Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 247 - May 29, 2013


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

To comment or respond to this newsletter, please click here

In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Fixing a Pull or Pull Hook
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Shaft Characteristics
- Equipment Review: JXS-HB Putterwood Hybrid-Blade
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- 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 DRIVING RANGE IN BATAVIA, NY, IS OPEN ALL YEAR Outdoors in season; Indoors - simulator available for 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:

Buy Gift Certificates for Lessons   Sample Gift Certificate

Golf lessons - Outdoor and Indoor - are available at Plum Creek, please call me at 716 474 3005, email me at, or visit my website at   for details.

Indoor or Outdoor Driver Fitting Get the most bang for your buck when you buy a new driver by getting professionally fitted first. Click for details:

Subscribe -   If you like this newsletter, please do me a favor and forward it to your friends so that they may subscribe, thanks!

The Unsubscribe link is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Tom's Featured Tip:
Q&A: Fixing a Pull or Pull Hook

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 a question from Steve T. in last week's email. Steve T. took a Four Lesson Fundamentals Couples package over the winter with me at Plum Creek, and he related the following problem to me.

Q: "Hi Tom,

I'm hoping you can help with a fix for my driver. On the plus side I have been killing the ball off the tee, the problem is that my misses are always 25 to 30 yards left of where I'm aiming. My shot has a 5 to 10 yard draw or is arrow straight, but seems to be left of target 80% of the time. Any suggestions would be much appreciated and tried immediately.

You will be interested to know that my iron play is the best it's ever been. I am extremely happy with the swing changes you got me started on. Thanks!

Steve T."

I corresponded with Steve a couple more times and he supplied some more information:

"I've had this driver for about 5 years. I hit it very well last night in league, but had one of the drives that starts left and draws more left again and it cost me breaking 40. In analyzing when this shot happens, it is when I strengthen my grip and try for a little extra distance or try to shorten a dogleg left. Feel free to use whatever seems pertinent to helping other golfers. Thanks in advance!"
  • Cobra Speed LD 10.5 degree
  • Aldila Stiff Flex Mid Kick shaft
  • 55 gram
  • 4.0 Torque
  • Ball speed 125-150
A: It sounds like your driver specs are appropriate for your swing Steve, so we'll rule out equipment EXCEPT for face angle. Most drivers are manufactured with a one or two degree closed face angle, and that relates to direction as well as curvature.

I know Steve's swing, and his right hand always tries to get in the act too much at impact. This can cause the face to be closed too much to swing path at impact, and impart too much right to left spin axis on the ball.

Here's a real quick review of ball flight laws:

The initial direction of your ball flight is 85% to 90% due to the clubface direction angle at impact, the other 10% to 15% may be attributed to swing path. For all intents and purposes, consider the clubface direction angle as the prime consideration for initial ball flight direction.
  1. we swing on an angled circle (swing plane)
  2. from a "face on" view, the bottom (center) of your downswing arc is generally located in line with your front shoulder socket. This also the point of tangency of the downswing arc with the ball - target line.
  3. any ball struck behind the bottom (or center) of the circle is struck with a downward strike and outward swingpath
  4. any ball struck at the bottom (or center) of the circle is struck with a flat strike and straight swingpath
  5. any ball struck in front of the bottom (or center) of the circle is struck with an upward strike and an inward swingpath
  6. the ball curves due friction created by the differential between the angle of the clubface in relation to the horizontal angle of the swing path.
Here are some things to check and perhaps adjust. Note that when making adjustments, only make one at a time to check cause and effect. Changing two aspects at once will only cause - or add to - confusion. Hit at least ten to fifteen balls with any adjustment to give it an honest test.

First of all, try simply starting your downswing transition with a very deliberate lateral hip slide towards the target. This will start the ball more to the right, and should help your swing path consistency. To be precise, the lateral hip slide commences just as the club is reaching the end of your backswing.

Next, check your ball position. For your driver, it should be forward of the bottom of your downward swing arc. According to ball flight laws, when it's positioned there, if you are swinging true to your swing arc with no hand or path manipulation, you will be swinging up and to the left at impact.

This also means that you need to close your stance a little to get the ball travelling straight down your aimline, not starting left.

Experiment on the practice tee by adjusting your ball position and stance until you get it right for your swing.

Your club is probably one of those that was manufactured with some degree of closed face, so you need to see your clubface as slightly open at address. You also need to set the club about 7 inches away from the ball, along your takeaway path - not straight back from the ball. This clubhead location will plant that spot in your brain as the bottom of your downswing arc, and in fact it should be in front of your left shoulder socket when considered from a "face on" square stance perspective (even though your stance is actually closed to your aimline). Experiment with this distance to insure that your downswing arc is reaching its low point behind the ball, not at the ball, and that you are swinging up and left at impact.

You should also consider a slight forward press of your hands before your takeaway (slight forward shaft lean) to help you present the shaft in the correct position at impact, and to help the ball start more to the right.

