Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 287 - March 5th, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Putting - What's Important
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Food Stuff
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- Sponsors: Batavia Country Club   Chestnut Hill Country Club 
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator 

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

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Putting - What's Important

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!

In the course of my studying the golf swing and different techniques, I laugh inwardly at some of the advice that gets classified as "absolute" as it relates to any aspect of the swing.

The exception to "absolute" advice would be the impact position for the full swing as well as for putting. These are "absolute" fundamentals that must be mastered, as opposed to "variable" fundamentals.

Now, understand that I do teach a student to get into certain positions and to execute a certain type of stroke when I conduct a putting lesson. However, I also tell the student that putting is personal, and that they should take what they learn from me that works well and add it to what they currently do well, then own it.

Some of my students putt exactly as I teach them to, and they become excellent putters. Some blend what they like from their own style with my instruction, and they also become great putters. Practice is a key component.

Putting is a skill that can be developed by anyone. Not everyone will ever be able to hit the ball anywhere near as well as a pro, but I truly believe that you can be just as good of a putter if you put your mind to it.

One thing needs to be recognized before we look at what matters and what doesn't matter, and it's that putting is the most individualized of strokes. I allow a lot of lattitude on what some instructors consider to be "absolute positions", as long as the student is able to roll the ball down their intended aimline.

In my opinion, here are some things that matter and don't matter in putting:
  • Width of stance - totally optional, comfort is key.

  • Foot orientation (square, toes out, toes in) - totally optional.

  • Stroke path for lag putts - totally optional, as long as the face is square to the aimlime at impact and for a couple of inches past impact.

  • Stroke path for short putts - straight back and straight through, no exceptions, an "absolute". It's the money stroke for short putts.

  • Grip - my preference is for a grip like a reverse overlap that decreases the chances for left wrist breakdown at impact. Any grip that does this works.

  • Square stance to your aimline - total hogwash, great putters sometimes have closed or slightly open stances; chose the one that allows you to see the line the best when you are set up to stroke your putt.

  • Eyes over the ball at setup - totally optional.

  • Weight feathered towards the forward foot at address and maintained there throughout the stroke - an "absolute".

  • Ball position just forward of your swing bottom - an "absolute".

  • Ball strike slightly on the upward part of your swing arc - an "absolute".

  • Flat left wrist and cupped right wrist at impact - an "absolute". It usually requires a more upright posture and a straighter left arm also. I like to see the left arm almost straight with the shaft.

  • A slight forward press (very minute forward shaft lean) - another "absolute"

  • Keeping everything still - especially your head and knees - during your shoulder rocking powered stroke - an "absolute".
I hope this helps, and just to reiterate - if you are able to start the ball down your intended aimline, you've got a good thing going. Now learn how to lag it close and to be deadly from four feet and in.

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


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Food Stuff

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!

People who know me well know that I do deep research into whatever interests I decide to pursue. I've studied the golf swing and different teaching methods for at least two hours per day, at least five days per week, for the last ten years. I also dedicate two hours per day five days per week to another business that I started last year. Some aspects of each business are compatable enough to have mutually beneficial information, which allows me to get double bang for my study time.

Currently my research involves two areas of my life that I'm passionate about:
  • continuing my education on golf instruction and the golf swing

  • my other business that involves fitness, health and wellness
Part of my research is proactive. This means that I identify topics that I want to research, then start googling through the chain of results that come up from keyword searches. The key there is to keep digging, because some of the best information is down the list on search engine results. The next thing to do is to vet the source to make sure it's not some self proclaimed genius. That happens on the internet.

Another part of my research is reactive. I am signed up to a multitide of email newsletters on topics that include golf, fitness, diet, nutrition, and exercise. I read them and filter the results.

I often get newsletter ideas when I see something that's downright incorrect or controversial.

Once in awhile I get something that's so profoundly interesting or correct that I share it verbatim.

This tip is about a profoundly interesting article entitled

The Top 20 Food RULES (to get lean, fix metabolism, prevent disease)

It relates directly to health and physical efficiency, so I consider it to be very relevant to golf performance. Enjoy the article, and while you're at it I would like some feedback regarding if you like this type of information from time to time. Send me an email to to let me know, thanks!

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!

Batavia Country Club   Pro Shop at Batavia CC open 9am - 4pm daily for memberships, gift certificates, merchandise, apparel, and equipment. Phone orders accepted as well.

Chestnut Hill CC   Great rates, 20 minutes East of Buffalo, NY .

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