[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 216 - Date 11/07/12

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


- Tom's Featured Tip: Winter Improvement Outline
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Q&A Strength and Golf
- Lesson Comments: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC,
  Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator

November Indoor Golf Special - Four Play, Three Pay on the Simulator
Golf Courses at Plum Creek.
Normal cost $25 per player, save $25
Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at plumcreek4@rochester.rr.com to
reserve your tee time!

I am conducting indoor lessons
this winter in the Simulator bay at Plum
Creek, please call me at 716 474 3005, email me at ttucker@rochester.rr.com,
or visit my website at http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/indoor.html for rates
and details.

If you want to respond to this newsletter, PLEASE DO NOT hit reply, email sent via
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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Congratulations to Destry Mullen on his first hole in one at the Keith Hills Golf Club,
White course, Hole # 7 - 170 Yds, 6 iron. Destry is a former student of mine, now taking the
PGM course at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. Well Done Destry!

Tom's Featured Tip: Winter Improvement Outline

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 :-)

Winter is a great time to either improve or maybe even change your swing, providing
that you have a clue as to what to do. As the old saying goes "A problem defined is
a problem half solved." I believe this saying, but I wonder if the author ever played golf :-)

Once things are defined specifically, you can undertake your training by studying
and practicing, or through taking lessons. It can be done on your own if you take the time
to educate yourself. If you prefer professional guidance, contact me for lessons.

Here's an outline of the basic intellectual requirements and training facilities for your
winter improvement plan.



I can't tell you how many times I've been emailed questions like:
"Tom my driver keeps going right (or left) , what do I need to do to fix it?"

First of all, there's not enough ball flight information to even begin to define
the problem.

Here's a list of terms that you need to learn to classify your ball flight so that
you can begin to define your problem. To identify and name any shot, all
you need to know is whether it starts right or left of the target, and which
way it curves.

Pull Hook: starts left of the target and curves left
Pull: Starts left of the target and flies straight
Fade: Starts left of the target and curves to it
Over-Fade: Starts left of the target and curves across the target
Slice: Starts at or right of the target and curves right
Straight Shot: starts at the target and flies straight
Hook: Starts at or left of the target and curves left
Over-Draw: Starts right of the target and curves across the target
Draw: Starts right of the target and curves to it
Push: Starts right of the target and flies straight
Push Slice: Starts right of the target and curves right

Reading your ball flight in these terms tells you all you need to know about
swing path and face angle at impact. When you know that, you can
start making adjustments for corrections. Without it, you're shooting
in the dark.

You also need to have a representative sample of swings to identify a pattern,
I would feel comfortable with around forty swings.

Outdoors you simply need some sort of marker to define the ball - target
line, then observe where the ball starts and how it curves. Indoors, you
need a quality simulator to give you that information. The one we use at
Plum Creek, the AboutGolf.com PGA Simulator gives you that information;
Flightscope and Trackman are also reliable simulators. Those are the only
brands that I've done in depth research on - there may be others that are also
decent. Just make sure that the data is reliable before you spend time
and money on your practice. Do your homework.


Once you know where the ball starts and how it curves, you can start
defining the base problem.

I say the base problem, because there are usually multiple problems associated
with bad swings. The main problem, or base problem, needs to be identified and
addressed first, then branch problems need to be identified and fixed.

Here's a real life example.

I had a gentleman that came to me because he couldn't self-correct a problem he
was having due to his "erratic clubface position at impact" - his definition of the
problem not mine
- that was causing a pull hook, or a fade.

He was confused.

After watching him take about ten swings, I saw that the problem was twofold -
the base problem was that he was hitting the ball in front of the circle; the branch
problem was that he didn't understand the relationship between the clubface and
swingpath that causes the ball to curve. He had been making compensating
adjustments without any real knowledge about cause and effect.

We all swing down and out on our downswing on an angled circle. You can call it
whatever you care to call it, but it's still a swing made on an angled circle, and it
bottoms out at some point in your swing. If your ball placement is correct for a draw,
which is my preferred flight for about 90% of my students, the ball is behind the
circle - or back far enough in the stance to hit the ball before the low point of the circle.

This particular student was placing the ball too far forward in his stance - in front
of the circle - and was swinging across the ball. When he closed the clubface dramatically
to avoid a fade, he was hitting pull hooks. When he then over-compensated by opening
the clubface, he was hitting fades.

We practiced getting the ball placement correct first, the base problem. Then we worked
on swingpath, and how to position the clubface in relation to his swingpath and the target
line to produce consistent curvature in his ball flight, the branch problem.

