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How K-Vest’s new software, NEXT, helped my dad fix his swing

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By nature, I am very cynical; I always want to see proof. So when golf companies claim to create game-changing technologies, I am always keen to test them.

This weekend I had the chance and the perfect participant; my father, the “original” Rory. Dad is a young 70, handsome (runs in the family) and loves golf. He plays hundreds of rounds per year and carries a handicap in the middle teens. In a lot of ways, he is your typical weekend warrior; his dream in life is to break 80.

When given the opportunity to get some feedback on his game from my friend and K-Vest expert Dr. Robert Neal, my Dad was pumped. Rob has a doctorate in biomechanics and is a world-renowned instructor. He offered to help us understand how “Next,” K-Vest’s new software platform for dynamic motion training, helps players improve.

My Dad

My Dad, Rory.

Rob got down to business with his assessment when he met us in his teaching bay. After some careful measurements, he announced his first finding; Dad wasn’t setting up correctly for his long torso and short arms and legs. Based on his body type, Rob told Dad what he needed to do to improve. Rob took about a minute to suit up Dad in the K-Player, which has two sensors connected wirelessly to a computer that runs the Next software.

With Dad on the hitting mat, Rob opened software called “Advanced Posture” and calibrated the program with a mouse click. He positioned Dad, making some adjustments to his shoulders. With Dad standing still, Rob pressed a button marked “set live” on the computer screen. In less than two minutes, Rob had created Dad’s custom setup program.

First, without a club, and then with a club, my Dad worked to achieve the same positions as the avatar on the screen. When he got in the right spot, the software played pleasant music. As Dad got better at setting up, Rob increased the amount of time he needed to hold the position before the music played. When he found that position, Rob had him hit the ball at the tone. The proof was in the results; the ball was travelling farther than ever before for him.

“For the first time, I understand what people mean when they say swinging a club is like jumping from the back foot to the front foot,” Dad said. “I have a far better sense of where my hands are.”

Next, Rob helped fix the top of my Dad’s backswing, adjusting him to stand taller with more side tilt. When Rob got him in the position he wanted, he pressed “set live” again. The two then went through the same process as they did with setup.

To tie the two movements together, Rob adjusted the program to “NEXTify,” which linked Dad’s setup and backswing into one dynamic motion. Rob had him practice the motion without a golf ball until he mastered it, and after a little practice Dad improved and got more comfortable. Then, the moment of truth; time to hit the ball.

Dad learning to get all aspects into "green."

Dad learning to get all aspects into “green.”

Dad set up, and as instructed he held the position for 0.1 seconds. When he heard the “ding” he knew it was time for him to swing to the top, a position he was told to hold for 2 seconds. Then he hit the ball. Crack! Dad’s first bullet was beautiful draw.

“It felt almost effortless,” he told me later. “Like dancing.”

Dad hit a bunch more balls. Setup. Ding. Swing to the top. Wait briefly. Smash!

Dr. Robert Neal and Martin Hall, presented for K-Vest at the 2017 PGA Show.

Dr. Robert Neal and Martin Hall, presented for K-Vest at the 2017 PGA Show.

“But let me show you one more thing,” Rob said. “This is where we are going.”

“Going?” Dad asked, confused.

Rob had programmed a full golf swing into Next. It was my Dad’s “future” swing, which he quite wasn’t ready for yet… but soon will be.

“Just follow the avatar,” he told Dad.

A very special thanks to my friend Rob Neal of Golf BioDynamics for his time.

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Brendan Ryan, an entrepreneur and scientist, is a passionate golfer who loves his local muni. Armed with a keen interest in the game, a large network of friends in the industry, Brendan works to find and produce unique content for GolfWRX.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Artie Jenkins

    Mar 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Great article. I bet your dad get real good

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: Callaway Jaws Raw wedge review and Strackaline’s yardage and green reading books

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Review of the new Callaway Jaws Raw wedge and the new Z Grind sole on the lob wedge. Great spin and improved shape make it my choice over the Jaws MD5. Strackaline’s yardage and green reading books are highly detailed and catch all the slopes on the green.

