It is inevitable that as we push the boundaries of what can be done with technology some of this new tech will find its way into the golf industry. Coaching as a whole has embraced this and many coaches around the globe now use technology to help them achieve the best results for their students. Not only is technology more widely used, we are not far away from a time when it is almost expected on the lesson tee!

Just 25 years ago even having a golf lesson with a video camera was a rarity, now we have high speed video, launch monitors, pressure mats and 3D systems, so what do i use within my coaching and why?

VIDEO - I use high speed video in almost all of my sessions. I love the visual impact this has and I find it really helps me communicate to my student what exactly it is that I want to tweak or change in their motion. Lets say a golfer has less than ideal posture, I can show this very clearly through the use of video, i can also help them create a much more desirable starting position and show them the before and after, a very powerful tool. Video for me is so important because in almost every case I have seen, what the golfer feels is very different to what is actually happening. Whilst my video camera is used in many of my lessons, a golf coach has to appreciate that 2 cameras filming at the same time but from slightly different positions can make the golf swings look very different from one another.

TRACKMAN - Trackman is a radar system which measures the golf balls flight through the air and the golf clubs delivery into the ball. Having access to something like a TrackMan is a huge advantage when coaching, simply put, this device measures things that are impossible to see with the naked eye, or even a camera for that matter. When I can measure parameters such as club face angle, club path, launch angle etc, I can establish very accurately, and quickly, why a golfer is hitting the shots that they are. For example, if a student is struggling with a slice off the tee, within a few shots I am able to see the clubs path, the club face angle, the balls starting direction, curve and endpoint. It is then very easy for me to know the real cause of this and get to work improving this. As with the high speed camera the TrackMan is also a very good way of establishing if a golfer is making the required changes, simply taking a few more readings allows me to see if the numbers are changing and this gives the student a huge boost to know that they are making progress and moving in the right direction.

BODITRAK - BodiTrak is a pressure mat which allows me to see just how a golfer distributes their weight at set up and how they are pushing on the ground via their feet through the golf swing. How a golfers moves their pressure is almost like a fingerprint and can be unique to the golfer. Changing this pattern though can have huge effects on the resulting shot, in some cases i have been able to change the entire ball flight just by talking to a student on how they move their pressure through the swing. There are some basic guidelines that i look for when measuring a golfers pressure. At set up id prefer to see 55% - 45% of the weight favouring the lead foot with an iron club. I would then like to see a golfer move their pressure around 80% to their trail leg in the backswing, at impact again id like to see 80% but this time favouring their lead leg. With a vast amount of energy and power being created by a correct pressure shift, the pressure mat technology has significantly helped me se exactly what a golfer is doing with their weight, and in turn help many students achieve a common goal or more distance.

K-VEST 3D - This is my most recent acquisition and very quickly i am seeing the benefits to both myself and my students. K-Vest is a 3D system which comprises of 4 sensors which are positioned on the torso, pelvis, lead arm and lead wrist. These sensors allow me to see exactly in 3D space how a golfer is moving their body. So how does this help during a lesson? Lets say a golfer starts from a position of poor posture, i can see from my software exactly the amount that they are bent over the ball and how much bend they have in their hips. I can then program the K-Vest software to play an audible tone when the golfer moves their body into the position that I dictate, so once a golfer takes their set up to the ball they will only hear this audible tone from the correct position. This bio-feedback allows for positions to be felt by the golfer and allows them to create their own ‘feel’ for this move, a fantastic and accurate way of learning. I have found this software to be one of the most powerful learning tools i have.

So as you can see i am certainly one of the coaches who has embraced technology and there aren't many sessions where i don't use any, that being said, there aren't many lessons, if any, where i use all of my tools together.

For many golfers the idea of being measured in this detail can be daunting, and the common myth is that a lesson involving technology will be complicated, more difficult and hard to get their head around, in reality its often the complete opposite. The technology i use allows me to better understand exactly what is happening in a golf swing, the better i understand something, the more simply i can communicate it and the quicker the learning process.