Don't be frightened of using modern technology to improve your golf swing…. as Dave soon found out!
Read about Rob Davies - Head Golf Professional / Golf Manager at the Abbey Hotel Golf & Spa using the amazing Trackman golf technology to help improve your golf.
Here's a typical example of what happens on a regular basis...
'Dave' booked in to see me after his regular playing partner 'Roy' beat him quite easily over their last few knocks. During a few post round beers
On arriving for his lesson Dave was a little nervous, not met me before & hadn't had a lesson for years but his current handicap of 16 was creeping up & Roy who he normally gets the better of was going in the opposite direction. He'd obviously been told about this Trackman thing and was slightly apprehensive about potentially getting bogged down with too much technical information.
I asked Dave about what he would like to achieve in his hour with me - the phrase 'I want to be more consistent' soon popped up - It's without doubt the most common thing people who come for their first lesson say to me!
So we start with a few loosen-up 7 irons. After a dozen or so shots (and straight way I noticed how excessively inside his swing path was through impact), I then start to measure Dave's next 10 shots on Trackman - I didn't tell him, he hadn't even noticed the little orange box was there.
Then we stopped, I explain a little about Trackman & walked over to the computer to look at his 'numbers.'
If you don't know much about Trackman, it accurately measures a combination of 25 different club & ball data parameters through radar technology. It's a very clever bit of kit as used by the world's best players & teachers & I’ve been privileged to use Trackman for over 2 years now. So as not to possibly confuse pupils, I often show only a few of these numbers to with begin with & as I knew that just club path & face angle for this lesson would be the key to improvement, hi-lighted only these two.
Unsurprisingly Dave's Swing path numbers averaged 15 degrees in-to-out (rightward path for a right handed player). His highest was 16 and lowest 14. His clubface angle at impact was mostly zero (dead square to target) so I told Dave that he was actually a very consistent swinger! The results on all 10 shots were hooks - some starting straight, some starting slightly right but ALL curving way left with the club often striking ground before the ball, losing lots of distance in the process.
After explaining to Dave that if we could simply get his path average to within 4 or 5 degrees inside - he will be a MUCH better player. He then proceeded to tell me he had been deliberately trying to swing more to the right to stop the ball going left - a common misconception!
Through 'old school' thinking Dave always thought a very closed (to target) clubface was his main issue with hooking the ball and was amazed to see on Trackman that his clubface was actually coming through square to target more often than not. After agreeing that the path was definitely the problem & getting Dave to understand that the face was very closed TO THE PATH - not target, we got to work getting things better.
This article is not so much about how to cure a hook, as there can be various reasons why golfers do. In Dave's case he had pretty sound fundamentals at address but a backswing & that got the club too much 'behind' him at the top. His instinct to swing rightwards on the way down & through in an effort not to hit it left which made his problem worse. So by simply getting him a feeling of swinging less 'around' (we worked on getting the club head pointing a little left of the target at the top) and encouraging a sense of swinging leftwards through impact, his path numbers within 30 minutes had improved to less than 4 degrees inside.
Dave's ball flight quickly became a LOT more neutral, but the main positive feedback I had from him was that he was now striking the ball as consistently well as he'd experienced for a long time. His swing admittedly felt a little strange to begin with but from experience when pupils get better results & see the numbers improve on Trackman - they will stick with changes and with new found confidence the slightly usual feelings soon become good feelings.
I then showed Dave his Angle of Attack Numbers. The Average before was 2.1 degrees up, after the path improvement it had become 2.2 down. Much more effective numbers for a 7 iron at his club speed. He then further understood why his ball striking was now so much better.
By getting pupils like Dave to clearly understand their issues, pointing out perhaps just one or two numbers on Trackman to hi-light them and then accurately measuring improvement with the swing changes we put into place, more golfers are embracing this technology & I’m enjoying teaching them more than ever".
Head PGA Professional
The Abbey Hotel Golf & Spa
To book a Trackman lesson or club fitting at The Abbey Hotel, contact the golf shop on 01527 406500. Email firstname.lastname@example.org