Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 409 - Wed. July 6th, 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: Q&A: Directional Control
Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
Tom's Bonus Tip: I Can't Believe He Said That
Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
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Batavia Country Club
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Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A Directional Control

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

Q: Hey Tom how are you?! It's been awhile! This is Greg S. I took lessons with you 2 years ago. So I've been playing a lot better in the last 2 years. Typically I would have been hitting in the high 50's for 9 holes 2 years ago. This year I've been hitting in the high 40's and low 50's. However, my swing accuracy hasn't been too good but my shots have great distance. I'm typically hitting to the left most of the time if it's not straight. What could I be doing wrong and how can I correct it?

Thank you so much!

Greg S.

A: Hi Greg, I'm doing well thanks for asking.

Regarding your directional problem, you didn't tell me enough about the curvature, so I'll explain a few things then give you some thoughts on where to start fixing things.
  • First of all, we know that a ball starts in a certain direction most of the time because the clubface is pointing that way.

  • The ball curves because the clubface is closed or open in relation to the swingpath at the moment of impact.

  • If the clubface is closed at impact in relation to the swingpath, the curvature would be right to left - a draw or a hook.

  • If the clubface is open at impact in relation to the swingpath, the curvature would be left to right - a fade or a slice.

  • If the clubface is square at impact in relation to the swingpath, the ball would go straight where the face is pointed at impact without any side to side curvature.
The driver is a bit of an exception because it has a face with bulge and roll, but for most swings, even the driver most of the time, these rules of ball flight generally apply.

First of all, if you're hitting it straight, I'm not considering that to be a problem, although I would prefer to see a little draw.

If it's curving after starting left, it's a clubface issue in relation to your swingpath, but you didn't mention curvature so I'm presuming it's just starting left and staying straight, a straight left pull.

If your ball is starting left most of the time, the clubface is pointing left at impact.
  1. The simplest fix might be positioning the ball a little further back in your stance so that you are not catching it too much on the up and left portion of your swing arc.

  2. Next check your alignment, your ideal alignment was slightly closed, make sure it hasn't changed to square.

  3. You could be swinging a bit down the line or over the top.
    The Chair Drill will help your swing attack angle be more from the inside:

  4. Another drill to make sure you are attacking the ball from the inside, not down the line or over the top, is to set up a practice station to insure a correct swing path. That's detailed in Issue 401 here:
    Swing Path Correction Training Station
One of these four solutions should work, let me know how you make out.

All the best,



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


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

Do you want one of these in your own back yard?

If you would like a free, no obligation quote for getting a beautiful practice area or putting green installed on your property - indoors or outdoors - give me (Tom Tucker) a call at (716) 474-3005, or email at at

For more information please click here:


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


Tom's Bonus Tip: I Can't Believe He Said That

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

I was watching the Bridgestone Tournament on Sunday, when one of the announcers, Peter Kostis, said something that was so odd that I just had to mention it today.

Peter Kostis' position on my bottom two golf announcers list (beaten only by Brandel Chamblee) was cemented a few years back when he had Jack Nicklaus in the booth and had just finished a slow motion analysis of a players swing. He gave his critique then asked Jack what he thought, and Jack replied "I didn't see it that way Peter".

I almost choked on my cheese curls.

What Kostis said last Sunday was something I've never heard or read before, and downright incorrect. The master of misinformation was at it again.

Jason Day had just missed a four footer and bogeyed hole 15, and was playing the monster 16th at Firestone CC, a 667 yd. par 5.

Jason pulled his tee shot behind a bush on the left, then blasted through it to the right rough behind a tree. He got a free drop because someone had touched his ball, but he still had a sketchy lie and his flight to the green was obstructed by trees. He could have tried a huge upshoot cut shot to try and carry the ball onto the green, which was guarded in front by a pond. Or he could run the ball up left of the green and left of the pond, and try to get up and down from there.

He chose the latter, but the ball took a right kick and leaked into the pond.

In my educated opinion it was the right decision, but poor execution, of a difficult shot.

That's when Kostis said " never follow a bad shot with a great shot".


First of all, the drive was bad, but the shot that took him to the right rough was actually well struck, in fact too well struck,

Second, what does that statement even mean? If a player has a chance for a great shot, they often take it (as the TV commercial says - these guys are good). Day actually chose the more conservative option that just didn't work out.

Kostis (Captain Obvious) said that Day should have hit it more to the left of the trouble. That's an easy call after the fact. If Day had pulled it off I'm sure Kostis would have extolled his virtues.

I believe that Day probably was trying to play it more left but he just didn't execute. It was a good try from a bad position.

That happens even to the best players.

Kostis also added that Day had one bad swing followed by several bad decisions.

One bad swing yes, several bad decisions - doubtful.

Kostis gets it wrong so often I can't believe he still has that job.

Aren't Frank Nobilo or Paul Azinger available for TV commentary? They get it right most of the time.

End of rant, sorry, couldn't contain myself :-).


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   (585) 343-7600
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. BCC has a large supply of PING equipment in stock, as well as other major brand name apparel and hats. Stop and shop, we'd love to meet you.

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!

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All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection!"
~ Ben Hogan