Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 794 - Wednesday December 13, 2023
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


Master The Motion Before You Master The Shot.
"15 Minutes of Body Action Drills Are More
Important Than Hitting 200 Balls"

Tom's Featured Tip: The Golf Ball Rollback

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
Game of Throws Indoor Simulator
The Divot Board
Fiberbuilt Golf Flight Deck Practice Station
The Rypstick
Club Champion

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

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2023 BCC Junior Golf Camp

For details on the 2024 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
2024 BCC Junior Golf Camp The Junior Golf Camp sold out quickly in 2023, so get your junior golfer registered soon. Call BCC at (585) 343-7600

The Golf Ball Rollback

The Best Training Aid For Indoor or Outdoor Practice

The Divot Board

This is the most useful ball striking development training aid that I own.
Don't have one yet What's holding you back
Click here to buy your Divot Board for outstanding Ball-Striking practice.

The Golf Ball Rollback

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

For some reason, the USGA and R&A decided that they had to find a way to combat increased hitting distances for the "long term stability" of the sport.

The solution that they came up with decreases the distance that the ball will fly for pro's as well as amateurs.

First of all - who asked them to find a way to diminish the joy of playing for the 6.6 million people who play the game?

Every player I know loves to hit their drive as far as they can, and they also enjoy watching elite pro's hit prodigious drives. Those pro's - as well as many amateurs - have worked hard on their game and their bodies to maximize their potential.

Why in the heck should we all have to kowtow to two out of touch groups governing the sport because they arbitrarily decide to make a change that has the capacity to diminish the enjoyment of the sport for most players?

Maybe it's time for the pro's and the ball manufacturers to decide that those two groups are obsolete, and that they should simply govern the game themselves.

By the way, I'm not in favor of the rule.

Here's a synopsis of the change.

The new testing conditions are set to take effect in 2028. But recreational players will be allowed to use currently conforming balls until 2030.

The USGA and R&A believe updated testing conditions for golf-ball conformance under the Overall Distance Standard (ODS) will help curb distance, particularly at the professional level.

Under the revised ball testing conditions, equipment manufacturers will have new offerings tested at 125 mph clubhead speed (equivalent to 183 mph ball speed) with a spin rate of 2200 RPMs and launch angle of 11 degrees. The current conditions, implemented 20 years ago, are set at 120 mph (176 mph ball speed), 2520 RPMs with a launch angle of 10 degrees.

In plain English, to meet the ODS standard, premium golf balls - like the ones used by pro's and high level amateurs,  will have to be re-constructed (or some existing balls will need to be rebranded) to produce less ball speed than they do now.  Even with the updated testing conditions, “more than 30 percent of all golf ball models submitted for conformance across the game are expected to remain conforming after these changes are applied.”

The obvious question when looking at these numbers is trying to figure out where the everyday golfer fits in the universal rollback. Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s chief governance officer, confirmed the initial plan was to focus solely on elite pros and amateurs — they considered moving the test speed to 127 mph — until they started to speak with concerned “stakeholders” regarding the Model Local Rule proposal.

The unmitigated arrogance displayed by the powers to be is evident in the next few paragraphs.

“There were practical challenges that we heard from stakeholders,” Pagel said. “What should the collegiate game do? What should state amateurs do? What should junior amateurs do? How would PGA professionals approach this at their club if they’re asked to regulate? It caused us to step back and say, okay, the game is expressing a preference for unification. We are committed to minimizing the impact on the recreational game, and that ultimately led us to the conclusion of that 125 mph.”

Using the revised ball testing conditions, the USGA confirmed golfers at 183 mph ball speed and above should expect to see as much as 13-15 yards in driver distance loss, with the average pro and elite male golfer coming in at a reduction of 9-11 yards. As for LPGA and LET players, Pagel said the reduction would be around 5-7 yards with the driver.

And the everyday male amateur with a mid-90s clubhead speed? The change in testing speed would equate to 5 yards or less with the driver, according to the governing bodies’ research.

