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Does new technology help the learning process?

Does new technology help the average golfer in the learning process?

Does new technology help the average golfer in the learning process?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

There is an amazing amount of new technology available to instructors today.  

Examples are Flightscope, Trackman, Bodi-Track, 3D cameras, etc.  But does this new technology translate into better results for the student?  

I have used Flightscope for a while now, and it certainly helps me see things I cannot see with the naked eye or video camera.  Things like the angle of attack, clubface to path angle, and ball spin rate.  Translating that information in a simple way to the student has made me a better instructor as the student sees almost immediate results.  I have met the very likable Terry Hashimoto or “Hash,” as his friends like to call him, and he certainly knows his stuff with BodiTrack, a device that helps the instructor see pressure and center of gravity in the blink of an eye.  

This new technology is beneficial if used correctly to help the student, not confuse them.  So my final analysis of the question “Does new technology make a difference to the learning process?”  Yes, if the person using it to help the student knows how the read the data!  Thanks to  Terry Hashimoto and Golf WRX for this fascinating article!

Does new technology help the average golfer?

Any time new technology makes its way onto the PGA Tour, it’s always interesting to take a step back and observe some of the general trends to see what we can learn from the new data it provides. One new piece of technology that is growing in popularity on professional tours is BodiTrak, which I co-developed. BodiTrak a pressure-sensing mat that helps athletes understand how they interact with the ground, which, of course, is great for the golf swing. As we continue to learn, the movement of a golfer’s center of pressure, or COP, is crucial to performance, and that’s exactly what BodiTrak measures.

The importance of pressure or weight shift isn’t a new concept at all, though. Hall of Fame instructor Jim McLean wrote an article for Golf Digest 25 years ago that discussed the importance of being able to load into your trail leg and explode onto your lead leg. McLean’s postulate from 1980 was resisted by some, but is now being confirmed — almost universally across the instruction community — with data from BodiTrak mats.

“Now with BodiTrak Pressure Mapping, even those most pessimistic doubters and anti-weight movement teachers have to concede that great ball strikers and all PGA Tour players load pressure into the trail foot in the backswing for a driver,” McLean says. “They then unload quickly back to the lead foot, and explode out of the ground through the impact interval.”

We’re only scratching the surface in terms of data collection on Tour, but I wanted to share a few of the most notable trends, as they might be relevant lessons for the average club golfer.

Tour players load and explode.

The vast majority of Tour players load at least 80 percent of the pressure into their trail leg in their backswing and at least 80 percent into their lead leg at impact with their driver swing. Some golfers that BodiTrak has measured, like Jason Day, put as much as 95 percent of their pressure on their trail leg near the top of their backswing.



Does new technology help the average golfer in the learning process?

This move requires tremendous physical ability, but it’s foundational to Tour-level distance and consistency. Titleist Performance Institute co-founder Dave Phillips analyzed how Day’s elite hip mobility and stability make this move possible. Many amateurs (and some professionals) don’t have the requisite physical capabilities to do this, while others have inefficient technique. McLean refers to the transition to the lead leg as the key move in the golf. Golfers who fail to do so invite a number of potentially harmful swing tendencies. As PGA Tour instructor John Tillery says, “The overwhelming difference between amateurs and professionals is how and when they shift their pressure.”

Most Tour players have a linear trace with short irons

As a general rule, we’ve found the golf club wants to follow a golfer’s pressure trace during the swing.  There are exceptions, but if you review BodiTrak’s library of PGA Tour data, you’ll see that linear traces are extremely common in precision swings. Linear iron traces are often drastically different from dynamic traces seen in many powerful driver swings. The explosive speed of a Bubba Watson or J.B. Holmes, results from tremendous ground reaction forces.  Evidenced by a center of pressure trace we often refer to as a “Z Trace.”

To read the rest of this story on this exciting new technology, go here!

Source:  Terry Hashimoto   Golf WRX

Thanks for reading – Does new technology help the average golfer in the learning process?

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