Keep practicing swinging with an angled hinge to avoid over-rotation of your hands through impact. It should feel like your clubface is staying square to your swing path, not closing through impact. Weakening your right hand grip position very slightly may also be helpful. For me, recommending a grip change is the last option - because it can change your comfort level with your swing significantly. If you think your grip is way too strong, change it. Otherwise, if it's not harmful, try other changes first.

Last but not least, remember to work changes in individually and gradually. Don't combine any changes until each is proved or disproved on it's own merit, so that you can make an accurate cause and effect assessment.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Shaft Characteristics

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!

Here's a brief review of shaft characteristics that affect ball flight.

Kickpoint, sometimes referred to as bendpoint
  • low kickpoint - high trajectory
  • mid kickpoint - mid trajectory
  • high kickpoint - low trajectory
Flex - how much the shaft bends under stress Torque - how much the club twists during the swing
  • lower torque number, the club twists less, has a stiff feel
  • higher torque number, the club twuists more, releases more, and has a softer feel
Shaft Weight
  • from the same manufacturer, more flexible shafts weigh less than less flexible shafts
  • generally speaking, the lighter the shaft the higher the launch
  • and the heavier the shaft, the lower the launch
Newer off the rack drivers these days have lightweight shafts. Golf research and development exerts are working on a lightweight shaft that provides a low launch, I'll let you know when that happens.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Product Review:
JXS-HB Putterwood Hybrid-Blade

I usually prefer a face balanced, mallet type putter, but the Putterwood line of putters caught my eye. My putting mistake is a push, and after reading the specs on this putter I thought it would be a good fit for me - because it looks like a mallet but has toe drop weighting, which promotes a slight face rotation to closed during the swing.

I contacted
Sorenson Golf , the manufacturer of the putter, and received one for testing about a month ago.

Here are my impressions of the club.

Mine was the model with the black matte finish, which provided superb contrast with the single line sweet spot marking on the top of the club. I really liked the clean, uncluttered look of the single white line, that was a real plus for me - it made it very easy to aim the face.

The look was more of a hybrid head style versus a mallet head, which was pretty interesting. It had eye appeal for me, especially when setting up for putts from off the green.

When I practiced with the putter, I found that it had great feel and balance, and it was the solution to my right miss issue. The club closed every time giving me a straight strike right down my aimline. This took a little getting used to for me, because my preferred stroke is a Pendulum PILS stroke, straight back and straight through.

I practiced and played with it and enjoyed it's performance, and it really was superb for fringe putts. The confidence you get when you position yourself for a putt from off the green with this hybrid putter in hand is unmatched.

I highly recommend this putter for three types of players:
  1. for anyone who has a consistent right miss with their current putter or putting style;
  2. for those that like the look of a mallet putter and the feel of a blade putter;
  3. for those players that love their putter but have a right miss, this putter would be great to train with to get a more square clubface feel at impact.
I give this putter two thumbs up, and I also want to state that these people were really great to deal with.

Normal retail on this putter is $149, and Sorenson golf sent me this email regarding a discount:

"Hi Tom, your readers may receive a 20% discount if they order through our website at Sorenson Golf and enter Tucker20 in the coupon box on the check-out page. The coupon code will be valid from May 28, 2013 through August 1, 2013. Or if your readers prefer to call, they can call us at 319-385-2233 or 800-524-6068."

For the record, I do not make any sort of commission on sales of this putter.

Here are the manufacturer specs - note that they refer to an arctic white finish, but I preferred the black matte finish:

The JXS-HB features 4 degrees of loft and a 70.5 degree lie angle. The JXS-HB head weighs 330 grams and features the extreme heel shafting characteristic of all the Putterwoods. The hollow core design gives the JXS-HB a uniquely solid feel, an extraordinary sound, and an amazing roll.

The Extreme heel shafting of the Putterwood produces the ideal face rotation during the stroke, without manipulation of the putter, creating a true roll of the ball down the intended line. The hollow core design produces the Energy Transfer Rebound Effect by transferring energy from the hollow core club head to the ball in a rebound effect to optimize the roll. The precision milled face of the Putterwood ensures the flattest face possible while maximizing the accuracy of the ideal loft for a precise roll. The arctic white finish creates an optical advantage by increasing the contrast to the putting surface which significantly improves aim and alignment.

An ultra leather head cover is included with each Putterwood.

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  Outdoor range and play indoor golf on any of our 40 Simulator Courses. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve time for simulator 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%.

Batavia Country Club   Best greens in WNY, great rates. Back by popular demand: Friday Night Golf and Dinner at BCC 18 holes of golf, cart, dinner, tax and gratuity - $35. 9 hole package - $27. Choose from 4 entrees' with side and salad bar. Dinner served from 4:30 pm - 9:15 pm. Dinner available for non-golfers also. Menu and band schedule posted at

Huge PUMA Apparel Sale at the BCC Pro Shop. Mens, womens, kids clothing, mostly smaller sizes. Stop by our Pro Shop and take advantage of some great deals!

Chestnut Hill CC   Great rates, 20 minutes East of Buffalo, NY .

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

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