Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 706 - April 6, 2022
Website     Newsletters Archive

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


"It is not the will to win that matters, everyone has that.
It is the will to prepare to win that matters." - Paul "Bear" Bryant

Tom's Featured Tip: Common Problems Amateur Golfers Have That Pro's Don't

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
The Divot Board
The Impact Snap
The Rypstick
Club Champion

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

TourGreens & VersaCourt

If you're interested in an artificial turf outdoor or indoor putting green, bocce court, sport court, cornhole court, pet grass, large or small,

contact me, Tom Tucker, at (716) 474 3005 or email me at for details and pricing. I'm an authorized New York State sales rep for TourGreens and VersaCourt.

Buy Gift Certificates for Lessons   Sample Gift Certificate

Outdoor Golf lessons are available at The Batavia Country Club. Please call me (Tom Tucker) 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.

For photos and stories from the 2021 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
2021 BCC Junior Golf Camp

For details on the 2022 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
2022 BCC Junior Golf Camp The Junior Golf Camp sold out quickly in 2021, so get your junior golfer registered soon. Call BCC at (585) 343-7600

Common Problems Amateur Golfers Have That Pro's Don't

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

Two Great Training Aids For Indoor or Outdoor Practice

The Divot Board

This is the most useful ball striking development training aid that I own.
Don't have one yet? What's holding you back?
Click here to buy your Divot Board for outstanding Ball-Striking practice.

Click here to buy now. Start using the ImpactSnap training aid indoors or outdoors to make you instantly aware of proper hand action, which is second only to low point awareness for great ball striking.

Common Problems Amateur Golfers Have That Pro's Don't

When it comes to the difference between amateur and pro golfers, there isn't one category that amateurs, as a whole, do better in than does a typical tour pro. But some differences are more glaring than others. And believe it or not, there are categories where amateurs are not that far away in comparison to a tour pro.


Driving Accuracy

Every golf course has its share of old-timers who wear out fairways. In fact, statistical analyses show that scratch golfers actually hit a greater percentage of fairways than does a typical PGA Tour pro. This might be written off that this is because a pro golfer hits the ball farther and therefore the margin of error is less, and there is some validity to this, but pros also tend to play on fairways that have been firmed up for the week, leading to bounces that might go further sideways.

Also, there is a tendency among tour pros these days, thanks to the analytics provided by statistical gurus such as Mark Broadie (Inventor of the strokes-gained metric), to play more aggressively since data show that aggressive play tends to be rewarded more than conservative play.

But on the whole, there are indeed many amateur golfers who can hit a greater percentage of fairways than can an average tour pro.


Broadie's statistics show that for every six strokes in difference in skill level, there is a one-stroke difference in putting prowess. In other words, a typical tour pro, who has a handicap index of approximately +6, putts only one stroke better per round than does a scratch golfer, two strokes better than a 6-handicapper, three strokes better than a 12-handicapper, etc.

This means that yes, there are single-digit handicappers who putt as well as an average tour pro day in and day out. There are also probably some low double-digit handicappers who can put as well as the worst putters on the PGA Tour, and there are days that even 20-handicappers can putt as well as a tour pro.

So the difference in putting isn't all that great between the tour pro and good amateur golfers.



PGA Tour pros average approximately 296 yards off the tee. While it is a myth that everyone on tour can fly it 300 yards, the fact is that statistics show the average scratch golfer can drive the ball about 255 yards.

This might seem low, but it has been well-founded in research.

Remember, when we talk about average, we are talking about poor drives being thrown into the statistical mix, too. So it's probable that the average male scratch golfer hits it about 265 or so on a good hit. There is about a 30-yard difference between what an average PGA Tour pro can do compared to a scratch golfer. That 30 yards times 14 drives adds up to a course that effectively plays 420 yards longer for a scratch golfer, not to mention longer clubs into the greens.

Greens In Regulation

Studies have shown that an increase or decrease in one green in regulation, on average, equals to a difference of about two strokes on the scorecard. In other words, a golfer who averages 11 GIR will average about two strokes lower than someone who averages 10 GIR.