There is a hierarchy of correction that needs to be followed in sequence, or
you'll drive yourself nuts making small compensating tweaks that work for awhile then
break down. You need to thoroughly understand the elements of your own swing method
in order to make corrections that will withstand the test of time. Do your homework.


This is a piece of cake after you've classified your shots and identified your base
problem. You simply need to structure your practice to include drills that reinforce
the neural pathways that you want planted in your brain for your correct swing, then
you need to practice a few times a week.

Much of the practice can be done at home - providing you have room to swing a
club. But you should make your way to a simulator or a dome to check your
ball starting direction and curvature a couple of times per month to make sure
that you are practicing correctly.

Here's an unmitigated plug - if you are a self-corrector, it's very inexpensive to hit
balls at our simulator, so going there often would help your swing and be easy on your
wallet. Whoever is working in the shop will get you set up on the simulator.

If you're not into researching your own swing method, or if you would like a total swing
makeover, get ahold of me for lessons and we'll get it done together.

Make next year your best year.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip: Q&A Strength and Golf

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 :-)

Q: from Jeff M.:
Does your personal strength relate to how far you hit the ball?

A: Thanks for the question Jeff. At first blush the answer to this question seems obvious,
but as they say "it ain't necessarily so!"

First of all, you can play golf at a very high level without necessarily committing to
weight training - although I'm a staunch advocate of fitness. For some, their time might
be better spent working on swing technique. Personally, I do believe in progressive
resistance training for any gender at any age. The benefits are not only physical,
but also mental - in that being fit and strong builds your confidence, and that spills
over into your golf game.

There are many factors that apply to distance such as squareness of contact, swing
path, angle of descent, your equipment, your release, etc. but I'm pretty sure the question
relates to the relationship of strength to swing speed, so I'll answer it in that context.

I'm also going to mention that the preponderance of fast twitch fibers in your body structure
gives anyone a dynamic strength advantage over someone who has a preponderance of
slow twitch muscle fibers, but that's as far as I'm going in that direction - but choosing the
right parents definitely helps.

There are couple of types of strength that apply to this answer, static strength and dynamic

If you lift for strength and fitness, using the tried and true Watkins and DeLorme
Progressive Resistance Exercise model http://www.superstrengthtraining.com/delorme_watkins.html
of 3 sets of 10 reps with slow and steady movements, you would acquire excellent static
strength, some dynamic strength, and an improved physique.

The only problem is that you would also gain some weight, which would inhibit swing
speed purely because of the weight, even though it's "good" weight.

You can counter that body weight by implementing a swing speed training program like
the one here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/newsletter/Issue2.html

For your strength training to be most beneficial for golf for the time you will spend at it, I would
advise a static strength training program in the early and mid winter, then a dynamic strength
training program in the early spring as well as sporadically in season, and sporadic swing
speed training in season.

You develop dynamic strength by doing exercises plyometrically. Plyometrics is exercise training
whose aim is to produce fast and powerful movements, and likewise improve the nervous system
involved in these activities. The principle applies to body weight exercises as well as weight

Here's an example: if you did a standard pushup, lowering yourself down deliberately then pushing
up deliberately until your arms were extended, that would be a static pushup. A pretty decent
strength builder for a beginner.

If, however, you let yourself drop to the floor rapidly, then pushed up so dynamically that you
could clap your hands (the old Marine Corps pushup), that pushup would have been done plyometrically.
One of my former players, Kyle Harmon, who now plays for Daemen College, actually makes his whole
body spring up off the ground when he does plyometric pushups, which is an extremely dynamic movement.
It's no coincidence that he beats the cover off the ball.

When you train plyometrically you have to be very careful to not injure yourself. Dynamic
exercises are by definition more explosive, so the chances for injury are greater if you overdo any aspect.

So yes, strength matters, but if you are going to spend time training make it efficient.

There are loads of good plyometric exercise sites out there - just google "Plyometric Exercises" -
and give it a shot if you are in that frame of mind.

It's a great way to train as long as it's done carefully.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Golf Lessons

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link for Plum Creek 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

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
- November Indoor Golf Special - Four Play, Three Pay
on the Simulator Golf Courses at Plum Creek, Normal cost $25 per player, save $25 -
Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at plumcreek4@rochester.rr.com to reserve your tee time!
Batavia Country Club - http://www.bataviacc.com Course will be open Friday through
Monday. Free carts Saturday and Sunday for anyone who pre-pays for their 2013 membership.
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