Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 393 - Wed. March 16th, 2016
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

Tom's Featured Tip: Three Quick Tips
Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
Tom's Bonus Tip: Hybrid Conversion Guide
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.

Plum Creek Driving Range, Batavia, NY, Open All Year
Simulator Course Play Specials: Call 585-993-0930 or Email Mark to reserve simulator time!

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Tom's Featured Tip: Three Quick Tips

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

Today I have three quick tips, one for curing an outside to inside swing path and two putting tips.

Curing an Outside to Inside Swing Path

I recently saw a tip from another professional regarding straightening out an outside to inside swing path that got my attention. It didn't get my attention for its uniqueness, it's a fairly common drill among professionals. It got my attention because it could cause an injury or damage to your club.

He advocated laying a 2x4 on the ground so it is in line with your target and standing it on its edge so its 4-inch side is vertical, then teeing up a ball about 2 inches away from the board at about the board’s midpoint and practicing hitting shots. Then he said "If you come over the top, you'll clip the board before you reach the ball. You'll quickly learn to attack your ball from a more inside path and be on the way to straighter shots."

I don't mean to criticize good intentions. Maybe this guy has students that never hit the board. I know mine will, so I do it a little differently.

I agree with the concept but not the materials. This a drill that I use frequently, but I use a pool noodle instead of a 2x4. It's easier on your clubhead and your wrists when you invariably clip the noodle. If it's a windy day, I stick a couple tees in the pool noodle to secure it in place.

Do this drill if you are a slicer and reap the rewards.

Putting - Freezing Over The Ball

Another problem that I see in my putting lesson students fairly often is waiting too long to execute their stroke after their last look at the hole.

The two main problems with taking too long to execute your stroke are:
  • it interrupts the tempo and natural acceleration of your putting stroke,

  • and the feel for distance in your stroke diminishes rapidly after your last look at the hole.
I like my students to start their putting stroke within 1.5 seconds after their last glance at the hole during their putting pre-shot routine.

If you tend to freeze a bit over your putts before you start your backswing, try this drill when you practice your putting:
  • Go through your normal putting pre-shot routine, which at some point should include a final glance at the hole before you start your backswing.

  • Then, as your eyes are returning to the ball after your last glance at the hole, simultaneously start your backswing.
I think you'll find that this drill will help your tempo and your lag putting consistency enormously, and it definitely will help you start your backswing within the 1.5 second window that I recommend.

For what it's worth, at least one pro actually starts his stroke this way when money is on the line. Check out this 20 second youtube clip:
Davis Love putting

If you don't have a pre-shot routine for putting, I have one spelled out here:
Pre-Shot Routine for putting

Putting - Shaky Backstroke

This tip is a bit unorthodox, but unorthodox sometimes works in golf, especially in putting.

I am just about finished with a putting training aid that I invented that has several different functions. It trains the user
  • to develop a square strike at impact,
  • it helps develop overall putting accuracy,
  • it helps develop a "core" putting stroke,
  • it helps you visualize a square putteface at setup and impact,
  • it helps you groove an effective swing path with your putter,
  • and it helps you develop deadly accuracy with short putts.

I think it's pretty cool, but I'll admit to bias :-)
I have a friend locally who's an avid golfer and excellent craftsman. He's is doing some of the production on this training aid, and part of the process was taking him through the drills on a prototype so that he thoroughly understood the functions of the components.

So we did the drills a few times in my basement and he was on his way to begin his part of the production process.

He's been practicing as well as producing. When we met to discuss some design tweaks the other day he was very excited about how the training aid - and an unusual change he made to his putting routine - has improved his putting.

One of the problems we identified in his putting stroke was a very shaky takeaway. His putter head was moving quite a bit during his takeaway, and here's how he resolved the issue after he had practiced and grooved a consistent swing path with the training aid.

He told me that he watches the putter head during his takeaway and downswing into the ball.

I immediately told him that's it's not a good idea to move his head at all during the putting stroke, but he said that he keeps his head still but moves his eyes. He said it helps him to stabilize the putterhead during his backswing and forward swing into the ball, and to make sure that he puts a square strike on the ball.

I don't necessarily advocate this cure for everyone because personally I think that eye movement normally leads to head movement, which is a death move in putting. But if your putter head shakes, rattles, and rolls in your takeaway and your forward stroke, it may be worth a try.

By the way, the name of the training aid is the SquareStrike putting training aid. I'll announce details on it's availability after I complete the drills video that goes along with the product.


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: Hybrid Conversion Chart

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

Here's my view on hybrids: if you don't carry any now, go get some.

Most amateurs, especially the aging golf population, should chuck their 3 and 4 irons (or more) and replace them with hybrids. The game will be more fun when you do so because they are easier to swing, they fly higher and about 8 yards longer than their iron counterpart, and they are more forgiving.

Here's a general conversion guide, keep in mind that some manufacturers may vary a degree or two with their models:
  • 19 degree = 3 iron
  • 22 degree = 4 iron
  • 25 degree = 5 to 6 iron
  • and there are higher degree hybrids for as deep into your bag as your 7 or 8 irons from some manufacturers.
Adding a hybrid or two to your bag will add some fun to your game, and that's what it's all about isn't 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. Great membership 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.

Some openings are still availabe on some leagues, check out our events section on our website for more info .  (585) 343-7600

We are now accepting reservations for our Easter Brunch Buffet, click here for more details:

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