Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 719 - July 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: Commonly Misundertood Rules

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

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.

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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

Commonly Misundertood Rules

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?
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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.

Commonly Misundertood Rules

You can touch the sand in a bunker - sometimes - (Rule 12.2)

You can now touch the sand in a variety of instances without worry, so long as you're not purposely attempting to test the sand while you're doing it.

Among the things that are now permitted:
  • Placing a club or other equipment in the sand (if you're between clubs and you drop one you're not using, it's fine if it's in the bunker).
  • Hitting the sand in anger or frustration(not recommended - it's a bad look but not a penalty.
  • Leaning on a club in a bunker (as when you might be waiting for another player to hit a shot).
  • Digging your feet into the sand when preparing to hit a shot.
  • Removing loose impediments like pebbles, leaves and pinecones (provided you don't cause the ball to move in doing so).
Conversely, here's what you still aren't allowed:
  • Grounding your club at address in the sand prior to the stroke.
  • Touching the sand during a practice swing or with your backswing.
  • Deliberately touching the sand to test its condition or learn information to help you in making your next stroke.
You can ground your club in a penalty area - (Rule 17.1)

There are no longer special rules that apply to you when playing from a penalty area. So now you're allowed to ground your club and take practice swings like you would elsewhere on the course. You can also remove loose impediments so long as you don't move your ball, improve your lie or improve the conditions affecting your stroke.

You can accidentally hit your ball on the green with no penalty - (Rule 9.4)

If you accidentally cause your ball to move on the putting green, even with a practice swing, You can replace the ball with no penalty. Same if you cause your ball marker to move.

There's also no penalty if your ball moves because of natural forces, such as wind or water.

However, where you play your ball from after it moves varies.
  1. If you had already marked your ball on the green, replaced it and now a gust of wind comes up, you must return the ball to where it was when you marked it.
  2. If your ball moves before you've marked it, you don't get to replace the ball. You must play it from the new spot, even if that spot is now off the green.
Your ball is not considered "embedded" if somebody stepped on it - (Rule 16.3)

Under Rule 16.4, a player can mark and lift a ball to see if it lies in a condition where relief is allowed. If you proceed under this rule and it's determined that the ball isn't embedded, you replace the ball on its original spot and play from there. If the ball does meet the objective conditions that define being embedded, a player can measure one club length, no nearer the hole, from the spot directly behind where the ball became embedded (so the pitch mark isn't in the relief area) and take a free drop.

What defines if a ball is embedded?
  1. First, the ball must be in your own pitch mark as a result of the previous stroke. That means that if your ball is plugged in the ground because somebody stepped on it or ran over it with a cart, the ball is not embedded.
  2. The ball also must be at least partially below the surface of the ground. So if the ball is just in really deep grass but resting on the surface, it's not embedded under the Rules.
Red penalty areas give you three relief options, yellow gives you two - (Rule 17.1)

There is one notable difference between the options a player has when taking relief after hitting a ball into a red penalty area versus yellow.

Red stakes allow players to also take lateral relief (up to two club-lengths no nearer the hole) from where the ball entered the penalty area in addition to returning to the spot from the previous shot and relief where you can drop anywhere on an imaginary line drawn from the hole through the spot where the ball last crossed into the penalty area. The last two are the lone options if the penalty area is yellow. All options require a player take a one-stroke penalty, but the player does also have the option to play the ball as it lies.

It's your obligation to know the rules, and in this modern age you can look one up quickly on your phone. Take advantage when you can.


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
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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