Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 271 - November 13th, 2013
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Wrist or No Wrist
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Oversized Putting Grips
- 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

Click here:  INDOOR GOLF LESSONS  for details on how to improve your game over the winter.

NEW Equipment & Apparel Sale, Simulator Course Play Specials: Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve your simulator time!

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.

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Wrist or No Wrist

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 saw an article in a major golf magazine describing the NEW thing on tour. I chuckled inwardly as I read it, because I have been teaching it to my students for about six years.

I call it the "long chip", the article called it the "straight arm pitch", and I teach the technique a bit differently than it's described in the article.

Call it what you want, it's a deadly shot that you should have in your bag. It's a pitch shot where your wrist hinge is minimal or avoided altogether in your backswing.

We normally add wrist hinge to a swing to either increase swing speed for flop type shots, or to increase swing speed for longer full or partial shots by adding lag into the downswing.

We must realize that every time we start hinging our wrists, we add another element of technique that could affect accuracy negatively of it's not done perfectly. My thoughts on this point are simple - if you can execute a shot for the distance that doesn't need an element in your swing that could cause an error, why introduce that element?

That translates to using additional wrist hinge sparingly, only when you need it. Additional wrist hinge means consciously hinging your wrists more than normal on the way back, and consciously maintaining your lag well into the downswing to get the full benefit of your lagged wrist release power at impact.

My preferred technique for becoming accurate from 130 yards and in is to think long chip not pitch for those shots.

The difference between what the article said when they described how to execute the shot and how I instruct the shot, was essentially in the setup and the transition. The article went light on the setup, said to turn the takeaway and backswing back with straight arms, then to simply rotate through the downswing.

Here's how I teach the long chip method:
  • Set up with your weight 60% to 70% on your forward (target) side.

  • Your stance should be slightly open, but your swing should be the same inside to inside swing radius that you use for stock swings.

  • Ball position is the rear of the ball in the center of your stance. You may adjust the position for lower or higher trajectory as needed, but I would rather see a different club selection than ball position adjustment.

  • Keep your arms long for as long as you can during the swing, and keep wrist hinge to a minimum.

  • During your takeaway and backswing, allow no weight to transfer to your rear side, allow your forward shoulder to drop down as you turn, allow your front knee to pressure downward and your rear knee to straighten as your hips and torso turn around your spine axis.

  • Here's the main difference between the article's instruction and mine: initiate your downswing with a lateral hip slide towards the target - not purely with a forward body rotation and keep your wrists firm through impact. Don't allow them to release or roll at impact.

  • Retain your long arms well into your follow through, and finish with 98% of your weight on your forward leg.

This shot is especially effective for players that don't have a lot of practice time, because it has fewer moving parts that a traditional pitch shot. Fewer moving parts means easier to learn and master.

You will need to work on your clubs and distances because this shot will not carry as far as it's wristier counterpart, but leave your ego in the bag and learn the shot that will lower your score.

In golf, it's good to follow this rule: when you are evaluating a swing method, always choose substance over form.  I mean - do you really care if it looks a little non traditional if you're sticking it close?

Here's a shameless plug - this technique can be learned indoors as well as outdoors. Contact me if you want to take this lesson indoors over the winter. With most students I require that the ball striking lesson be taken before any other lesson, but for low handicappers I can make exceptions.

Either way, learn the basics then practice on your own so that you have a new scoring shot for 2014.

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


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Oversized Putting Grips

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!

My outdoor lesson season is done until next spring, but that doesn't mean that you can't improve any and all aspects of your swing - including putting - between now and then. You can keep moving forward with indoor lessons.

A few weeks back I was going through my pre-round putting warmup when another player on the practice green asked me if I liked my oversized putting grip.

I told him that I didn't like it, I love it.

Many years back I used to be a wristy player - too much wrist in everything, including my putting stroke. I worked on my game and worked that out - literally - but I always keep my eyes open for methods or equipment that can be helpful for this problem.

For putting, there's no question that an oversized grip can help keep your hands and wrists quiet during your stroke.

I've tried lots of different Jumbo grips, but in my opinion the best ones out there are the SuperStroke brand - in particular their Lite models, because they won't change the swingweight of your putter. For awhile I wrapped lightweight gauze tape around my standard sized grip, but after I tried the SuperStroke grips I fell in love with them. I have them on most of my (way too many to count) putters.

If anyone out there knows of an "AA" for putter buying addiction, please let me know :-)

If you get too much wrist in your putting stroke at impact, a thicker grip will help - definitely try the SuperStroke brand.

If you happen to live near Batavia, Mark has several in stock and on sale at Plum Creek and can put one on your putter in about 5 minutes.

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.Course Open Friday 11/15/13 through Monday 11/18/13  Free Carts for anyone with a prepaid annual membership for 2014. 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