Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 422 - Wed. October 5th, 2016
To View In Your Browser   Click Here

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: Hovering
Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
Tom's Bonus Tip: Swing Fast or Swing Hard?
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!

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: Q&A: Hovering The Club

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

Q: Hi Tom, I've been reading your newsletters for several years and first of all, thanks for taking the time to write the articles, I really like them. You write them in language that I can understand.

My quick question is about whether I should be hovering the club before my backswing or soling it.

Thanks, Al G., Erie PA.

A: Hi Rich, thanks for your kind comments, for the language comment were you referring to English? Just kidding :-), thanks. Here are my thoughts on your question, which I've never been asked before, believe it or not.

Soling (grounding) the club at address and before the backswing means that you rest the clubhead lightly on the ground, then pick it up to start your backswing.

Hovering the club at address and before the backswing means that the clubhead is not touching the ground, that it's held slightly off the ground.

Most players, including myself, prefer to ground the club. But I must admit that your question is eerily coincidental because I have been toying with the idea of trying out hovering myself, and your question spurred me into doing some more research on it. I have tried it with the driver with mixed results, but I do intend to try it at the range with my irons to see how it affects my contact and my downward attack angle on the ball.

There have been notable successful pro golfers in the past that hovered the club, most notably Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman - and those guys weren't too shabby.

There are several modern day pro's that do it too - Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Davis Love III, Jay Haas, Greg Norman, Yani Tseng, and Cristie Kerr to name a few.

These tour players all hover the club when the ball is teed, but a number also use the same method on iron swings and even putts.

The advantages of hovering are as follows:
  • It promotes constant grip pressure. If you are a "serial grip tweaker" when you are addressing the ball, this might be a good cure.

  • It promotes a very smooth takeaway from the ball. This is particularly true with the driver, and with the driver it also helps align the ball perfectly with the sweet spot on the face. It lessens the tendency to snap the clubhead up quickly and vertically that can occur when the clubhead is soled.

  • It's also a valuable technique when your ball is sitting on top of a fluffy lie in the rough. Soling the club in such a lie could move the ball, incurring a penalty. By hovering the club, you not only eliminate that risk, you also reduce the tendency to snag the clubface in the grass, both on the takeaway and on the way down to the ball.

  • It's also an advantage to be able to swing with a hovered club if you ever need to hit a ball out of a hazard, where soling the club is prohibited.

  • The legendary player and teacher Paul Runyan described hovering as "measuring out" or "under-reaching" at address. He contended that if you didn't sole the club but held it just above the ground, and then kept your grip tension and spine angle constant throughout your swing, you would always hit the ball cleanly. I would add that a couple more elements come into play on solid impact, but it's an interesting concept.
The bottom line is that the way you address the ball must first and foremost be comfortable to your eye and to your sense of feel. Solers may not feel comfortable feeling the full weight of the club as it hovers. Hoverers may not feel comfortable needing to lift the club from a soled position to start their backswing.

The bottom line is that either way may be suitable for anyone, different strokes for different folks. But for myself - I'm going to try it out and see if anything changes for the positive.

Thanks again for the question Al.


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: Swing Fast or Swing Hard?

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

"Swing Fast or Swing Hard?". I've covered this topic before, but I wanted to address it again.

The subject came up as I was discussing various golf related swing things around a poker table.

We were talking about what it takes to hit the ball far, and invariably someone said you have to swing hard.

I chimed in that you have to swing fast, not hard, to which my buddy responded that you have to swing fast and hard.

You really can't have that one both ways, the answer is swing fast (among other things of course), not swing hard.

I take this position for two reasons.
  1. The "swing hard" thought planted in your brain often adds tension to your setup and takeaway, which is a swing speed inhibitor.

  2. However, the more important reason is that the thought of "swinging hard" promotes too much action from the dominant hand through impact. For almost all of my better players that I coach (when a student comes for recurring lessons I deem my relationship with them to be that of a coach), the task is to keep the dominant hand from being too active through impact.
So I'm sticking with swing fast, swing fast and smooth also works.

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   (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.

2017 Memberships On Sale Now! Pay now and play the rest of 2016!
Call (585) 343-7600 for pricing.

Beginning September 19th - 18 holes riding Mon - Fri $19
Sat - Sun $25 before 11 am, $20 after 11 am

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
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

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