Motion-capture technology shows where your swing movements go awry and exactly how wrong they are so you can make the right fix
Every time you hit a bad shot something is out of whack with your swing, but if you've ever wondered what was off and by how much, motion-capture technology can tell you. Magnetic sensors attached to your head, back, chest, shoulders, wrists and elbows detect low-frequency electromagnetic fields, and when you swing, the sensors report movement and orientation to computer software which converts the data into three-dimensional models like the ones you see here.
So you can see how motion capture works, we hooked up golfers of different abilities: a 20-handicapper and Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall [left]. At first glance, the differences in their swings may look subtle, but a closer look at the data quickly shows the difference between a solid swing and a wobbly one, and what the latter needs to work on.
2 of 4Robin Griggs
The 20-handicapper sets up for trouble. His severe shoulder tilt (25 degrees away from the target) and spine tilt (16 degrees away) will force him to take the club away and outside his body the makings of a classic slice path. Tattersall's shoulder tilt (18 degrees) and spine (14) are set to start the club on a correct plane.
3 of 4Robin Griggs
The 20-handicapper's spine is leaning 14 degrees toward the target at the top of his swing. That's the wrong way! He'll have to swing the club way outside to move it back on plane. Tattersall's spine is tilting away from the target by a couple degrees, which allows him to perfectly drop the club into the slot.
4 of 4Robin Griggs
The 20-handicapper's follow-through is good, but not perfect. His shoulders and hips are OK, but the 13-degree forward tilt of his pelvis means his upper and lower body are out of sync. Tattersall's pelvis is more underneath his body (6-degree forward tilt), which gives him a more balanced finishing position.
Though motion-capture swing analysis is not widely available, a growing number of instructors and golf schools are employing it, including five of our Top 100 Teachers:
• John Tattersall, Executive Golf Links, Alpharetta, Ga., 770-720-4971
• Dave Phillips, Titleist Performance Institute, San Diego, Calif., 760-806-5946
• Jim McLean, Golf Biodynamics at the Jim McLean School, Doral Resort, Fla., 305-591-6409
• David Glenz, David Glenz Golf Academy, N. Franklin, N.J., 973-209-6075
• Tom Stickney, The Club at Cordillera, Vail, Colo., 970-904-2485
For a complete list of pros using the Advanced Motion Measurement technology featured in this piece, call 602-263-8657.
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