5-Minute Clinic: How To Keep It Old School In A High-Tech World

September 26, 2017

You can confirm what you're doing (or should be doing) with your golf swing using technology such as a TrackMan radar or a BodiTrack pressure mapping system. But you don't need those devices to make a bunch of useful adjustments from the types of data they gather.

Here we're going to talk about some of the things those machines measure, and how you can use mostly low-tech, old-school methods to hit better shots without the need for a computer screen.

In other words, no batteries required. —With Matthew Rudy

You Have To Load To Unload

A lot of amateurs don't hit the ball with authority because they don't create much potential energy in the backswing. Mostly, they're using only their arms to get ready to hit the ball, which means they're trying to unload something that never got properly loaded. Long-and-straight drivers like Brooks Koepka get their upper body turning on top of a stable lower body, and they create a pressure trace on BodiTrak that shows them shifting into the trail foot's heel by the middle of the backswing. If you make that kind of weight shift (below), you're putting fuel in your tank. Now you can create real speed.


Dom Furore / Golf Digest


Dom Furore / Golf Digest

Get On A Better Driver Path

TrackMan reveals the path your club is taking to the ball, but you don't need its confirmation to fix two common faults. If you slice, it's likely your path is too outside-to-inside in relation to your target line. To fix this, tee another ball behind and outside your ball (above). Avoid the second ball for a swing less out-to-in. A too-steep swing that produces shots low and right can be fixed if you put a second ball in front of and outside your ball. Missing that second ball means you caught yours on the upswing (below).


Dom Furore / Golf Digest

Learn How To Smash Your Driver

TrackMan's smash factor is the ratio between ball speed and clubhead speed. Dustin Johnson's ratio of 1.52 indicates he's hitting the center of the face every time. You get such a jump in ball speed from a center strike that you should make it a priority. Use foot spray (below) to check your contact when you practice.


Dom Furore / Golf Digest

Join The Information Age

Your ball flight tells you a lot about what you're doing with your swing, but with the help of technology like Cobra Connect, you can get even more specific.

A sensor in the end of the driver grip (below) sends a stream of information about your game to an app on your smartphone. You can see how fast you swing, how far you carry the ball and how much it rolls. It's like having a version of the PGA Tour's ShotLink for your own game. This can help you pick better clubs and understand what your tendencies are, so you can practice the right stuff.


Dom Furore / Golf Digest

Quit Hanging Back

Good players shift to their trail leg in the backswing and shift toward the target in the downswing. Bad players do the opposite, and shift to the trail leg coming down, which causes what TrackMan shows as a positive angle of attack. In this case, positive is not a good thing. It means the club is ascending at impact. You want to hit down on the ball for good iron shots.

For better iron play, practice one-handed shots while pushing your hips toward the target before you get to the top of the backswing (below). This shift will feel way, way early, but you'll get downward, flush strikes.


Dom Furore / Golf Digest

50 Best Teacher Claude Harmon III is at the Butch Harmon Floridian in Palm City, Fla. He works with Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.