[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 28 - Date 08/29/12
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Tom's Featured Tip: Iron Distance
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Pre-Round Putting Practice
- Lesson Comments: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/testimonials.html
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC
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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 :-)
Tom's Featured Tip - Iron Distance
I'm sure that everyone reading this tip is expecting some advice on maximizing distances
with your irons. Actually, this tip is quite the opposite.
It's all about control.
What do these words have in common: "standard" swing, "go to" swing, "baseline" swing,
"stock" swing, "core" swing, "comfort zone" swing?
They all describe what Mark O'Meara described to Michael Breed on a Champion's
Tour Tips show that aired last Friday. Breed asked Mark about the distance that he
played his 8 iron. O'Meara replied that he plays it for 140 yards. I think Breed thought
Mark miss-spoke because he asked him again, and once again Mark replied that he plays
his 8 iron distance for 140 yards.
When pressed again about the distance, O'Meara said that with extra effort he could
squeeze an extra 10 or 12 yards out of the club, and then he said something very interesting,
and I hope Tiger was listening.
I was a bit shocked that a successful former touring pro and current Championship Tour
playing pro was only playing his 8 iron for 140 yards, until I realized how much sense his
He said that when his ball striking is excellent - meaning that he's really compressing the
ball at impact - that he felt that his distance control was not nearly as precise when he
put extra effort into his iron swings. This rang absolutely true to my own experience. I've
had the same dilemma when I've put extra effort into my 6,7, and 8 iron swings.
When we swing a little harder than normal and really crush the ball, we sometimes get so
deluded with satisfaction in making such pure contact that we overlook the fact that it went
7 or 8 yards further than we played it for.
It simply feels so good that we disregard the sub par distance control.
I absolutely believe that good ball strikers at all levels experience this.
In Tiger's case, did anyone else notice how well he controlled his distances on Friday
at the Barclay's when he was nursing a sore back? Every swing looked under control,
no attempts at 200 yard 8 irons, rather a stock swing with a more reasonable club. The
result was a lot of greens in regulation and a score that put him back in the mix.
So here's the tip.
Just as in putting, where everyone should have absolute control of the length and tempo
of their "core" putting stroke, with our irons we need to have a full swing that has the same
consistently repeatable length and tempo for every iron in our bag. Note that although
some iron swings may have a different backswing length than others, the tempo should
remain consistent from iron to iron.
Call it any of the names in the first paragraph that suits you, but develop a consistent length
and tempo full swing for every iron in your bag. You don't even need to hit a ball to work
on it, in fact it might be better to work on it without actually hitting balls at first.
Don't let your ego get in your way, but swing as aggressively as your personality dictates.
Simply make it the same tempo every time for every iron.
Once you've got the swing down, head to your favorite practice area and start defining
Once you have a reasonable idea of your distances with each club, develop a half
swing distance with the same tempo for your 9 iron through wedges, and learn those distances.
Once you've done all of that, you are on your way to maximizing your greens hit in regulation,
which is an essential component of good scoring.
Enjoy your golf,
Tom's Bonus Tip - Pre-Round Putting Practice
To get a feel for lag putting before you play a round, take one ball on the practice
green and putt to seven different length holes, and putt until you hole out.
To establish confidence before your round, make ten in a row from 3 ft with a firm,
"straight back and straight through" stroke. This type of practice also helps your
lag putting for the day because it makes you unafraid to get the ball to the hole.
Do each of these things before your round and you will shave strokes, guaranteed.
Enjoy your golf,
I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link with info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/
Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Batavia Country Club - http://www.bataviacc.com The best greens in WNY
Chestnut Hill CC - http://www.chestnuthillcc.com Low greens fees, great course!
All the best,
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Success Loves Preparation