Computer Golf Swing Analysis

By Jim Thomas

Computers have influenced many types of instruction, and golf instruction is no exception. Instead of just using their eyes, or basic replays from video cameras, golf teachers can use computers to break down your swing in sophisticated ways. For example: sensors on your body can measure, and computer screens can demonstrate, how your weight is balanced at every point of your swing; software connected to video cameras can give you a look at your swing in slow and slower motion; launch monitors can determine which golf ball best fits your swing speed and trajectory.

Swing Comparisons

Computers can store a large number of video files with second-by-second views of swings. Coaches can break down the the swings of top professional golfers to show you how your swing compares to the pros. Instructors can also use video to illustrate proper positioning for your particular body type, or overlay some of your swings to show how much progress you've made over a period of time.

Lesson and Swing Files

Instructors can put videos of swings into files for their own use and send the files to their pupils to review whenever they wish. There are programs that enable golf instructors and pupils to see swings broken down into 60 frames per second. Computer swing analysis also can be sent directly to a mobile phone or iPad, so you can receive long distance swing analysis.

Tee Taunt

Combine a light-activated computer screen, synchronized video camera and an automated tee and what do you get? A remarkable device developed by teaching pro George Keinhofer that causes the ball on the tee to disappear if your swing is flawed. When the flaw is identified mid-swing, the automated tee literally drops out of sight, taking the ball with it. Think of it as a golf version of "Whack A Mole." If your swing is flawed you'll wind up whacking at thin air over and over again. It's called Accelerized Golf, and sheer frustration will encourage you to improve your swing so you can actually hit the ball.

Futuristic Innovations

An ultra-sophisticated computer device to measure the silkiness of your tempo -- an indication of an excellent swing -- is the handiwork of Yale physics professor and former college golfer Robert Grober. Sensors that fit inside a golf club and are hooked up to a computer produce a pleasant musical tone if your swing has good tempo and a wailing sound if your tempo is out of whack.

About the Author

Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.

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