Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 236 - March 20th, 2013


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Swing Thoughts
- Tom's Bonus Tip: 6 Putting Tips
- 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 DRIVING RANGE IN BATAVIA, NY, 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:

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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. Click for details:

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Swing Thoughts

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!

Ever since the game has been taught professionally, there has been debate on the emphasis that should be placed on swing mechanics vs. feel.

The goal for every golfer should be to go out and play with a free mind and great target awareness. See the shot and execute the swing, while not consciously thinking about swing mechanics.

The problem is that you can't get to that place without practicing lots of reps of swing mechanics.

Most good players learn their swings. They decide on the type of swing they want to use, then they find somewhere to practice their swing mechanics until they become second nature.

Then they go to the course and learn to play the game.

There are some players like Bubba Watson who are naturals, who have an uncanny ability to hit the ball far and well, but they are rare exceptions.

Most of us need some sort of guidance - books, DVD's, youtube clips, formal instruction, etc. For us ordinary folk, once we find something that works we need to be able to repeat it, and that comes with lots of practice. Repetitions of swing mechanics, to be more specific.

Mastery of the mechanics must precede "feel" for anyone. "Feel" is what you get after the mechanics are automatic. That takes in anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 repetitions per segment of your swing, then assembling the segments.

I have played with some players that have great natural talent, but they can't repeat their swing consistently because they don't know it intimately. By knowing it, I mean making a swing, watching and understanding what the ball does, then having the knowledge and ability to make changes if necessary.

I offer this sales analogy.

I have had businesses in the past where I had to train a sales force. I would insist that my sales people either used a sales script that I developed, or that they develop one of their own that I would approve prior to them making presentations to prospects. It contained all the necessary elements, introduction, features, benefits, the close, etc.

Some of the "natural" salespeople resisted this until I asked them how they could change their presentation of their closing ratio was not up to par? You can't change what you don't know. You can't repair or troubleshoot a presentation that has changed from customer to customer depending on your mood.

It's the same with golf.

Accidentally hitting good shots isn't good enough. You need to know what you did to make the ball do what it did. You need fundamental knowledge, or maybe better stated - knowledge of the fundamentals. You can't repair or troubleshoot a bad swing that has no fundamental method, pattern, process, or plan.

As a golfer who wants a repeatable swing, you need to know two things:
  1. Ball flight faws
  2. Your swing pattern (the "script" of your swing)
If you can observe how a ball is reacting to your swing, and if you know the ball flight laws, you should be able to figure out what fundamental aspects of your swing are causing that flight.

If it's all good, you have the knowledge to repeat the swing.

If there are problems, you have an idea of what to repair.

You can call it a swing method, pattern, style, or whatever you choose - but without that knowledge how can you develop or maintain skill?

So study a few different methods, choose one, and learn it; or take parts from several different methods that are compatible, piece them together, make that your swing, and learn that.

Educating yourself is the key. Your golf will then be much less frustrating, and you might even get to be good at the game.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip: 6 Putting Tips

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!

Here are a 6 short but sweet putting tips to work into your game.
  1. Adopt a firm, comfortable stance that allows your stroke to start your putts on your aimline every time.

  2. Once your wrists are set, freeze them. I teach a setup that includes a flat left wrist, because most untrained players actually have a tiny left wrist flip at impact in their putting stroke. This will make your distance control very erratic on long putts. If you prefer to set up with a cupped left wrist, make sure it stays firm through the stroke - but I'm going on record saying that the flat left wrist is better for the average golfer.

  3. Keep your head absolutely still from the start through the finish of your stroke.

  4. Power the stroke with your shoulders only, a pendulum motion is best.

  5. For lag putts, utilize your natural stroke, whether it's arcing or straight back and straight through.

  6. For very short putts, utilize a straight back and straight through stroke, no exceptions. Crouch a little more over the ball, grip lower on the putter, straight back and straight through stroke, and listen for the ball to drop - don't watch it drop.
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   is getting ready for the 2013 season, and there are a few league openings and discounts for pre-payment. Click here for details Relax on Easter Sunday by treating the family to a delicious Easter Brunch at BCC, reservations required, Click here for details

Chestnut Hill CC   Check website for opening date for start of 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