[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 19 - Date 06/27/12

This week's newsletter is a bit longer than usual because I wanted to answer
a question from a reader that should help everyone, and there are two training
aids that I wanted to discuss.



- Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A How To Diagnose Mistakes
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Two Great Training Aids
- Lesson Comments: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC

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ask a golf related question, please email me directly at ttucker@rochester.rr.com

Plum Creek Driving Range and Practice Facility, simulator rates can be found
through a link on my home page here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/


Plum Creek is
now accepting clubs, bags, etc on consignment. If you have
something golf related in good shape - clubs, bags, balls, etc. - that you want to sell,
please contact me directly for details at ttucker@rochester.rr.com.

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 :-)

Tom's Featured Tip - Q&A Correcting Mistakes

I received a question from James P. - thanks James - that I wanted to share with
you, in the hope that my answer will help you to think through swing issues and
perhaps diagnose problems in your own swings.

Q: Tom,

Thank you for providing the golf tips, I really do appreciate them.

I have been having a lot of trouble off the tee with the driver for the past 2 years.
All (nearly all - I get the occasional good one in now and then) of my tee shots using
the driver are going left. It's not a hook, but a dead pull. No matter what I try, nothing
seems to work. It's to the point now where I want to just use an iron off the tee in
order to keep the ball in play. When I use an iron off the tee, my shot is pretty
straight and usually finds the fairway.

I've tried moving away from the ball thinking that I might be too close, but that hasn't
helped. I've tried moving the ball up and back in my stance, but that hasn't helped.
I know most of my problem is that I just don't have the time to practice as I only play
9 holes a week in a league. For the past 20 years or so, I consistently shot in the
low 40's per nine. Now, I'm consistently in the upper 40's because my tee shot with
the driver is always in trouble. My iron play is really saving me from shooting in the
50's because when I do find my ball in the long rough or woods, my recovery shot
usually puts me near the green.

What's frustrating is that I never had problems with the driver - that was my strength.
I would never be afraid of what my drive would do. I'd have the occasional slice when I
really tried to crush the ball, but never a pull. Granted, I don't play as often as I used to,
but I find it frustrating that I'm fine with all my other clubs off the tee except the driver.

I know without actually seeing my swing it's hard to provide an answer, but anything
you could offer would be helpful.

Thank you
James P.

A: Lets start with the ball flight. His ball is going left and staying straight. The first
influence on ball flight direction is the orientation of the clubface at impact. If the ball
starts out left, the clubface is pointing left at impact. This sounds simplistic, but for many
years and up until very recently, there was a widely accepted theory called the 9 Rules
Of Ball Flight, taught by most PGA and other teaching pros that said that the first
influence on ball flight direction was swing path.

I was in that group, and even though I always had doubts, I taught it because of
it's general acceptance in the golf instruction profession.

Golf instruction evolves, and advanced research disproved the 9 Rules and proved it's
where the clubface is pointed that is the first influence on the direction that your ball starts.

So we know that Jim's clubface was pointing left at impact, and that the ball went
straight left which to me indicates an outside to inside swingpath with no release.

There's a diagram of different swingpaths here:

Further evidence of his problem being this particular swingpath issue, is the fact that
the ball didn't curve more right to left (hook). When your swingpath goes from outside to inside,
you often dump your release power early because your wrists unhinge as a part of
the casting motion that is usually a part of this swingpath mistake. When you dump your
power, your hands and wrists can't release properly, and less side spin is put on the

Jim said that when he tries to crush the ball it slices - more evidence of the same
problem because with an unusually strong swing, his left hand is likely to be gripping
the club tightly, which would put slice sidespin on the ball with that swingpath.

So the most likely problem is a faulty weight shift technique, which is causing the
shoulders to open too early on the downswing, causing an early dump of the wrist
hinge with a casting motion and an outside to inside swingpath.

The second possibility is that Jim was hitting the ball on the inside part of his
downswing arc radius. This means that on the in - to out - to in swing arc of his downswing,
his clubfbace reached the outermost part of the arc, then it hit the ball as his swing was
returning around his body. When he moved away from the ball, he could have actually made
his swing issue worse. If he would have kept moving the ball back in his stance, he might
have found out if this was the problem or not.

To solve his problem, Jim has to work on his lateral weight shift and turn, as well
as on his swingpath to get it to inside out. The inside to outside swingpath will also
promote maintaining his wrist hinge until the proper release point.

I have some weight shift and inside to outside swingpath drills here:
http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/drills.html If you are experiencing a ball flight that
starts left of your aimline, you'll benefit from them, take a look.

Jim also needs to learn how to release his hands and wrists at impact, and there's
also an impact drill on my drills page - although I now teach the impact release
a little differently from that drill in my ball striking lesson.

Enjoy, Tom

Tom's Bonus Tip - Two Great Training Aids

The Putting Fork V1 http://puttingfork.com/

I sought out this product as soon as I heard about it, because my putting teaching
philosophy is that I am not so much into very strict traditional alignments at setup.
I believe that it's more important for the student to be comfortable in a body alignment
that will allow them to get the ball rolling straight down their aimline consistently.

That's absolutely imperative in a putting stroke.

This tool allows the user to monitor the consistency of their stroke as it relates to
starting the ball on the correct aimline, and it's portable, very sturdy, and very easy
to use.

The Putting Fork worked so well that I ordered three more for myself for use in four person
putting clinics that I have planned at Plum Creek in the near future (I'll announce the
date in an upcoming newsletter).

The training aid itself is the best I've seen for what it does, and the owner has offered
my readers a $25 discount off the normal $89.95 price if you use the discount code
of TOMTUCKERGOLF when you order. The offer expires on July 11th, 2012
here's the order page: http://puttingfork.com/store/products/putting-fork-v1/

BTW, I make no commission or fee of any sort on the sale of this item, I recommend
training aids and equipment that I use personally and/or for lessons.

Dr. Gary Wiren's Key

The most difficult thing for many of my students to grasp initially is the impact positions
of the hands and wrists. They usually get it by the end of a ball striking lesson because
they experience a lot of repetitions during the lesson, but I found a great training aid
that will help anyone feel the position better. You can view it here:
http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/impactaids.html I bought one for right handed
students here: http://www.dwquailgolf.com/training/dr_gary_wiren_key.html for about
$29, and I hunted down one for left handers on Ebay and got it for around $19.

BTW, I make no commission or fee of any sort on the sale of this item, I recommend
training aids and equipment that I use personally and/or for lessons.

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.

Rates: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/lessonrates.html

Testimonials: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html


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

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


All the best,

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

Success Loves Preparation
~ Anonymous