Inside Golf Academy of America’s Technology Lab
Jul 12, 2018
One of the things students love about attending Golf Academy of America is the access they have to current golf technology.
Whether you want more information on your own swing or want to learn how to help others kick their game into gear, the technology lab at Golf Academy of America is outfitted with the equipment you can use to get a read on your playing ability and also learn how to use technology as a professional working in the golf industry.
Golf Academy of America in Phoenix instructor and PGA Professional Jay Friedman says he likes to start with simulators when giving tours of the technology lab. Designed to immerse you in the experience while providing detailed feedback on your swing, golf simulators offer students a fun and realistic way to improve their game.
In addition, the V1 simulator provides helpful video analysis software students can use to film their swing, draw lines and circles and compare their swings to models. Another simulator, Foresight, allows students to follow along with the flight of their golf ball on a TV screen, while the Swingguru records a golf swing in six dimensions so it can be viewed from all angles.
“You can practice on those. You can play a golf course on those. You can have a par three contest on those. Some of the most famous courses in the world are on there,” says Friedman. “The great thing about the simulators is that you can also see the flight of the golf ball, and they give you some numbers, as well.”
Golf Technology the Pros Use: TrackMan
Friedman’s favorite piece of golf technology is the TrackMan, and it’s also the system that gets the most use from students.
“One reason it is my favorite is that it shows the flight of the golf ball on the screen, and actually shows what the ball is doing in the air,” he says.
TrackMan accurately measures both the ball’s flight and the swing, delivering the data in an easily digestible format.
Friedman regularly invites a representative from TrackMan to his class as a guest speaker, and uses TrackMan’s free online tutorials — TrackMan University — to help teach his students how to utilize the technology.
“My goal is to teach them why a ball does what it does,” Friedman says. “I’ll take them to hit shots on the TrackMan, and they can see a blue line that shows the path of the ball and a red line that shows the clubface position. They start to see why the ball does what it does and start to understand it.”
TrackMan is ubiquitous in the golf industry, so it’s an important tool to master.
“Most of the top instructors of the game, as well as the top 100 players in the world rankings — every one of them has a TrackMan,” Friedman notes. “You’ll see it on TV. When players warm up, you’ll see the TrackMan units behind a lot of them. It’s a great piece of equipment.”
SAM PuttLab, K-Vest and Boditrak
Friedman calls the SAM PuttLab “TrackMan for putting”. SAM stands for “Science and Motion,” and, true to its name, it scientifically measures different aspects of the putt, including aim, direction and so much more. In fact, the SAM PuttLab measures 28 different parameters of the putt.
Other notable pieces of golf technology available to Golf Academy of America students are the K-Vest and Boditrak.
“To use K-Vest, we put on sensors that measure different areas of the golf swing, and it shows the person the kinematic sequence of the golf swing and whether it’s in order,” Friedman explains. “Boditrak shows how the center pressure moves through the swing. For example, is the weight moving correctly into their heel and back into their toe?”
Friedman says that every student who attends Golf Academy of America makes use of the technology lab.
“When they have a break, it seems like all the students come into the lab to putt and hit shots,” he says.
And this exposure to technology could give students a leg up in the golf industry, especially if they want to become a golf instructor. Golf Academy of America students have opportunities to pursue certification in TrackMan, K-Vest and Boditrak.
“The tools in your toolbox are only good if you know how to use them,” Friedman says. “These are great tools. Once you learn how to use them, especially if you want to coach and teach the game, this technology is incredibly helpful.”