Video analysis caveat

Using video analysis can be helpful to your swing—if applied correctly

by Trevor Moore

Video golf analysis can be an incredible tool when it comes to sourcing out weak areas in your swing; however remember the old saying, garbage in is equal to garbage out, so be sure you approach it with caution. With all the cost effective video technology – cameras, cellular phones, etc – available today, I am seeing more players attempt to analyze their personal video footage in hopes of finding out what is wrong with their swing. Self analysis is often futile and frustrating. Having the capability to capture swings on tape is only helpful if you know what you are looking for when you view it. The overwhelming majority of players don’t understand how to assess and prioritize the sequence of events that takes place throughout the golf swing. Viewing your swing in hopes that something obvious will jump out at you is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. Professionals are trained to find the sequence of events that ultimately lead to the obvious mistake; fixing the obvious is only helpful if it happens to be the root issue.

More than just pricey equipment

Don’t be fooled into thinking that professional training begins and ends with simply spending money on expensive cameras, tripods and computer analysis software. It is not uncommon to see people videotaping from the wrong positions. Having the camera out of place by a few degrees or inches will create illusions that don’t let you see the image for what it really is...and trust me, from my other profession I also happen to know a little bit about creating illusions! Although it only takes a few degrees or inches to create an illusion, I have personally witnessed people taping swings from as much as 90 degrees off the required position. You see significantly different things from a camera facing the player as you do from a camera positioned to their side. To give you a medical analogy, if you had a sore arm and the technicians x-rayed your foot, would you feel that the pictures were going to tell you the real story? Would you trust the plan of action used to remedy the issue? Not likely. Let’s assume your camera angles are correct and you do find something wrong with your swing, do you know how to fix it? Finding a problem is often the easy part; finding the appropriate solution and correction is another. Sticking with the medical example above, if you had an arm that was obviously severely broken, the doctor would still take an x-ray. Is it to decide if it really is broken? No, it is to help establish any collateral damage that may have been done and create an accurate treatment option. It could mean surgery, pins, tissue repair, plates, casting or in extreme cases even amputation. The simple answer is that it was broken and both you and the doctor knew it; however it is the doctor’s specialized training that really helps you positively correct the situation. I am not suggesting that you abandon your personal video use all together, just be certain you use it appropriately. Ideally you should use it to augment your lesson program and monitor your progress along the way…it shouldn’t replace a teacher. Trevor Moore is a CPGA professional and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor (CGFI) with the Titleist Performance Institute. Based in Medicine Hat, he runs the Advantage Golf Academy at Cottonwood Coulee Golf Course, coaches the Medicine Hat College (ACAC) golf teams and is the lead instructor with Notre Dame Academy. For comments or questions, you can contact him via his website.

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