Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 310 - Wed. August 13th, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: 2014 PGA Championship - Lessons To Be Learned, and Nobilo vs. Chamblee
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Track Your Stats
- Tom's Health Tip: Supplement of The Week - Isotonix Activated B Complex
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
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Tom's Featured Tip: 2014 PGA Championship - Lessons To Be Learned, and Nobilo vs. Chamblee

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!

First of all, congratulations to Rory on a great PGA Championship win. He's the real deal no doubt. I was rooting for Rickie Fowler or Phil Mickleson just for national pride, but Rory was really fantastic.

Is this the next Tiger? I can't wait for Tiger to (hopefully) regain his form and go head to head with Rory.

I caught a lot of the tournament and saw a very revealing thing happen to Padraig Harrington on Friday that re-emphasizes something that I harp on all the time - keeping a totally still head while putting.

I saw Harrington, whom I admire as much for his grit as for his game, miss 5 putts (3 under five feet in length) because he followed the ball with his head after the strike. On the longer putts he left them short, on the shorter putts he pushed them right of his aimline.

Keep your head totally still until well after the strike when you putt.

Pardon the next rant, but sometimes Brandel (Tiger hater) Chamblee makes my blood boil.

One highly entertaining moment came off the course in a heated debate between Brandon Chamblee, and Frank Nobilo. Chamblee was dissecting Tiger's swing problems, and Nobilo was disagreeing with most of Chamblee's points. I really thought Nobilo was going to swat Chamblee at a couple different points during the discourse, but to his credit he restrained himself. It's a good thing that Chamblee was leaning away from Nobilo most of the time, if he had leaned in I think Nobilo would have straightened him out.

Both Nobilo and Notah Begay, who was also present, were contending that it's unfair to compare Tiger's performance now to the rest of the healthy field or to a healthy Tiger.

Chamblee said that since Tiger said he was healthy that it was fair. However, later in the conversation he said that he didn't think that Tiger was 100% healthy when asked by Nobilo.

It looked like Notah Begay was enjoying seeing Chamblee being challenged so aggressively by Nobilo.

Here's a clip of the discussion:
Chamblee and Nobilo argue over Tiger's swing and back.

Nobilo challenged Chamblee on certain points, but he could have homed in on a couple of other glaring mistakes Chamblee made on the technical aspects of Tiger's swing. Here are what I consider to be the mistakes in Chamblee's technical points:
  • He stated that Tigers's problem was too much forward shaft lean.

    • That in itself is not a problem at all. It's the technical aspect that Sean Foley wants Tiger to have for better compression than the old swing that Chamblee is comparing it to. It's by design, it's not a fault.

  • He stated that due to the shaft lean, Tiger's angle of attack into the ball is too steep, and that as a result his swing path causes the ball to go right, and that Tiger has to aim left to make the ball go straight. This is where Chamblee shows his lack of knowledge on Tiger's swing method, as well as a lack of knowledge on ball flight laws.

    • The angle of attack - even with a good amount of forward shaft lean - is influenced by a forward lateral hip motion (even a small one) to initiate the downswing sequence. When done correctly, it shallows out the angle of attack so that it's not too steep. You can gauge steepness of the downswing by the depth of the divot. If the lateral forward movement of the lower body is pronounced, the divot will be more shallow than if it not as pronounced. There are times when a player may want a steeper angle of attack than normal, and other situations when the shot may require a shallower angle of attack.

    • Ball flight laws are not negotiable, they are based on physics. About 90% of the time, a ball starts out in a specific direction because the clubface is pointing that way.

    • Chamblee implied that Tiger's ball is going right because of his steep swing path, which he said is taking a rightward swing direction. The degree of out and right swing path direction depends on ball position, if a stock "inside to inside" swing is made. Ball position influences the degree of out and right swing path regardless of the steepness or shallowness of the angle of attack.

      For the "inside to inside" swing path that Foley teaches, the closer the ball position is to the bottom of the swing arc, the more down the line and shallow the swing path and angle of attack gets. The further back the ball placement is from the bottom of the swing arc, the more out, right, and downward the swing path.

      If Tiger wants to hit a short iron straight at the target without any side to side curvature, he needs to align his body a little to the left when he plays the ball back in his stance. Again, simple physics, no major swing manipulation going on here. Tiger could either set up a bit open, or set up square and align the clubface to be closed a little at impact to produce a draw. It's not as much "swinging left" as Chamblee states it, as it is swinging on an "inside to inside" swing radius with consistency, while paying very specific attention to ball position. Tiger is having some problems matching his clubface position with his swing path because of rust and his most recent back problem, which I'm sure bothers him on every swing.

      I know this because I had that same injury, and it took quite awhile for the pain to subside.

  • Last but not least, Chamblee stated emphatically that Tiger's reverse "C" finish is causing back issues because when someone leans back and swings the golf club (specifically the driver), back problems are inevitable.

    • This is another lack of knowledge issue on Chamblee's part. I wouldn't argue against leaning back and swinging a driver causing back problems per se.

      However, the difference in whether this reverse "C" finish position indicates the potential for back problems or not is in how the player arrives at the position.

      Foley's teaching method has the player shifting his hips a bit laterally, rotating them, then thrusting them forward post impact. The method produces swing speed, and it also produces a reverse "C" finish.

      The finish looks the same (reverse "C") as a player that got there by leaning away from the target at setup to produce an upward strike with a driver.

      The difference is that sliding the hips forward to produce this radial axis spine tilt, then rotating and thrusting the hips as you complete your follow through is actually the most back friendly swing in golf.

      Chamblee was all wet on that one, but he wasn't called out on it.

    It's hard to take Chamblee's comments as objective when he based his arguments on Tiger stating he was healthy, yet admitted that he didn't think he was 100% healthy. That's pretty disingenuous in my book.

    What's Tiger supposed to say, that he's not 100% and give the competition an advantage?

    Comments? Send them to me here:

    Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


    Tom's Bonus Tip: Track Your Stats

    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!

    Remember this: It is impossible to evaluate, or even understand, anything that you cannot measure.

    That means keeping an accurate set of statistics that you can compare over time to EVALUATE your progress.


    So that, over time, you can accurately decide what works and what doesn't.

    If you are serious about improvement, start tracking these stats on an excel spreadsheet starting the next time you play:
    • the date you play
    • weather conditions
    • fairways hit
    • drive quality on a 1 to 10 scale
    • greens hit in regulation
    • up and down percentage
    • three putts
    • total putts
    • par 5 birdies
    • irons ball striking quality (percentage)

    Comments? Send them to me here:

    Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


    Tom's Health Tip: Supplement of The Week - Isotonix Activated B Complex

    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!

    If you are feeling a little de-energized after lunch, take some Isotonix Activated B Complex!

    Plus - vitamin B benefits go way beyond energy. For example, vitamin B12 helps support your cardiovascular health, while vitamin B6 can help maintain your immune system. Isotonix Activated B-Complex delivers active forms of these and other crucial B vitamins, providing your body with these vital nutrients quickly and effectively.

    To give this supplement a try, or for for more information, click here:
    Isotonix Activated B Complex

    Comments? Send them to me here:

    Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


    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:

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    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