This Golf Training Aid Will Help You More Than Any Other!
I’ve seen about every golf training aid made in the past 50 years however I believe the all time best golf training aid is the small modern digital still camera. I’m referring to the type that not only takes pictures but also takes video clips (most of them do). I honestly believe that a small digital camera that takes video clips will help you more than any other golf training aid out there. The new handheld mini video cameras (the Flip, Kodak, etc.) are great too.
I now use a very small Casio camera (Casio Exilim EX-FC100) that actually takes pretty good slow motion video of golf swings. I use to use a Canon SD800 camera and it worked fine. Both are about the size of a cell phone so I can easily clip it to my belt or put it in my pocket. There are a number of other brands that make nice little cameras beside Canon and Casio (Sony, Nikon, Olympus, etc.) Just make sure you get one that takes video clips also
With my camera I can change from still pictures to video clips with the press of one switch. It has a 2 ½ inch LCD screen so it’s big enough to review a swing clip right on the lesson tee. Push the button once the camera starts recording. Push the button again and it stops.
I do have a “real video camera” but I just don’t use it often. It’s just a little bulky to keep it with me all the time. The Canon is so small and so easy to use I just always take it with me.
I often video swings of my students because when students can actually see themselves in action it makes a bigger impression on them than me just telling them what they’re doing wrong. When the students see themselves in action the learning progresses much faster.
The video is recorded on a plug-in SD (Secure Digital) card. To use the video I can plug the camera right into my computer or take the card out and plug that into a card reader on the computer. Most of the small cameras record the video in AVI format which is a standard Apple video format that is easily read by PC’s and Apple’s. In that format it’s easy to e-mail. If the file is real big it can easily be sent using a free large file transfer service like www.Pando.com.
Here’s The Interesting Part:
As part of our Symple Swing package we send our students a Diagnostic Check list that is a list of things to check when they’re having a problem. We often ask students to video (preferably with a small digital camera) a swing or two and email us the video clip. Quite often the students video their swings AND THEN DON’T EVEN SEND US THE VIDEO. This is actually a good thing not a bad thing. This happens because when the student sees his swing (and checks the check list) he can quickly see what’s he’s doing wrong himself. He can see the problem and with the checklist quickly figure out what he should be doing Most of the time when students see their swings they can’t believe what they’re actually doing because that’s not what they think they’re doing.
Sometimes they’ll send the video in anyway just to get their diagnosis confirmed. Almost always they are right on with what they see.
You can get a high quality small camera for well under $250 and probabably well under $200. Add a $20 or so for a small tripod or clamp to hold the camera (in case you don’t have any golfing friends to help you) and you’re in business. The nice part of getting this “training aid” is that it can also do double duty taking pictures of the family. In most families that means it will be a lot easier to get “budgetary approval” for the digital camera than it would for some other $300 golf training aid.
A tip: It’s a great idea to video your swing when everything is really going well. Then, in the future when you’re having a problem you can compare that swing to a “known good swing”. That often make picking out what’s going wrong even easier. We should all keep a written log of our practice sessions but few of us do. Keeping a video log will really be helpful when trying to solve future problems.
You don’t have to be hitting balls to always see the problem. Most of the time your can just video some practice swings in the backyard and your swing problems will be quite evident.
When you video a swing you should record a couple of swings from behind (facing the target) and a couple of swings head on (with the camera on the other side of the ball from you).
I firmly believe that a small digital camera that takes video clips will help you more that any other golf training aid out there. If you’re not videoing your swing regularly I think you’re hurting your golf game.