Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 360 - Wed. July 29th, 2015
To View In Your Browser   Click Here


Prepare to play your best golf
by doing something now!

To comment or respond to this newsletter, please click here

In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Hinge or No Hinge
- Tour Greens: - Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Putting Distance Control Drill
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- Sponsors: Plum Creek Driving Range 
Batavia Country Club
Tour Greens Western New York 
Genesee Community College Golf Management Program 

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.

Subscribe -   If you like this newsletter, please do me a favor and forward it to your friends so that they may subscribe, thanks!

The Unsubscribe link is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Tom's Featured Tip: Hinge or No Hinge

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

To hinge or not to hinge that is the question.

Sorry for going Shakespearean on you, but I'm talking about pitch shots and it seemed to be appropriate.

I've always taught that hinging is one of the factors that separates the pitch shot from the chip shot, but do you always need to hinge on pitch shots?

The answer is no for most of your normal pitch shot situations.

There are times when you need to hinge your wrists dramatically, such as when you need to hit a higher than normal pitch shot. Hinging adds clubhead speed in that situation, which is necessary to get higher than normal loft out of a pitch swing.

But there are dangers in hinging - namely hitting it fat or thin if you're not very precise with the location of your swing bottom, as well as less control of your carry distance and roll.

It is a fact that many tour professionals hinge their wrists quickly in their backswing for most if not all of their pitch shots. And it's also a fact that these players are more talented and more practiced than most of us.

For most players, I think that the most controllable and reliable pitch shot is with a stock swing that is executed with either no wrist action, or minimal wrist action.

Two of the best wedge players on tour - Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker - use very minimal or no wrist with their pitch shots.

In fact, here's what Zach Johnson has to say about the subject:
  • Your wedge was born to hit high, soft shots. Many of you don't trust the club's loft, so you add a lot of wrist action to pitch shots. Let's cut that out. You're increasing the chances of hitting it fat or thin like that. Instead, when you sole the club, notice that your arms form a "V" shape. Your goal is to preserve the "V" as you swing the club back and through. There should be very little hand action or forearm rotation. All you're trying to do is maintain the clubface loft that you established at address. That makes the ball fly nice and high and with plenty of spin. Keep it simple.
I would add that you need to have good rotation to execute this shot, don't think it's all arms. It is mostly arms, but you can't neglect rotation completely or you'll hit it fat.

Try a little less wrist in your pitch shots, I think you'll experience more consistency and distance control.


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


Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens For Superb Short Game Practice

Would you like to be able to practice with purpose in your own back yard?

Would you like your short game to progress from bad to good, or from good to great?

Would you like to get the ball up & down with more frequency?

Would you like to have a short game practice area in the privacy of your yard for practice and for friendly competition with your kids, your wife, and your friends?

Click here  for photo galleries and more information.

If the thought of having a beautiful tour quality practice green in your yard appeals to you, you're in luck.

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

With Tour Greens you can experience the ultimate home short game practice solution.

Click here to read what Tour Pro's Fred Couples, Rich Beem, Boo Weekly, Blake Adams, and Chris DiMarco  have to say about their Tour Greens.

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 - and they LOVE Western New York weather!

For more information please click here:, or feel free to call, text, or email me to discuss your needs.


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


Tom's Bonus Tip: Putting Distance Control Drill

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

As I was watching the Canadian Open this weekend, I heard an announcer say that when you are putting you can't be afraid of hitting it three feet past the hole.

I think that statement was ridiculous.

That's waaaay too long of a distance to be considering when you are lag putting. In fact, I will go so far as to say that if you have that mentality, I can guarantee you more three putts than if you train yourself to hit putts with a more correct speed.

Three feet turns into six feet very quickly, especially on fast greens. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer not to have to make a six footer to make par.

Here's a simple but very effective drill to practice getting the right distance (speed) on your putts. I teach that speed to be a putting stroke that rolls the ball eight to ten inches past the hole if you miss the putt.

When you practice your putting on an actual putting green, put a visible barrier ten inches past the hole and make sure that your ball just barely touches the barrier on putts that you miss.

Or even better, get a four inch round rubber jar opener - or anything else that's about four inches round and flat like a rubber canning seal - and putt at that target. Every ball will roll through the target so you will get a pretty good idea of your speed on every putt, whereas if you putt to an actual hole, those putts that drop will not give you distance feedback.

For the barrier, I recommend a two foot length of 2" x 4" laid on the 2" side. Experts say that an actual visual barrier is much more effective than setting a distance line with a line scratched in the ground, a string, or anything less than an actual visible barrier.

I'm laying out the TCT guarantee on this one for a drill that will absolutely help your distance control.

One more quickie on this subject. If you struggle to get the ball all the way to the hole, try putting while looking at the hole. It will definitely help you get the ball there.


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, Golf Digest Four Star rating for public courses to play in New York State. Tee times online or by phone in season.  (585) 343-7600

Tour Greens Western New York  Practice with purpose in your own back yard on your own synthetic practice green. Our greens LOVE Western New York weather!

Genesee Community College Golf Management Program   Click on link for more information if you or anyone you know is interested in a dynamic career in the golf industry, or in teaching golf.

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