[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 22 - Date 07/18/12
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Tom's Featured Tip: Are You Flipping Your Putts
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Heat Exhaustion
- Lesson Comments: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC
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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 - Are You Flipping Your Putts?
I am of the opinion that bad habits in the full swing can have a negative effect on
putting, and that bad habits in your putting stroke can have a negative effect on
your full swing.
I'm not sure which comes first - the chicken or the egg - but there's definitely a
correlation, especially when it comes to flipping the club at impact.
This "hit impulse" swing flaw is also one of the most difficult to correct, and one
problem is that many golfers don't know that the flaw has followed them into their
For full swings, the problem manifests itself through a trajectory that's
too high, usually with a slice, very little directional control, shorter than normal
distance for irons, and the occasional fat or thin hit.
For putting, it manifests itself with a lack of lag putting consistency, and pushes
When we flip through impact on our putts (the left wrist bends towards the target,
which is a cupping motion) we are adding motion (cupping the wrist) to stroke motion
(your putting stroke) which increases swing speed, which causes the putt to roll
out erratically. A putting stroke that is powered by the shoulders is my preference
because it will allow for a consistent roll out based solely on the length of
your backswing with a consistent tempo. Also, a stroke controlled by large
muscles (shoulders) as opposed to small muscles (hands) performs better under
pressure because it is less affected by adrenaline in stressful situations.
In the putting method that I use, I have the student forward press his/her
hands just prior to executing their stroke. This essentially places the hands in an
impact position for putting, and I don't allow them to move their wrists from that position
during stroke execution.
I had a putting lesson today with a gentleman that had an overpowering hit impulse,
his forward hand was flipping dramatically during his putting stroke. We did some
setup changes to get him into a position to be able to stroke correctly, then we did
the following drill which absolutely worked wonders - after about 50 perfect repetitions.
The "Drag Through Impact" Drill
For "flippers" I have the student ground the putter properly behind a ball. Then I have
them forward press and execute a one foot forward stroke, dragging the club on the
ground all the way. No backstroke, just the forward stroke. The resistance from the
ground prevents any cupping of the forward wrist, the putter head does not pass the
club grip, and the student can actually feel how the angles should be retained through
impact during an actual putting stroke.
For what it worth, this "drag through impact" drill also works with irons - especially for
problem chippers - but try it for putting if your forward wrist breaks down during the stroke,
you'll like it.
Tom's Bonus Tip - Heat Exhaustion
Two weeks ago, during a putting lesson on one of our hot summer days, an
older student suffered from heat exhaustion symptoms. Disorientation, clammy
skin, dizziness, and general discomfort. After a short amount of time the symptoms
subsided and a few minutes in our air conditioned shop and some hydration got him
back into good shape.
Last Wednesday, I found out firsthand how debilitating this is.
I had done a couple of putting lessons on our putting green, which is in an area that
doesn't get much breeze. At the end of the lesson, all of a sudden I felt so dizzy that
I had to make my way to shade and lay down.
While I was lying prostate in the shade, my student asked me if I was OK, I replied yes,
and he pressed payment for the lesson into my sweaty palm.
Actually, even in my semi delirious state, that struck me as humorous. I think
I felt like a golf hooker.
Anyway, it was about ten minutes before I could get up and walk 10 paces to
my car and turn on the air conditioning, and another 15 minutes of that before I had the
energy to put my clubs in my truck and drive 50 yards to our pro shop.
Then I worked a four shift in our air conditioned shop, cancelled my evening lessons,
and called it quits for the day.
It took about a day to recover from what I'm sure was heat exhaustion.
My message is very simple: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate if you are going to play
or practice on these hot steamy days, and the minute you start to feel dizzy
or queasy, get into some air conditioning or some shade and hydrate some more.
While playing and practicing outdoors in warm weather should not necessarily
be avoided, it has to be respected. Hydrate and wear a hat, and a cool, wet hand towel
draped around your neck also helps.
Enjoy this beautiful golf weather, but please be careful.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Batavia Country Club - http://www.bataviacc.com Need a new pair of
golf shoes or a new Callaway Wedge? Great Pricing ! Puma /Callaway /BCC
Chestnut Hill CC - http://www.chestnuthillcc.com Low greens fees, great course!
All the best,
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Success Loves Preparation