Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 331 - Wed. January 7th, 2015
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: To Chip or To Pitch, That is The Question
- Home Practice: Tour Greens - Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
- Health, Wellness, Fitness: BMI - Body Mass Index
- Nutrition: Get Your Daily Essentials
- Tom's Bonus Tip: New Lessons for 2105
- 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.

Check out the Equipment & Apparel and Simulator Course Play Specials: Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve your simulator time!

Buy Gift Certificates for Lessons   Sample Gift Certificate

Golf lessons - Outdoor and Indoor - are available at Plum Creek, please call me at 716 474 3005, email me at, or visit my website at   for details.

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Tom's Featured Tip: To Chip or To Pitch?

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!

"To Chip or To Pitch, That is The Question" - golf's version of Shakespeare's "To Be or Not To Be - That is The Question" :-)

The answer depends on many factors:
  • Distance From The Green

    Most players opt for a chip method from greenside, and for a pitch shot from around 10 yards and longer. I think that type of thinking for the average golfer costs him or her strokes. A pitch shot requires more "feel" than a chip shot, and "feel" is only developed after a lot of practice. There are some who have been blessed with a more natural ability to experience "feel", but there are no shortcuts to developing "feel" to a high level. It's practice, practice, practice.

  • Hole Location

    Most players also think that because the hole is close to the near edge of the green, that they must hit a high pitch shot to get it close. If you are good at that shot fine, but most average golfers will leave the ball short of the green and still have to contend with an up and down vs. two putts for the same score if they had hit the green with the first shot.

  • Layout of The Area Around the Green

    Just because there is a little elevation to a green doesn't mean that you have to pitch the ball. A chip swing bumping the ball into a hill in the fringe is still a safer option for an unpracticed player. If there's a sand trap or water between you and the hole, a pitch shot with it's higher trajectory may be warranted.

  • Slope of The Green

    If the green runs away from the hole severely, then a high, soft pitch shot may well be the better option - providing that your lie allows for it and that you KNOW you have the skill to pull it off.

  • Weather Conditions

    Wind into your face may be a good reason to chose a pitch shot to certain hole positions if you have excellent distance control, but a chip shot bores through the wind very well.

    Very wet or moist conditions may mean that flying the ball further may be the better option if your roll out could be affected by wet conditions.

  • The Type of Ball You Use

    If you are a practiced player and play a "spin" type ball, a pitch shot should be in your repertoire. If you don't practice much, and play a "distance" type ball, chipping will almost always be a better option.
In situations where it's a toss up, which swing should you choose?

The swing you're best at, and here are a couple of ways to determine that.
  • Practice each swing with "left hand only" swings.

    If you are more comfortable with a feeling of pulling the club through the ball with your left wrist staying very flat or even bent back (palmar flexed) with good forward shaft lean, and the result is a low trajectory shot, you will usually be better with a chip shot.

    If, however, your natural tendency is to allow the club to get a bit vertical at impact, losing some of the flatness in your left wrist and losing some - but not all - of it's forward shaft lean, producing a higher trajectory shot, you may be better off with a pitch shot as long as you can strike the ball cleanly.

  • Test each swing method - chip and pitch shots with your usual grip - from 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards and see which one gets the ball on the green more consistently.

  • If you practice both chipping and pitching techniques a lot and own them both, evaluate the conditions and go with your gut.

  • If you are like the other 95% of the golfing population and don't "own" both swings, you should usually opt for a chipping technique. It's a safer bet to at least get the ball moving in the right direction at a trajectory that will allow for some roll out, even if the strike is imperfect.
Personally I almost always opt for a chip swing whenever possible, even from as far as 100 yards from the pin. For me it's usually a more reliable technique to help me keep the ball under the hole. I trust my putter from there. Also for me, if it's windy in any direction, a chipping technique shot is more reliable than a pitch shot.

The addition of three new permanent outdoor Tour Greens synthetic greens at Plum Creek will allow me to conduct pitching lessons this year to a target green from varying distances, helping me to evaluate whether either pitching or chipping would be the better option for individual students.

I'm pumped to have that new resource available for my instruction!


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


Home Practice: Tour Greens - Tour Quality Synthetic Greens


Imagine that you have just finished eating dinner at home, and you're in the mood to practice your short game. The problem is that there's only about an hour of light left and you don't have time to get to a golf course or driving range to practice.

Or the weather is questionable and you don't know if you should bother heading out only to get rained out.

How often do situations like this prevent you from getting better at your short game?

Wouldn't it be great to be able to walk out the door into your yard to your own private practice area and start working on your game?

How good do you think you could get if that were the case?

Imagine being able to practice your golf game in the comfort and privacy of your own backyard. Not just your putting but your entire short game. With Tour Greens you can experience the ultimate home short game practice solution.

In addition to my golf instruction business, I am also the Western New York sales associate for Tour Greens Western New York.

You all know me well enough to know that I don't affiliate with any product that I don't have a passionate belief in. These greens are the real deal. They are extremely durable, manifested by the fact that they can even withstand our challenging WNY winters.

For more information and a photo gallery of installed residential Tour Greens, please click here: Tour Greens Photos and Information, and of course please feel free to call me or email me for more information.


Health, Wellness, Fitness: BMI


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number derived from your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. As a measurement of your overall fitness, it's considered to be more reliable than simply your height and weight alone.

If you're not a math expert and want to calculate your BMI and compare it to a standard for your body, go here:
BMI Calculator


Nutrition:  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 personally use daily.

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

Note that they are called Daily Essentials - not Daily Optionals - for a reason!
Simply said - if our body doesn't make it, we need to take it. These all-natural supplements 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 and take none of those medications anymore.

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 them, it was a side benefit. I started taking it to increase my energy, and it did that too!

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,



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


Tom's Bonus Tip: New Lessons for 2015

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!

Pricing is the same for 2015 as it was for 2014, and two new lessons are available:
  1. Swing Evaluation Session

    The objective of this lesson is for the student to execute swings for their short game and long game under my observation, then to understand what needs to be improved in each area.

    It includes four swings (after a brief warmup) with short irons, middle irons, hybrid, wood, and driver. Each swing is graded, and notes and recommendations are entered on a hard copy form during the lesson. The form is then scanned into a .pdf document and emailed to the student after the lesson for future reference.

    The Swing Evaluation Session can be conducted indoors or outdoors. It's a good lesson to take now in order to set up your practice regimen to get your swing in shape for the spring.

  2. Pitch Shot Lesson

    The availability of our new Tour Greens artificial greens, especially the bent grass green which is constructed to be very receptive to pitch shots, allows me to present this lesson with more emphasis and feedback on accuracy than when it's done off the lesson tee on the range.

    Accuracy, feel, and feedback for the short game are what this lesson is all about.

    The Pitch Shot swing technique can be taught indoors or outdoors. However, to get the most out of developing feel, it's best to take this lesson outdoors so you can synchronize your visual concept of distance with the swing you execute.
I hope to see you at the lesson tee in 2015!

Click here: Golf Lessons   for lessons information.


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! BCC still has a lot of apparel and equipment on sale in their Pro Shop. Directions and Pro Shop hours are available at their website:   or give them a call at (585) 343-7600

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