Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 293 - April 16th, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Irons Distance Control
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Alternate Putting Style
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- Sponsors: Batavia Country Club   Chestnut Hill Country Club 
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator 

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Irons Distance Control

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!

This tip is going to be a short discourse on what you should strive to do with your irons regarding distance control.

Before we go there, however, there is one caveat. Before you start tweaking anything for distance control, you need to own your swing. That means that you have a grip, stance, and posture that won't get in the way of good swing mechanics. But more importantly, it means that you own your swing circle so that you have perfect control of a repeatable swing radius, and that you know where your swing bottom hits the ground every time you swing the club.

To play your best golf, it goes without saying that you need to know the carry distance you hit your irons with your stock swing. Your stock swing is the swing you feel comfortable with in terms of swing length and swing speed.

To be more precise, you should know the distance you hit your long irons, hybrids, and woods to about a five to seven yard tolerance, and you should know the distance you hit your eight iron through your wedges to about a three yard or less tolerance. The lower your handicap, the lower the tolerance you should hold yourself to.

Then after you are dialed in on your stock swing distances, you should be able to hit each iron further and shorter than your stock swing distance by making adjustments to your swing length, swing speed, and perhaps adjusting your grip in terms of gripping near the butt of the club or gripping down shorter on the grip. Pros can use the same club for different lengths for different shots, and we need to be able to do that also.

I saw K.J. Choi demonstrating hitting his favorite club, a seven iron. His stock swing distance for his seven iron is 165 yards, but he also demonstrated that he could hit it 175 by closing the face a bit at address and hitting a lower trajectory draw. Then he hit it 140 yards with a soft landing fade by opening his stance and clubface and swinging across the ball a bit.

First things first. Own your swing, then start experimenting with your favorite clubs to produce different shapes and distances and you'll score better for it.

And here's one more tip on nailing down the distance for those treacherous 50 yard pitch shots.

When you want to practice a 50 yard pitch, set up a target for 60 yards, 50 yards, and 40 yards. Either go out and drop a towel while counting paces or get more precise with a rangefinder, but have precise yardage markers.

Then for your first swing, hit your 50 yard pitch 60 yards. For your second swing, hit your 50 yard pitch shot 40 yards, then for your third swing try to nail the 50 yard target on the button.

By practicing getting it wrong with a few swings, you'll home in on getting right faster on the course.

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


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Alternate Putting Style

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!

This tip has to do with those of you that are using belly putters - but I'm going to say that even if you don't use a belly putter, pick one up (they're cheap now on eBay) and try this out. For a frame of reference, I'm six feet tall with normal length arms, and I use a 41 1/2" inch putter for the style of putting I'm mentioning here.

Most of you know that pursuant to USGA Rule 14-B players will not be allowed to anchor a putter to their body starting January 1, 2016.

Try this method instead, you'll love it. It's very similar to how Matt Kuchar putts.
  1. Hold the putter in your left hand along the outside of your left leg and grip the putter with your left index finger pointing down the shaft, with the back of your hand towards the target, and the top portion of the shaft running alongside your forearm to just below your elbow joint.

  2. Now take a relatively tall, relaxed, comfortable stance, with the ball positioned forward in your stance, just off the inside of the big toe of your left foot.

  3. Now place your right hand on the grip with the fingers curled under your left index finger.

  4. Position the clubface behind the ball, which will have the shaft leaning forward just a little from vertical.

  5. Now simply rock your shoulders and stroke putts, keeping the back of your left hand pointing at the target.
I tried this with a student last Saturday at an indoor lesson, and he was stroking the putts so purely that he could have been putting on tour.

Try this, you'll love 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!

Batavia Country Club   Best greens in WNY, great rates.

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