Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 221 - December 12, 2012


In This Issue

- Tom's Featured Tip: Get Serious
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Short Putts, Long Putts
- Lesson Comments:
- Sponsors: Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill Country Club
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator
Genesee Community College Golf Management Program

PLUM CREEK IS OPEN ALL WINTER - Come on down to play or practice. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve your simulator time! Great money saving monthly specials, check them out here:

I conduct indoor lessons at Plum Creek, please call me at 716 474 3005, email me at, or visit my website at   for rates and details.

Driver Fitting Service
It doesn't make sense to spend big bucks on a new driver if it's specifications don't allow you to get the most out of your swing. Also keep in mind that you'll get a totally objective fitting through me because I have no vested interest in selling you a new club.

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Tom's Featured Tip
Get Serious About Improvement

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!

So .... you played OK this year, but want to improve next year. You've taken some time off from golf, and you intend to get back in the swing after Christmas.

What should you do?

Here are a few thoughts on setting yourself up for success. I would say to make these New Year's Resolutions, but actually I want you to commit mentally to getting serious right now, not a month from now.


The first thing you absolutely need to do is to really get serious about improving your game. That means you don't think this way "I think I'll work on my game this winter". It means you think this way "I'm going to get serious about improving my swing and my putting over the winter".


You can get much, much better at the game by simply dedicating 15 minutes a day, six days per week to swing practice, a good indoor drill, or working on your putting stroke. Commit to 15 minutes of golf improvement time per day, six days per week.


I would have said swing method, but for some reason those words turn some people off. Diving into daily swing practice wouldn't make any sense if you don't have an overall pattern of development in mind, so decide what type of swing you want to work on.


In this age we live in, there is no shortage of free information on the internet, YouTube is a decent place to start for video. There are also a ton of good articles out there, just search them out. The caveat here is that everyone is an expert on the internet, so choose information based on the authors' credibility and expertise.

You can also buy books and DVD's from reliable sources, and of course you could also take a lesson or two from a good instructor to help you develop a swing pattern that would fit your body and brain.

Now at this point, some instructors would warn you that the only way to proceed would be the "lessons" route first, but I'll be perfectly candid about that.

I love working with students who are serious about working on their swing pattern development. Having said that, I will state that even if a player chose a swing method that might not be technically optimal for their body type and swing tendencies, if they worked at it consistently on their own, I think they would improve. I know some of you might think this is a crazy thing for a golf instructor to say, but I believe this to be true. Consistent, dedicated practice can trump other considerations.

Don't construe this to be that I don't want to help people out, teaching golf is my passion - but I also don't want you to think that lessons are the only option for improvement.

Education and action are the keys.

Some players are successful at self education. Others get a huge benefit from being steered in the right direction initially by an instructor, then taking the ball and running with it after they understand the concept of pattern development.

Some players need a lesson or two to activate their action plan.

Decide what's best for you and get started.


I'm not going to let you horn in on your dedicated 15 minute golf improvement time here because the benefits to regular exercise apply to your whole life, not just golf. So find another 30 minutes three days per week and work on your fitness. There are a ton of good books and DVD's on the subject, so there's no excuse for not having access to information. Just do it.


Read a good book or two, here are two great authors: Dr. Gio Valianti, and Dr. Bob Rotella

  • 3 minutes of slow motion full swing practice, in front of a mirror if possible
  • 3 minutes of "hinging" practice
  • 3 minutes of chipping stroke practice
  • 3 minutes of swing speed practice (gradual speed increases)
  • 3 minutes of "core" putting stroke practice
You don't need a full length club or even a ball for any of the above - although a decent putting ramp is pretty inexpensive and easy to store - so you could practice putting with an actual ball strike.

A short (21") three iron works well for daily indoor swing practice. If you make or buy a short club for indoor practice, make it a low lofted iron and paint or tape something white on the face to make it easier to monitor your hinging positions in your follow through.

Make next year your best golf year by doing something now!

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip
Long Putts, Short Putts

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 !

To hole a very high percentage of your short putts, crouch more and make your stroke path travel straight back and straight through. Even if you don't particularly like the straight back and straight through putting stroke, it's money in the bank on short putts.

To improve your lag putting efficiency on long putts, stand more upright and stroke your putt naturally. Standing taller will help you see your line better and feel better depth perception. Don't force any particular stroke path, just allow your natural stroke to prevail.

For both methods, always take care to keep your left wrist absolutely firm through the stroke to combat any wrist breakdown from either wrist.

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:

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

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Driver Fitting Rates:



Plum Creek Driving Range - Play indoor golf on any of our 40 Simulator Courses. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve time for play or practice!

GCC Golf Management Program - click for information on GCC's degreed program for anyone interested in a career in the golf industry or teaching golf.

Batavia Country Club - Open - weather permitting, call first.   Live Bands on Fridays

Chestnut Hill CC - Open - weather permitting, call first.

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

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection!"
~ Ben Hogan