Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 280 - January 15th, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Getting New Irons?
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Keep It Thoracic
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- Sponsors: Batavia Country Club   Chestnut Hill Country Club 
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator 

Click here:  INDOOR GOLF LESSONS  for details on how to improve your game over the winter.

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Tom's Featured Tip:
Getting New Irons?

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!

My nephew has been corresponding with me regarding getting new irons, and I decided to include excerpts in this newsletter because of a couple of interesting points which I will reiterate at the end of this article. I'm sure my recommendations will hold true after I teach him some swing basics. Keep in mind that my nephew played fullback at the college level, and he still lifts regularly and is exceptionally large and strong.

Q: Thanks Uncle Tom,

I was leaning towards the Adams; the one thing I did like about the Cobras was the way the face was designed to get the ball up; I've struggled with consistency with that. Visually, I like them both.

Last question and I promise I won't bug you any more. You said to get the stiff flex rather than the regular. Just curious as to why?


A: Hi Tommy, don't worry about over-asking questions, I love talking golf.

Getting the ball up in the air is a function of weight placement in the clubhead (there are terms like C.O.G. and M.O.I. that apply here, but we'll leave it at weight placement), and correct swing angles, so actually either the Adams or the Cobra game improvement model irons will help. A softer shaft flex may also help, but not always. Super game improvement irons are characterized by wide soles and a lot of mass spread around near the bottom rear of the clubhead. They also have a larger clubhead all around than irons made for medium to low handicap players.

In fact, you should probably try a super game improvement model if it fits your eye. They will be the easiest to hit.

I would generally recommend regular flex shafts for a beginner, but your situation is different.

For you, I recommend a stiff flex rather than regular, because I anticipate that you will load the club and release the club with a powerful thrust. That's what I observed at the family tournament anyway.

Contrary to popular belief, swing speed isn't the only consideration for shaft flex.

Correct shaft flex is also heavily dependent on how you load and unload the shaft, and your release. Very strong people tend to unload with an aggressive arm thrust, and agressive wrist and hand action. That type of swing requires more firmness in the shaft (as well as strong torque) to control ball flight and direction. It's called a "heavy hit" and it stresses the shaft just prior to and at impact. Moderate swing speed usually indicates a regular flex shaft "R", but when that is coupled with a "heavy hit" that changes the recommendation to a stiffer shaft flex - sometimes "S", sometimes "XS"

Your physique will lend itself to a "hitter" style of swing for maximum results, as opposed to a less muscular physique which usually benefits from a "swinger" style. Some blended physiques or body types can take advantage of both styles, but that's a rarity.

Hit balls with both shaft flexes on a range or simulator and observe the results. If the shaft feels too whippy, you will have trouble with control. Choose the shaft flex that gives you the narrowest side to side shot dispersion.

Interesting Points:
  1. While it's a good idea to get fitted for irons, or clubs in general, most manufactured clubs are designed with the general adult population in mind - meaning that the lie angle will be sufficient for most people between 5'9" and 6'0", and most of the population would actually play better with a "R" shaft. The exceptions are very tall or very short people, players with very fast swing speeds, or those with a "heavy hit".

  2. Shaft flex is where you can get steered wrong if you get fitted on a simulator by an inexperienced fitter. Most people think that swing speed is the sole criterion for shaft flex, but it's not.

    Rocky Marciano was a championship boxer who once broke an opponents upper arm by throwing hooks relentlessly into the guy's arm during the fight. At the distance that punch travels, it didn't carry much swing speed, but it did carry a heavy hit. My guess would be that if Rocky got fitted for shaft flex considering swing speed only, he would get the wrong flex due to the way he unloaded at impact. A "heavy hit" wouldn't be accounted for on most simulators, and it merits a stiffer than "R" shaft.

    My thoughts have always been that if you are going to spend good money on a fitting, get fitted by someone who is also a capable golf instructor to get the best advice. To take this point a step further, that advice should sometimes be to learn to swing a club first before you get fitted.

    A teacher will tell you that, a retail golf store fitter will sell you the clubs.

  3. Get a swing first, get good clubs second.

  4. If you are going to buy clubs, try before you buy - then actually buy what you tried if it's a good fit. All shafts - even from the same manufacturer - are not equal. When you find the clubhead and shaft combination that you hit well, buy those exact clubs.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf, own your swing,


Tom's Bonus Tip:
Keep It Thoracic

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!

For putting and chipping, any necessary body rotation should be restricted to your upper thoracic region, your upper spine torso only. Lower body movement ruins everything, keep it thoracic.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf, own your swing,


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  Outdoor range and play indoor golf on any of our 40 Simulator Courses. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve time for simulator play or practice!

Batavia Country Club   Pro Shop at Batavia CC open 9am - 4pm daily for memberships, gift certificates, merchandise, apparel, and equipment. Phone orders accepted as well.

Chestnut Hill CC   Great rates, 20 minutes East of Buffalo, NY .

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