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Opinion & Analysis

Live View Golf makes real-time swing analysis possible anywhere

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The golf instructional space is historically overcrowded, and the golf app market is rapidly becoming more congested. So for something from either arena to get our attention, it has to both bring something new to the table and present verifiable game-improvement capabilities.

Live View Golf is a portable camera and app suite that offers users the ability to view their swings in real time on their cell phones or tablets with the aid of plane lines and other markers.

Presently, arriving at a live video feed of your golf swing (with plane lines, etc.) is an expensive and complicated process, and one that’s difficult to set up on the driving range. Live video, viewable when a golfer is in posture or in position, can be a critical factor in ingraining new swing moves and checking positions in a slow-motion swing rehearsal.

Also, other solutions, like having a friend shoot cell phone video of your swing, obviously only allows you to to see a recording of the swing you just made.

We spoke with Shane Yang, founder of the company, about Live View’s development and the importance of live video feedback in training.

Shane told us the initial concept for Live View Golf came to him after taking his children for lessons with renowned instructor, Patrick Parrish. He was looking for a way to improve retention, simplify and accelerate the learning process and began thinking his children would benefit from a “look” associated with the “feel” they were striving after. In other words, live video (with the ability to draw lines, circles, etc) on the driving range (or wherever you want to practice).

Parrish, a 30-year teaching veteran in the California area, bought into the concept, and Yang—who conveniently has a background in cameras and optics—and company launched a Kickstarter in December of 2015 to produce an initial iteration of the device.

Dave Phillips from the Titleist Performance Institute, himself a vocal proponent for the use of live video in practice, recently joined LiveView as an advisory board member. Yang told us the response from the professional community has been overwhelming, with new advisory member announcements to come ahead of further improvements to the existing technology.

The Live View Golf app is free to download. The camera (the specs for which you can see here) retails for $179.99.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Steven

    Oct 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Another interesting development in Golf. Definitely worth a look.

  2. Pingback: GolfWRX: Live View Golf makes real-time swing analysis possible anywhere | Live View Golf

  3. Sean

    Oct 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I’d like to see a similar app that uses your iPhone’s camera; so I can carry one less device. I’ve tried a couple of apps (Rshutter & Camera Plus for iOS), but would like one tailored for golf practice. I also prefer not to use a camera on an alignment stick; if it’s breezy the camera sways in the wind.

    • Live View Golf

      Oct 10, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      The nature of down line and even front facing video makes it difficult to use your phone to take video and see it at the same time. Imagine setting up your phone down the line and trying to check your posture on that phone at the same time. You would have to look back to a very small screen placed 6-8 feet away to accomplish that. A great app that does something kind of like this is Swing Profile that records your swing and plays it back in slow motion automatically. the down side is you have to keep running back to the phone to see what happened and you loose the real time tactile feedback of seeing and correcting your swing on the spot.

      And if you do not like the alignment stick, you can use the LivePod tripod adapter for a more stable mount of the camera in windy conditions. No matter what tools or apps you use, #practiceperfectly.

  4. Live View Golf

    Oct 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    There is a long thread in the WRX forums discussing the differences vs. mirrors. http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1378936-mirrors-are-so-2015/ In a nutshell, the Live View Golf system is designed to be compact and easily portable for use at the range or anywhere else. Add in the ability to insert very precise alignment tools for live practice, the ability to monitor your swing more easily in front facing and downline view, and also recording to analyze slow motion using the record and playback functionality, and Live View Golf integrates most of the modern swing analysis and practice tools into a simple and compact package.

    The Live View Golf Design goal was set at 20FPS to minimize the lag between action and video feedback for optimum learning during live practice. The shorter the visual feedback loop is to the initial action, the easier it is to correct and build strong muscle memory. Please also see our other discussion thread on the WRX forums
    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1362612-live-view-golf-real-time-wireless-swing-camera/

    • Philip

      Oct 9, 2016 at 11:06 am

      If you choose 20FPS then why didn’t you choose a higher resolution that works better with the display choices? Easy enough to do.

      • Live View Golf

        Oct 9, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        FPS and resolution work together to increase or decrease the data stream. 640×480 resolution is equal to approx 300,000 pixels of data. At 20 FPS you have to transmit 300,000*20 =6,000,000 pixels per second.

        Increasing resolution to 1080p at 1920×1080 = approx 2,000,000 pixels per frame. To increase the resolution to 1080P you would have to drop to 3FPS without increasing the data pipe. To transmit 2,000,000 pixels at 60 FPS would require 120,000,000 pixels per second. 1080p at 60FPS requires 20 x more data.

