I’ll cut to the chase. If you want to improve your swing you need to go through a golf swing analysis.
Preferably, a video golf swing analysis.
For those golf swing instructors that don’t believe in shooting video, hang on before you have a stroke. I’ll explain why I think having a video is important to the client in a bit.
First, I want to explain why a golf swing analysis is important.
Golf Swing Analysis
Let me start with a story.
In my regular foursome is a guy that plays reasonably good golf. He shoots in the high 70’s and low 80’s.
However, it has become evident that his drives and iron shots are much shorter than they were 5-years ago when we started playing together.
He is now hitting longer irons or hybrids into greens when he used to hit his mid-irons.
On par 3’s he is always coming up short and still thinks that his 8-iron is going to carry 150-yards when it barely reaches 125-yards.
Like all of us, he is getting older.
We can either accept our game for what it will become, or decide to do something about it.
This past week, after yet again coming up short from 130-yards he says
“Yep, it’s time to get some new clubs”
I gave him a look and dripping with sarcasm say
“Yea, that’ll help”
Ok, I get it, his clubs are 5-years old.
But guess what.
They’re not going to hit the ball any shorter than when they were new. Maybe improvements in technology and a bigger sweet spot on new clubs will allow him to hit the ball farther, but it’s not the old iron’s fault the ball isn’t carrying as far as they once did.
He needs to go through a golf swing analysis and see how he can improve his swing and fitness levels.
He works outside and walks his butt off every day, so he isn’t in bad physical shape for someone his age. But, I have noticed changes in his swing. He’s releasing his hands early, and his hips aren’t rotating like they did even 5-years ago.
A video golf swing analysis would document these swing characteristics so he can concentrate on correcting the issues and gain his distance back.
Why a Video Golf Swing Analysis?
I visit quite a few golf courses in the Central New York area, and I’ve talked to quite a few swing instructors. Many swing instructors have told me they don’t like to video their clients.
The swing instructors have a few reasons.
- Setting up a camera and showing the video takes too much time.
- They don’t have the place to watch the video (no computer where they teach).
- The instructor can see the problem and doesn’t need a video to tell what is wrong.
- Video confuses the client.
- After seeing a video of their swing the client is aghast (an instructor’s actual word) at how bad their swing is.
I completely understand how the instructors feel.
Camera’s can be a pain to set up. Some ranges & instructional areas aren’t set up for computers. Most swing instructors have a much better eye than I do and can see what is happening during a swing. When looking at a video and seeing all of the lines it can be overwhelming for the viewer. Without a doubt, many golfers can’t believe their swing is as non-traditional as it is.
What some swing instructors don’t realize is their clients will shake their head agreeing to about anything the instructor says.
So when the instructor explains early extension and tells them they are encroaching on the golf ball, or moving forward toward the ball, or their butt isn’t standing back, the clients shake their head, yes, and the instructor believes the client understands what he is saying.
Even when the instructor demonstrates the motion for the customer, I don’t think it is as good as seeing an actual video of the movement.
Experts say that up to 80% of people are visual learners. People can read and listen, but show them something and they understand better what is happening and needs to be done to fix the problem.
I believe it benefits clients to see how they are moving compared to how they should move as demonstrated by the instructor.
Another significant advantage of video is the documentation. The golfer can see how much their swing has improved, and that the time and money they have invested is helping.
I’m a firm believer that physical limitations cause the majority of swing issues that plague amateur golfers.
Only true beginners, don’t know how to swing a golf club.
What I mean by that is if a golfer improves their mobility & stability their golf swing will become better on their own. Moving forward, it will be easier and quicker for a swing instructor to improve the golfer’s natural swing after correction of the physical limitations.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again
“In order to swing like Dustin Johnson, you need to move like Dustin Johnson”
Insert any professional golfer that you want into that quote.
If you can’t rotate your T-spine, separate movement between your lower body and upper body, and keep your shoulder stability, there is no way you’re going to get your hands higher in your backswing without losing posture.
Not going to happen.
No matter how many times a swing instructor tells you to get your hands higher, or grabs the club and places it there for you, it isn’t going to happen on its own.
Don’t Want to Hear It
I know most people don’t want to hear that there is another step they will have to take in order to swing better. Or that buying new clubs might help in the short term, but eventually distance will decrease.
But, it’s the truth.
The golf swing is a complicated sequence of movements that requires strength, speed, mobility, and stability. As we become older, we lose some or all of these movements, and it takes an effort to not only improve our bodies but to keep the status quo.
Experts have documented the most common swing characteristics that can cause golfers wayward shots. These characteristics can be seen and identified by body positions at certain points in the golf swing. This is accomplished by drawing lines on the video at marker locations and advancing the video to see if the correct positions are attained during the swing.
Having a swing characteristic doesn’t necessarily mean that a physical limitation is a cause. However, often that is the case, and to test the hypothesis a movement screen can be performed to see if the body is capable of making the movement.
If the movement screen shows that the body is capable of the movement then the cause might be an instruction issue. If the movement can’t be made, then correction exercises should be recommended to improve movement.
Advantages of Video Analysis
The advantage of a video golf swing analysis is the ease of the process.
Yes, you need to record the videos, but with today’s technology that isn’t as much of a problem as it once was.
Almost everyone has a smartphone in their pocket. The cameras on these phones are now sufficient to take golf swing analysis video.
Because of the ease and availability of technology, it isn’t necessary to make an appointment with an instructor. The client can take the video themselves (or with help from a friend or spouse) and e-mail them to the instructor so they can analyze the videos at a convenient time and send back a report that the client can read and view the instructor’s recommendations at their leisure.
Saving time saves money.
Now the process isn’t perfect, and it is always best to see a professional in person, but with the lower cost, more golfers will be able to take advantage of this service.
Using only a swing analysis to identify swing characteristics isn’t as good as including a physical movement screen. However, most of the time the video analysis is a good start, and a complete or partial physical screen can be one of the recommendations of the instructor to narrow down the exact limitations.
The worst case is recommending too many correction exercises.
Over recommending doesn’t cause any physical issues, it only slows down the correction process.
And as I have stated previously, documenting the swing at an early stage is beneficial to the golfer, (an instructor or fitness professional if they’re doing a good job) as they can see improvement through time. Improvement justifies the time and money they are spending on their swing.
Physical limitations are the most common cause of swing characteristics and poor golf swings.
A video golf swing analysis can easily identify the physical limitations causing swing characteristics.
Correction exercise recommendations based on the video assessment will reduce or eliminate physical limitations causing swing characteristics.
When the physical limitations have been reduced or eliminated, swing instructors can more easily and effectively improve the swing of the golfer.
Today’s technology makes it easier for clients and professionals to share data. Using a smartphone either with a tripod or someone’s steady hand, videos can be shot and e-mailed to the professional for analysis.
The reduced one-on-one time and convenience of doing the analysis during off-hours reduces the cost of the analysis so more golfers that once couldn’t afford an analysis can now take advantage of the service.
TPI Video Golf Swing Analysis
As a TPI Fitness Professional, I’ve been trained to analyze swing video and identify swing characteristics.
Use the button below to visit a web page that explains my video analysis service.
For a limited time, I have also reduced the cost of service! Click the button for more details.