Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 256 - July 31st, 2013


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: The Long Chip
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Take The Drop? No Way Dude!
- Student Spotlight: Noteworthy Accomplishments
- 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:

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Tom's Featured Tip:
The Long Chip

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 heard this comment between player and caddy about club selection during PGA Tournaments about three times in the past month or so. One instance in particular applied to a 190 yard shot into the wind, the caddy told the player "It's either a full 6 iron or a chip 5".

This conversation described a shot that I personally love, and have been using for a long time - The Long Chip.

Here's how I use this shot on a regular basis. I often at the Batavia CC for several reasons - I like the course, my family has had a membership there for as long as I can remember, the course plays long enough to use all the clubs in your bag, they have the best greens in WNY, and I like the owners.

Hole number 2 is a 472 yard par 5 with OB on the left, and a pond right in front of the green. Your second shot needs to be all carry if you go for it, and the normal prevailing wind is against.

When the wind is neutral or with me, I can usually get there if I put the ball in the fairway off the tee. If the wind is against, I can't usually get there so I use the long chip to get me in short birdie range.

I play my second shot to between 100 and 80 yards, then I use a chipping technique shot with an 8 iron to keep it low and skip it close to the hole. It's a very safe shot to execute, and it bores right through the wind - as opposed to using a very lofted club that might get caught up in the wind. Much safer and easier to judge the distance.

It's not only for 100 yards and in, I also like to use it for 150 to 160 yard shots into the wind with the approproiate iron - for me, a smooth 5 iron long chip shot.

Here's how to pull it off:
  • Take a firm stance, slightly open.

  • Set up with your weight favoring your forward side, hands pressed forward, forward wrist straight or slightly bent (palmar flexed).

  • Ball position will be anywhere from center to just slightly rear of center. Be careful to not position the ball too much to the rear of center or you will push your shot to the right.

  • Align your clubface square to your aimline, your ball flight shouldn't curve much when this technique is executed correctly.

  • When you swing to whatever length you need, keep your wrists firm - meaning don't hinge or cock your wrists. This is what separates this long chip technique from a pitch shot, which would entail wrist hinging and cocking.

  • The takeaway is simply lowering the left shoulder and rotating on plane - you "turn" the club back.

  • There is no lateral weight shifting to the rear during this technique, but there is a laterally forward weight shift to initiate your downswing after your backswing is complete. The downswing feels very much like a sliding then pulling motion with natural, unforced rotation, and the shaft remains in a forward leaning position through impact.

  • Practice this shot by taking an 8 iron and hit short chips, then hit the shots longer with good technique, then longer with good technique, etc. When your wrists break in your backswing, you've gone beyond your maximum long chip swing range for that particular club.
That's all their is to it. It's not as sexy as a pitch shot that sucks back when it hits the green, but I'll guarantee you that you'll get the ball closer to the hole on a more regular basis if you add the long chip shot to your scoring shot arsenal.

Try this shot on for size and I'm pretty sure you'll fall in love with it after you nail down your distances.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf, own your swing,


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Take The Drop? No Way Dude!

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!

Last Saturday, I was a part of two foursomes that travelled to a reciprocal course for a round of golf.

We usually play at Batavia CC, but they had a big tournament scheduled so we made tee times for 8:00 am and 8:10 am at Silver Lake CC. That time is a little late for us, we usually play at around 6:45 am in the summer, but when we arrived it was perfect weather for golf. Sunny and clear, a little on the nippy side at first, but no one ahead of us, a great day.

I was even par going into the 6th hole when I drove it into a hazard. I got to the spot and saw that I had a precarious lie, but I thought I could advance it - so I decided to take the shot. That was mistake number one.

I took my stance balanced (literally) between a rock and a hard place - and water. During my backswing I slipped, and as I fell I tried to break my fall with my left hand. I ended up with a thick layer of mud on my light khaki pants, as well as on my shirt and hands. In fact, the only clothing item that escaped the mud was my new hat, for which I'm grateful. My left wrist also was twinging, but my embarrassment and adrenaline overtook my reaction to any pain.

Mistake number two - since I never got to my downswing, I figured why not give it another go.

So I set up carefully, and this time as I was taking the club away my front foot slipped and I stepped in water just above my ankle for a refreshing hot foot.

Three strikes and I'm in.

On my third attempt, with a throbbing wrist and waterlogged left shoe, I got the ball out, pitched it to the green, then missed a 6 footer for par. :-(

I played the round out with pain in my left wrist and a waterlogged left shoe - that could probably be called mistake number three.

We went to lunch afterwards at a nice restaurant, where I'm sure the other patrons wondered why these other nice clean golfers were hanging out with a mud covered slob like me, then I drove home.

At around 3 pm I went to the ER to have my wrist x-rayed. I was sure it was broken - although I have had numerous breaks and sprains during my life, and can recall some sprains being more painful initially than some fractures.

Here's the happy ending.

I had no fractures, and only have to do some meds, ice, compression, and elevation for a couple of days and brace it for five days or so.

As I awaited the x-ray results I promised myself that if I'm in the same situation again, I'll take the drop and the penalty.

But that was yesterday when I wasn't thinking clearly.

We've all heard the saying "Too soon old and too late smart". Since I'm 66, can someone tell me when the "too late smart" part kicks in? :-)

Love your practice, enjoy your golf, own your swing,


Student Spotlight:
Noteworthy Accomplishments

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!

Congratulations to student Casey Luttrell, who had his 2nd lifetime hole in one, a 105 yard sand wedge. Even better, he did it while playing with his young son, Chase! Congrats Casey!

Chris Carroll, a professional player that I work with on occasion, had to withdraw from a Canadian PGA Tournament (not the Canadian Open) that he qualified for last Friday, due to a family medical emergency. On Sunday, however, he tied the course record at Ironwood GC in Cowelsville, NY with a 66. He was 7 under through 16 holes but gave one back before finishing.

This is a true story, but I'm not naming names. I had a student recently that has played for a long time but never took lessons. He was like a duck to water, after four lessons he really started striking the ball well. Maybe too well too soon if that's possible. He recently shot a net 25 in his league, which raised quite a few eyebrows. I'll let you all know when the tar and feathering is taking place.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf, own your swing,


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

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