Golf Tips Newsletter - Issue 220 - December 5, 2012


In This Issue

- Tom's Featured Tip: Tiger's Swing Problem
- Tom's Bonus Tip: Anchor Ban, Sarcopenia
- Lesson Comments:
- Sponsors: The Batavia Country Club, Chestnut Hill CC,
Plum Creek Driving Range and PGA Golf Simulator
Genesee Community College Golf Management Program

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Tom's Featured Tip: Tiger's Swing Problem

For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties .... well, you know what to do ☺

At a tournament in China recently Tiger was overheard talking to Rory about swing changes.

Tiger said that he was struggling with Foley's (his coach) version of the Stack & Tilt swing, saying that he was having some trouble controlling his short iron distances, and that all of a sudden he's thinking "divots" when he didn't take much of a divot under his previous coaches.

In the tournament last weekend, he seems to have solved the problem because his wedge play was exceptional, but there is still a part of his swing that he needs to tweak.

Foley has Tiger working on a Stack & Tlit type swing but with a couple of adjustments that Foley apparently thought were appropriate.

I'm sure that's all well and good by the creators of the S&T Swing, Mike Bennet and Andy Plummer. They advocate working all or parts of their technique into a students process depending on what they are working with.

I'm also sure that they wish Foley had given them a little bit of credit for what he learned from them, but that's water over the dam.

I know the S&T Swing intimately, I use the swing myself, and teach all or parts of it to my students depending on a few considerations. My ball-striking lesson weighs heavily on the principles of the S&T method.

As such, I have a few thoughts on the direction that Foley will probably steer Tiger, and if you are struggling with a short iron swing that's too steep these thoughts should help you also.

First of all, although he was great in the past, I think Tiger's ball striking has improved significantly under Foley's tutelage.

Having said that, even though a steep angle of approach is part and parcel of the S&T swing - especially for scoring irons - Tiger's seems extreme to me.

A very abbreviated snapshot of the S&T swing - by the book - is as follows:
- weight feathered onto the forward foot at address
- either a front sided pivot or a centered pivot during the takeaway and backswing, with absolutely zero weight shift away from the front side
- a lateral shift forward, with more weight transfer continuing forward during the downswing
- a straightening of the forward leg and a hip thrust to provide velocity and to provide the appropriate angle of attack into the ball.

Keep in mind that the above is an overview, not a complete description of the technique. But it's enough to understand the following explanation of what's not happening in Tiger's swing.

Stacking weight forward with no weight shift to the rear promotes a steep angle of attack into the ball, which is generally desirable with your scoring irons.

Tiger does most of what's described above EXCEPT that he does not perform a significant forward lateral weight shift or the hip thrust. When these moves are done correctly, it shallows the angle of attack into the ball and diminishes the depth of the divot. It's apparent that a significant lateral weight shift and hip thrust has been executed when the player finishes with an inverted C posture, not straight up and down. For whatever reason, it appears that Foley has not had Woods work these components into his swing.

Personally, when I teach I sequence a student's swing training from a ball-striking lesson, where they learn how to hit "ball first" - "ground second" with consistency, to learning how so shallow out their angle of approach for non scoring irons, woods, and their driver.

I think that Tiger needs to add a little more pure S&T technique to his swing, namely a little more lateral weight shift forward coupled with a hip thrust. You'll be able to tell when that happens, just observe his posture to see if there is an inverted C in his posture in his finish.

Many so called experts have written that this type of finish is brutal on the back. When it's done correctly - which is via a hip thrust forward with your upper swing center remaining stable - there's no downside to it at all as far as back problems go. Biomechanical research backs this up.

There was back danger involved in the traditional swing coupled with the inverted C finish. That finish got there by setting up with a tilt away from the ball, and then leaning more away from the ball during or prior to impact in an attempt to "stay behind the ball ".

It will be interesting to see if Tiger makes changes, and if you are hitting your scoring irons too steeply and are taking huge divots, add some forward lateral weight shift to your downswing and the divots will get shallower.

Make next year your best year.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom's Bonus Tip: Anchor Ban; Sarcopenia

For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties .... well, you know what to do ☺

Anchor Ban

Last issue I projected how the powers to be would deal with the long putter issue - make no mistake that it's a long putter issue NOT a stroke issue.

I was mostly correct, the exception being that anchoring to the forearm is still permitted under the proposed rule, so at least Matt Kucher is safe.

I hope anyone reading this doesn't believe that this rule is being proposed to preserve the integrity of the stroke. That argument is disingenuous for several reasons, mainly the fact that it's been allowed for so long, and that there have been quite a few winners using the belly or long putter in recent years.

It's a ban on long putters that couldn't be called that in order to avoid a lawsuit.

Anyway, here's a chart that illustrates the proposed rule very well:


Sarcopenia, which affects both men and women, can be defined as the age-related loss of muscle mass and function. It usually begins after the age of 30 and as much as 3% to 5% of muscle mass can be lost per decade for inactive people.

GolFIT Carolina is owned and authored by Bob Forman, a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor through the Titleist Performance Institute and Flexor motor learning program. He gave me permission to upload his great article on Sarcopenia in The Aging Golfer onto my site, here's the link:

Progressive Resistance Training (weight lifting) can actually counter this problem very effectively. The seminal book on the topic as far as I'm concerned is Progressive Resistance Exercise by Dr. Thomas Delorme and Dr. Arthur Watkins. It's an oldie but a goodie.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


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 at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:

Driver Fitting Rates:



Plum Creek Driving Range - Play indoor golf on any of our 40 Simulator Courses. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve time for play or practice!

GCC Golf Management Program - click for information on GCC's degreed program for anyone interested in a career in the golf industry or teaching golf.

Batavia Country Club - Open - weather permitting, call first.

Chestnut Hill CC - Open - weather permitting, call first.

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