Is Your Camera Lying To You?

Guidelines for camera placements and what you should see from those placements

Labels: Instruction
This Article Features Photo Zoom
Once the camera is positioned properly (waist high, in front of your sternum), look for the ball to be positioned well forward of center toward the heel. If your grip is fairly neutral, the hands should be mid-body with the shaft nearly vertical to the ground. With the wider stance and forward ball position, the right shoulder should be lower than the left. I prefer both toes to be flared out slightly to promote more hip turn and better use of the lower body. The setup should promote a feeling of being able to hit both "up" and "out" through impact. If you don't get a head start at address, impact gets pretty difficult.

In addition to a face-on camera angle, I like to use what we call a "down-the-line" (DTL) field of view. From this angle you can get a great feel for the geometry of the swing that's produced by the alignments of the clubface and the swing path.

When I look at a player from this camera angle, I check the alignment and posture first. Ideally the feet and shoulders will be slightly right of neutral and an extension of the shaft will point at the belt buckle.
That said, we haven't started to swing yet. Let's look at the setup and see if Jeff is aligned properly. If you look at the three photos above, you can see three distinct setup perspectives. If you were looking at the photo at upper left, you'd assume Jeff was aimed left, but had a very closed stance, shoulders and clubface. Looking at the upper-right photo, it would appear that Jeff is aiming to the right, with a relatively square setup position. It's not quite as dramatic as the upper-left photo, but even still, both images aren't telling the truth.

The reality is, Jeff is in the exact same setup position in all three images. All we did was move the camera! The upper photo in the center shows Jeff set up properly. Like so many great drivers, Jeff hits "up" on the ball through impact. As a result, he needs to aim his feet and shoulders right of what would be considered square to keep the path working from the inside at impact. Without the subtle change in alignment, the "up" angle of attack would produce a path going left through impact and make hitting his desired slight draw impossible.

Pretty incredible how the camera can deceive you, right? The proper camera position is waist high and dead center between Jeff's waist and the golf ball. Any further to the left, right up or down will give you false information on what's actually happening at the setup.

Why should the camera be set up at waist high? For the simple reason that waist high is the middle of a golfer's body. Any lower or higher will show you slightly different results.

To illustrate, think of how you'd look at one of today's flat-screeen LCDs. If you're too high, low, left or right, the screen loses clarity and light. But if you're dead center, you'll yield the best viewing results.


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