How to film and what to look for in your golf swing.
By Steve Blacklee
It’s been widely accepted in golf coaching for many years that what golfers feel they do in their golf swings is often far from the reality. The days of coaching by standing on the teaching tee telling a pupil what they could be doing better and expecting them to understand by words and demonstration only are long gone (or they should be).
With the advancement in technology it’s never been easier to film your golf swing yourself.
There are many easily accessible devices such as mobile phones or tablets that have camera functions, many of which have high shutter speed facilities for fast moving objects such as the club head, that could be used to improve your golf.
Before you head to the range, phone in hand to film your swing, here are some tips on how to maximise using your technology.
How to film from ‘Down the line’
Amongst other aspects, this angle provides important feed back on the plane of the swing, ie the angle in which the shaft balances both on the back swing and down swing. However, the camera angle has to be correct otherwise it can give a false impression.
Set up with your feet parallel to an alignment rod (or club) and about 3 inches inside these. You can then align your camera directly down the alignment rod, ideally from about waist height. This should give you a square view of the side of the body and the lead leg and hip should be completely out of view. You don’t need too much scenery! So zoom in and film from just below the feet to a little above there the club will be on the back swing.
Good things to check from the down the line view:
Three good clean angles in the calf, thigh and lower spine with the weight centred vertically down through the back of the shoulder, front of the knee to balls of the feet. Use drawing tools on the V1 Golf app to check this.
Check your body angles and height variance through the swing. It sounds logical to maintain the exact height through the swing but such is the dynamics and forces being created in the golf swing, some up or down movement in the head is fine. Check out videos online of the world’s best players and you’ll be amazed at how much they change their height through the swing! Too much (more than 2 inches) indicates a problem with the pivot motion.
Plane of club:
Try to get the club working up and down a similar plane for the back and downswing. A good reference for this is between the shoulder and elbow. The plane affects the club path so it’s an important point. Make sure your camera angles are good!
Top of the backswing
With a full swing the club should point at the target at the top of the backswing and the left arm should be level to the shoulders.
How to film from ‘face on’
Not as critical to get right as the down the line view but try to get the camera at a right angle to the target line and positioned directly in front of you. Again, don’t film with too wide a view. The smaller the image the more difficult it is to see smaller details so keep the zoom in close with minimal dead space under the ball or above the club at the top.
Good things to check from face on.
This very easily creeps too far back or too far forward without the player realising it. Until you actually check the ball position properly, you really don’t know where it is as it is not easy to look down at your feet and get the right perspective on ball position. Check it from a square, face on view with the camera and see if the ball is positioned where you thought it was!
Check to see if you can see 2 knuckles on the left hand. If you can, chances are the right hand will fit into the correct position too. Less than 2 knuckles is termed a weak grip and could lead to a fade or slice whereas more knuckles is strong and can lead to a hook.
Body turn on back swing:
Make sure you have a 90’ shoulder turn on the back swing with the spine angle tilted slightly away from the target. This will help the chest turn behind the ball and transfer weight to right side.
Turn through to a full finish with the trailing shoulder closer to the target than the lead with the body fully rotated through and the weight on 90/10 on the forward foot.
A good body rotation through the back and the downswing greatly increase the chances of the hands, arms and club also working in harmony with the body to form a simple coordinated golf swing.