Golf Swing Analysis
With all the new technology available in the world today, from mobile/cell phones with five mega pixel cameras, 3G internet surfing & combined movie & music interfaces, it's no wonder that this uploading & downloading technology has migrated into the golf teaching software market.
All good golf coaches use some form of golf swing analysis technology to back up their diagnosis and advance their coaching ability. This can range from simple video camera play back on a side screen to the most advanced golf swing analysis integrated systems incorporating hardware feedback & data from such items as High Speed Video Cameras, Biomechanics Vests, Force Plates, Radar Tracking Units & devices using Infra Red & Ultrasound technology.
Even at club level, pupils have an expectation of being shown their swing frame by frame, have the ability to keep a record of their improvement on a form of golf swing analysis home software and receive a summary of their lesson via the web. All these features appear in only a handful of golf swing analysis systems in the entire world but are available to all & are really a must for any serious coach. Coaches today that don't possess any of this technology are in the minority & really struggle to keep even their most loyal pupils. It begs the question, If you are unable to measure, how do you know your pupil is improving?
To be able to show the pupil's first ever captured clip next to the latest on a split screen, is invaluable for checking improvement progress. Split screening is also perfect for getting multiple captured views of the same swing, eliminating the need for a second when perhaps the error would not be repeated by allowing them to picture the correct swing-change-image, rather than relying on just a verbal description which can often be misinterpreted.
Every good golf swing analysis system comes with an extensive library of both male & female professionals to use as swing templates. Depending on the pupils fault, the coach will be able to show them the correct movement or position via these comparison clips.
For the serious coach this form of one dimensional measurement is not enough, so, this is where swing Biomechanics technology takes over.
Biomechanics measurement involves sensors being attached to the body, usually in the form of a waistcoat or vest containing one sensor at the top of the spine, another sensor located at the base, usually held in a belt & finally one sensor on the rear of the gloved hand. Each sensor is usually three dimensional, in some cases six dimensions can be measured but these systems come at a price. Three dimensions measures rotation, pitch & tilt measurements of the shoulders, hips & swing plane. A good golf swing analysis system will allow you input live settings into the sensors so live training can take place. This allows the coach to put the pupil into the desired position, press a key on the keyboard, that precise position is then stored. When the pupil reproduces the precise position or within the set tolerance, an audio & visual signal is produced. A fantastic innovation for the coach & something that I predict every coach will have in the years to come.
Another form of movement detection for the golf swing analysis comes in the form of a Force Plate or Balance Plate. This device gives the coach valuable information of where the pupils weight is at anytime during the swing sequence. With some force plates having 2500 sensors within less than ½ sq metre, the precise peak of weight can be pin pointed with great accuracy. For the coach, this is vital for determining the timing & point of balance at impact. Details are shown as a percentage not only on each foot, from toe to heal but from left to right foot also.
Because most Force Plates are less than 25mm high, they can be easily incorporated into the existing golf mat as long as the base is not made from reconstituted rubber, as this is very difficult to cut but having recessed the plate, it's virtually invisible to the uninitiated. This is of huge benefit to the coach doing golf swing analysis as it again puts figures to previously unknown data.
Launch monitors can benefit golf hardware retailers and also top coaches doing golf swing analysis. With all that data available it makes technique change a real science, giving instant stats on maybe, a change in the angle of attack. Advice can even carry right on through to the best suited golf ball for that particular players technique, checking such things as, flight path, spin rate & distance, all possible because it's the ball that is being tracked.
The putting stroke has not escaped the focus of today's golf swing analysis technology either with the introduction of products using such things as Infra Red & Ultrasound, 3D sensors & high speed cameras.
Some of these systems measure with great accuracy & some do not but a good system will give a valuable insight into, what is a fundamentally unexplored area of movement. This type of device again benefits both the coach & the retailer, especially now that putter fitting & customisation have evolved as a direct consequence of the introduction of these products.
Measuring such parameters as swing timing, tempo, face alignment (at address & impact) face rotation, accuracy of strike, angle of shaft (add loft & de-loft) at both address & impact, rise angle during stroke & also enabling the detection of any slight or obvious, involuntary movement really enables the stroke to be dissected like never before. This enables the coach to now do really in-depth putting analysis instead of, what was by comparison, a brief scratch on the surface of this crucially important area of the game and also monitor and offer cures to previously immeasurable movements.
So, to sum up, technology has brought golf swing analysis to the point where we can now take a piece of movie footage on a mobile/cell phone at, say for instance, the local driving range and upload it to an online locker. The software where the locker is located can automatically send an email to their coach, telling him to login from his golf swing analysis coaching software & download the uploaded clip. He then can record an audio/video file in various formats which is then sent back to the pupils' locker. When the locker receives the coaches reply, it again automatically sends a message alerting the recipient & urging them to logon & download the reply. Any other files sent from the coach which might be appropriate to the golf swing analysis, such as putting reports, launch monitor stats etc., can be included.
Technology in golf cannot be ignored any longer. It's here in a big way & here to stay.
We recommend taking a look at the GASP Lab Golf Swing Analysis System, available worldwide from GASP Systems Ltd.
Golf Swing Analysis
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