Golf Swing Analysis Software – Pros and Cons

Technology has changed golf, especially the way we LEARN golf – this is most evident in the advent and the widespread use of golf swing analysis software. In the past twenty years, golf swing analysis software has gone from “state of the art” technology to being so common that it is found on nearly every smartphone owned by a golfer.

video analysis software screenshoot

Video analysis software screenshot provided by Golf Swing X.

I remember watching golf on Saturday or Sunday afternoon (the only time it was on tv!) and then racing to the course to try to recreate the swings that I saw on tv. As one could imagine, by the time I got to the course, much of what I had seen was lost.

When VHS and 8 mm video cameras became more accessible, I could film myself but would have to go inside to hook up to a tv to watch. If I wanted to draw lines to check angles and planes (a function found in the most basic golf swing analysis software), I would use a dry-erase marker and a draw on the tv.

Side by side comparison with a pro (another standard function of swing analysis software), of course, was out of the question–unless I had two tv’s side by side!
With golf swing analysis software on my phone, I have all of the above right in my pocket. Huge advantage, right? Well, not always.
There is something about seeing a swing, converting the swing to memory and then trying to recreate the swing that is essential to learning the swing. This “something” is the ability to imitate. This mental effort of internalizing an image to then pull out for future use is the fundamental principle behind imitation, which is the primary way in which humans learn any skill from another person. Without the ability to imitate, we would not be able to learn any skill. Indeed, as children we learn virtually everything through imitation!

What good is golf swing analysis software?

When used properly, golf swing analysis software can be of tremendous help. let’s take a look at the main advantages:

Conceptual understanding

The use of video can help one understand what is meant by swing-plane, or what “taking it inside” means. In this sense, golf swing analysis software is a tremendous communication tool for TEACHING. Students of course benefit from a clearer understanding of what the instructor is saying.

Feedback

Whenever we are learning something we need to know if what we are doing is “correct” or not. The primary source of feedback that we have when we play golf is the flight of the golf ball: nice flight equals “good” and bad flight equals “bad.” While it is difficult to argue with the flight of the ball while actually playing a round of golf, when one is practicing (learning) the ball often is not an accurate reflection of what we have done during the swing. With golf swing analysis software, we can use the video for feedback. The video will tell us if we have made the proper swing adjustment that we are looking to make. The ball might not come out great, but the swing can still be good. This is part of the learning process in golf.

Image internalization

I would have loved to have been able to take what I saw on tv with me to the range, stored in a magical little video playback device that fit in my pocket! Worst case scenario, I could have looked at the swing, then tried to imitate. Looked back at the swing, then tried to imitate. I would have done that all day long given the opportunity. In this case, having easy access to the proper images helps internalize them making it easier for me to call upon those images while trying to imitate. The more you see it, the easier it is to copy.

To conclude: the pros to having golf swing analysis software far outweigh the cons. It just comes down to how you use it.

 

by Stephen Moskal
If you would like to have your golf swing analyzed by a pro send your golf swing video to video@golfswingx.com for a complimentary lesson.

This Post Title: Golf Swing Analysis Software – Pros and Cons