[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 215 - Date 10/31/12

Newsletters Archive: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/archive.html
Hundreds of Great Tips and Articles to help you improve your game.


- Tom's Featured Tip: Hand - Eye Coordination
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Mechanics First, Feel Follows
- Lesson Comments: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC,
  Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator

Winter leagues are now playing indoors on the Simulator at Plum Creek,
Details: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com

I will be conducting indoor lessons
this winter in the Simulator bay, but not for
a few weeks. I'm taking some time off to visit my grandkids in Houston, and to
let a nagging back issue heal fully.

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reply gets auto-deleted. Instead, please FORWARD your reply to ttucker@rochester.rr.com
and I'll get it directly. Thanks! Tom Tucker http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/

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Tom's Featured Tip: Hand - Eye Coordination

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 :-)

I received this comment in my email from an unnamed reader and decided to add
my two cents. As always thanks for the feedback ... Tom

"There seems to be very little information on basic hand-eye coordination with regards
to ball striking in golf. I have noticed with several of my friends, that those who were
good contact hitters in baseball, good bowlers and good foul shooters in basketball are
also good golfers. All three of those motions are definitely different, except the ability
of the eye to perceive what the hand must do to be most successful is rarely covered
in golfing tips."

"For these good golfers it makes no difference where the ball is in front of them, their ability
to strike the ball does not change. I have seen some of them kneel and strike the ball solidly.
There are 1000+ tips on how to correctly hit a golf ball solidly, yet no where does it mention
the importance of the hand-eye coordination. Watching baseball players with their variety
of stances still be solid ball strikers leads me to believe that the hand-eye is not given its
due discussion."

Here are my thoughts on this subject. Keep in mind that there are many differing points
of view on the subject, these are just mine.

There is no disputing that it's an advantage to be able to see the ball clearly to play golf well,
but I don't believe that having exceptional hand-eye coordination is of paramount importance
in becoming an exceptional ball striker.

If a person uses a "hitter" swing method rather than a "swinger" swing method, it might be a
little more important, but just a little.

"Hitters" use more of an arm thrusting motion in combination with weight transfer and body
turn, as well as more hand manipulation of the clubhead through impact in their swing.

"Swingers" rely more on centrifugal force for swing speed which is produced through
body rotation swinging the arms and club (generally) - with less hand manipulation.

BTW, both swing methods are totally valid ways to play the game, it's a matter
of personal preference.

However, regardless of whether you are a "hitter" or a "swinger", hand - eye coordination
is undeniably more important for touch shots like short pitches and chips, as well as
for putting.

Ball-striking, not so much - pitches, chips, and putting - yes.

Personally, I believe that proper weight positioning, angle of impact, and swing path
trump hand-eye coordination as a paramount consideration for excellent ball-striking.

Here are some reasons why I say not so much for ball-striking in general.

1) In golf, the ball doesn't move, so do we need to “keep our eye on the ball” to locate and
hit it? The answer is no. USGA engineers designed Iron Byron, a mechanical robot to determine
if golf balls submitted to the USGA for approval met the appropriate requirements. This robot
is capable of hitting the ball 10,000 times in a row perfectly and it doesn't use eyes to do it.

2) Many blind golfers are capable of hitting the ball better than some of their sighted counterparts.
In fact, the motto of the US Blind Golfers Association is: You Don't Have to See It to Tee It

3) George Knudson, a renowned golf teacher and author of "The Natural Golf Swing" actually
stated that "golf is not a hand eye co-ordination game" and I agree - at least for full swing
shots. Notably - Knudson once shot a 67, playing all of his full shots with his eyes closed!

4) I often use an eyes closed swing drill with students that have poor balance. Usually
by the end of the lesson, the student is making good contact hitting teed up balls with their
eyes closed. Try practicing with your eyes closed - when you are in a place to try it safely
of course. It is a really strange feeling that fights against all your natural tendencies, but it
reinforces Knudson's point of view. It's a superb balance drill, and you don't have to actually
hit golf balls to get the benefits.

Improving Hand - Eye Coordination

To improve hand - eye coordination, take up playing ping pong - it's superb for developing
hand - eye coordination as well as balance.

Here's a site I found that may also be helpful:
Hand Eye Coordination and Reaction Drills by Neuro-Gym

My final thought on the matter is that you can't blame poor ball-striking on
poor hand - eye coordination. I won't give any student that pass. Make sure
that your ball-striking is fundamentally strong - in other words, keep working on
sound ball-striking fundamentals for your own swing type and you should
see improvement.

Love your practice, and enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip: Mechanics Then Feel

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 :-)

- let the mind teach the body what to do until it becomes a subconscious action.
This happens through repetition, lots of it.

Feel - then the mind must trust the body to do what it was taught without interference.
This happens by having a quiet mind when you play.

Keep practicing!

Enjoy your golf,


Golf Lessons

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

If you want to test your putting stroke preference compatibility
various hosel styles and shaft placement options, please contact me to set up an

I have the three basic hosel styles available in a putter head with the ability to
adjust the shaft placement from heel to mid to center. Call my cell (716 474 3005)
or email me at ttucker@rochester.rr.com for details or to make an appointment.
It can be done indoors or outdoors, so weather conditions are not a factor.


Plum Creek Driving Range
- http://www.tomtuckergolf.com Play golf all winter
on the indoor simulator. Courses, leagues, lessons, and personal available!
Batavia Country Club - http://www.bataviacc.com The best greens in WNY
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