A typical tour pro hits 12 greens in regulation, which translates into a scoring average of about one under par.

Let's say a scratch golfer typically plays on a course rated at 72.0, meaning he will average about 74 (because handicap indexes are based on the best 8 out of 20 rounds, a scratch golfer will typically average about two strokes worse than his handicap index). This means that on this course, assuming the par is 72, a scratch golfer will hit about 10.5 GIR. Skill level obviously plays a factor, but so does distance, as a +5 index golfer will have typically much shorter distances into the hole.

Short Game

The average tour pro gets the ball up and down on a missed GIR just under 3 out of 5 times. Average amateur golfers will fare well less than this, even though their putting prowess may not be that far away from a tour pro's. Their chips and pitches will usually not leave them in easy one-putt range, while the tour pro does this with regularity.

Mental Approach

Most tour pros have consulted with or are working with a sports psychologist or other mental coach. Most amateur golfers don't.

When a tour pro hits a good shot, he or she typically affirms to themselves that this is normal for them, while amateurs often consider themselves lucky to pull off a good shot.

Conversely, a tour pro recognizes that a bad shot is not normal for them, while most amateurs have a yep, that's me outlook. While there are other differences, self-image between tour pros and amateurs tends to be like night and day.

Mis-Hit Patterns

When tour pros mis-hit a shot, they tend to hit it primarily either left or right. Amateurs tend to miss equally both ways, with the possible exception of slicers.

Turning a two-way miss into a reliable one-way miss is one of the fastest ways to cut a few shots off an amateur's score.

This is where competent instruction becomes critical. The aim of a good lesson is obviously to make the player a better ball striker, but part of that means developing a reliable miss so that strategy can be effectively planned.


Since it's their job, tour pros can literally spend all day, if they desire, playing and practicing golf. Most amateurs do not have this luxury, and if they do, they have neither the energy or motivation to do so. Besides developing a reliable one-way miss, one of the surest ways to get better at golf is simply to do it more.

These are some of the reasons why an amateur doesn't do as well as a pro, and we didn't even mention talent. Talent obviously plays a role, but that's really something that cannot be controlled. Amateurs, however, have tools to close the gaps that differentiate themselves from tour pros - books, videos, and competent instruction.

It's up to you, anyone can get better if they really put in the effort.


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


Golf Lessons

I am now conducting lessons at The Batavia Country Club

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:


Sponsors and Affiliates

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

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.
FISH FRYS AT BCC and other delicious dinner specials with soup and salad bar - Fridays, 4pm - 9pm

Train with a Rypstick to improve your swing speed and gain more distance off the tee. If the versatility of three different swing weights in one club appeals to you, this is your swing speed training aid of choice.

Click here to buy now, and make sure that you enter TOMTUCKERGOLF (case sensitive) in the Discount code box when you check out to receive a 5% discount.

Click here to buy your
Divot Board to drastically improve your ball-striking. Combine your Divot Board practice and putting practice with the included putting lesson drills, and watch your scoring improve1.

Use your club or hand to re-set the board after your strike
Click here to buy now for outstanding Ball-Striking practice feedback

BONUS: when you buy through the newsletter link above, you'll also receive free access to my Putting Lesson Videos ($50 value) which cover: The Elevated Aimline Drill, The Squareness Awareness Drill, The Aimline Accuracy Drill, The Stock Putting Stroke Drill, The Barrier Drill, The Short Putt Channel Drill, and more.

Train with the Impact Snap training aid to improve your hand and wrist coordination for a powerful strike. A Golf Digest 2021 Editors Choice Training Aid

Click here to buy now and start using a great training aid that can be used indoors or outdoors.

Click here to buy this swing speed training aid and increase your distance off the tee. Buy now and get to work on increasing your swing speed now.

Club Champion Don't waste another dollar on clubs until you've gone through a fitting at Club Champion, 1669 Pittsford Victor Rd., Suite 400, Victor NY 14564. Call Master Fitter & Builder Jeff St. John. PGA work: (585) 978-8513, cell: (585) 831-2292 to schedule your fitting today1 Mention my name and you'll get special attention.

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 perfection1"
~ Ben Hogan