Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 316 - Wed. September 24th, 2014
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Missing The Sweet Spot
- Health, Wellness, Fitness: Isotonix Prime Joint Support Formula Story
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Hogan Quote and Putting Quickies
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- Sponsors: Batavia Country Club   Chestnut Hill Country Club 
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator 

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Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Missing The Sweet Spot

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!

Q: Tom, I keep hitting my driver towards the heel, which I know is costing me distance. I tried the gate drill you talked about in another issue (setting up two tees to direct the clubhead through the impact area) and it worked OK on the range, but it's not carrying over to the course. What else can I do?

Thanks, Bobby G., Buffalo, NY

A: Thanks for the question Bobby. Missing the sweet spot on the inside portion of the face of the driver - towards the heel of the club, is one of the more common mistakes I see in my students, low handicappers as well as high handicappers.

You didn't mention your handicap, but I see low handicappers missing this way because they are swinging too much inside to outside, and high handicappers usually miss this way because they are slashing across the ball at impact.

This type of miss manifests itself with weak distance, as well as a slight fade or slice. With the scoring irons it can manifest itself as a shank.

To correct the problem, in addition to a better swing path and more consistent swing radius - which is usually the cure for high handicappers, low handicappers need to pay close attention to their weight distribution on their feet through impact.

More often than not, they are starting to let their weight get too much on their toes as the clubhead nears impact, which causes the club to move out and away from their body too much, which impacts where the ball makes contact with the clubface. Usually it's on the heel side of center face when this happens, and the result is a weak shot that starts straight or a bit to the right, then fades towards the right at end of it's flight.

To cure this tendency, you can do a few things:
  • First of all, be aware that your weight is moving this way.

  • Then think about keeping your feet flat on the ground as the club approaches impact, with your weight evenly distributed from toe to heel.

  • To acquire the feeling, practice over-correcting your weight distribution as follows:

    • Take some easy swings and hit balls standing with your toes on a 2"x4", or with a golf ball under each foot near the toes if you don't have a 2"x4". I prefer the 2"x4" because it's easier to maintain your balance.

      After you've experienced how your weight felt doing that, remove the board and hit balls with your normal swing - but repeat the feeling of having less weight on your toes at impact.

      This will groove a better swing radius as well as allow for more center clubface contact.

  • Use the combination of practice swings with your toes elevated mixed with normal swings, and monitor where the clubface is making contact with the ball. It should move more towards the center.

  • You can also practice acquiring this feeling without actually hitting a ball. Just swing a driver with more weight feathered towards your heels, and it should become your normal swing pattern radius after sufficient reps.
Try this drill if you make contact too near the heel and I'm sure your distance and curvature will become more consistent.


Health, Wellness, Fitness: Isotonix Joint Prime Support Formula Story

On my website, there's a long version of my story on why I'm sold on supplements my story. I mentioned that I have had chronically sore knees, and that the pain has disappeared since I started taking the Isotonix Prime Joint Support Formula  that I now sell.

Here's a current, personal golf pain relief story that I experienced very recently.

About a month ago I went on an annual golf trip in Pennsylvania with my buddies, and I played way below my capabilities.

So I got back to Batavia on a Sunday and went to the range on Monday and hit 350 balls.

After about 150 balls, I started to experience a stabbing pain in my upper back similar to an injury that I had about four years ago. Since I don't do many things in moderation, I went on to hit another 200 balls and really hurt my back. In hindsight, not a stellar decision on my part.

I went to my personal physician and decided to get a neurological consultation if the pain didn't subside.

During this time frame, I had run out of my prime joint support formula just before my golf trip because I sold a couple of bottles out of my inventory, and had ordered more for myself. It arrived the day after my Dr. visit and I started taking it again as usual. Five days after taking it regularly again, my back pain is gone and I had a pain free round of golf Sunday and shot under par.

I'm not saying take this and you'll break par, but I am saying that if you have chronic back pain when you play it's worth a shot to try this to see if it allows you to swing as well as you are capable of.

You can buy it online here: Buy Isotonix Prime Joint Support Formula  and use this coupon code to get 10% off your purchase : 10OFFMA

A 45 day supply retails for $73.50, less 10%. Normal shipping charges apply.

If you are uncomfortable ordering online, call me ai (76) 474 3005 or email me and I'll order for you and arrange for delivery at no extra cost.


Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Tom's Bonus Tip: Hogan Quote and Putting Quickies

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!

"Every day you miss practicing will take you one day longer to get good."
~Ben Hogan

Now this doesn't mean that you have to practice full swings for two hours per day. In my mind it does mean that every day we all have time to stroke a few putts on a putting mat, or take a few impact fix technique short swings (without a ball) to burn the bottom of our swing into our brain for short swings.

Find 20 minutes per day to practice something and watch your skill level grow.

I've heard a common misconception that practicing your putting speed on the practice green before your round is futile because the greens on the course don't match the speed on the putting green.

Well if the grass on the putting green and the grass on the greens on the course is the same, and if both greens have been cut the same way on that day, then it's obvious that the speeds will generally match up well.

It is, however, important to ask in the pro shop before your round if the putting green and the greens on the course have all been cut that day. Once, while playing in North Carolina, I asked, and got the reply that the putting green had not been cut but the course greens had. I'm sure I saved myself a stroke or two on the first two holes because I was hyper aware of the speed - and they were very fast.

I've also heard that the best speed for a putt is a speed that dies the putt in the hole.

Harvey Penick and Dave Stockton are proponents of that speed. Other bona fide experts who have studied the science of putting in depth like Dave Pelz and Geoff Magnum are not.

I weigh in on the side of Geoff Magnum (speed of 8 to 10 inches past the hole) because I play most of my golf on public courses. That makes a big difference because a lot of inexperienced or uninformed public course players place their foot too close to the hole when they retrieve a holed putt. Over time, that - combined with a large amount of play - can cause a mounding effect around the hole - almost like a donut - that can cause a very slowly rolling ball to veer off line if it's rolling at a "die it at the hole" speed.

A ball putted at a speed of 8 to 10 inches past the hole overcomes that problem. In fact on very short putts, I change to Dave Pelz's recommended speed of 18 inches past the hole to remind myself to not baby the putt.

Is there any worse feeling in golf (other than hitting it out of bounds) than leaving a short putt short of the hole? If you practice dying the ball at the hole, I can almost guarantee that will happen to you. If you putt at a speed of 18 inches past the hole for very short putts, I can almost guarantee that it won't.

Now if I played all of my golf on perfect hyper fast greens like the pros, I could lean more towards the die it at the hole mentality. But if you play most of you golf on public courses, putt at a speed that would take the ball 8 to 10 inches past the hole on a miss.

By the way, 8 to 10 inches past the hole also gives luck a chance, because if half the ball is over half the hole it still has a good chance to drop.


Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


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   Great Rates & The Best Greens in WNY- bar none! Buy next years membership now, get the balance of this season free. Fall rates in effect, plugging greens so call for conditions. Outside covered patio open for Sunday football; food and drinks available.

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