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Connected Coaching: Take advantage of technology to improve rapidly

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As a golf coach, I love technology. Learning about the science behind the golf swing is extremely interesting, and I love to look at the club and ball data from my students, as well as their pressure trace and kinematic sequence graph to show what is truly going on in their golf swings. But all of this data is only a small portion of what it takes 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, and it has given me the ability 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 keep them connected to their improvement, even when they are not at the golf course.

Understanding Their Game

One of the greatest challenges I have as a coach is getting accurate feedback about a student’s game from the student themselves. Golfers tend to be very biased about their golf games and can 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.

When my students play golf, they 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 someone trying to break 100 for the first time needs to have stats that are relevant to their skill level.

With Edufii, my students can fill out their scorecard 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 when they felt their thoughts were good.

Practice Makes Permanent, So Make It Perfect

With the use of video analysis software, students can post their golf swings where I can then take them, analyze them and post a response.  In this video, the student is located across the country and is receiving help with their driver.

With video analysis software, a student (from anywhere) can send me a video and I can provide instant feedback.

Anyone who has attempted to make a technical correction to their golf swing knows how painful it can be sometimes. After getting a lesson, we head to the range, start hitting balls and wonder if we are still making the correct golf swing.

With the use of the Edfuii remote coaching platform, I can layout a detailed plan of attack going forward for the week with a student based upon their goals and current state of their game.  The student can keep this plan with them on the golf course as a constant reminder of what they need to be working on.

With Edfuii’s remote coaching platform, I can layout a detailed plan of attack.

Technology improves the process, first by allowing me to post a student’s lesson in a training space where it can be accessed from their cell phone, tablet or computer. 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. It also allows students to send videos back to me for review. 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 that I can analyze and then return to them with comments.

This is very helpful in making sure that any time spent practicing is used in the most efficient manner. It 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 and amateur golfers. They talk about how well they hit the ball on the range, but on the course it all went wrong.

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A wedge range challenge that gives golfers a score so they can monitor their progress.

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 are often 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, however, do not have someone they can compete against on a regular basis.

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Reports for players in different aspects of their game

Technology has allowed me to connect my students to other students looking to get better and allows 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 the photo above) to see how he stacked up against other golfers.

It also allows me to establish 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. Get the most of what technology has to offer with connected coaching, and you can start to improve faster and make 2015 your best golfing year ever.

*Join Scott Hogan’s group – The Legion of Birdies – by clicking here. It is free to join, and you will gain access to drills, performance challenges and more.

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Scott Hogan is a PGA Certified Teaching Professional in Teaching and Coaching based out of Chicago, Illinois. He is the Head Coach at Mother McAuley High School and the Director of Player Development at Governor's State University. He is also a Top 50 Instructor as named by the GRAA and TPI Certified. Scott teaches a variety of players from professionals, competitive juniors to weekend warriors from all around the country. To contact Scott about in person or online lessons, email scott@scotthogangolf.com. **Follow on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/scotthogangolf/

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Jafar

    Jul 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I was looking for some online coaching. I think a teacher who can analyze a swing and give some feedback and reasoning is still better than just using a Trackman.

  2. Steve

    Jul 12, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Why do i need you? In alittle time a computer will read the data and offer what is needed to correct the faults. Why will you be needed? All you trackman teachers are on borrowed time.
    I love that you embrace technology that in time will eliminate your job.

    • Mike

      Jul 13, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      I totally DISAGREE. Can you improve on your own without a coach? Yep, most definitely. That said a new set of eyes often brings a new way of explaining what he’s seeing. Golf books continue to be written because everyone understands things differently–one person explains and understands things differently than another.

      • Steve

        Jul 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm

        I understand what you are saying. But in recent years there is a new wave of teaching, that depends on trackman data. They dont even watch your swing, they watch the computer.
        That is why Harmon is the king, he doesnt depend on a computer to tell him what to do.

    • Jeremy

      Jul 13, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Judging from the tone of your comment, it doesn’t surprise me that you’re more inclined go it alone and have a computer tell you how to improve. Some people like getting advice and feedback from other humans. Whatever works is fine, but there’s no need for rudeness.

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Instruction

Kyle Berkshire’s long drive wisdom wins!

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This one is a doozie! So many awesome elements to take away from Kyle Berkshire and implement them immediately in your golf swing for effortless power in the swing. From the set up with strong grip to the timing mechanism to start the action and give it a heavy flow, to the huge backswing and massive load in the ground in the transition to the deepest delivery towards the target there is in the sport! Watch and learn long ball wisdom right here.

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Stickney: Correctly auditing your ballflight without technology

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One of the biggest advances in golf instruction, in my opinion, was the adoption (by the masses) of the “new ball-flight laws.” While this information was first identified in “The Search for the Perfect Swing” as well as “The Golfing Machine” books it was not truly taught in the mainstream by teachers until the last decade. In fact, there are still millions of golfers who are still in the dark as it pertains to how curvature is created.

Thankfully, launch monitors have become more popular and now most people have some type of ability to hit balls using Trackman, etc., and this has helped inform the masses as to what is really happening during the impact interval. In today’s article, I want to show you how to audit your ball-flight if you DO NOT have access to a launch monitor. And if you’ll ask yourself these few simple questions you will have a much better idea as to what is happening and why your ball is doing what it’s doing!