  5. John

    Oct 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I bought one a couple of months ago (posted about it in the Instruction forum) and it has quickly become my favorite training tool. I use mirrors and I use high-speed cameras and I like this better than either of those options. If I need to record a high-speed swing, I still use my camera. But that’s not what this is for – this is for watching yourself swing to learn what the right mechanics feel like.

  6. Scott Nichol

    Oct 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    How about a mirror?

    • someone

      Oct 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      how compact of a mirror are we talking about that’s mobile enough to take to the range?

  7. Bert

    Oct 8, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Interesting and well priced. One question, how many frames per second?

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: A Tale of Two Misses

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It seems like I somewhat “touched a nerve” with last week’s post ‘A Defense of Blades’, based on the scoring you all gave my take on that controversial topic.

I do appreciate it when you take the time to score your reaction to my work, as it keeps me tuned in to what you really want me to pontificate about. Before I get into today’s topic, I request that any of you who have a subject you’d like me to address please drop me an email at [email protected], OK?

So, in somewhat of a follow-up to last week, let’s talk today about misses. Those too frequent shots that move your scores in the wrong direction.

Early in my life, I was always part of “the group” of low-handicap players who had various kinds of “money games”, but that put me in touch only with other low-handicap players who were highly competitive. Just as I was getting fully engaged in the golf equipment industry in the early 1980s, I was blessed to be a part of a group at my club called “The Grinders”. We had standing tee times every day…so if you could get away, you played. There were about 35-40 of us who might show up, with as many as 6-7 groups going off on Fridays and Saturdays.

These guys sported handicaps from scratch to 20, and we threw up balls to see how we were paired, so for twenty years, I had up close and personal observation of a variety of “lab rats.”

This let me observe and study how many different ways there were to approach the game and how many different kinds of mishits could happen in a round of golf. As a golf industry marketer and club designer, I couldn’t have planned it any better.

So back to a continuation of the topic of last week, the type of irons you choose to play should reflect the kinds of misses you are hoping to help. And the cold, hard truth is this:

We as golf club designers, engineers and fitters, can only do so much to help the outcome of any given shot.

Generally, mishits will fall into two categories – the “swing miss” and the “impact miss”.

Let’s start with the former, as it is a vast category of possibilities.

The “swing miss” occurs when the swing you made never had a chance of producing the golf shot you had hoped to see. The clubhead was not on a good path through impact, and/or the clubface was not at all square to the target line. This can produce any number of outcomes that are wildly wrong, such as a cold skull of the ball, laying the sod over it, hard block to the right (for a right-hand player), smother hook…I think you get the point.

The smaller swing misses might be a draw that turns over a bit too much because you rotated through impact a bit aggressively or a planned draw that doesn’t turn over at all because you didn’t. Or it could be the shot that flies a bit too high because you released the club a bit early…or much too low because you had your hands excessively ahead of the clubhead through impact.

The swing miss could be simply that you made a pretty darn good swing, but your alignment was not good, or the ball position was a bit too far forward in your swing…or too far back. Basically, the possible variations of a “swing miss” are practically endless and affect tour pros and recreational golfers alike.

The cruel fact is that most recreational golfers do not have solid enough swing mechanics or playing disciplines to deliver the clubhead to the ball in a consistent manner. It starts with a fundamentally sound hold on the club. From there, the only solution is to make a commitment to learn more about the golf swing and your golf swing and embark on a journey to become a more consistent striker of the golf ball. I would suggest that this is one of the most fascinating aspects of the game and encourage anyone who loves golf to go down this path.

But today’s post is about “mishits”, so let’s move on the other and much smaller category of misses…the “impact miss”. As a 40-year golf club designer, this is the world in which I function and, unfortunately, to which I am limited.

The “impact miss” is when most of the elements of the swing pretty much fall into place, so that the club is delivered pretty accurately to the ball…on the right path…face square to the target line at impact…but you miss the sweet spot of the club by just a bit.

Finding ways of getting better results out of those mishits is the singular goal of the entire golf club industry.

Big drivers of today are so much more forgiving of a 1/8 to ½ inch miss than even drivers of a decade ago, it’s crazy. Center strikes are better, of course, with our fast faces and Star Wars technology, but the biggest value of these big drivers is that your mishits fly much more like a perfect hit than ever before. In my own launch monitor testing of my current model driver to an old Reid Lockhart persimmon driver of the mid-1990s, I see that dead center hits are 20-25 yards different, but mishits can be as far as 75-80 yards apart, the advantage obviously going to the modern driver.

The difference is not nearly as striking with game improvement irons versus a pure forged one-piece blade. If the lofts and other specs are the same, the distance a pure strike travels is only a few yards more with the game improvement design, but a slight mishit can see that differential increase to 12-15 yards. But, as I noted in last week’s article, this difference tends to reduce as the lofts increase. Blades and GI irons are much less different in the 8- and 9-irons than in the lower lofts.

