Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 548 - Wed. March 14th, 2019
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


If you don't take action, you'll never improve.
Prepare to play your best golf by doing something now!

Tom's Featured Tip: Maximizing Driver Distance
Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
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Batavia Country Club
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Tom's Featured Tip: Maximizing Driver Distance

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

If you feel like you are not getting maximum distance out of your driver, here some keys for improvement.

Notice that I said maximum distance, not maximum carry.

What's the difference?

The difference is ground conditions. If the ground is neutral or firm, you want a medium trajectory, penetrating shot with draw . If it's soft and not yielding much roll out, you want a higher trajectory shot for maximum carry.

Here are some thoughts on obtaining either more carry or more roll out.

Most players, especially as they age, can benefit from more loft on their driver regardless of ground conditions. So either buy a fixed loft driver with at least 10 degrees of loft, or if you have an adjustable driver make the adjustment to get at least 10 degrees of loft, and even more may well be better. Keep in mind that when you add loft to the clubhead with an adjustable driver, you close the face slightly, so you are building in draw bias - which I think is a good thing for slow to average swing speed players.

Adding loft will launch the ball higher, but getting a lot maximum carry also depends on your ball spin rate.

Your choice of shaft weight and flex also weighs in, but for now I'm only going to address impact angle conditions that effect spin rate and launch angle.

There are a few slightly different opinions on the number of degrees that your ball should launch at, but I'm not even going to address that here.

If you use TrackMan or another type of simulator and are able to get that data, that's fine. If you don't use anything like that, you can judge your results by what you actually see at the range or when you play.

In addition to adding loft and learning to hit a draw, which is simply having the face slightly closed to the path at impact, to get maximum carry you need to hit the ball on the ascending part of your swing arc.

Not flat, not down, up.

That means that you need to position the ball so that you hit it on the upswing part of your swing circle. It usually means that it's positioned forward of center in your stance. When you do that, the ball launches high and the spin rate on the ball diminishes. The ball carries well, and lands at an angle that provides good roll out. When you master hitting the draw, you'll get maximum roll out.

If you hit the ball at the exact bottom of your swing arc (flat) or when you hit it on a descending part of your swing arc (down), you'll get too much spin on the ball and it will drop at an angle that won't allow for maximum roll out, even with a draw. That's not ideal for maximum distance.

You need to experiment at the range to find the best ball position for your desired launch angle. It takes a little work, but it's time well spent for the reward.

Teeing the ball a little higher is necessary if you are playing it more forward in your stance, because the clubhead will be travelling more upward at impact.

Here are your keys for more distance with your driver:
  • Add more loft to your driver.

  • Learn how to hit a draw (see me for a lesson if you can't figure it out yourself).

  • For neutral to firm ground conditions, position the ball for a medium trajectory launch with draw spin for a penetrating ball flight that rolls out to the max. This ball position will not be as forward in your stance as it will for maximum carry, and it will also be teed up slightly lower.

  • For soft ground conditions, position the ball for a high trajectory launch for maximum carry. It should be teed up forward in your stance, and teed up high. If you have a normal to slow swing speed, I still like a slight draw. If you have a very fast swing speed, a fade will also work just fine.
Try these methods to maximize your distance, you'll love the results.


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.

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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