Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 353 - Wed. June 10th, 2015
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In This Issue  

- Tom's Featured Tip: Still Head
- Tour Greens: - Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Q&A: Tee Shot Strategy
- Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
- Sponsors: Plum Creek Driving Range 
Batavia Country Club
Tour Greens Western New York 
Genesee Community College Golf Management Program 

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

Check out the Equipment & Apparel and Simulator Course Play Specials: Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve your simulator time!

Buy Gift Certificates for Lessons   Sample Gift Certificate

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

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Tom's Featured Tip: Still Head

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

I had intended to make this tip the "Bonus Tip" in todays issue because it's so short. However, after thinking it over I decided to make it the main tip because it's so critically important to a good swing. Enjoy.

To execute any swing well, keeping your head relatively still is an absolute fundamental of the golf swing.

The head defines the axis of your swing, and that axis should never move laterally during any golf swing.

"Relatively still", however, doesn't mean that it has to remain "absolutely still", there is a difference.

The key to keeping head movement within acceptable parameters is to eliminate all lateral sway of the head. It's OK to move your head downward and upward if that's a component of your swing style, and it's OK to rotate (but not lift) your head right after impact to track the ball. In fact, not doing that invites neck injury, just ask Davis Love.

Lateral movement of the head - moving your head backward and forward along the target line during your swing - IS NEVER OK.

A still head produces consistent ball striking. Consistent ball striking produces consistent scoring.

Try it, you'll like it.


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


Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens For Superb Short Game Practice

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Would you like your short game to progress from bad to good, or from good to great?

Would you like to get the ball up & down with more frequency?

Would you like to have a short game practice area in the privacy of your yard for practice and for friendly competition with your kids, your wife, and your friends?

Click here  for photo galleries and more information.

If the thought of having a beautiful tour quality practice green in your yard appeals to you, you're in luck.

In addition to my golf instruction business, I am also the exclusive Western New York sales associate for Tour Greens Western New York.

With Tour Greens you can experience the ultimate home short game practice solution.

Click here to read what Tour Pro's Fred Couples, Rich Beem, Boo Weekly, Blake Adams, and Chris DiMarco  have to say about their Tour Greens.

You all know me well enough to know that I don't affiliate with any product that I don't have a passionate belief in. These greens are the real deal. They are extremely durable - and they LOVE Western New York weather!

For more information please click here:, or feel free to call, text, or email me to discuss your needs.


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


Tom's Bonus Tip: Q&A: Tee Shot Strategy

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

Q: Hi Tom,

What do you do about a hole that "eats your lunch"? I play a hole in one of my leagues that should be easy but seems to jump up and bite me all the time.

It's a 510 yard par 5 with a gentle downhill starting about 200 yards out. It's the 8th hole of a 9 hole round. There is OB on the left and a half mile to the right (no exaggeration) that is safe to hit the ball. You can already guess that I typically pull hook my drive OB no matter how far I aim right. I did this yesterday when I was 1 over on the tee box. Took a double bogey and parred the last hole for a 39. The hole is a potential eagle hole with a good drive and I wanted a birdie in the worst way.

I told my partner after the round (somewhat jokingly) that I am never permitted to hit driver on that hole ever again. I could probably hit 5 iron, 5 iron, wedge and be on in regulation and putting for bird. While the conservative approach makes the most sense, I can't get away from the allure of being on in 2 on a par 5. I could have put my opponent away with a simple par and instead let him hang around until the last hole. So I was aggravated with that and the fact that I gave away a chance at shooting par.

Part of my issue with the tee shot is that the tee box is up against the OB line, and the tee box is sloped so that the ball is above my feet, promoting a right to left ball flight. So I guess the technical fix I'm looking for (short of leaving the driver in the bag) is how do I combat hitting that pull hook? Where should I tee off - left or right side of the box? Should I completely weaken my grip and try to hit fade/slice? I hit one hook all day off the tee and that hole was it! That hole really has me psyched out.

Steve T.

ps. I had the best night of the year with my short irons yesterday. No misses short. One miss right on a long par 3 and still made par.

A: Thanks for the question Steve, glad to hear that you've conquered hitting it right and short with your irons.

I'm sure that many people reading this have a trouble hole at their favorite course.

I'm going to give you a couple of answers here. One I will call the Conservative Approach, the other will be the Aggressive Approach.

If your round is going great and you are ahead in your match, choose the conservative route.

If you are behind in your match and your opponent is in the fairway in a position to go for the green, you might need to be more aggressive.

The Conservative Approach

Apply the rule of thumb that I tried to pound into the heads of my college players when I coached at that level:

"You've got to hate bogeys more than you love birdies".

For you, that means go ahead and "hit 5 iron, 5 iron, wedge and be on in regulation and putting for bird." as you stated you could do.

The Aggressive Approach

If you need to hit a long tee shot on this hole for whatever reason, remember the rules of ball flight that we covered during your fundamentals lessons:
  • the basic premise of ball flight laws: the clubface is responsible for around 75% to 85% of the starting direction of your ball.
  • The path puts spin on the ball.
  • The differential between clubface and swingpath determines the direction of curvature (draw or fade).
Weakening your grip is the least preferred way to hit a fade on this hole, I would rather see you get it done with alignment and ball position, and your normal swing path. Having said that, as I recall, your right hand tends to get into a strong grip position on your full swings, so make sure that's not happening. Keep the "V" in your right hand pointing inside your right shoulder, not behind it in your setup.

Next, tee the ball up lower than normal, in the center of the teebox markers, and hit a five yard fade. Specifically, I want your ball to start straight down the center of the fairway and curve gently to the right. Right side of the fairway or into the first cut of rough on the right side will be an acceptable result, considering all the trouble on the left and your tendency to hit it there.

Next comes discovery.

Golf is a game of discovery. This means you need to practice teeing off under the same conditions that particular tee has and deciding exactly where your ball placement needs to be to hit it on the up and left portion of your swing arc with a face that's open enough to your path to produce fade curvature. This usually means setting up with an open stance alignment with a face that's slightly closed at address. It's a scary thought with OB left and a tilted tee, but that's what needs to happen.

If it were me in the days when I competed fiercely, I would go to that tee and hit tee shots until I got it right. Early in the morning, late at night, between other foursomes, whatever. The best practice for that hole is playing that hole.

The next best practice is finding somewhere where you can duplicate the tee conditions, and practicing there until you own a fade off that lie.

I will add that this is a very challenging problem, but if you think it through it becomes doable with practice.

Having said all of that, until you master the fade under the playing conditions from that tee, take the conservative approach. Take any birdies, accept all pars, and run to the next hole :-).


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, Golf Digest Four Star rating for public courses to play in New York State. Tee times online or by phone in season.  (585) 343-7600

Tour Greens Western New York  Practice with purpose in your own back yard on your own synthetic practice green. Our greens LOVE Western New York weather!

Genesee Community College Golf Management Program   Click on link for more information if you or anyone you know is interested in a dynamic career in the golf industry, or in teaching golf.

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