Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 797 - Wednesday January 3, 2024
Website     Newsletters Archive

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: Gapping Part II - Scoring

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

Buy Gift Certificates for Lessons   Sample Gift Certificate

Outdoor Golf lessons are available at The Batavia Country Club. Please call me (Tom Tucker) at 716 474 3005, email me at, or visit my website at   for details.

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For photos and stories from the 2023 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
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

Gapping Part II - Scoring

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.

Gapping Part II - Scoring

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

In last week's newsletter gapping the distances between your irons was discussed.

You obviously need to know what club to select for approach shots into the green. That's a basic requirement to play the game reasonably well.

But to take your game and your scoring to the next level, you not only need to know the distance gaps from club to club, you also need to know different distances available from the same club with different swing lengths.

Flighting the ball lower into the wind, shots that you may need to escape from trouble, and the receptiveness of the green, may require a different shot than a stock swing length produces.

What I'm referring to are partial swings, and perhaps swing tempo adjustments, to produce ball flight trajectory and distance adjustments.

I'll use my own swing as an example.

Hole number 2 at The Batavia Country Club is a par 5 that measures 467 yards with a pond right in front of the green.

I'm 77 years old, but on a good day with no wind against me and a good drive, I can go for it in 2. Most days I can not. - especially into the wind.

So I try to hit my 2nd shot to around 100 yards, my stock pitching wedge or hard gap wedge distance, depending on how I feel that day.

If the shot is against a mild wind, I'll punch a 9 iron into the green with a 3/4 swing effort.

If the shot is into a heavy wind, I'll punch an 8 iron with a 3/4 or half swing, depending on where the flag is.

Both of these swings produce a lower flighted ball trajectory that cuts through the wind.

More often than not, these shots leave me with a decent putt for a birdie.

So the skill that needs to be developed to maximize your scoring is precise partial swings.

That sounds easy, but it takes a lot of reps, here's how you do it.

The first thing you need to do is determine how you want to think about these types of swings.

Decide on whether you want to think of your backswing in terms of swing position or feel.

Swing position means that you feel like your backswing is measured in relation to a clockface. 12 o'clock equals a full backsiwng, 10:30 equals three quarters, and 9 o'clock equals halfway back.

Feel means that your backswing feels like either full, three quarters, or half.

For me the "feel" thought process works best, but yours may be the "swing position", to each their own.

Here are some ways that you can practice getting to these positions in your backswing with consistency. Each way takes a lot of reps, and you need to refresh your memory monthly - even when you feel that you have these backswing lengths nailed down.
  1. If you practice alone, use a constraint like a driveway marker with a pool noodle stuck in the ground to define the distance of your backswing. If you are indoors, rig something up to constrain your swing so that you can feel when it gets to each of the three positions.

  2. You can also use video or a mirror (I really like the mirror for immediate feedback) to see and feel the length of your swing.

  3. The way I did this many years ago was with another player who wanted to develop the same skills.

    1. I had the other player watch me swing as I went to the halfway, three quarters, and full backswing positions.

    2. I did 100 backswings for each of the positions, and had my buddy say either yes or no - depending on whether it was a precise swing or not. No's didn't count for the 100 swings total. Actually I did 100 good swings at a position then he did 100 good swings at that same position.

    3. Then we each hit a series of ten balls at an outdoor range with partial swing lengths, and wrote down the average distances. This is a lot easier and more precise now with the availability of indoor simulators. What was interesting was the percentage correlations from club to club for the partial swings, they were consistent. We hit gap wedge, PW, 9 iron and 8 iron, but this process is valid for every club in your bag.
My recurring practice consists of partial swings practice at home in front of a mirror, and often at a simulator between lessons.

The last step is to take your partial swings to a simulator or range, and to record the average distances produced with three different length partial swings for at least these clubs: gap wedge, PW, 9 iron, 8 iron.

You can also add another variable - adjusting swing tempo - but wait until you have the backswing lengths nailed down before you tinker with that.

Try this, you'll really like it.

My winter lesson schedule will be starting soon, I'll keep you posted.

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