Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 384 - Wed. January 13th, 2016
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Prepare to play your best golf
by doing something now!

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In This Issue

Tom's Featured Tip: Small Adjustment, Big Difference
Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
Tom's Bonus Tip: Simple Winter 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 Plum Creek's 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: Small Adjustment, Big Difference

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

Last Saturday I did a 7am lesson with motivated student that I hadn't worked with for a couple of years. I call him motivated because he drove 50 miles at that time of day for the lesson.

He's a lefty and his problem was that he was consistently hitting all of his irons to the right.

We got him straightened out (literally) at the 45 minute lesson, and I decided to print my lesson follow up email notes to him in this newsletter because it describes a solution to a problem some of you may be experiencing.

I've changed the directional references to make it a right handed swing because most of you reading this are righties.

I think you'll see how a small change can make a huge difference.

Excellent job today (name withheld).

You'll see some of this in my next newsletter, because it's a great example of how a little thing can make a huge difference in a golf swing.

My first comment has nothing to do with the lesson, it has to do with your golf self esteem. Your swing is really too good for you to carry a handicap of 27, unless you're a sandbagger - which I don't think you are.

So I'm asking you to set a goal of getting your handicap to 20 or under this year, and you'll do it if you consistently pay attention to detail, especially precise ball position for every shot.

I actually want you to write this number down on a piece of index card and to carry it around in your pocket "92". This represents the target score that will get your handicap down. It's now your scoring goal for 2016.

You have what I call a horizontal hinging action. Some teachers also refer to it as a crossover release. Either term describes a clubhead that is closing rapidly as it approaches impact. Closing means that the toe of the clubhead is turning and catching up to the heel of the clubhead in an effort to square up the clubface as it approaches the ball.

You are entitled to have any proper hinging action that you choose as long as you execute it correctly, which you are doing. Your hinging action is covering the ball, not flipping, which is the main element to good execution of your technique.

Understanding this aspect of your swing is very important to "owning" your swing.

After I watched you take several swings, I saw that the correction for your problem of starting your shots to the left with a hook would be one of two actions: either changing your hinging action and your grip, or changing your ball position.

Changing a students grip is always a last resort, so first we tried changing your ball position and it yielded excellent results.

The caveats for this particular hinging action are that it requires very consistent swing speed, a consistent inside attack swing path angle, precise ball position, and consistent tempo, in order to work.

That's a lot of moving parts, but as soon as we discovered the correct ball position for your swing you started hitting the ball perfectly.

One exception was your five iron. My guess is that you don't have much confidence in that iron, and as a result you were shortening your backswing and trying to steer the club into the ball. After I asked you to swing with your normal backswing length and velocity, you started hitting that club well also.

Ball position was the key to your success today. You had been playing it too far forward. We moved the ball back towards the rear of your stance for all of your iron swings and the results were remarkable.

Little things make a big difference

Keep in mind that the golf ball has a diameter of 1.68", so when we moved the ball one half of a ball in distance, we moved it .84". For a player that utilizes a horizontal hinging action, that's a major difference in the clubface position at impact.

A MAJOR difference.

You had been playing the ball too far forward, and that ball position combined with your aggressive hinging action was causing the clubface to strike the ball in a closed position. The result was a ball flight that started left of the target and hooked.

For you it's the difference between hitting a draw that starts out to the right and gently works back to the target line vs. your old ball position which promoted a ball flight direction that started left of the target and then curved more to the left.


CC center center - ball is positioned with the center of the ball in the center of your stance (ball mass is centered)

RC rear center - ball is positioned with the rear of the ball in the center of your stance (ball mass is forward of center)

FC front center - ball is positioned with the front of the ball in the center of your stance (ball mass is rear of center)

Your Personal Optimal Ball Positions.
  • FC (ball mass is rear of center) - scoring irons: wedges and 9 iron ( we didn't hit your 9 iron today so I'm projecting)

  • CC (ball mass is centered) - 8-7-6-5

  • RC (ball mass is forward of center) - hybrids and woods. You probably need to test this position more. There's a slight chance that it may need to go a little more forward because the rate of closure of your clubface is slower with these longer clubs. Make adjustments based on the direction that the ball starts out initially.
Last but not least, practice seeing the correct ball position by practicing your setup at home with a ball and something like a fiberglas driveway marker (like the one we used at the lesson) to indicate the center of your stance. Five minutes three times per week should burn it into your brain. Really focus and concentrate for these five minutes, and also make sure that your stance alignment is parallel to your target line.

Keep me posted on how this works out when you play in Florida. I fully expect a dramatic change for the better on all of your approach shots. More GIR (greens in regulation) means better scoring.

Last but not least - be confident. The excellence you attained today was no fluke, keep building on it.

All the best,

Tom Tucker


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: Simple Winter Drill

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

Here's a very simple drill to help you get the feel for keeping a laterally stationary head in your swing. You may want to wear a golf or baseball hat turned backwards or a winter beanie as a buffer between your head and the wall.
  1. Set up in your golf stance and posture in front of a wall, with your head leaning into the wall as you bend forward into your stance.

  2. Cross your arms so that your right hand is on your left shoulder and your left hand is on your right shoulder.

  3. Commence turning into your backswing, then initiate your downswing by pressuring down a bit on your forward foot as you bump your hips laterally forward, then turn into a 3/4 follow through length swing. Keep your head in contact with the wall throughout the whole motion.

  4. Allow your head to rotate naturally, but don't allow it to slide laterally forward in your downswing.
This drill will give you a great feeling for a laterally stationary head in your swing, as well as a feel for the correct lateral hip motion to initiate your downswing.

Try it, you'll like it!


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. Early deep discount membership deadline has expired, but great discounts are still available until April 1st. The earlier you pay the larger the discount. Check website for specific rates then call or stop in to purchase your 2016 membership.  (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