“The New Ball-Flight Rules”

  • The ball begins mostly in the direction of the face angle direction at impact (Face Angle)
  • The ball will curve away from the path with a centered hit on the face (Path)
  • The amount of curvature at the apex is mostly determined by the difference in direction between where the face points at impact and the direction of the path at impact (Face to Path)
  • The impact point on the clubface can render the above obsolete or exaggerate it depending on where it’s impacted on the face (Impact Point)

Now that you know and understand the rules, here’s how you audit your ball’s flight without a launch monitor present…

Find your Impact Point Before Making Any Other Judgements

Before we begin delving deeply into your ball’s flight, let’s first stop for a second and figure out what our impact bias is currently. Yes, everyone has an impact bias—some are more toe-based while others are more heel-sided. It’s just the way it works and it’s mega-important. If you don’t have control of your impact point then all else is moot.
In order to do so, first hit a few balls on a flat lie and spray the face with Dr. Scholl’s spray, then take a look at what you see on the face, where are the marks? I’m not asking you for perfection here, because if you hit it slightly on the toe or slightly on the heel then you’re ok.

However, if your average clustering of shots is extremely biased on the toe or the heel then stop and figure out WHY you are hitting the ball off-center. Until you can contact the ball in the center of the face (within reason) then you will not be able to control your ball’s curvature due to gear effect.

If your impact point clustering is manageable, then ask yourself these three questions to truly understand your ball’s flight…

Number 1: Where did the ball begin?

I want you to draw a straight line from your ball through your target as you see in the left photo in your mind so you now have a “zero” reference. If you need to create this visual on the practice tee then you can put a rope or some string on the ground between the ball and the target creating a straight line from the ball through the rope and onward to the target itself.

Now back to the shot above, as you can see at impact, this player’s ball started slightly LEFT of his target-line—as shown by the arrow in the left frame which depicts the face angle at impact. In the right frame, you can easily see the ball beginning a touch left right from the beginning.

The numbers prove what we discussed earlier

  • The face direction at impact was -2.8 degrees left of the target
  • The ball’s launching direction is -1.7 degrees left of the target

As we know the ball begins mostly in the direction of the face and since the face was left of the target the ball also began slightly leftward as well.

So by paying attention to your ball’s starting direction as it pertains to the “zero line” (or where you’re trying to go) you can guess where the face is pointing at impact.

Number 2: Which direction did the ball curve?

Now, take a second and look at the right frame: We see that the ball curved leftward which means the path had to be more rightward than where the face was pointing at impact. If the ball begins where you want it to start and curves the way you want then you have the face and path in the correct place!

If we want to audit the numbers just to be sure, then let’s take a deeper look:

Trackman shows that the club path was 1.9 degrees right of the target and we just saw that the face was -2.8 degress left of the target on this shot. With centered impact anytime the face direction at impact is left of the path the ball will curve leftward. The negative spin-axis of this shot of -7.9 tells us that the ball is moving to the left as well.

If you want the ball to curve to the left then the path must be further right than that and vice-versa for a fade…pretty simple, right?

Number 3: How Much Did the Ball Curve at The Apex?

Question three is an important one because it helps us to understand what our face to path relationship is doing.

Curvature is created when the face and path point in different directions (with a centered hit) and the bigger the difference between the face and path direction the more the ball will curve…especially as you hit clubs with lower lofts.

Every player wants to see a certain amount of curvature. Some players want very little curve, thus their face to path numbers are very close together while others want more curve and the face to path numbers are larger. It does not matter what amount of curvature you like to “see” as the player…all flights will work. Think Moe Norman on one extreme to Bubba Watson on the other.

To close…

First, you must hit the ball in the center of the face to have a predictable curvature if you hit it all over the face then you invoke gear effect which can exaggerate or negate your face to path relationship.

Second, where did the ball begin? Most players whom draw the ball fear the miss that starts at their target and moves leftward (as depicted in the photo above) this is a FACE issue. The face is left of the TARGET at impact and thus the ball does not begin right enough to begin at the correct portion of the target.

If you hit the ball and it starts correctly but curves too much from right to left then your path is to blame.

Third, if your ball is curving the correct direction then your path is fine, but if it’s doing something other than what you want and you are starting the ball where you want then your path is either too far left or right depending on which way the ball is curving.

Fourth, if your ball curvature at the apex is moving too much and your ball is starting where you want then your path is too far left or right of your face angle at impact exaggerating your face to path ratio. The bigger the difference between these two the more the ball curves (with a centered hit) with all things being equal.

Samples to view

This is a path issue…the ball began correctly but curved too much rightward. Don’t swing so much leftward and the face-to-path will be reduced and the ball will curve less.

This is a great push draw…the ball began correctly and curved the correct amount back to the target

This is a face issue at impact…the ball did not begin far enough to the right before curving back leftward and the target was missed too far to the left

Take your time when auditing your ball’s flight, and I believe you’ll find your way!

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Clement: Should you hinge your wrists early or late in the backswing?

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100, 000 SUBSCRIBER CONTEST STARTS NOW! MAKE SURE YOU SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN! Our premium members get 2 extra chances to win.

Today’s video is a big one too! So many are wondering when to let the wrists hinge in the backswing; too early and you cut off too much arc and loose width; too late and you throw your center off-kilter and ruin your contact and direction! This video gets you dialed!

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