Have you ever watched a PGA Tour event on T.V.? If you have, you've surely noticed how the announcers love to analyze swings. There's something exhilarating about seeing a PGA Tour pro's swing in slow motion on a high speed camera. But what about the rest of us? What about the average weekend player who wants to see his swing on video? In this post, I will be walking you through the basics of golf swing video analysis.
Your smartphone will do just fine. I recommend recording in the highest FPS (frames per second) that you can. The newer iPhones can go up to 240 FPS, which means you will be able to see your swing in a variety of positions without a lot of blur.
I will note that no matter how good your camera is, if you are recording your golf swing in low or artificial light, you may not be able to see each position of the golf swing clearly. Unfortunately, this is not something that we can fix easily without purchasing a VERY expensive camera that can capture a club moving at over 100 mph in some cases.
Many golfers will have a friend record their golf swing, but to properly analyze a golf swing you need some sort of tripod to keep the camera still. This allows you to draw lines on the video without them moving around throughout.
I use this Amazon Basics Tripod most of the time, but also keep this cheap and simple tripod in the bag when I can't carry around the big one. It will attach to just about anything, and oftentimes, I'll attach it to my golf bag.
These are SOOOO important. If you don't get your camera angles correct, you will likely see "flaws" in your swing that are not flaws, but distortions caused by a bad camera angle.
To setup for this camera angle, follow these steps:
- Place an alignment stick on the ground pointing at the target line.
- Place the ball on this target line
- Align another alignment stick "parallel left" of the first alignment stick, directly under your hands.
- Adjust the tripod so that the camera is at waist level, and then point it directly down the line of the second alignment stick, making sure it is far enough away to view the entire golf swing.
It is crucial to get this setup correct, otherwise the lines you will be drawing on the video will create an illusion, and you may attempt to change something in your swing which is not wrong in the first place; the camera angle was wrong.
Face-On View (FO)
To setup the FO view, follow the following steps:
- Adjust the tripod so the camera is at waist level
- Align the camera so that it is perpendicular to your target line
There are several video analysis apps on the market, but here are a few that I would recommend.
For mobile devices
I have heard from readers that Hudl is the easiest to use, although I used V1 Golf on my iPhone throughout college golf without any problems.
- Kinovea - This is an open-source video analysis software available for desktop only, and only works on Windows. While it might be easy to complain that this project isn't available for more platforms, please recognize that a single creator has built the entire platform himself and in my opinion, it is VERY impressive, not to mention, FREE.
What to Look for In your Swing
If I answered this question here in this post, it may well grow to the length of a book. Instead, I want to give you two routes that you can go to learn the art of swing analysis.
Analyzing a golf swing requires knowledge of the golf swing, and here are two resources that will help with that.
Route #1: Take the Break 90 in 90 Days Course
If you're currently shooting in the 100s, 90s, or even high 80s, then my Break 90 in 90 Days Course may be a great fit for you. Over 12 weeks, you will gain an adept understand of the golf swing and use this knowledge to lower your score. It is designed to be taken around a busy schedule, and I know you will find tremendous value even after week 1!
Each week of the course, we devote an entire lesson to analyzing the portion of the swing that we are currently talking about.
Route #2: Read my instructional series
Although this route is less guided and requires more self-discipline, it will get you to a point of understanding where you can look at any golf swing and identify the problem areas. By reading my instructional series, you will learn the biomechanical relationships in the golf swing and how they manifest themselves in real situations out on the course and on the range.
Whichever route you take, you will need to educate yourself about the golf swing. This education will not only allow you to analyze your own swing better but will also enable you to more knowledgeably choose an instructor if you ever decide to take lessons. But most importantly, being educated about the golf swing will allow you to enjoy this game more while simultaneously shooting lower scores!