Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 269 - October 30, 2013
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Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Tempo & Swing Mantras
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Visualization
- 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

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Tempo & Swing Mantras

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!

For many players, tempo is an elusive component of their golf swing.

Sometimes this is because they swing out of sequence, sometimes they simply lack awareness of the fact that swing tempo is an important element of the swing that needs to be worked on, and sometimes they simply lack rhythym.

Tempo involves the amount of time it takes to swing a club through your swing cycle with good rhythym.

"Hitter" types of players are most susceptible to a lack of tempo because they rely more on muscular power than leverage to execute their swing than "swinger" types do, who seem to have more natural rhythym.

I suppose that this is the point in any article about tempo that it should be said that the backswing to downswing ratio of time for a swing should be about 3 to 1. For example, a backswing might take .75 of a second, and the downswing might take .25 of a second. That's actually an accurate ratio, however I'm not going to dwell too much on technical details because often the technical side simply doesn't resonante well with a lot of players.

Instead, I'm going to explain how a simple thought like a swing mantra can help your tempo and rhythym.

I use two or three swing mantras to help a student develop awareness of tempo in their swing - especially "hitters".

A swing mantra is a phrase that I ask a student to say out loud as they swwing during their lesson session with me, and to themselves when they actually play. It's recited during their backswing and downswing.

For putting, I teach either "straight back - straight through" or "swing back - swing through". My preference is "straight back - straight through" if it doesn't cause the student to try to manipulate the putter head during their stroke.

For swings with other clubs - full or partial swings - I teach either "swing back - swing through" or "and back - and through".

The pace at which these mantras are recited is always the same, never faster or slower for different distances. It is, however, personalized to each players personality. For example, the pace it would be recited for Zach Johnson or Nick Price would be different from the pace for Ernie Els or Fred Couples. You need to discover your own personal pace during your range practice sessions.

The timing of when the swing happens in conjunction with the mantra is of utmost importance - that's where the rubber meets the road to to speak. Here's how it would work with the "swing back - swing through" mantra for a swing other than a putt:
  • As the club is taken away to start the backswing, the student recites the first half of the mantra "swing back"

  • The next part of mantra - swing connection is critical.

  • Just prior to reaching the top or end of the backswing, the second half of the mantra is recited "swing through".

  • As this is recited, your hips slide laterally (some call this a bump, I call it a lateral hip slide because that's what it is) forward just prior to the completion of your backswing, which provides some lag and speed to your downswing, and then your downswing unfolds. It's very important for your swing path that the hip slide be lateral, not opening and rotating. The hips will open in sequence as unforced rotation takes place naturally in your downswing.

  • For a brief moment in time, your hips move forward as your backswing is finishing, which means that your body is moving in two different directions at once. There will also be a sensation of pausing as you transition into your downswing, which is caused by the change in direction. You shoudln't actually try to pause unless you are doing a drill like the "stop at the top drill".

  • The difference in the puting mantra is that there is no hip slide during the transition, it's just a rocking of the shoulders - but there still will be a sensation of a pause during transition due to the directional change of the swing.

  • If you don't experience the sensation of a pause at transition (full swing or putts), your arms are probably outracing your body as well as the second half of the mantra, so keep practicing until your arms comply with the swing sequence.

  • One more thing - actually reciting this to yourself as you swing will not make your swing feel "mechanical", in fact it will actually help your "feel" during your swing. So don"t be afraid to try this - especially if your swing feels out of sync.

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


Tom's Bonus Tip:

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!

One of the best ways to prepare mentally for any shot in golf - drives to putts - is visualization.

For long shots, see the ball flying and curving to a specific landing spot, then imagine the rollout or pullback, depending on the shot.

For putts, visualize the ball rolling down your aimline and taking the break all the way into the hole. Hear it drop.

When you visualize like this make it very specific and vivid. The more detailed the better.

This type of visualization gets your brain in gear to prepare your body to hit the shot. It also builds expectation and confidence for success - which you'll have more of if you do this!

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. Fall Rates begin September 23rd - 18 Holes with cart, $15 Weekdays, $20 Weekends . Annual memberships - pay for 2014 now and get the rest of 2013 for free. Details 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