Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 543 - Wed. February 6th, 2019
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Pre-Season Practice
Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors: Plum Creek Driving Range 
Batavia Country Club
Chestnut Hill Country Club 

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

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Tom's Featured Tip: Q&A: Pre-Season Practice

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

I received this question from Dominic P. in Rochester, NY:

Hi Tom, I'm aware that you are senior golfer. I am too, and I wanted to ask you how you are preparing for the upcoming golf season.



Thanks for the question Dom. I am a senior golfer (born in 1946) although I don't think of myself that way. I have been fortunate enough to shoot my age at least once a year since I turned 69, so my point of view is that it just got easier to do that at age 72. In fact I can even do it without a birdie now!

This answer is not only for seniors.

It's a practice outline that can be followed by anyone at any age to get ready for the golf season. I didn't include frequency or reps because what would change between seniors and others would be the frequency, intensity, or number reps during practice. If you are a senior golfer, don't practice to the point of injury, but don't be too easy on yourself either. Find your limits and practice accordingly.

I'll answer your question about what I'm going to practice for golf technique, but first I want to address strength. My personal progressive resistance weight training has gone really well this winter. My motivation was kick started because when I was dealing with a back issue at the end of last season, my physical therapist told me that progressive resistance weight training like I had been doing - but slacked off on during last season - would be helpful in resolving my back problem.

So I re-dedicated myself to my workout regimen, and I recommend progressive resistance training to anyone - senior or non senior golfer.

I also have one stretching/warmup routine that I do religiously.

When I assessed my game at the end of last season, I decided that I need to strike my irons better. I also bought a 48" driver shaft, the maximum length allowed under the rules, for my Ping G400 Max driver. I'd like to pick up a few more yards off the tee, and my driver was pretty reliable with the stock shaft last year.

Right now I'm just making a few full swings indoors, which is enough for me to retain my personal swing circle circuitry. I've been playing a long time, so that feeling is a pretty well rooted neural pathway in my brain. It just takes a little refreshing to bring it back into play.


I'll be experimenting with the longer driver shaft indoors, then outdoors to check my ball flight pattern. The big question mark will be if the regular flex shaft will be too flexible for me with the 48" shaft. I was swinging a different brand 48" shaft around ten years ago, and I needed a stiffer than normal shaft flex to make it work. That will be the project for the driver.


I have a 10' putting ramp in my basement, and practice enough reps there to always feel comfortable with my putting.

Ball Striking

I want a little more of a lower, boring trajectory with all of my scoring clubs this season. When I can get outdoors I'll be practicing low boring "punch" type shots with my wedges, 9 iron, and 8 iron as follows:
  • Setup with 90% of my weight on my forward foot
  • Execute a 3/4 backswing with no weight shift off the front foot and a firm left arm
  • Bump my hips to initiate my downswing sequence
  • Keep my head from sliding forward laterally
  • Strike the ball first, ground second at a slightly downward angle of attack
  • Take a shallow divot with a low follow through
The reason I'll wait until I can practice this drill outdoors is to observe the depth of the divot, which you can't do indoors.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, as a result of current research that I've read and buy into, I'm focusing on these new points of concentration when I practice and play:
  1. For all full swings, I'm going to look at the target then pick an intermediate target about 12" in front of the ball. When I address the ball, that intermediate target is the only target that I'm aligning everything at. I won't look back at the ultimate target until my eyes follow the ball after the strike.

  2. For putting it's a little different. I'll still find an intermediate target to square the putterface up to, but I'll glance back at the hole just before I execute my stroke because of the supreme importance of distance control for putting.

  3. When I step from the swing rehearsal box and into the hitting box, after I've aligned to my intermediate target, I'll only be thinking in terms of what I want the clubhead to do at or after impact. For example, if I want to hit a fade with my driver I may think "face open through impact" to keep it slightly open to the path. Or to hit a draw, I might think "toe up past impact" to have the face closing to the path at impact.

    On a scoring swing shot, I would think "squish the ball" to get the right angle of attack through impact.

    These are examples of using external thinking with the golf swing. I'm introducing more of that into my own game this year, and I'll be introducing more of that into my instruction this year also.
Thanks for your question Dom, I hope everyone reading this benefited also.

One last thing - I personally want to play more this year too!


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:



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   (585) 343-7600
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.

Pre-pay for a 2019 membership now and your membership will apply to the rest of this year!

FISH FRYS ARE BACK AT BCC and other dinner specials with soup and salad bar - starting Friday October 5th, 4pm - 9pm

Chestnut Hill Country Club   (585)-547-3613
Only minutes from Buffalo, open to the public.

Tee times online or by phone in season.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection!"
~ Ben Hogan