the arcing stroke

mentioned above, the student sets the putter in what I call a "putting impact fix position".

Then, with a rocking shoulder motion, you create a fluid, rhythmic stroke. It solidifies

both wrists and avoids a "flip" at impact - where the left wrist "cups". When done correctly,

It makes it impossible  for the left wrist to break down.  You'll actually feel "compression"

on your putts.


One of the downsides of a forward press is that it de-lofts the clubhead, so care

must be taken to strike the ball on a slightly ascending angle.  A little more manufactured

loft on the putter is also helpful.

FYI, John Daly used to forward press so much that at one point in time he played

with a putter with over eight degrees of loft.  That's extreme, but that's also John Daly

Try it, you'll like it - or even better, take my Fundamental Putting Lesson and learn it:


Enjoy, Tom

Golf Lessons

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link with info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels
, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or at ttucker@rochester.rr.com
for more information.

Lesson rates are here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/lessonrates.html


Batavia Country Club
- http://www.bataviacc.com Need a new pair of
golf shoes or a new Callaway Wedge to get the season started right? Great Pricing !
Puma /Callaway /BCC Logo Shirts/Wind/Caps.

Chestnut Hill CC - http://www.chestnuthillcc.com Low greens fees, great course!


All the best, and remember: Victory Loves Preparation ~

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Email: ttucker@rochester.rr.com