Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 771 - Wednesday July 5, 2023
Website     Newsletters Archive

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


Master The Motion Before You Master The Shot.
"15 Minutes of Body Action Drills Are More
Important Than Hitting 200 Balls"

Tom's Featured Tip: Stance - Set Up For Safety

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
Game of Throws Indoor Simulator
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

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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

Stance - Set Up For Safety

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 and wrist action, which is second only to low point awareness for great ball striking.

Stance - Set Up For Safety

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

In modern golf instruction, it's fairly common to see setups being taught in which the feet are perpendicular to the target line. Geometrically, this works well. The problem, however, is that most people in their present physical state, or especially as they age, don't have the mobility in their hips to be able to accommodate this type of setup.

This includes myself.

Oftentimes, what you'll see is that the player will have no problems in the backswing and downswing. Then at some point in the through swing and/or into the finish, the lead foot spins out or comes off the ground because it physically is unable to stay in the same place due in part to insufficient hip mobility.

In some cases it's because of the large amount of torque created in the swing, as in Bryson DeChambeau's finish, or it may be due to a physical incapacity like Patrick Reed's problematic left ankle.

They have trained themselves to open the lead foot in their setup to avoid torque on their knee and hip joints

If that lead foot was set up perpendicular to their aimline and stayed in the same place into their follow through, it could potentially lead to injury.

When I was younger, I used to set up with my feet perpendicular to the target line because I felt that orientation helped me to hit a draw, my preferred ball flight curvature. I tried that again - for some unknown reason - about a year ago on my drive, and I paused in my finish for an inordinate amount of time because I thought my left knee joint was about to crack.

It wasn't really for some unknown reason. My desired draw curvature had become less consistent so I was searching for the draw. I eventually discovered that the open lead foot influenced my downswing path. I was coming a bit outside in on my downswing path, so I just drilled that out of my swing with about 1,000 correct reps (done dry - without a ball).

I now make sure that both of my feet are turned slightly outward at setup in order to:
  1. facilitate a deep backswing, my swing pattern requires depth in the backswing
  2. to keep my downswing circle on the target line - the open rear foot counterbalances the open lead foot
  3. and to facilitate a finish that is stress free on my knees and lead hip
One way of improving the mobility of your hip is through golf fitness, particularly with something to target internal hip rotation in the lead leg.

Aside from golf fitness, just setting up with your lead foot turned a bit outward in the first place to about where it normally finishes in the follow through will do the trick.

Don't turn your foot outward (experiment) to the point that it will limit your backswing motion. Most people can turn their feet outward farther than they can inward. So you should still be able to complete your normal back swing even with the more "open" lead foot.

As for the rear foot, that will depend on your desired swing pattern. Some swing patterns favor torquing the shoulder turn against the hips. That would favor a trail foot that's perpendicular to your target line like Ben Hogan's was. The swing pattern that I favor and teach requires depth in the backswing, and as such it requires an open rear foot like Grant Waite's.

If for some reason you want a shorter backswing like John Rahm's, you might set up with your trail foot perpendicular to the target line. If you want a longer backswing like Tiger Woods, you would turn it outward a bit. It just depends on the swing you use.

There are several benefits that come with incorporating an open lead foot setup.
  1. You may get a better sense of the target with some of your body facing in that direction.

  2. You should be able to "clear through the ball" a bit easier. Sometimes this leads to more distance because your body won't need to slow down in anticipation of running out of room to swing due to a mobility issue.

  3. Since you won't be needing to make some compensatory move to avert injury, you might swing and finish with better balance. This could not only lead to more distance, but potentially additional consistency and accuracy as well.

  4. You'll definitely be putting yourself at less risk long term for injury.
So the takeaway is: open your lead foot in your setup - with the caveat that you need to keep an inside to outside downswing path grooved or you may experience a few pulls or fades until you get used to it.

Try it, you'll like it, and your body will like you for it long term.

Email Comments: to

"Clear Intentions Simplify Execution"
Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, The Stack and Tilt Swing

Love your practice, own your swing, own your health, and remember that golf is a game of discovery. Dont be afraid to experiment when you practice, it's good for your golfing brain.


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:
Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Indoor 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.

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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 Professional, Batavia Country Club
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