I think deep down inside we all want to watch a video of our golf swing.
It used to be that recording video was a chore.
Today we can easily make a video using the smartphone that is in our pocket.
Still, there is more to taking a good golf swing video than handing the phone over to a buddy and let him have it.
There are right and wrong ways to record video.
In this article, I will explain in detail how to correctly record video of your golf swing that professionals can use it to analyze your swing.
Besides Curiosity What Other Reasons are There to Take a Video of Your Golf Swing?
This is a golf fitness website so why the Hell am I talking about recording video of golf swings and not about some torturous plank or cable chop exercise?
Well, in a recent article I discussed The12 Most Common Swing Faults in Golf.
If you haven’t read the article you should, because you will see that identifying swing faults (or as I prefer to call them swing characteristics) can uncover physical limitations that may be causing your wayward shots and/or robbing you of distance.
By identifying swing characteristics and completing a simple physical screen, an exercise program can be developed that will help you produce more power, hit the ball farther, and have a more consistent swing that will lower your scores!
To identify which of the swing characteristics you may have, I will need to analyze a video of your golf swing.
Not video recorded at random angles, but two videos. One looking face-on and the other pointed down the target line.
How to Video Your Golf Swing
I am not going to expect you to go spend a ton of money on camera equipment.
Yes, DSLR cameras or digital video recorders will record a better quality video than your smartphone will.
But your smartphone will do a good enough job, especially if you have a slow-motion feature on the phone.
For more information on video equipment specifications please download my Free Golf Swing Video Guide below.
The Guide also contains a checklist that you can bring with you to the range that outlines the required steps to record good quality video of your golf swing.
Download the Free checklist and guide below.
I don’t recommend that you have a buddy hold the smartphone while you swing away.
Camera angles, movement, and height differences will matter during the analysis. Plus the video will be shaky if the video is recorded by hand.
Especially when recording slow-motion video.
I also recommend you purchase an inexpensive tripod.
They range between $10 and $30 and will last you a lifetime.
You will also need a smartphone adapter to hold your phone on the tripod. They are inexpensive, I purchased mine on Amazon for under $10. Here is an affiliate link to Cell Phone Tripod Adaptor.
Once you have a tripod and smartphone holder you are ready to record some video!
Video from the Face-on View
The face-on view is the easier video position to set-up so I will start with that.
I like to lay alignment rods or clubs on the ground before setting up the camera. They give you an idea of how the scene will look in the viewfinder.
Also, when you go to hit golf balls you can stand in the same place each time.
The steps and some photos of the set-up are shown below.
- Place a club perpendicular to the target line;
- Mount the smartphone vertically in the tripod – portrait view;
- Make sure the phone is adjusted in the holder tightly and perpendicular to the ground;
- Place the tripod 12- to 15-ft from the ball position, aimed along the shaft of the club set-up perpendicular to the target line;
- Adjust the legs of the tripod so the focus point of the camera is at hand height;
- Shoot a practice video at regular speed and take a look at it.
- The ball should be at the very bottom of the video frame and the hands shown at the top of the backswing near the top of the video frame;
- If you can’t see the ball, or the top of the backswing, move the camera farther away;
- Conversely, if there is a lot of space at the bottom and/or top of the video move the camera closer;
- Check the video to make sure you have the swing framed well;
- If it is you are ready to record your first video;
- If not, continue to adjust the camera distance until the swing arc takes up most of the view.
- In the video, the image of the person can’t be too small, it will be hard to analyze;
- Conversely, in the video you need to show the clubface hitting the ball and the hands at the top of the backswing;
- Once the regular speed video is complete to your liking, record another video in Slo-motion mode.
- The slow-motion video is lower quality video (750 dpi) but the shutter speed is much faster so there will be more frames per second.
- If you mis-hit the ball or take a swing that is not your normal swing, delete that video and re-shoot it.
- Save good swings.
Video recording uses a lot of memory space, so either have someone else hit the record button or make sure you don’t waste time between starting and stopping the recording.
Now let’s move on to the down-the-line view.
Video From Down-the-Line View
Placing the camera (phone) on the down-the- line view is a little trickier than the face-on view.
Set-up two parallel alignment rods or clubs down the target line.
The steps and the photos of the set-up are provided below.
- You will find that you need to place the phone farther away from the ball for down-the-line (DTL) video,15- to 18 feet generally works. I am tall so maybe it will be closer for you.
- Remember you want to be as close as you can get but still view the club at the top. At a minimum, you need to see the club exit from behind your body on the follow through;
- The phone should be centered on your hands at the address position;
- The view needs to be exactly DTL. It might take a couple of practice videos to get it correct. This is very important.
- Once the camera is set-up on the line and at the correct height everything else is the same as in the face-on view.
- Save two videos, one at regular speed, and one on slow-motion.
- If you mis-hit the ball or take a swing that is not your normal swing, delete that video and re-record it.
- Save video of good swings.
- Try to save memory when shooting the video, don’t let it keep filming between shots.
That is how you record video of your golf swing.
That was pretty easy, yes?
Transferring and Editing the Video
If the file size is small enough you can e-mail the video to those you want to share it with.
I would wait until you have wi-fi service before e-mailing the video, so you don’t use up your mobile data usage quota.
Personally, I like to view my recordings on the computer, so I transfer the video into my Dropbox app and allow Dropbox to transfer the video to my desktop when I get home.
Due to the large size of .mov files, I also edit each video by cutting off the wasted frames before and after the swing.
I work on a Mac, so I use Quicktime Player to trim the ends of the video and then save them onto an external hard drive.
That is it, all there is to it!
That wasn’t too bad was it?
If you want a checklist of all the steps to record a video of your golf swing, click the download button below, and I will send you my Free Golf Swing Video Guide.
The guide also includes the equipment I use and information on the ideal camera specifications for more advanced equipment if you want to use it or purchase it.
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