Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 783 - Wednesday September 27, 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: Finding Your Groove on The First Tee

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
Game of Throws Indoor Simulator
The Divot Board
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 2023 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
2023 BCC Junior Golf Camp

For details on the 2024 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
2024 BCC Junior Golf Camp The Junior Golf Camp sold out quickly in 2023, so get your junior golfer registered soon. Call BCC at (585) 343-7600

Finding Your Groove on The First Tee

The Best Training Aid 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.

Finding Your Groove on The First Tee

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

This is the feedback that I gave to a student after a lesson. He had experienced sub par play for the first nine holes of a recent tournament, then good play for the back nine.

To me it was a pretty good indication of nerves getting the best of him until he found his groove. The problem is that you can't waste nine holes finding your groove when you are playing tournaments or playing for a few bucks.

He also had a setup issue that was causing inconsistency.

Here are my lesson follow up comments to him, heed the advice if nerves get the best of you at the start of your round.


Today we discussed what to do to fight off tournament nervousness so that you can find your groove before the back nine.

Specifically we discussed:

Full swing preparation
  • If you can get to a range prior to your tournament, warmup with the thoracic spine stretch we always do, then go through your bag making only one full swing with each club as follows, in the order listed. Do it for two cycles if you have time:
    • PW
    • 3 wood
    • 9 iron
    • hybrid
    • 8 iron
    • 5 iron
    • 7iron
    • 6 iron

  • Then make three to five driver swings, don't quit until you've hit to acceptable drives in a row.

Putting Preparation
  • Go to the putting green and take ten putts, 5 in each direction on a flat neutral part of the green with a 9" backswing. That's the about length stroke that you should use to develop a stock putting stroke. The video is here: Square Strike Putting Drills look at the Stock Stroke Drill.

  • Next, putt around the putting green with one ball, changing the distance of the next putt after you hole out.

  • Before you leave the putting green, make 5 three footers in a row with a firm stroke, looking at the hole - not the ball.

Mental Preparation

The objective of mental preparation is to keep you calm under tournament pressure. The key is to understand that everything wants to speed up after a bad result - your pace of walking, your thinking, your pre-shot routine, and your swing tends to get shorter. That's a formula for trying to get too much out of a recovery shot, and turning a bogey into a double bogey. Stay calm, take your medicine and make good decisions. A bogey is not the end of the world, but double bogeys or worse are momentum killers.

To combat that nervousness first comes awareness. Recognize when it's happening. When you are feeling pressure for any reason, slow down your pace of walking, slow down your thinking, and breathe very deeply for an in and out 5 count, in through the nose, out through the mouth until you feel calm. Then you'll be able to think clearly.

Make sure that you go through your breathing process on the first tee. You should be doing it as a part of your routine anyway, but doing it again before you step into the ball will definitely be helpful.

The next and final key is having a pre-shot routine and going through it deliberately and with precision for every shot, especially when you feel pressure in a tough situation. Here's yours, memorize it and do it with every shot, even your putting!
  • Approach the ball from behind the ball, pause and take a very deep 5 count breath, in through the nose, out through the mouth, then you will feel totally calm.

  • Pick an intermediate target for the purpose of aligning your body for your shot, then move to the side of the ball, into the rehearsal box.

  • Step into the hitting box as follows:
    • place your right foot,
    • place the club behind the ball square to your target line,
    • place left foot
    • adjust your feet to accommodate the ball position for your shot.


    You have a tendency to open them as you do with your wedges. Be aware, and don't allow that to happen.

  • Relax, gather your thoughts, glance at the intermediate target, then eyes back to the ball.

  • Take two waggles, then make a good swing
Practice and memorize your pre-shot routine; practice making 5 count deep breath cycles so that you'll be able to do it when you need to. It's actually a good thing to do once or twice daily anyway, it keeps you calm and on track.

Good job, keep practicing.


Try it, you'll like it.

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.

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 ($60 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.

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