[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 4 - Date 03/14/12

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- Tom's Quick Tip: Auditory Feedback - Putting
- Tom's Featured Tip: The Bump
- Golf Lessons
- Sponsors

Tom's Quick Tip - Auditory Feedback - Putting

I will preface this tip by saying that I used to think that listening to music through
ear buds was a distraction to concentration. I changed my mind when I was discussing
this habit of many of my college golf team members with Kathy Gurak, a Health and
Phys Ed Instructor at Genesee Community College.

She informed me that with the current generation of students, studies have actually
shown an increased level of concentration while listening to music from iPods, etc.

Having said that, there are certain times during practice when auditory feedback
is important, when you need to listen to things other than music. One such situation
is when you are practicing short range putts.

When practicing short range putts - six footers and shorter - listen to your putts.
Listen to the sound made at impact, and hear the noise made when the ball falls
into the hole.

It's great positive reinforcement to hear the ball drop, and don't look to see the result
of your putt until you hear it drop. That will keep you "down and through" on your
putting stroke, and you'll see a profound increase on your "make" percentage
for this distance range.

Tom's Featured Tip - The "Bump"

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

Last Friday I received this question from Rick T. - "Tom, thanks for the tips in your
newsletter, I really find them to be useful. I was reading about weight shift in the golf
swing and keep seeing it referred to as a "bump". Can you explain the "bump" to me?"

A: Thanks for your comments Rick, and thanks for the question.

The "Bump" does indeed refer to weight transfer in the golf swing, but it means
different things to different swing types. In all swing types that have a "Bump"
there is a lateral weight shift - the length of the shift varies as I'll explain below -
then a usually (pivot) of the hips.

Weight shift and pivot go hand in hand, so lets define three different types of pivots:
1) a rear sided pivot, where the pivot shifts to the rear leg and hip, then back
to the front side at the appropriate time.
2) a centered pivot, where the pivot is more around the central part of the body
3) a front sided pivot, where the pivot occurs around the forward leg and hip

The "Bump" is a weight shift - normally very slight - in a certain direction, where
the weight is seated into the hip socket. Now most of you may be wondering why
I didn't say that the initial bump is into the rear side. The reason is that is it doesn't
happen that way for every swing type.

If you search for various swing types on the internet, you will come up with a dizzying
number of names of types of swings. For simplicity, I am going to distill them down to
my basic three:
1) A Traditional or Classic swing, which is a two plane swing with a rear sided pivot
2) A Rotational Swing, which is more of a modern swing with a centered pivot
3) A Front Sided pivot swing, such as the Stack & Tilt Swing,

For each swing type that I describe below, imagine that you are in good setup
posture with your buttocks just touching a very dusty mirror right behind you.
Also, whenever you "Bump" to the rear, you must "Bump" to the front at the
appropriate time for your swing method.

Here is how the "Bump" works for each swing type.

For the Traditional swing type, there would be a slight rear lateral shift ("Bump") of
your weight into your rear hip, then a pivot. The line made on the mirror by your
buttocks would go slightly away from the target, then your right buttock would actually
swipe the dust forward as you pivoted. Modern players that swing this way are
VJ Singh, Ernie Els, and Stewart Cink. Their swing speed foundation is based more
on length than coil, so the initial move to the rear enhances their ability to make
the swing long.

For the Rotational swing type, there would be no discernable "Bump" to the rear,
the line made on the mirror would actually move forward as you pivot your body
to the rear. The backswing for this type of swing is more of a compact, coiled motion
than the backswing on a Traditional swing. Modern players that swing this way are
Matt Kuchar, Sean O'Hair, and Zach Johnson. Kuchar is the most extreme example,
because he has a pure one plane swing - a "swing in the barrel" type of swing.

For the Front Sided swing, there is actually a "Bump" forward during every aspect
of the swing - takeaway and forward swing. That wasn't a misprint. During the takeaway
for a Front Sided (Stack & Tilt) swing, your hips have a lateral "Bump" forward,
which continues through the rotation portion of your downswing. Actually, to be
technically correct, there's a hip thrust involved in the forward swing also. The line
made on the mirror by your buttocks would be going forward, then swiping to the rear
in conjunction with your forward pivot. Modern players that play this way are Charlie
Wi, Mark Wilson, and to a lesser extent Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan. Sean Foley,
Tiger and Hunter's swing coach, teaches many aspects of this type of swing.

There is one more swing type that has a much lengthier lateral "Bump" in both directions,
with less pivot rotation. It's a swing taught by Jimmy Ballard, Rocco Mediate's
swing coach. Rocco has a bad back, so he adapted to a swing where he can gain
momentum for speed with a lengthier weight shift in both directions, and less torque on
his back. The problem is timing this swing out so that everything is correct at impact.
It requires a lot of precision, and it's pretty easy to screw up, so I won't dwell on it too
much. The line on the mirror would be longer going back and longer going forward than
with any of the other swing types mentioned previously, with much shorter swipes
representing the pivoting action.

So the bottom line - pardon the pun - is not to overdue the lateral length of
the "Bump"  regardless of your swing type. It's purpose is to seat weight into the
hip socket to facilitate a pivot. Anything more than that invites a sway, which is
death to the swing.

Enjoy, Tom

Golf Lessons

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link with info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels
, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or at ttucker@rochester.rr.com
for more information.

Lesson rates are here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/lessonrates.html


Batavia Country Club
- check out their spring rates


All the best, and remember: Victory Loves Preparation ~

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Email: ttucker@rochester.rr.com