[ TomTuckerGolf.com Tips ] Issue 7 - Date 04/04/12
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The venue where I give lessons, the Plum Creek Driving Range and Practice
Facility has the new simulator installed, and it will be available to the public
as soon as the indoor remodeling is complete.
There's a link to Plum Creek here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Tom's Quick Tip: Green Speed
- Tom's Featured Tip: Yips - Alternative Stroke Method - FREE CLINIC
- Golf Lessons
Tom's Quick Tip - Green Speed, How It's Changed
Here's how green speed has changed over the years.
The device that the PGA Tour officials use to measure green speed is called
a stimpmeter. Basically, it's a device used to measure the speed of a golf course putting
green by applying a known force to a golf ball and measuring the distance traveled in feet
and inches that the ball rolls out on a flat surface of the green.
For example, your local course's greens might play at an 8' or 8'5" (or slower) on
the stimpmeter, and if they juice the greens up for your club championship they
might get them to 9' or even 10'. A reading of 9' or 10' would play very fast to
the average golfer.
Slower greens generally means faster play, and more income for greens fee
courses (more tee times), which is why they are not normally overly fast. It
also costs more money to keep them fast - fertilizer, nutrients, maintenance, etc.
About two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida, I heard
Arnie say on the telecast that the greens were running at 13' or over, which is
like putting on a linoleum floor.
So how has this changed over the years?
According to Frank Thomas, who spent 26 years as the technical director of
the USGA, in 1977 the average speed of greens for country club play was 6'6", and
in 1998 at the US Open at Olympic Club, he stimped the fairways. They were 6'6"!
Fairways in 1998 running as fast as greens in 1977, wow!
No wonder no one had the Yips in the old days, it took a full swing to get
a putt to the hole!
Tom's Featured Tip - Yips - Alternative Stroke Method
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 :-)
Those of you that have followed my newsletters for awhile know that I'm a big
fan of Dave Pelz and Goeff Mangum for putting method and technique. Pelz, in
particular, espouses a straight back and straight through pendulum stroke, which
I like - especially for short putts. It's the default putting method that I normally teach.
Last winter, I did some research into other stroke methods for those students
of mine that are afflicted with the Yips - which is technically called focal dystonia,
a motor-sensory disorder in which the motor-skill commands from the brain get distorted
In order to cure the Yips, I believe that you have to practice something very different
from what you've been doing so that your brain chooses your new neural pathway,
rather than something so similar to your old stroke and setup that your brain lapses into
the neural pathway afflicted by the Yips.
You could try belly putting, or face on putting (big fan), or you could simply alter
your grip (claw). Or - you could change the equipment you have and make a few
adjustments as follows.
I must say at the start that the results I have had with this method have me considering
making the method described below my own default playing stroke, even though I am
an excellent putter with my current method. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just stating
how much I like the feel of this new stroke.
The method that I came up with over the winter is to simply open up your stance,
that includes your feet as well as your shoulders (not a misprint), forward press
your hands, and employ a slight inside to outside swing motion that moves your
putterhead straight back and through down your aimline.
What you end up with is an inside to outside swingpath that creates a straight
back and straight through stroke from a slightly open stance. Your weight is
feathered towards your left side, your shaft is in a modest forward press position, and
the ball is slightly forward in your stance.
I'm calling this the Putting Impact Fix Position .
It feels very natural to me, because the inside to outside path of this putting stroke
mirrors the feel of my own full swing, so my hands don't feel obligated to manipulate
the clubhead in any way. It produces a very solid strike every time, and it tends to
get the ball to the hole. There's also less tendency to peek at the putt, because the open
stance gives you great aimline awareness.
The setup is slightly more upright than my normal setup, which is fairly crouched. As a
result, I modified a putter to accommodate it.
I stand about 6' tall, and my two ball putter is 30" long.
I took a 35" putter with a fairly heavy head and added a 21" Winn grip. This
allows me to adopt my fairly crouched stance for short putts, and a little taller
stance for longer putts - which is very comfortable. My grip position changes some
for different length putts, which is where the long grip comes into play.
I think I'm probably going to hunt down a 35" two ball putter and put a long
grip on it to eventually have the best of both worlds. I considered adding a shaft
extension to my 30" putter, but I decided to leave it alone because I'll
probably alternate putters and strokes for awhile. Maybe forever, who knows,
to me experimenting like this is part of the enjoyment of the game .
I'll keep you posted on results.
FREE PUTTING CLINIC
After Mark Pflaumer gets the finishing touches on the new setup at his Plum
Creek Driving Range and Practice Facility where I conduct lessons, I'll be
conducting a FREE Indoor Putting Clinic to demonstrate different strokes
and different types of putters.
I would like some feedback on this idea. If you would be interested in attending
a clinic like this on a Saturday - your schedule permitting of course - send
me an email - email@example.com - and let me know. No obligation
on your part, I'm just trying to gauge interest.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Lesson rates are here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/lessonrates.html
Batavia Country Club - http://www.bataviacc.com/rates.html check out their
great spring rates
Chestnut Hill CC - http://www.chestnuthillcc.com/ Buffalogolfer.com notes the
"challenge and diversity" of this course at a playable level. Spring rates available.
All the best, and remember: Victory Loves Preparation ~ Anonymous
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005