“This is not about taking the game back 20 years, 30 years as it relates to ball technology,” Pagel said. “Even under these rules, manufacturers will be able to produce modern golf balls that look and feel the same. We say five or less yards on your driver, that’s a big range. But that’s a big range because it’s player-dependent, it’s swing-dependent. Frankly, it’s going to be equipment dependent.

“Yes, there’ll be an impact. We don’t want to downplay that. People are going to feel challenged, feel it. There’s going to be an impact. But the reality is we’re confident in our estimates that this will have a minimal impact to the recreational game and for the recreational game.”

Spitzer was also quick to point out that the biggest distance loss for all golfers will come with the driver in their hands. However, once they get to the 5-iron, he said the distances should be almost exactly the same with the current and updated ball testing conditions.

So they say ........

“If you make the change through aerodynamics, it goes actually to the square of the velocity,” Spitzer said. “So we don’t expect to see much distance loss at all, even at the highest levels, once you get to the 5-iron. And so when you have low swing players like myself, I’m going to lose my distance almost all in the driver. I won’t see anything in the fairway woods and hybrids because my swing speed is lower. But the rest of the golfers at the highest level, by the time they get to [the 5-iron], it should be the exact same club.”

But wait, they're not done trying to ruin your enjoyment of the game:

Something else that’s important to the governing bodies is researching other areas where distance gains can be found - and that includes the driver. Starting on March 31, 2024, an expanded testing approach will be implemented to detect driver models that are likely to exceed the Characteristic Time (CT) limit through regular use. Research will also ramp up on driver forgiveness, as it relates to performance on off-center strikes at the elite level.

In other words, the golf ball isn’t the only piece of equipment underneath a microscope at the moment.

It's time for change for sure , but not in the ball or the driver - but in the administrative bodies that govern the game.

Here's where I usually say "Try it, you'll like it" - but this time I think you won't like it.

Did I mention that I don't like the change?

Email Comments: to

"Clear Intentions Simplify Execution"
Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, The Stack and Tilt Swing

Love your practice, own your swing, own your health, and remember that golf is a game of discovery. Dont be afraid to experiment when you practice, it's good for your golfing brain.


Golf Lessons

I am now conducting lessons at The Batavia Country Club

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:
Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Indoor Lessons Details and Rates


Sponsors and Affiliates

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

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.
FISH FRYS AT BCC and other delicious dinner specials with soup and salad bar - Fridays, 4pm - 9pm

Click here to buy your Divot Board to drastically improve your ball-striking. Combine your Divot Board practice and putting practice with the included putting lesson drills, and watch your scoring improve1.

Use your club or hand to re-set the board after your strike
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BONUS: when you buy through the newsletter link above, you'll also receive free access to my Putting Lesson Videos ($60 value) which cover: The Elevated Aimline Drill, The Squareness Awareness Drill, The Aimline Accuracy Drill, The Stock Putting Stroke Drill, The Barrier Drill, The Short Putt Channel Drill, and more.

Click here to buy your Fiberbuilt Golf Flight Deck Practice Station. (Editor's note: Order through Amazon Prime instead of through the manufacturer's site and you'll save around $100)

If you are looking for the most robust portable hitting station that money can buy, the Fiberbuilt Golf Flight Deck Practice Station fits the bill.

It comes with a 300,000 shot guarantee, most other mats are usually in the 50,000 range. I use one at all of my range lessons and am more than happy with it. If you are serious about home practice, get one, you won't regret it.

Click here to buy this swing speed training aid and increase your distance off the tee. Buy now and get to work on increasing your swing speed now.

Club Champion Don't waste another dollar on clubs until you've gone through a fitting at Club Champion, 1669 Pittsford Victor Rd., Suite 400, Victor NY 14564. Call Master Fitter & Builder Jeff St. John. PGA work: (585) 978-8513, cell: (585) 831-2292 to schedule your fitting today1 Mention my name and you'll get special attention.

Train with a Rypstick to improve your swing speed and gain more distance off the tee. If the versatility of three different swing weights in one club appeals to you, this is your swing speed training aid of choice.

Click here to buy now, and make sure that you enter TOMTUCKERGOLF (case sensitive) in the Discount code box when you check out to receive a 5% discount.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Professional, Batavia Country Club
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 perfection1"
~ Ben Hogan