Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 515 - Wed. July 18th, 2018
Website     Newsletters Archive

USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

Junior Golfers: Details For Junior Golf Camp at BCC
Tom's Featured Tip: Play Golf Swing or Play Golf?
Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors: Plum Creek Driving Range 
Batavia Country Club
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
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.

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Junior Golf Camp at BCC: Dates and Details

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

We still have some slots open for next week and the week after. If you have a junior golfer that wants to have some fun and also learn about golf, sign him or her up today! For more information or to register, please contact the Batavia Country Club (585) 343-7600 ext 10.

I will be running the BCC Junior Golf Program for boys and girls again this year, assisted by Roxanne Noeth (BCC Ladies Club Champion). We look forward to providing a great golf experience for each and every junior golfer participant.

This years camp will run for five days, Monday through Friday. Monday through Thursday will include instruction, play, and contests, and Friday will be an abbreviated Tournament.

There will be a ten minute break half way through each session, players should bring their own beverages and snacks.

The BCC Junior Golf Camp dates are as follows:

Ages 7 - 9: July 9 - 13 COMPLETED
Ages 10 - 15: July 23 - 27 and July 30 - August 3

The BCC Junior Golf Camp hours are as follows:
Monday - Thursday 8:30am - 11 am
Friday - Tournament starts at 6:45 am sharp and usually takes about 90 minutes.


The cost for an individual junior golfer is $99 for the week. If two siblings attend during the same week, the cost drops to $89 per junior golfer.

Players will need to bring their own equipment.

For more information or to register, please contact the Batavia Country Club (585) 343-7600 ext 10.

Payment is required to reserve your spot.

Tom's Featured Tip: Play Golf Swing or Play Golf?

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

Anyone who watches golf on TV has probably heard comments like these from some of the announcers: "it looks like he's playing golf swing, not playing golf" or "he should play golf, not golf swing".

So what does that mean?

It means that some players - at all levels - are too immersed in swing mechanics or technique when they play (playing golf swing), as opposed to simply concentrating on getting the ball into the hole (playing golf).

Playing golf swing is the bane of that golfers existence who hits it like the king of the range, but can't score when they play.

I have two relatives of mine that have figured this out.

One will putt anything from 20 yards and in (sometimes further away), and another who will bump and run a hybrid from 50 yards and in. Conditions have to be right - no obstacles and tight fairways - but when they are, that's what they do.

They both get it up and down as well as they would if they used a more traditional approach - ie: wedge - to hit those shots. They've learned one very important thing - they don't care what anyone else thinks, they figured out what it takes for them to get the ball closer to the hole with a non-traditional club and swing choice.

That's playing golf.

If they were playing golf swing, they would never do that. They'd play a wedge until the day they die, regardless of consistently negative outcomes.

Don't take this as advice for all of you to do the same thing. I'd rather that you put in the time to become very competent chippers and pitchers of the ball, yet still recognize that there are other options. The point is that the range is where you develop your golf swing, and where you tweak technique to produce different results.

The course is where you put those skills to use. The course is where you experiment with the tweaks you've practiced at the range to try to get the ball in the hole.

I know many players and students of mine that are "range rats" (that's a term of endearment when I say it). They spend a lot of time practicing and trying to shape their swing into virtual perfection. But all of that goes for naught unless they simulate pressure situations in their practice sessions.

I rarely see anyone at the range when it raining, but a large part of playing golf is learning to play under different conditions. When my boys were growing up we'd look for opportunities to go out and play golf in the rain, because their high school (and later college) golf seasons were played in bad playing conditions here in the Northeast. They each thought they had an edge because of that - and in fact they did.

You also have to test your game with competition, and tournaments are great - but you don't need to play in tournaments for that. You can do that just playing with your friends - put a buck or two on the outcome and you'll feel some pressure if you're at all competitive.

Playing golf also means course management and controlling your emotions. When you are at the range, there is no real accountability for bad swings. On the course there are, and that can invoke a flood of emotions.

Here are a few thoughts on playing golf rather than playing golf swing when you are at the course:
  • You still need to have a swing, so use the range for developing your skill. Make your practice sessions meaningful by holding yourself accountable for bad swings. Give a buck to your wife or significant other for every bad swing you make at the range. Cut that back to a quarter if you're new at the game and you make mostly bad swings. 😊

  • Play to your strengths on the course.

  • Play more golf. If you have a choice between playing a few holes or practicing, choose the playing option instead of practicing. EXCEPTION - if you're a relative novice, then your time will be better spent at the range.

  • Hit 12 balls to warm up before you play, then on the course minimize your thoughts about swing mechanics.

  • Experiment with different clubs and swings instead of always using stock clubs and stock swings for common situations.

  • If the state of your swing is such that you absolutely need a particular swing thought to function, keep it to one thought, and think it in the rehearsal box, not the hitting box.

  • Don't concern yourself with style points when you play, just get the ball in the hole.
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:



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.

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