Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 226 - January 9, 2013


Make This Year Your Best Golf Year

In This Issue

- Tom's Featured Tip: Golf Analytics and Practice
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Ubersense
- Lesson Comments:
- Sponsors: Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill Country Club
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator
GCC Golf Management Program, Provoto Putting Systems

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:

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Golf Analytics and Practice

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!

This week the Buffalo Bills (I'm a diehard fan) announced that their CEO, Russ Brandon, would be taking full control of the team. That news was exciting enough, but what really rocked my boat was that he stated that he was going to develop and utilize an analytics staff to assist in all phases of the football operation.

Analytics are widely used in baseball (see the movie Moneyball), but some other sports have been slow to follow. Football has been slow for sure, but golf is getting up to speed.

The Bills news made me wonder how golf analytics could help the average player utilize his or her practice time wisely.

Most of you probably think I'm referring to analytics data gleaned from swing analysis simulators. That data definitely qualifies, but for this week's article I dug a little deeper to review some of the stats gathered by the PGA Tour Shot Tracker for other relevant data.

I wanted to write about what activity a player should dedicate time to in a practice session, so I needed to find out what the stats say about certain shots in relation to how they affect scoring.

What I found out was a bit surprising.

Research done with Shot Tracker stats shows that for touring pros, the statistic that correlates directly with low scores is distance off the tee. The long game explains what the good scores are made of on tour. It accounts for a 67% differential in wins. Those that hit it the longest win more often than those that do not fall into the long hitter category.

For amateurs, the differential is 50%, probably due to the fact that long hitting amateurs don't keep the ball in play as much as long hitting tour pros.

Here's how you can take advantage of this information to spend your practice time wisely.

First of all, no matter what your age, everyone should go through a four week swing speed improvement routine every spring. The routine doesn't need to be lengthy, but it does need to include the right components. I've had a few articles on that in previous issues, you can find them in my Newsletters Archive.

Next, you have to be sure that your swing technique is solid. Developing good technique will definitely gain you distance off the tee.

Next, you need to realistically evaluate your potential for how much your own swing speed can be improved.

Keep in mind that your parents had something to say about this. If you have a higher percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers than slow twitch fibers in your body, you'll naturally swing faster; the opposite is also true.

You also need to consider which aspects of your own game and your own body have the most potential for improvement. It might not be swing speed.

Here's an example.

I'm 66 years old, and have been working on developing or maintaining swing speed for years. Chances are that anything I do along the lines of swing speed improvement is going to have a minimal effect, so I spend most of my practice time trying to hone my short game skills. I practice the area of my game that will yield the most scoring improvement for my game at my age.

Here are three scenarios for evaluating your swing speed potential and developing a practice outline:
  1. If you are young and healthy, make sure your swing technique is sound, then work very diligently in your off season on a serious swing speed improvement program. You probably have excellent potential for swing speed gains. Your range practice sessions should be 50% long, fast swings, 30% pitching and chipping swings, 20% putting.

  2. If you are middle aged and healthy, make sure your swing technique is sound, then devote four to six weeks in your off season to a swing speed improvement program. You can probably still make some gains in swing speed. Your range practice sessions should be 40% long fast swings, 35% pitching and chipping swings, 25% putting.

  3. If you are a healthy older player, and have been working on swing speed and technique each year, you have to accept that your swing speed probably won't improve much. Don't neglect swing speed training entirely - it will help you maintain what you have, but don't obsess about it either. Your range practice sessions should be 25% long fast swings, 50% pitching and chipping swings, 25% putting.
You can also take advantage of simulator analysis by ascertaining that your swing and your driver gives you an optimal launch angle and an acceptable spin rate, factors which affect optimal distance.

I guess I also just gave everyone tacit permission to go out and buy that driver that's going to get you 15 more yards off the tee. On a serious note, if a gain like that is really valid, I'll be the first in line for the club! In this day and age, improved equipment really can equate to better performance if you have a sound swing.

On the other hand, as one of my students put it when his regular playing partner asked him if he bought new equipment, he said "No, I bought a new swing".

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

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip: Ubersense

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 have a few students that have moved out of the area that still keep in touch, and one of them living down South - Nolan G. - sent me an email regarding a swing analysis software app.

He asked me if I had a swing analysis app that I was using, and he mentioned that he was using one called Ubersense.

I checked it out at  and downloaded the app to my iPad4. I have the V1 Swing Analysis app, but what I like about the Ubersense app is that you can shoot video from within the app. You don't have to shoot video then upload it to the program like you do with V1. As an instructor, I'm for anything that does a good job and saves time, and Ubersense seems to do that.

I also like that it's free.

So if you have an iPad2 or newer, an iPhone4 or higher, or an iTouch4 or higher give this a try.

And thanks for the information Nolan!

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 email me at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Driver Fitting Rates:



Plum Creek Driving Range and Simulator  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!

Provoto Putting Systems   readers get a 30% discount on putting greens. Click on their catalog link, and select the green you want to purchase. After you decide on features, add it to your cart. You'll find the field for "Discount Coupon" near the bottom of the page. Enter PGApro in that field and your product cost will be discounted 30%.

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   Course closed for the season, but the Lodge is open with live bands peforming on Fridays.

Chestnut Hill CC   Course closed for the season.

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