With the advent of Launch Monitors showing the Angle of Attack, the components of the D-Plane etc. we are now able to understand the nuances of the golf swing like never before in history.
It has given instructors an “MRI” of their students’ golf swings and helped us make better decisions as to how to make you improve as quickly as possible. I would like to take this time to show you a correlation that I saw on the lesson tee the other day – One that I would have tried to fix INCORRECTLY before the advent of TrackMan as a testimonial to how the instructional business is changing with these types of tools. And why the teachers of tomorrow will be better armed than we are today to fix swings quicker than we do now once they get the experience we have on the lesson tee.
I am a firm believer in auditing my own performance on the lesson tee as often as possible in order to become better at what I do… Sometimes I need more work on the mechanical side, understanding new technology, judging my communication, while other times I should just listen more and talk less. Whatever the issue, I try to work on it and hopefully I can be better the next time I’m out on the tee.
Such was the issue with launch monitors. At the time this technology had come out I was one of the few Golf Machine Authorized GSED’s, already a Top 100 Teacher, had many nationally published articles in all the major publications, seven cover stories, as well as, some level of notoriety on a nationwide level but I didn’t use my launch monitors (pre-TrackMan) as well as I should. But it didn’t seem to bother me until I kept reading about things that only these tools showed on the internet – Things I had heard about but really didn’t understand to the level I should at this point. Thus I investigated and decided to upgrade to a TrackMan because I knew it was changing the way teaching was going and it WAS the wave of the future. Remember I said you can always get better! :)
Thus the basis of this article…as you examine the screenshot from the player above you can see a few things:
- The Angle of Attack is 5.3 degrees up
- The Swing Direction (not the Swing Path) is 7.3 from the inside
- The Smash Factor is 1.22 (out of a possible 1.50)
When this player came to me she was complaining of a lack of distance, un-centered contact, and a propensity to hit shots fat. Very common swing issues for this level of player. However I want to take you through what I would have done pre-TrackMan and show you what I did now that I understand just why my personal approach was wrong in the past…
I would have identified this as a simple pivot flaw causing the low-point to occur too far behind the ball thus causing the lack of distance and unsolid contact. I would have administered a few pivot drills in order to move her low-point more forward and she would have been fixed. So I would have thought in the past.
Now that I understand a few things more I see that her swing direction is 7.3 degrees from the inside – Too much from the inside obviously. Whenever you come too deep from the inside the rear shoulder tends to stay too down too long and this will move the low-point backwards and you will hit the ball fat if you are not careful.
Now that I have seen all the numbers I understand that working on her pivot would have helped her move her low-point more forward but this was only the REACTION stemming from an overly inside and improper swing direction on the way down. You must fix the causes so the effects fix themselves… This is a more efficient way to teach in my opinion.
It is amazing to me what I have learned over the years using video, multi-angle video, digital video, 3D Motion Analysis, CG Monitors, and now TrackMan… I can only wonder what comes next for the kids a few generations behind me. I have lived and worked in the golden-age of golf instruction. I’ve seen it all in my twenty-year career on the lesson tee but I will say that the next twenty will make what I do now seem like a “see spot run” book. Now if I could only give you my 25,000 hours of experience on the lesson tee instantly…..