Is Your Camera Lying To You?
Guidelines for camera placements and what you should see from those placements
This is another great example of how a change in camera angle makes the same swing look completely different. With the camera placed too close to the "toe line," (upper-left photo) the club appears to be well outside the desired swing path. When placed too close to the target line (upper-right photo) the club appears to be stuck too far inside approaching impact. In the "Goldilocks" photo in the upper middle, the shaft is running down the right forearm in the perfect slot position. If you're making adjustments to your golf swing based on the faulty pictures to the left and right, you'll be going down a dark rabbit hole and may not see the sun for some time. The only thing worse than no information is bad information. So make sure the camera is where it should be. Again, between the target line at the toe line at waist high.
Once again, this photo of me shows a very neutral position approaching impact. I concede that there are many effective ways to swing the club, but for me and many of my players, these alignments produce solid shots. The leading edge of the clubface is "square" as it's perpendicular to the ground, the right forearm is down and in front of the right hit, the right shoulder is lower, indicating the proper tilt has occurred, the inside of the right foot and ankle are "rolling" toward the left, and my shoulders appear more closed than my hips. When I see myself looking like this, I have more hope!
Impact is the end product of all the hard work you have done on your mechanics from setup, the backswing, the top and the transition. When done properly you should see the right shoulder and arm closer to the ground than at address, the hips forward toward the target, the right foot rolled down with the heel slightly off the ground, the "cheeks" squeezing together, and the tummy working up and around to the target. Posing in this position around the house and at the office may provoke strange looks from your dog and co-workers, but it will give you a chance to "paint the picture" of the proper alignments in your feel to help you improve.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO USE IT!
The last thing I want is for this article to discourage you to record your swing. Sure, some instructors are using more radar-equipped tools (such as Trackman and Flightscope, etc.) to compile data, but there are still very practical uses for capturing video. And in case you need something to slow your video down, there are numerous smartphone apps and software programs that do a great job of slowing down footage for you to see your swing in slow motion, frame by frame. Some apps and programs even allow for drawing lines and shapes and offer split-screen comparisons of two swings.
I use video in my teaching. Not always, but it still remains a viable and important part in helping me see what my eyes sometimes can't. Get out there and start filming yourself (or get a buddy to help), and stick to my guidelines for camera placements and what you should see from those placements. You'll reap the rewards and have a much better chance at playing better golf than you would trying to fix your swing problems from an incorrect angle. Trust me. I've been down that road myself (not to proud to admit), and knowing the right place for the camera will make all the difference in helping you become a better player.
Brady Riggs, PGA, resides in Southern California and is one of the most sought-after golf swing experts in the country. For more info, visit bradyriggs.com.
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