Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 294 - April 23rd, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Shank
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Putting Drill
- 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.

Check out the Equipment & Apparel and Simulator Course Play Specials: Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve your simulator time!

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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:
Q&A: Shank

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!

Q: "Hi Tom, I read all your newsletters, thanks for the good information. I need some help because I'm hitting the ball sideways, what do you recommend?"

Bill W.

A: Thanks for the kind words Bill. Here are a few thoughts on getting back to hitting it straight again.

I've addressed this in a past newletter when I had a similar question, and I related it to my own experience as follows:

In my case I finally figured out that I was using my hands too much in my takeaway and downswing, and when it wasn't timed correctly, I was presenting the club at address with an open clubface; coupled with an inside attack angle, it was easy to keep smashing hosel rockets all over the place.

My cure involved developing a swing pattern for myself that utlizied less hand manipulation of the club, and more body rotation. I changed from a traditional swing to a rotary swing pattern. Since then I've changed to a stack and tilt swing because it takes advantage of rotation - but has some built in technique safeguards against over rotation in the downswing.

I recently had a student with good potential tell me he shanked a few balls at the dome. Keep in mind that when we started working together, he started his downswing purely with hip rotation, which can cause your hands to be too active in your downswing.

Here's what I told him to practice:

Keep you're arms moving on an angled circle on the backswing and the down and through swing. If you abbreviate the downswing circle follow through, you will end up attacking the ball too much from the inside. Your arms and hands should feel like they attack from the inside, then move down the line, then go to your left.

This is facilitated by a couple of swing components:
  1. Turning your left shoulder down on your backswing while maintaining a still head;

  2. Your arms and hands keep moving on an angled circle in the backswing and downswing;

  3. Don't force an inside out swing - it will happen due to ball position and starting your downswing with a lateral hip slide;

  4. Keep both arms well connected throughout the swing - meaning that there's a connection between the top of your biceps and your pectorals in both arms that continues throughout the swing, which also helps to keep your elbows the same distance apart through the swing; the arms should feel like they are staying long and extended through impact and into your early follow through;

  5. Keep your right elbow more in front of your body on your backswing, don't let it wander behind your right rib cage as if you were pull-starting a lawnmower;

  6. Allow your right knee to straighten in your backswing while maintaining a still head;

  7. Execute a deliberate lateral hip slide to start your downswing while maintaining a still head;

  8. As the downswing commences your left leg starts to straighten and your right knee starts to flex;

  9. Maintain a gentle but continuous rotation past impact;
Maintaining body rotation without fanning the club open on the takeaway will help you get the clubhead square through impact. Don't try to close the clubface with your hands, keep turning through. Sliding both knees in your downswing with no lateral hip slide and without straightening your left leg enough through impact is a formula for a push shank;

A good drill is to address a ball with a very narrow stance, ball positioned off your rear toe. Then hit gentle pitching wedge shots, keeping your left arm perfectly straight and taking care to not fan the clubface open on your takeaway. Keep the clubface square to your swingpath for these gentle pitch shots and your sideways shot will disappear.

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


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Putting Drill

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!

A great way to practice putting is to putt balls from four positions different around the hole, as if the hole were in the middle of a square outlined by the balls.

Start off with 2 foot putts, then move back to 4 foot, then to 6 foot putts, then to 10 foot putts.

Concentrate on each putt as if you were in competition, and track your make pecentage.

Keep records, and strive to get better each time you do the drill.

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.
Room for two more teams in both the early and late divisions for Tuesday Leagues beginning May 6th. Call (716) 343-7600 for more information.

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