Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 317 - Wed. October 1st, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Putts Consistently Short
- Health, Wellness, Fitness: Kettlebell Swings
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Take Your Best Shot
- 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: Q&A: Putts Consistently Short

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 play to a 10 handicap, but I have one problem that seems to be consistent. I leave a lot of putts very short on my medium to long lag putts. Any suggestions ?

Thanks, Tom W., Grand Island, NY

A: Thanks for the question Tom.

Leaving putts unreasonably short - let's define that as more than four feet from the hole - can be very disturbing. If you are a low handicapper you must be making your share of those putts. Having said that, the objective of a lag putt is to make one once in awhile, but if not made to leave a no sweat gimme, not a four footer.

Before I go further, I also had a couple questions about the "core" putt that I often refer to. As a result of the questions, I put up a detailed explanation here:  on my Drills page. It relates directly to distance control, so check it out.

Many times leaving putts short is caused by one of two problems, one is technique and one is mental.

On the technique side, often players get anxious about long lag putts and tend to come out of posture too soon during or after impact. I call it coming up and out.

The putting technique cure is to simply stay in posture with a perfectly still head on your lag putts, until you see the clubhead four inches past impact. Then it's OK to swivel your head and observe your putt. This helps you make solid contact on the sweet spot of the putterface, and your rollout will be very consistent with your swing length.

And that's what it's all about - having every other part of your putting technique so consistent that all you need to think about for distance control is your swing length.

On the mental side, the problem that is manifested by lag putts that are consistently too short is that of a lack of confidence on relatively short putts. Often this happens to a player that has been hitting his or her lag putts too long and missing the comeback putts. Eventually the too long putts turn into too short putts, which have no shot at all of going in the hole.

The cure is to build up your confidence on short putts - putts in the four foot and shorter range.

The best way I know to do that is to set up a training aid that grooves a straight back and straight through stroke, and to practice making putts from those short ranges.

The most inexpensive way to do this is to cut two 36" long 2"x4"s (use pressure treated lumber), lay them on the ground to form a channel to a hole about 3 feet away, then stroke putts through the channel, using the rails formed by the 2"x4"s as a guide for a perfect stroke. Concentrate on keeping your head perfectly still and using a straight back and straight through stroke. I like to place the 2"x4" that's closest to my feet flat on the ground, and the other one on its edge.

When your setup is correct, you should be able to stroke 25 putts in a row into the hole with no sweat, and that feeling of confidence will carry over to your play when you find yourself at that distance. This confidence will also be present when you set up for your lag putting, and it will help you get the ball to the hole with better distance control due to the lack of anxiety about a putt that rolls a bit too long.

One more drill - try practicing lag putts with the Instinct putting method. This is simply putting while looking at the hole, not the ball, as you execute your stroke. I've found this drill to be very useful for those students that consistently leave lag putts short of the hole.

I hope any or all of these tips solve your putting woes Tom.


Health, Wellness, Fitness: Kettlebell Swings


Here's a great fat burning exercise that's also great for your golf strength that only takes 11.5 minutes, and can be done as a stand alone exercise or in conjunction with progressive resistance training: Kettlebell Swings.

Youtube Video:

Simply do twelve sets of kettlebell swings. Each set is comprised of:
30 seconds of swings
30 seconds of rest

Do this twelve consecutive times.

Start with about 20 lbs, and gradually work your way up to weights that you can handle but make you work hard. Do them as vigorously as possible for maximum benefit as a high intensity (fat burner) workout.

If you decide to try kettlebell training that only utilizes one kettlebell like the workout routine mentioned here, I would suggest simply picking up an adjustable kettlebell bar that uses inexpensive plate weight, rather than several kettlebells that you'll need as you get stronger.

Go to and search for kettlebell handle, and you'll see one from the New York Barbell Co. of Elmira NY for around $35 (C-0290 Extra Wide Threaded Kettlebell Handle - Chrome Plated Solid Steel with Knurled Grip). That's the one I use and I really like it.

You can pick up inexpensive weight plates at Walmart or K-Mart, Dicks Sporting Goods carries them too, but they cost a little more there.

Keep in mind that intensity trumps duration for effective exercise. Work smart, work hard, not necessarily work long. Burn fat and build muscle, don't neglect either.

Research Studies:
  • Budnar Jr, Ronald G., et al. "The acute hormonal response to the kettlebell swing exercise." Journal of strength and conditioning research/National Strength & Conditioning Association (2014).
  • Lake, Jason P., and Mike A. Lauder. "Kettlebell swing training improves maximal and explosive strength. " The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 26.8 (2012): 2228-2233.
  • Mitchell et al. "What is the relationship between the acute muscle protein synthetic response and changes in muscle mass?" Journal of Applied Physiology. Published ahead of print on 25 September 2014.
  • West, Daniel WD, and Stuart M. Phillips. "Associations of exercise-induced hormone profiles and gains in strength and hypertrophy in a large cohort after weight training." European journal of applied physiology 112.7 (2012): 2693-2702.

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


Tom's Bonus Tip: Take Your Best Shot

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!

Take your best shot and be prepared to deal with the results.

Take the attitude that you can handle whatever results you encounter. This reduces the fear of a bad result, which allows you to swing freely.

If you understand and accept the possibility of having to scramble, you'll find yourself scrambling less.


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:

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   Great Rates & The Best Greens in WNY- bar none! Buy next years membership now, get the balance of this season free. Fall rates in effect, plugging greens so call for conditions. Outside covered patio open for Sunday football; food and drinks available.

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