Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 471 - Wed. September 13th, 2017
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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: Putting Factoids
Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
Tom's Bonus Tip: Q&A: Keep Your Brain In The Game
Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors: Plum Creek Driving Range 
Batavia Country Club
Tour Greens Western New York 
Chestnut Hill Country Club 

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
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Tom's Featured Tip:
Putting Factoids

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

I received this email last week from a reader who is also a friend:

Hi Tom, Charlie B. here. I want to thank you for your wonderful tips on putting. By applying them I was able to erase 2 penalties with birdies thus gaining a 2 stroke deficit at the turn of the 'over 65'.. ' B ' Championship at 18 Mile Creek GC. This put added pressure on my opponent and the holing of 3 over 20 footers brought us even on 18. Then I dropped a 15 foot beauty to win by a stroke. It was my first championship since 2002 at Bridgewater CC and I believe it was due to the confidence instilled on me by your putting method. It was great fun and at 77 years old will help me continue to enjoy the game in years to come.

Thanks again and keep up the good work in your teaching....All the best...CB

I love it when fellow septuagenarians have success like this. As I said to Charlie in my reply, age is only a number - don't believe it.

Here are some putting factoids that I came across while reading several different research papers on putting yesterday. Some of them tended to reinforce my teaching method, so I included some video clips that I made for a training aid that I use during my putting lessons.

  • Stroke Path or Putterface Alignment, Which Is More Important?

    The consensus is that "square to the aimline" putterface alignment is more important than path due to the first rule of ball striking, which is that a ball starts in its' initial direction due on where the face is pointing. This is demonstrated in the following Elevated Aimline Drill video:

  • What's The Best Way To Practice To Become a Better Putter?"

    Most Pro's misread the break in their putts by an astounding 25%!

    The consensus from several different sources is that if you prioritize practicing your green reading skills and work at getting the right combination of aimline and speed, that all of your putting will improve.

    Furthermore, a random practice session would be preferable over a blocked practice session for green reading practice. Random - as in going to a practice green and changing holes for each putt, as opposed to practicing putting at the same hole over and over.

    Green reading is a cognitive process where you have to create an action plan for the motor performance based on the input you get from the green read. In random practice, you need to focus more on green reading because you are challenged with a new situation for each putt. You need to create a new action plan in your brain, which in turn may lead to stronger memory representation of the skills used, resulting in an enhanced learning experience.

  • Pre-Shot Routines - Have One

    One study investigated the behavioral aspects of the pre-shot routine among 16 Ladies European Tour professionals. They found highly structured routines and consistent routine behavior. On average the elite players had 0.7 practice strokes, took 5.7 seconds from grounding the putter behind the ball to impact and had 1.9 glances at the hole after addressing the ball.

    My pre-shot routine is demonstrated in the video:

  • Is A Line On The Ball Useful?

    The consensus is that from the view you get when you look down at the ball after you've set up to putt, the optics are such that if you use the line on your ball for where you want to aim your putt, your aim will be incorrect. In fact, the majority of golfers, amateurs and pro's alike, aim too far to the left when they set up.

    Loren Roberts was considered to be one of the best putters on tour in his prime. When his stroke and aim were scientifically tested, it was found that he aimed 1 degree left, then made a compensating stroke that included rotating the putterhead open 4 degrees on his forward stroke. Apparently he compensated very well.

    I use a line on the ball, but I don't use it to define the direction of my stroke. I aim it at my aimline from behind the ball, using my dominant eye only. Then I use it to make sure that my putterface is square to my intended aimline. I try to get my head right over the ball at address and see that the middle of my putterface is set up to the middle of the ball, and that the face of my putter is square to the line on the ball.

    I actually switched to a putter with no aimlines so that they would not be a distraction, the TaylorMade Spider Tour Black. I still switch around from putter to putter on occasion, but when I do I only use the aimlines on the putter to help me make sure the ball is in the center of the face, after the face is positioned square to my intended aimline.

    Many of my students set up with the clubface either open or closed to their intended aimline, so here's a drill that I have them do to see and feel having the face square to the aimline:

  • Is There A Putterhead Style That Can Help My Putting?

    Research showed that either a blade style head or a mallet style head or oversized head produces a good roll when struck with a face square to the intended aimline, with a path that had the putter going towards the aimline at impact.

    Dave Pelz, one of my favorite putting gurus, recommends a mallet style head, and so do I as long as your eye is comfortable looking at it.

    From a technical perspective, the oversize head has larger M.O.I. (Moment of Inertia), which means that it resists twisting more than a head with less M.O.I.

    This translates to starting the ball on line more consistently, and being able to judge distance more consistently.

I hope the rest of you find these factoids to be useful in your quest to become an excellent putter (Charile's already there)!

Enjoy, Tom


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


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

Our customers love their practice greens, here's what they have to say: Testimonials

Click on the image below for a video demonstration of how well golf shots hold on our Tour Greens  synthetic putting greens.

Wouldn't you love 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: Q&A: Keeping Your Brain in The Game

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

After last weeks article on "Keeping Your Brain In The Game", I had two readers ask the following questions:

Q: From Larry B., Buffalo NY: Hi Tom, what about energy drinks instead of water for hydration?

and from Kevin M., Rochester, NY: Q: Hey Tom, what brand protein shake do you recommend?

A: Thanks for the questions guys, here are my answers.

Most of those energy drinks are full of sugar. Unless you tend to cramp up frequently on hot days, which might indicate that a drink with electrolyte replacement would be necessary, water will be cheaper and just fine.

I'm not recommending any pre-made protein drinks per se. I recommend getting some high quality protein powder, like the one I use below, available at most GNC stores:

Mix it with water, take it to the course in a thermos, and sip away.


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.

Seniors 58 and older, weekdays or weekends after 1pm, $100 for a Foursome, includes cart AND lunch, must have four players!
Prepaid Golf Discounts available in shop or over the phone when secured by a credit card - up to 50% savings!
Call (585) 343-7600 or visit our website for 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!

Chestnut Hill Country Club   (585)-547-3613
Only minutes from Buffalo, open to the public. Tee times online or by phone in season.

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