In the dark, Michael Jacobs' teaching studio looks like the control room of an aircraft carrier, with blinking video screens, camera arrays and cables of every description. The 2012 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year has one of the most technologically advanced studios on the East Coast, complete with a GEARS 3D swing imaging system and force measuring plates in the floor. In the winter, he stays at his Long Island base, the X Golf School at Rock Hill Country Club in Manorville, and helps students put the building blocks in place to come out strong when the weather breaks in April.
This week, he reviewed a handful of reader-submitted swings for our #HelpMeGolfDigest campaign. The first one came from reader @markdobinson, who shot it of a playing partner buddy. Jacobs didn't need any technology to make a few suggestions that would help Phil hit it better.
"With his setup and where he's aimed, Phil is obviously hitting pull slices," says Jacobs, one of New York state's top teachers on Golf Digest's survey. "The first thing he needs to do is feel like his body is aimed right of his target. He'll also get way better results if he adjusts his grip two ways. First, get the club down more in the fingers. Then, he needs to move his hands lower to create more of an angle at address between his arms and the shaft. If he put the clubhead up on the table, his hands would need to be below the surface of the table."
The next video comes from reader @louieyupangco, who mixes terrific body movement with some problematic arm action.[#instagram: https://instagram.com/p/ny7549v3OH/]
"Louie's backswing is very flat," says Jacobs. "His left arm is way across his chest, and his left hand is under his shoulder. From there, he'll either have to swing way from the inside or go out and over the top. With his good body move, he's more likely to come from way inside, leading to lots of toe hits. Concentrate on the feel of showing the right armpit to the camera at the top of the backswing. The arms need to get much higher on the way back."
Reader @adam.vella needs to change the force pattern between his feet to improve his consistency and power.
"When Adam starts the club back, you can see his weight go right to his heels," says Jacobs. "He almost falls out of the camera frame. From there, the only thing he can do to transition to the downswing is lurch onto his toes, which wastes a lot of energy. You want to feel like you're pressing with the ball of the left foot to start the downswing and going into the ball of the right foot as you get to the top."
Keep submitting your hashtagged swings for more #HelpMeGolfDigest analysis in December.