Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 376 - Wed. November 18th, 2015
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In This Issue

Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Chipping
Tour Greens: Tour Quality Synthetic Greens
Tom's Bonus Tip: The Golfer Who Wins ....
Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors: Plum Creek Driving Range 
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 Plum Creek's Simulator Course Play Specials: Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve your simulator time!

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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: Q&A: Chipping

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

Q: Hi Tom, I read last week's tip on chipping with a low trajectory, and that's what I try to do.

The problem I have is that I often get an inconsistent roll because the ball checks up too much.

When I chip I almost always use my 60 degree wedge with the ball way back in my stance.

I'm a single digit handicap and this holds back my scoring. I'm probably going to come in for a chipping lesson, but in the meantime do you have any solutions for this problem?

Thanks, Robert P., Spencerport NY.

A: Thanks for the question Robert.

First of all I want to say that your lie will often determine your ball position and club selection for a chip shot. The rule of thumb is the worse the lie, the further you play it back in your stance.

I suspect that your ball position is probably the main issue that's preventing you from getting a consistent rollout on your chip shots.

Here's a mental consideration. Your frame of mind as far as target and rollout may need to be addressed first.

I have my students approach a chipping situation with the same mindset as they would a lag putt.

What I mean by that is that I have them pay more attention to the total distance when they are executing their pre-shot routine practice swings than they do to the landing spot for their chip.

I know that some instructors teach just the opposite. But if you select a club that's going to negotiate any rough or obstacles well enough, then I believe the total distance consideration trumps the exact landing spot for the chip.

It well definitely help your distance control.

After that mental adjustment, you probably need to make some technique and possibly some club selection adjustments as well.

Playing the ball way back in your stance as you have stated does give you a low trajectory shot, but it also imparts more spin than you need for a standard chip shot. The slightest bit of variance on your tempo or angle of attack will cause a substantial variation to the checking properties of the shot when the ball first lands on the green.

There's not much margin for error, although you may just have to accept that when you absolutely need to play it back due to a bad lie.

Standard Technique Adjustment

A much more reliable ball position for chipping is closer to the center of your stance.

First of all, you will not have as much forward shaft lean at impact, which means a little less compression and a little less spin. Less compression and less spin translates to better distance control. Then the only variable you have to control is the length of your swing (with consistent tempo) and you'll master your distance control.

Second, placing the ball in the center of your stance, or even a bit more forward if the lie is good, also allows you to utilize the bounce of your club to further control your clubface integrity through impact.

One equipment adjustment you'll probably need to make will be a switch to a less lofted club to keep the trajectory acceptable. Using your 60 degree wedge with a center ball placement will probably launch the chip too high. Either that, or you will add forward shaft lean to compensate for the ball placement and you are back to square one.

I know it's difficult to switch from your go-to chipping wedge. But for what it's worth, I'm also a low single digit handicap player and I made chipping club selection adjustments this year with excellent results. Don't be afraid to try something that has the potential to take an aspect of your game to another level - IF IT MAKES SENSE TO YOU.

Advanced Technique

If you need to add more "check" to a short chip, open your stance slightly and adjust your swing path to a bit outside to inside, holding your clubface square to your target. That slice path will add more backspin to the shot.

If you need even more spin on a short chip, do the aforementioned and use a more lofted club. Be careful to generate enough club speed when you execute this technique. The common mistake is to swing too slow and leave the chip well short of the target.

If you need to get more "run" on a long chip, you could either choose a lower lofted club or allow your wrists to roll closed through impact.

Try these suggestions Robert, I'm certain it will help - and I look forward to seeing you over the winter for a chipping lesson!


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 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: The Golfer Who Wins ....

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

Every single golfer that I've ever taught, has at one time or another expressed a desire to be able to hit their driver further.

Hey, I get it, I want to hit mine further too. But there comes a time when factors such as age, health, work, practice limitations, etc. will affect your ability to hit it as far as you want to.

But here's an indisputable fact: the golfer who wins ALWAYS putts well.

And since putting practice is easy to do all winter long, don't deprive yourself of some wins by neglecting a part of your game that you can take to a very high level.



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. Reduced rates for 2016 Season Pass Memberships available until December 20th, 2015 PLUS pay now and play now on 2016 membership. See website below for rates.  (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