As a golf coach, I love technology. Learning about the science behind the golf swing is extremely interesting and I love to look at students club and ball data, pressure trace and seeing a kinematic sequence graph to show what is truly going on in the golf swing. But all of this data is only a small portion of being able to improve your golf game, and with a majority of my students, something that is low on the priority list when it comes to shooting lower scores.
Technology has allowed me as a coach to use it in a more important manner in my opinion. It has allowed me to stay connected to my students throughout the coaching process. With the creation of mobile coaching platforms such as Edufii, I am able to better help my students stay focused on what they should be working on when they are practicing on their own, and also introduce some much needed elements of development that they may be missing. Below are a few examples of how I use technology and the Edufii coaching platform to help my students improve and help them stay connected to their improvement, even when not at the golf course.
Understanding Their Game
One of the greatest challenges I have as a coach is getting accurate feedback about a students game from the student themselves. Golfers can tend to be very biased about their golf games to make themselves believe they need to work on one area of their game, when in reality there is some very low hanging fruit to be seized by working on another. My students, when they play golf have access to a scorecard that accurately identifies their skill levels based on THEIR SKILL LEVEL. This is very important, because there are a lot of golfers who keep stats, but keep them based on what they see the best players in the world doing. This would be ok if they were a tour player, but for someone trying to break 100 for the first time, we need to have stats that are relevant for their skill level.
With Edufii, my students can fill out their scorecard that they receive and upload it to me right after their round along with some quick thoughts about what they felt while playing. Again, this is very important in helping to understand what is truly going on in their game. I will also ask them to upload scorecards of good rounds, good swings or days where they felt their thoughts were good like the student above did.
Making Corrections – Practice Makes Permanent, So Make It Perfect
Any of us who have attempted to make a technical correction to our golf swing knows how painful it can be sometimes. After getting a lesson, we head to the range and start hitting balls and wonder if we are still making the correct golf swing. The use of technology allows a few easy ways for this to happen, first by allowing me to post the students lesson in their training space which they can access from their smartphone, tablet or PC. They can be reminded of what they should be working on and any drills they need to perform to make sure they are making the correct golf swing.
The second is the ability for them to send videos back to me. If a student is struggling with a swing change or wants confirmation of their technique, they have the ability to film and upload a video to me which I can analyze and then return to them with comments. This again is very helpful in making sure any time spent practicing, is used in the most efficient manner. This also makes it very convenient for me to help students from anywhere in the country, and even internationally, not just when they are physically present.
Compete Against Like Minded Individuals
One of the most underused yet maybe the most important aspect of implementing changes is working to transfer skills from the practice facility to the golf course. I hear it all the time from professional golfers to amateur golfers about how well they hit the ball on the range but on the course it all went wrong.
Golf is a great game because it allows us to always be competing whether we are playing to win a tournament or trying to make our first par ever. Nerves and fear will always be present in these situations, so if we are going to overcome the pressure that builds in every round of golf, we need to start practicing with some pressure. My favorite way to do this is through competition. Most golfers though, do not have someone they can compete against on a regular basis so this can be difficult sometimes. Technology has allowed me to connect my students to other students looking to get better and allowed them to complete challenges to see who can score best. An example would be a student who wanted to complete a wedge range challenge (see picture) and see how they stack up against other golfers.
It also allows me to establish a weekly scoreboard challenges where students can see where other golfers excel, which may allow them to understand better, what areas they need to improve on to obtain their desired scores.
Technology has had a huge impact on our understanding of the golf swing, but that is only a small part to shooting lower scores. By utilizing the most of what technology has to offer, you can start to improve faster and make 2015 your best golfing year ever.