Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 237 - March 27th, 2013


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Shankopatamus
- Tom's Bonus Tip: The Best Way to 2 Putt
- 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.

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Tom's Featured 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!

Shankopatamus is defined in the Urban Dictionary as a golfer gravely afflicted by the "s" word of golf--the shanks - hitting the ball off the hosel of the club, resulting in shots that go pretty much dead right with relatively little distance.

I recall a time in my golfing life about 15 years ago when I was shanking so often that I seriously considered giving up the game for awhile. Shanking shots continuously is one of the most frustrating situations any golfer can experience.

I've heard people talk about the scariest shots in golf, but in my experience it's the next one after you've shanked it.

In my case I finally figured out that I was using my hands too much in my takeaway and downswing, and when it wasn't timed correctly, I was presenting the club at address with an open clubface; coupled with an inside attack angle, it was easy to keep smashing hosel rockets all over the place.

My cure involved developing a swing pattern for myself that utlizied less hand manipulation of the club, and more body rotation. I changed from a traditional swing to a rotary swing pattern. Since then I've changed to a stack and tilt swing because it takes advantage of rotation - but has some built in technique safeguards against over rotation in the downswing.

I recently had a student with good potential tell me he shanked a few balls at the dome. This is what I told him to work on to leave shankopatamus behind. Keep in mind that when we started working together, he started his downswing purely with hip rotation, which can cause your hands to be too active in your downswing.

Here's what I told him to practice:

Keep you're arms moving on an angled circle on the backswing and the down and through swing. If you abbreviate the downswing circle follow through, you will end up attacking the ball too much from the inside. Your arms and hands should feel like they attack from the inside, then move down the line, then go to your left.

This is facilitated by a couple of swing components:
  1. Turning your left shoulder down on your backswing while maintaining a still head;

  2. Your arms and hands keep moving on an angled circle in the backswing and downswing;

  3. Don't force an inside out swing - it will happen due to ball position and starting your downswing with a lateral hip slide;

  4. Keep both arms well connected throughout the swing - meaning that there's a connection between the top of your biceps and your pectorals in both arms that continues throughout the swing, which also helps to keep your elbows the same distance apart through the swing; the arms should feel like they are staying long and extended through impact and into your early follow through;

  5. Keep your right elbow more in front of your body on your backswing, don't let it wander behind your right rib cage as if you were pull-starting a lawnmower;

  6. Allow your right knee to straighten in your backswing while maintaining a still head;

  7. Execute a deliberate lateral hip slide to start your downswing while maintaining a still head;

  8. As the downswing commences your left leg starts to straighten and your right knee starts to flex;

  9. Maintain a gentle but continuous rotation past impact;
Maintaining body rotation without fanning the club open on the takeaway will help you get the clubhead square through impact. Don't try to close the clubface with your hands, keep turning through. Sliding both knees in your downswing with no lateral hip slide and without straightening your left leg enough through impact is a formula for a push shank;

A good drill is to address a ball with a very narrow stance, ball positioned off your rear toe. Then hit gentle pitching wedge shots, keeping your left arm perfectly straight and taking care to not fan the clubface open on your takeaway. Keep the clubface square to your swingpath for these gentle pitch shots and your shankopatamus will become extinct.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip:
The Best Way to 2 Putt

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!

The best way to 2 putt is to try to 1 putt.

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