Recently, I offered a lesson program with a money-back guarantee at Calgary’s Riverside Golf Centre. (I wish I could say it’s an original idea, but I borrowed it from a teacher in the US named Andrew Rice). This is one of the important ways that TrackMan is changing golf instruction: when quantifiable results are available, marketing strategies like money-back guarantees become meaningful (and we need to be on our games). The advertised promise is a gain of 10 yards or more with the driver in a 20 minute TrackMan session or there is no charge. I thought I’d post up a case study that some of you might find interesting.
The “subject” (victim?) is a right-handed male, about 60 years of age with a reasonably strong swing; good tempo, rythym and balance. Driver swing speed in the low to mid-nineties. After he had hit a dozen shots or so in front of the TrackMan, we paused for a look at some data. The first thing that jumped out was a consistently negative attack angle into the ball, averaging -4.7*. We decided to tackle that issue with these points of focus in mind:
- The primary goal of our session was to increase the AoA in order to gain distance. We kept this “bottom-line” uppermost in our minds. It’s easy to get over-focused on the “how to do it” and forget about the “why we do it”. Yes, “how” is important, but over-thinking tends to defeat intuition – so we started the “corrections” with nothing more than the bottom-line thought: “hit the ball on the upswing”. Suggested a slight tilting of the shoulders in address to facilitate that thought.
- A complementary goal was to shift the swing path from square to slightly in to out. Added a slight closing of the stance to adjust the swing plane to the right.
- In summary, we defined a bottom-line – “hit the ball on the upswing”. We focused on two set-up adjustments – a bit of shoulder tilt and a shift of the swing plane to the right. Simple, achievable goals.
From there, we did some “free-wheeling”, we me as “moderator” – experimenting, but at the same time, always reminding, reinforcing our bottom line. The results were interesting.
- Overall, AoA improved by 4.3* (from minus 4.7* to minus 0.4*)
- We saw an increase of about 11 yards in total distance on shots with a positive AoA versus those with a negative AoA.
- Swing speed decreased very slightly (about 1mph less), but ball speed, smash factor and most importantly, distance increased – although there is still room for improvement here, the swing became more efficient.
- Looking at the extremes – the difference in carry distance between the shot with the highest negative AoA (-5.6*) and the highest positive AoA (+2.3*) was over 32 yards. Total yardage difference for the same two shots was 43.4 yards!
That last point highlights one of the really neat things about TrackMan: the depth of the data and what can be done with it. In this case, given the time constraints, we went after the lowest hanging fruit, with good results. A deeper look at the data suggests that there is more yardage on the table for this golfer – can you see where? Dig in and have a look. See the full report here.