Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 228 - January 23, 2013


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Ball Flight Surprises
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Procrastination
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- Sponsors: Batavia Country Club Chestnut Hill Country Club
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator
GCC Golf Management Program Provoto Putting Systems

PLUM CREEK IS OPEN ALL WINTER Come on down to play or practice. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve your simulator time! Great money saving monthly specials, check them out here:

Buy Gift Certificates for Lessons   Sample Gift Certificate

Indoor lessons are available at Plum Creek, please call me at
716 474 3005, email me at, or visit my website at   for rates and details.

Indoor or Outdoor Driver Fitting Get the most bang for your buck when you buy a new driver by getting professionally fitted first.

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Ball Flight Surprises

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!

Many new instructors and better players think that they can derive club path and face angle information solely from their ball flight, but that's not always the case.

Now, you would be able to do so if you hit the ball on the sweet spot of the club each time, but that's unlikely for most of us.

The other factor that has to be taken into consideration is impact location.

I have one student that has been making very steady progress over the two years that we have been working together, and he has grooved a very repeatable swing that strikes the ball "on the back of the circle" with a slightly closed clubface. In other words, he's consistently attacking the ball from the inside with a slightly closed face, which normally produces a nice draw.

The problem is that every now and then his ball fades or goes straight.

At first glance, one might think that his swing got a little over the top, but actually the path and face angle were good - he just struck the ball inside of center on the clubface.

It usually takes more than the naked eye to figure this out.

If you miss your driver 1/2" inside or outside of the horizontal center of the face with a normal release of the club, your shot dispersion could be off 14% from the resultant hook or slice spin axis (-20 degrees) due to the off center hit. This means an accuracy error of 28 yards on a 200 yard carry shot, which is pretty significant.

A strike too much inside of center on the clubface produces a fade or slice spin axis, too much toward the toe produces a draw or hook spin axis. Where the ball ends up would also depend on face angle and path at impact. Bulge, roll, and gear effect also come into play - more so for a driver, less so for irons.

Video can help diagnose this problem if shot from the correct angle, and with a trained eye looking at the result. Simulators are more precise - as long as someone knows how to interpret the data.

But what can you do if you don't have an instructor, don't use video, and don't have access to a simulator?

The first thing you need to do is groove a consistent swing path, and train your hands to maintain the correct angles through impact.

Then to check on impact location, you can use any of the following items:
  • Impact Decals GolfWorks Impact Decals
  • Talcum Powder dusted onto the face of the club
  • I've been using Dr Scholls Spray on Foot Powder, but I'm going to give MARKIT Impact Spray a try. Here's an interesting YouTube video of an instructor demonstrating MARKIT Impact Spray:  and another from the MARKIT Company on how to use the product:  Google the name for the best price, I found it at Amazon and Hireko Golf for $14.95, one of the reviews on Amazon said that it was overpriced but worked well.
  • Dry Erase Marker Pens rubbed onto the face of the club (this take a little scrubbing to remove after your practice session)
Don't use any of the powders or dry erase markers when hitting into a simulator bay, you'll leave marks on the screen.

I'm also testing PSP's "The Little Club" for use in impact location practice, I'll report on that in an upcoming issue.

Also be aware that you can't use any of the above items during a round because they cause an increase in friction between the ball and the clubface, which results in an increased spin rate. Your goal when you use something to check impact location is solely to check where the ball and clubface are colliding, so that you can start making corrections to hit the ball on the sweet spot of the clubface consistently.

One way or another, find out where your contact consistently occurs, then make adjustments as necessary to hit the ball squarely, regulary.

Hitting the ball squarely is a factor that is often overlooked in lieu of swing speed for distance.

Don't ignore it; it's actually something that everyone can get better at.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip:

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!

"Procrastination is attitude's natural assassin. There is nothing so fatiguing as an uncompleted task." William James, one of the founders of modern psychology.

I mentioned in a previous newsletter that I recently had an issue with a back problem that turned out to be a rib problem. During the course of the diagnosis, I went to a couple of different physicians, therapists, and rehab specialists, each of which gave me corrective exercises for the problem.

Even though I am the type of person that relishes a challenge like getting better and stronger, the sheer number of exercises provided overwhelmed me to the point that I stalled out.

Then I remembered that the only way you can eat an elephant is one bite at a time, so I cut down the number of exercises and got back on track.

If you keep it simple, the odds are good that it will get done.

So .... here's the worlds simplest golf improvement plan for procrastinators:
  1. write down one golf drill or one golf fitness exercise on a piece of paper before you go to bed at night
  2. schedule a time to do it the next day, and write that on the paper too
  3. stick the paper in the front pants pocket of the pants you will put on the next day
  4. then just do it
Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Golf Lessons

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link for Plum Creek info here:

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:

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Driver Fitting Rates:



Plum Creek Driving Range and Simulator  Play indoor golf on any of our 40 Simulator Courses. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve time for play or practice!

Provoto Putting Systems   readers get a 30% discount on putting greens. Click on their catalog link, and select the green you want to purchase. After you decide on features, add it to your cart. You'll find the field for "Discount Coupon" near the bottom of the page. Enter PGApro in that field and your product cost will be discounted 30%.

GCC Golf Management Program   click for information on GCC's degreed program for anyone interested in a career in the golf industry or teaching golf.

Batavia Country Club   Course closed for the season, but the Lodge is open with live bands peforming on Fridays.

Chestnut Hill CC   Course closed for the season.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection!"
~ Ben Hogan