[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 3 - Date 03/07/12

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- Tom's Quick Tip: Confidence in Putting
- Tom's Featured Tip: Golf Ball Thoughts
- Golf Lessons
- Sponsors

Tom's Quick Tip - Confidence in Putting

I'm a big fan of Tiger Woods' golf game, and it was killing me to see him miss putts
that he used to make with his eyes closed. Last Sunday, he looked like he was
rounding into form.

I'll believe he's all the way back when his misses are going the correct distance past
the hole. It's a sign of a lack of confidence when your misses are always short of
the hole, which happens after you miss a few three footers.

If your putting misses are most often short of the hole,
devote a few practice sessions
to making a slew of two, three, and four foot putts. Your confidence will soar and more
of your putts will get to the hole. Always finish your pre-round putting warm up with
five putts in a row from two feet.
It puts you in a great frame of mind for your round.

And when you stride onto the green, do so with confidence and a positive
attitude, it will actually help you putt confidently.

Tom's Featured Tip - Golf Ball Thoughts

In the not too distant past, golf ball manufacturers used to indicate the compression of
their golf balls on their packaging, and sometimes on their golf balls.

Compression used to be a main consideration on the ball a player would use - a lower
compression for slow swing speeds (80 - 85 compression), medium compression for medium
to fast swing speeds (90 compression) and a high compression for higher swing speeds,
(100 compression). The compression used generally matched a range of swing speeds:
80 - 85 compression - 80 to 90 mph swing speed
90 compression - 90 to 100 mph swing speed
100 compression - 100+ mph swing speed

I used to love a ball
Titleist produced called the Tour Distance 90; they also made
a higher compression ball called the Tour Distance 100. I thought that they were the best
balls on the market at the time, and it broke my heart when they discontinued the line.
In fact, when I found out that they were going out of production I bought twenty dozen
of them. I suppose that's a golf version of "hoarding".

In this day and age, it's a chore to find out the compression of a golf ball. It's not generally
available on the packaging or ball, and it usually takes some digging to find it on a
manufacturer site. It may even require a call to the company if you are intent on getting
an answer.

Nowadays, more characteristics come into play than compression, such as layers, core
construction, cover material, etc. It's can be a little confusing to say the least.

I am confident that most balls today are very good, and the selection of your ball should
revolve around swing speed, control around the green, and what you can afford. In the
end - brand to brand their isn't too much difference. Most companies produce premium balls,
as well as a non premium line of balls, which actually may be more suitable and affordable
for average swing speeds and casual golfers.

These non premium lines are less costly, and I would recommend that route for most of the
people reading this email that want to play new balls. The list of all manufacturer non premium
balls is way too long for an email, so just use this as a guide: balls that are promoted as
"Distance" balls are usually a little harder the balls that are promoted as "Feel" or "Control",
or balls that consider play around the green as a priority.
The "Distance" balls generally
don't perform as well with moderately slow - under 90 mph - swing speeds.

I'm personally a Pro V1 guy now. I had another major manufacturer supply me with free
premium balls for a year, but in spite of that I switched back to the Pro V1. It just
seems to suit my swing, and I love the feel around the greens and off my putter.

If you absolutely want to play premium balls, there are a few ways to do that
without breaking the bank

One way would be to play "Practice" premium balls.

You can track down new Titleist Pro V1 Practice balls on the Internet for anywhere from
$20 to $30 per dozen. They are a conforming product that differs only due to a cosmetic
blemish such as paint, ink or registration of stamping. They don't have any construction
or performance deficiencies. They may be used in a casual round of golf, including
those with scores posted for handicaps, and most competitions, with the possible
exception of high level competitions invoking the Local Rule requiring balls to be
on the List of Conforming Golf Balls.

This List is in operation as a Condition of Competition for professional events, as well
as all USGA Championships, and only golf balls appearing on the current List may
be used during those competitions.

You can download a current list of USGA Conforming Golf Balls here:
it's updated the first Wednesday of each month.

Another option for playing premium balls is to play used ones.

The only thing that I have against this option is that the ball has developed a bad habit,
ie: getting lost or enjoying the water.

Seriously though, I recently read a newsletter that indicated that a ball that
has been in water for a long time severely hampered it's performance ability.

The research I found disputed that point of view.

In fact, most used golf balls perform just as well as brand new golf balls. And
in all honesty, when's the last time you played a full round with a new golf ball without
losing it? Very few amateurs end up with the same ball they started with. Thus,
most balls you find aren't even 1 round old.

The Golf Ball Testing company, GolfBallTest.org, conducted some very thorough
tests on "high quality" second hand golf balls found in water, and found:

1. NO significant difference in compression, weight, roundness or cover hardness,
all were tested with equipment similar to what the USGA uses.

2. NO significant difference in distance and amount of backspin, all tested with a robot launcher.

Golfers involved in the testing did comment that the balls were not as shiny as a new
ball, but that's not a performance factor for most of us.

Golf Digest did a study in 2005 where Golf Laboratories tested several new and used
balls with their launch monitor and computer-controlled robot using a 10-degree Callaway
driver and Titleist NXT golf balls. The balls varied in condition.

The long and short of the Golf Digest test is that no one ball (brand new or used and
scuffed) was significantly longer than the other.
Their definition of significance was a
3% loss of distance with the driver.

If there was any significant difference, it was between the amounts of dispersion. The
"Grass" and "Mud" balls tended to have significantly more dispersion than the others.
Balls that have significant grass or mud on them would have non-symmetric dimple
patterns and weightings (one side of the ball is slightly heavier than the other). Such
asymmetry would cause the ball to "wobble" and go offline more than a clean ball.

You can track down plenty of used ball retailers on the net, and if you decide to give
one a try I'd stick with the highest grade used balls - they are nicer cosmetically - which
is how they are graded in the first place.

This is important - whatever brand and model ball you settle on, stick with it.
A key to any success at golf is dialing in distance with your scoring clubs, and sticking
with the same ball absolutely will be helpful.

Enjoy, Tom

Golf Lessons

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 ttucker@rochester.rr.com
for more information.

Lesson rates are here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/lessonrates.html


Batavia Country Club
- check out their spring rates

Chestnut Hill CC
- opening Sunday 03/11/12 - 18 holes $23 includes cart


All the best, and remember: Victory Loves Preparation ~

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Email: ttucker@rochester.rr.com