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!

This topic was inspired by a student of mine that said he saw some Golf Channel instruction by a famous teacher, saying don’t hit down on the ball, rather sweep it off the ground.

The problem I have with this is the same problem I have with “one size fits all” hats.

They don’t always fit everyone, just like this golf advice “don’t hit down on the ball” doesn’t fit everyone.

Each of you does have some choice in their golf swing, and you may indeed have some natural swing nuances where the thought of hitting down on the ball could ruin your swing.

Or, your swing nuances may be better served by actually thinking “hit down on the ball”.

You need to discover what swing thoughts work best for you, either by your own trial and error, or by taking a lesson or two from an instructor who should be able to guide you into a method that suits your own personal nuances.

So the short but simple message here is to discern from advice that someone says is the absolute only way to do it, and to find out what thoughts trigger the best swing motion for you.

I’ve had to go through this myself for my own swing. And even now after many years of teaching, I need to keep adjusting my language to students to discover the words that trigger the correct swing response from them.

That’s the challenge as well as the fun of teaching (and learning) golf.

I will say one thing for sure – if you decide on a sweeping swing motion – which is perfect for some players, you will need to make adjustments in order to “hit down” on the ball if it lies in the rough.

A sweeping swing motion fails without a relatively clean lie.


Health, Wellness, Fitness: Good Sleep


Here’s a summary from some research by Sol Orwell and Kurtis Frank I just read regarding good sleep, which is of utmost importance if you are trying to build a healthy body:
Reduced sleep for a prolonged period of time can decrease insulin sensitivity (and thus is a risk factor for diabetes); this is normalized when proper rest is attained.

Similar to the issue of insulin sensitivity, testosterone and other anabolic hormones are acutely suppressed with sleep deprivation and normalized shortly after proper rest is attained.

There is actually mixed evidence as to whether missing a night of sleep impairs workout performance. It would be safe to say that it does not help, and could potentially hinder.

Sleep deprivation is not adverse to weight loss per se, but it can cause you to overeat or move less.

Regardless of weight loss, limited evidence suggests an adverse effect on where the weight is lost (more lean mass lost, less fat lost).

Shifting the majority of your protein towards the morning, and perhaps having a small carbohydrate-containing meal at night, should theoretically aid in maintaining a proper circadian rhythm.

Manipulating light exposure for brighter white/blue/green lights in the morning and dimmer red/pink lights (or just darkness) at night definitely does aid in maintaining a proper sleep cycle.

If needed, melatonin can be used to help with sleep latency (time required to fall asleep) and abstaining from stimulants or introducing relaxing molecules (lavender and theanine) may aid in sleep quality.

Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Tom Tucker and Plum Creek Driving Range