This has gotten a bit longer than usual, so how about I wrap up this topic next week with “A Tale of Two Misses – Part 2”? I promise to share some robotic testing insights that might surprise you.

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: World Long Drive! Go Mu!

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In this week’s podcast we discuss Wisdom In Golf Premium, new ways to help and fun talk about rules and etiquette.

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Opinion & Analysis

Vincenzi: How the 2022 Presidents Cup actually grew the game

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As fall approached, the world of professional golf was drowning in a sea of continuous division and animosity.

The Presidents Cup, which should have been a silver lining in the most tumultuous time in the history of the sport, had suddenly become a pasquinade.

The Internationals had always been an underdog and had just one win in fourteen tries against the Americans.

In 2019, the scrappy Internationals led by Ernie Els gave the United States team led by Tiger Woods all that they could handle at Royal Melbourne. The United States retained the cup, winning the competition 16–14, but the Els’ team fought to the end. The future was bright for professional golf on the world stage.

In 2022, things were different. The Internationals had just lost arguably their two best players in Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann, plus a handful of other Presidents Cup shoe-ins including Louis Oosthuizen and Abraham Ancer.

The International players who had joined the controversial LIV Golf series were deemed ineligible to participate in the competition, which resulted in the decimation of what should have been a deep and competitive team of Internationals. By the time the event started, the United States had ballooned to a -900 favorite.

One phrase that’s been repeated ad nauseum over the past few months has been “grow the game”.

After a bleak opening few days at the Presidents Cup, we caught a glimpse of what “growing the game” looked like over the weekend.

There are plenty of ways to potentially grow the game of golf. One of those ways unfolded in real time at Quail Hollow thanks in part to a spirited group of Asian golfers who refused to let their team go quietly into the night.

First, there was the budding superstar, Tom Kim.

Kim scored two points for the Internationals, but the impact he had on the event dwarfed his point total. The South Korean hijacked the event with his charisma, energy and determination to help his team succeed. Golf fans were treated to memorable moment after memorable moment whenever the 20-year-old was on their television screen.

Kim had already had a handful of moments that will live in our memories for many Presidents Cups to come, but the most memorable came on the 18th hole of Saturday’s afternoon foursomes. Facing a seemingly invincible duo of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, Kim put a 2-iron to less than six feet of the hole. He then sunk the clutch putt to knock off the fourth and fifth ranked players in the world.

Tom wasn’t the only “Kim” to leave a lasting impact at the 2022 Presidents Cup. Fellow South Korean Si Woo Kim had his share of memorable moments as well.

Going into Sunday singles, the Internationals were trailing 11-7 and in need of a historic day. Typically, the trailing team will “frontload” their best players to attempt a comeback. When United States captain Davis Love III called the name of Justin Thomas to lead off in the first match of the day, many expected the international team captain Trevor Immelmann to call the name of Hideki Matsuyama or Adam Scott. Instead, he called the name of Si Woo Kim.

Si Woo did not disappoint. Kim took out the de-facto leader of the United States team 1-up. The 27-year-old didn’t shy away from the spotlight, and matched Thomas both in his ability to sink clutch putts and to bring energy with his animated style of play.

Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim provided some of the most memorable moments of the Presidents Cup, but it’s Sungjae Im who’s been the best player for the Internationals in both 2019 and 2022.

Back in 2019, Sungjae tied with Abraham Ancer for the leading points scorer (3.5) for the Internationals during their narrow defeat in Australia. He was a rookie then, but this year he was depended upon to go against some on the United States best teams and delivered, scoring 2.5 points and knocking off young American star Cameron Young in their singles match.

As influential as the performances by the trio of South Koreans were, the overall impact of Asian golfers cannot be discussed without mentioning Hideki Matsuyama.

The 2021 Masters Champion has long been rumored to be interested in joining LIV Golf, but he was at Quail Hollow competing alongside his International teammates.

Stars were born at the 2022 Presidents Cup, but Matsuyama has been “growing the game” for what feels like a lifetime. Labeled from an early age as the savior for Japanese golf, Hideki has delivered time and time again. The former young prodigy has slowly but surely turned into a pillar of global golf and leader of the Internationals.

After a slow start, Hideki was able to grind out a win and a tie to help the Internationals remain competitive throughout the weekend.

While the Internationals were eventually defeated 17.5-12.5, a more important mission that cannot be measured by wins and losses was undoubtedly accomplished.

Amongst all of the turmoil and strife in the world golf, it’s easy to forget how much the game means to so many people.

Countless young golfers across the world went to bed on Sunday night and dreamt of being the next Tom Kim, Si Woo Kim or Hideki Matsuyama.

That sounds like an excellent way to “grow the game”.

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