Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 318 - Wed. October 8th, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Putting - Feeling The Heat
- Health, Wellness, Fitness: Lift Weights, Improve Your Memory
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Keep an Open Mind
- 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.

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Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Putting - Feeling The Heat

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, great to see the tips. Thanks for the effort. One question relating to putting. I am a 6 handicap, but find I make few putts from 5-12 feet. I can't seem to get a comfortable release of the putter head to get ball started on line and rolling. I have a thought of manipulation in my mind, and it is holding me back. Any tips on what to "feel" when you are stroking one of these putts?

Thanks, Don S, Amherst, NY

A: Thanks for the question Don.

I gave Don a call on this problem, because he has taken lessons from me, including a putting lesson.

At Don's lessons, we had to really work on de-activating his hands from his stroke - putting and other. He had very active hands that were causing problems with squaring up the clubface at impact - again for putting as well as for other swings.

During the phone call, he asked me about his inability to time up squaring the clubface for his putting, which is something we had worked on removing from his swing during his lesson a few years back. We discussed this and he said that he thinks he has been consciously fanning the putterhead open a bit on his takeaway, which is totally unnecessary and I'm sure was one of the causes of his problems - which involved accuracy as well as speed.

In my opinion, you shouldn't try to develop an arcing stroke in putting unless it's already naturally present. And if it is present, it should occur due to a very slight body turn on the takeaway, not by consciously manipulating your hands.

I teach compression strokes for the full swing as well as for putting, and you do not need to manipulate the clubhead with your hands to compress a putt. For putting, it's a matter of hitting it on the sweet spot of the putter face with a tiny amount of forward press, but with a slightly flat or ascending blow. Maintaining your impact positions in your wrist - yes there is such a position for putting - will produce a solid compressed putt every time that has consistent rollout.

I think this concept of "releasing" the putterhead by having the toe catch up to the heel at impact - which I hear on telecasts all the time - does a horrible disservice to most players. To most players it fosters an image and action of manipulation of the clubhead by the hands during the stroke. In my opinion this is not only unnecessary, but it's also totally undesirable.

After Don and I were on the same page - which included reviewing his basics for putting including a straighter path through the ball, dead hands, and a still head, another important topic was discussed.

He said that he might have won his club championship were it not for missing some relatively easy putts. Whether there's any such thing as an easy putt during the Championship Flight of a club championship is up for debate, but I knew what he meant.

The resolution for that problem was actually pretty simple. He had not been absolutely committed to a precise pre-shot routine for putting on each and every putt, and not having that for pressure putting spells CHOKE.

During our conversation I used the analogy of law enforcement officers or EMT's arriving at the scene of grisly accidents. If they didn't have work to do, I'm sure many of them would be sick to their stomachs. Having a routine to follow for these emergencies takes their mind off the situation and the pressure, and they are able to perform.

I know that's an extreme example, but if you stick to an established, precise pre-shot routine for putting - and if you do it every single time for every single putt - you will make many more of those pressure putts than you would without it.

And I pretty much give you the "TCT Guarantee" on that.

So Don and I felt that the answers to his problems were
  1. de-activating his hands,
  2. re-visiting fundamentals for his putting stroke, and body positions,
  3. and re-establishing a precise pre-shot routine for his putting, and STICKING TO IT EACH AND EVERY TIME.


Health, Wellness, Fitness: Lift Weights, Improve Your Memory


I subscribe to a wide array of newsletters to help my personal and professional development.

One of them is published by Bob Forman, at Last week he mentioned a study that proved that lifting weights improves your memory, and he responded to my email with details on the study - many thanks to Bob for that.

Here's another reason why it's a good idea to lift weights or do heavy body resistance exercises: it can improve memory.

A new Georgia Institute of Technology study shows that an intense workout of as little as 20 minutes can enhance episodic memory, also known as long-term memory for previous events, by about 10 percent in healthy young adults. It also alluded to the fact that older adults should garner the same benefits, even though the study was done on young adults.

Here's a brief video synopsis: video synopsis

Here's a detailed report on the study: detailed report

Although the study used weight exercises, it was noted that resistance activities such as squats or knee bends would likely produce the same results. In other words, exercises that don't require the person to be in good enough to shape to bike, run or participate in prolonged aerobic exercises.

If you decide to start lifting,
  1. read this page on progressive resistance training: strength training
  2. and drink a TLS Whey Protein Shake like I do right after your workout to maximize your gains. Buy Now


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


Tom's Bonus Tip: Keep an Open Mind

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 to keep an open mind to new ideas on golf (mine included), and to also do your own research.

Then combine that with common sense to figure out what's best for your own swing.

For example, if you read or see some tip on golf that doesn't make sense to you, don't waste any more time on it because if your brain doesn't buy it your body won't buy it.

Conversely, if you see or read something that makes sense, even if it's difficult for your body to do it, it may be worth enough practice reps until your body feels comfortable doing it.

Your call - just don't be too closed minded. If you want to get better it usually means that something has to change, and it usually starts with your attitude.


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