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Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: An in-person guest visit from the Dominican Republic

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Shawn and Munashe tag team their efforts with Roberto. Whom we have had the pleasure to host in the last Month.

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Opinion & Analysis

2022 John Deere Classic: Outright Betting Picks

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After an incredible week of golf at the Travelers Championship, the PGA Tour makes one final stop at TPC Deere Run to play the John Deere Classic. Last year, we saw Lucas Glover capture his first win in more than a decade by firing a final round 64 to claim victory.

TPC Deere Run is a 7,268-yard par 71 located in Silvis, Illinois. The course historically fails to present a major challenge to golfers with easy-to-hit fairways and bentgrass greens. Most players will have short approach shots into the greens, and the event often turns into a bit of a putting contest.

The John Deere Classic will play host to 156 golfers, and as expected, the field is considerably weaker than we have gotten used to this season.

After a long run of top tier events, many of the world’s top players are taking the week off.

A few of the notable golfers who will make the trip to the Midwest include Webb Simpson, Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Denny McCarthy and Sahith Theegala.

2022 John Deere Classic Best Bets

Cameron Davis (+4000)

Cam Davis is a player who has the skill set I am targeting at TPC Deere Run this week. In the field, he ranks 17tin Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass and 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach.

The Australian had some stretches last week at the Travelers where it looked like he was going to contend deep into the weekend and some other stretches where he struggled mightily. While the poor play at times was a bit of a concern, it wasn’t as important as what he showed when he was playing well.  In a weak field, we are betting on the ceiling of Cameron Davis.

The 27-year-old has already proven he can win on Tour and won at this time last year. It may not seem like it at first glance, but Davis offers us relative value in this field.

Cameron Champ (+5000)

It’s more likely than not that Cameron Champ plays horribly this week. He’s missed four consecutive cuts and has had a pretty disappointing year overall. However, if you play this event 50 times, I feel very confident in saying that Champ wins at least once. Therefore, there is relative value in betting the 27-year-old this week.

Since Champ has arrived on the scene in 2018, he’s already accumulated three PGA Tour victories. “Win equity” is a term I often use in these articles, and Champ is a great example of a golfer who finds a way to win more often than his odds tend to indicate.

Yes, there’s a good chance he struggles this week. But there’s also a chance he gains eight strokes putting and wins the tournament.

Chez Reavie (+5000)

Reavie comes to the John Deere Classic quietly playing some very good golf. He has four top 27 finishes in his past five starts, including an 8th place finish at last week’s Travelers Championship.

The 40-year-old is gaining an average of 3.7 strokes from tee to green in his past five events. In many ways, Reavie is a similar to player to Lucas Glover (who won this event last year). He is a strong iron player who is good with a wedge. If he can gain a few strokes putting instead of losing strokes to field as he typically does, he is super live to win at TPC Deere Run.

Chesson Hadley (+15000)

Chesson Hadley used an excellent Sunday to catapult him to a top-5 finish at the Travelers Championship. His excellent round of 64 was one shot shy of the low round of the day, and it’s within the realm of possibility that he can use the momentum to propel him into contention at the John Deere Classic.

In the past we’ve seen hot putters propel golfers to victory at TPC Deere Run. Hadley is a player who is capable of gaining an absurd number of strokes with the putter when he has it going.

The John Deere Classic is one of the few spots on the schedule where journeymen have been able to get it done and is as good of a spot as ever to end Hadley’s nine-year winless streak on Tour.

Brandon Wu (+15000)

Brandon Wu is a golfer who’s ceiling I believe in long-term. Since his second-place finish at the Mexico Open, he’s been quite disappointing, but this is a tournament where I believe in taking chances of golfers with a high upside.

The Stanford product has loads of talent. He won the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship and beat out many players in this field in doing so.

This is a low risk, high reward bet on a golfer who is still developing on the PGA Tour.

Hayden Buckley (+15000)

Hayden Buckley is another golfer who is on the rise. He finished 14th in the U.S. Open, proving he has what it takes to compete on the PGA Tour.

In an event where I feel as though most any player in the field is live to win, it’s a good opportunity to bet a young up-and-comer in hopes that his ceiling comes to fruition against a weak field.

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