Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 324 - Wed. November 19th, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Anti-Choking Advice
- Health, Wellness, Fitness: Plank Workout
- Tom's Bonus Tip: See The Big View
- 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: Anti-Choking Advice

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!

I actually wish I had read about this ten days ago when I choked in my quest to shoot my age, but that's life I guess.

Sian Beilock. is a psychologist at the University of Chicago who has been studying why people fail when the pressure is on. She also wrote the book on it: Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To.

Here's what scientists have discovered about choking:
  • Being smarter could make you more likely to choke.

    Specifically, Beilock has found that people who have greater working memory (the amount of stuff you can actively hold in your mind at once) are more prone to choking when doing math problems in a high-pressure situation.

  • A high level of loss aversion also increases the chances of poor performance when the heat is on.

    Loss aversion is when you really, really do not want to lose the prize. And when the potential prize is big, people with high loss-aversion are generally more likely to choke than people with low loss-aversion.

    This explains poor performance when a bet or a huge title is on the line.
Here's what Ms. Beilock and researchers recommend as strategies to avoid choking  (I think that they all can be applied to golf):
  • Practice Under Pressure

    She did a study where she had students practice putting under high pressure situations, and they fared better under non-practice pressure situations than those students that did not practice under high pressure conditions.

    I encourage my adult students to play for a little wager when they play as a means to getting used to playing under pressure.

    I also encourage my junior players and serious adult amateurs to compete in as many tournaments as they can, to become "tournament tough".  I'm not talking scramble tournaments, I'm talking Club Championships, and RDGA or BDGA sanctioned or other formal tournaments. That type of pressure serves a player well when the heat is on.

  • Distract Yourself a Bit

    Beilock has shown that experienced golfers actually do worse when encouraged to focus on the skill at hand. So she has suggested self-distraction - like, for example, focusing on a golf ball's dimples or humming a song.

  • Don't Dilly - Dally

    Beilock has demonstrated that doing a task relatively quickly seems to help. For example, in one study, she found that experienced golfers putted better when instructed to putt quickly while still being accurate. (Though the opposite was true with novices.) So if you're doing something you know how to do really well, taking extra time could make you more susceptible to choking.

    My personal advice here is to stick to your pre-shot routine. No slower, no faster, regardless of your experience level.

  • Express Your Emotions Before You Start This didn't apply directly to golf, but I wanted to mention it because it was a finding. It's covered in more detail in the book.

I'm always looking for advice in other disciplines that can help you get the edge in golf, enjoy!


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


Health, Wellness, Fitness: Plank Workout


I recently read an article in an on-line Golf magazine about the importance of the core muscles as a stabilizer for developing a fast swing, and I could not agree more.

And the absolute best exercise for developing these core stabilizers are PLANKS.

A side benefit is that planks develop your abdominal muscles better than situps or crunches, without endangering your back.

Planks are a win - win exercise.

Here's my favorite plank routine, as always start out gradually then progress to more difficulty. This means that you might start out at ten second planks instead of thirty, and one round instead of two.

Don't kill yourself, but also don't baby yourself.

Tom's Favorite Plank Routine

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds followed by a 5 second rest. Complete 1-2 rounds (Take 60 seconds rest between rounds if you are advanced and performing 2 rounds)
  1. Plank
  2. Plank Alternate Arm Raises
  3. Plank Body Raise
  4. Side Plank Leg Lifts (Right) FROM ELBOW
  5. Side Plank Leg Lifts (Left) FROM ELBOW
  6. Plank with Alternate Leg Lifts
  7. Spiderman Planks KNEE TOWARD ELBOW
  8. Side Plank (Right) ELBOW
  9. Side Plank (Left) ELBOW
  10. Walking Planks SIDE TO SIDE
Follow Along Video: Plank Workout Video

Do you lack energy, sleep poorly, or feel generally lousy a lot of the time?

If that describes you, maybe it's time to try the Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit supplements that I use daily.

If you haven't tried them yet, why not?

Note that they are called Daily Essentials,not Daily Optionals!
Simply said - if our body doesn't make it, we need to take it. They have made a profound difference in my health. I used to take high blood pressure and cholesterol medication, and I now have normal blood pressure and normal cholesterol levels. In fact, all of my blood work is perfect.

The only change I made to get off these medications was taking my Daily Essentials, and that's not even why I started taking it, it was a side benefit. I started taking it to increase my energy, and it did.

Why the heck not give it a try?

How to take your Isotonix Daily Essentials

For more information or to buy your Isotonix Daily Essentials Kit, click here. And when you check out, make sure to enter 10OFFMA in the discount code box to get the 10% discount that I offer to family, friends, and newsletter subscribers.


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


Tom's Bonus Tip: See The Big View

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!

Worrying about missing a four-foot putt makes your mind feel small. Playing your best golf comes from having a big mind.

Whatever you situation you encounter in golf, see it in as big a context as you can.

In the vast scheme of life, how important is one four-foot putt?

See the big view, it will have a calming effect..


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! Purchase next year's membership now and get a discounted rate for your membership PLUS golf and riding cart for the rest of 2014 for free. Fall rates in effect.

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