Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 262 - September 11th, 2013
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Short Putt Speed
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Chip Putts
- 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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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.

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Short Putt Speed

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 just viewed an online tip about changing the speed of your putt for very short putt situations. I'll define a very short putt as one that is no longer than 3 feet. If you practice as recommended below, you may expand that distance to as much as eight feet for all putts except those that break severely downhill if you miss. There is a time and place for a "dead weight" (die it at the hole) putt, but I don't favor that mentality for more normal putting situations.

The well intentioned instructor was advising to stroke a dead weight putt for downhill putts, to stroke a putt to get to the center of the hole for flat putts (a little faster speed than dead weight), and to stroke a putt to bump into the back of the hole for uphill putts (a little faster than the flat putt speed).

This is bad advice, because I will all but guarantee that you will leave a putt or two short of the hole with those three different speeds in mind; or your "dead weight" putt will veer off course at the hole because of crowning around the cup. Amateurs and beginners simply place their feet too close to the hole when they retrieve their ball from the cup. The more play a public course gets, the more likelihood that there will be crowning around the cup.

Here's what you should do for very short putts instead:
  • Line up the mark on your ball for the center of the hole; except that for big breaking putts align the mark to the left half or right half of the hole to allow for some break.

  • The speed of the putt should be a speed that bumps the back of the hole for all putts. Look at a spot at the back of the hole, or if you are adjusting your aimline for break, at a spot even with the back of the hole in line with your aimline.

  • Crouch down a little more than usual in your setup, grip lower on your putter, and execute a straight back and straight through stroke, even if your normal stroke is an arcing stroke. No exceptions.

  • Practice this technique by setting up two 2"x4"s to be used as guiderails for straight 3 foot putts, then stroke 50 putts. You should be able to make about 48 of these, and it will be a great confidence booster. After you've practiced straight putts, set up for various degrees of break to get a feel for how much break you need to play for putts at the speed that has the ball bump into the back of the hole.

  • You need to practice to have the guts to execute a stroke like this on a breaking putt that runs downhill if you miss it - so practice. Enough practice will give you the confidence to execute.

  • Practice your putting this way once every two weeks and you'll get the feeling that you'll never miss a 3 footer again. A side benefit is that it also helps you get your lag putts closer to the hole because you will no longer be nervous over a 3 foot comeback putt.

    Try it, you"ll like it.

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


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Chip 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!

Putting becomes a problem when you have any of these lies:
  • When your ball is on the fringe, resting against the collar of the first cut of rough.

  • When you have a "soup bowl" lie ie: the ball is just off the green lieing on hardpan with grass all around it.
Here's a technique to use in these situations that allows you to putt rather than chip, which should always be your first choice. It's called a "Chip Putt" and here's how it's done:
  • Set up like you would for a standard chip: weight forward, hands forward to create forward shaft lean, ball positioned center or slightly rear of center.

  • The stroke is a sharply descending stroke so that the ball bounces then rolls out. For a ball lieing near the collar, the strike may not need to be as steep as for a ball lieing off the green in a "soup bowl" lie.

  • Experiment with ball position to control the steepness of the strike and to gauge rollout, because the ball will roll out with more topspin than a normal putt. The steeper the strike, the more topspin it will carry.

Don't use this as a "go to" putting stroke, but have it in your creative shots arsenal if you ever need it.

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 entree's 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