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Technology and the Changing Face of Golf - The fourth in a 4-part series

Sep 30, 2013

Golfers tend to focus on driving, which is all about big motion and strength. Drives are certainly vital to a solid game, but putting--where many undertrain--wins the competition. The precision of small motion is vital for guiding the ball to the hole. 

According to Ron Jones, Academic Dean at Golf Academy of America in Orlando, putting is 43 percent of your score. He favors Science&Motion's PuttLab as a training tool.

SAM PuttLabs is an analysis and training system based on ultrasound sensory analysis and measurements. Specific mathematic algorithms give ultra-precise dimensions of the 28 relevant putting parameters including rotation, acceleration, swing duration and impact.

For the measurement process, a light sensor triplet is attached to the club shaft. This "MotionAnalyzer" transfers movement data to a computer via USB. The resulting graphic report reveals precise information that can be used to tailor individual training strategies.

"Teaching golf is like telling someone to write down how to tie a shoe," said Jones. "You can't do it because words aren't sufficient. Someone has to show you." That's just what PuttLab does.

"You can tell how the ball rolls by observation," said Jones, "but Puttlab shows the difference between feel and fact. The technology reaffirms what you are trying to teach, showing path and face, which are crucial to the intended line of the putt."

PuttLab has been used by 26 European and American Tour Professionals and several European national teams, but the system is appropriate for golfers of all handicaps who want an accurate evaluation of putt technique and consistency. Golf Academy students are introduced to PuttLab in their first semester. They revisit the technology in Advanced Teaching courses, learning how to use it as a professional.

Technology and the Changing Face of Golf - The first in a 4-part series
Technology and the Changing Face of Golf - The second in a 4-part series
Technology and the Changing Face of Golf - The third in a 4-part series