If you’re like most golfers, you’re always looking for ways to improve your golf swing. Golf tips and practice can eliminate swing flaws but one of the best ways to spot errors—and eliminate them—is to video your golf swing. And that can take your game to a whole new level and help you lower your golf handicap.
Also, a video of when you’re hitting the ball well can serve as a personal coach when things start to go south. Comparing that video with video of you when your swing is off can help you pinpoint the swing flaws developed while playing.
What to Use to Record Your Golf Swing
The video camera you use is critical to getting the most from your recording sessions. You want to record the video at the highest frame rate possible. That allows you to slow the footage down so you can pinpoint what you’re doing wrong.
Using a camera that films at 30-60 frames per second (fps) works well. This speed helps you see your video clearly. (In case you’re wondering, the iPhone 5S records at 120fps.) But if you want to want to capture your swing vividly, try using a camera that records at 120 fps.
Also, use a high shutter speed. This shutter speed prevents what’s called the “rolling shutter” effect—among the most common errors golfers make when recording their swings. This error makes the shaft look like it’s drooping or bending backward, which makes swing analysis difficult.
To avoid this effect, follow this rule of thumb when recording your swing. The higher your shutter speed, the better your footage. Stick to this rule of thumb and you’ll never be sorry when filming your golf swing.
Camera Position is Key for Videoing Your Golf Swing
Camera position is key when recording your swing. But weekend golfers and professional golf teachers often get this step wrong. Your video’s accuracy depends greatly on where you position your camera. The two key positions for recording your golf swing are down-the-line and face-on. Below we describe each camera set up and provide guidelines to help you set up your camera correctly in these positions:
• Down-the-Line — This position gives you a great view of your golf swing’s geometry. Ideally, you want to place the camera from behind and down the target line when you address the ball. It’s a great position to view your takeaway and the connection between the front arm and chest.
Of the three possible down-the-line positions, the best is to set up close to the golfer’s foot line, leaving room for the golfer to complete a full swing without hitting the camera. Place the camera waist high and midway between the golfer’s feet and the ball. If you’re recording your golf swing with your iPhone from this angle, record it horizontally, not vertically.
• Face-on Position — This camera position helps you see the physics of your golf swing. For example, it’s great for viewing your pivot. That includes monitoring rotation, lateral motion, and explosiveness through impact.
Ideally, you want to place the camera perpendicular to golfer’s chest when she is addressing the ball. Just make sure the camera view shows both the clubface and the golf ball.
Also, place the camera belt high and in line with your sternum. That’s the best angle from which to shoot the golfer in this position. And make sure your camera view shows the club path throughout the swing. If you’re recording with your iPhone from this angle, record it vertically, not horizontally.
Once you’ve recorded your golf swing, you may want to slow down the video. Numerous smartphone apps and software programs exist that do a good job of slowing down footage so you can see your swing frame by frame. Some of these tools even allow you to draw lines and shapes on the screen and provide split-screen comparisons of two swings. So, check out the apps and software you buy carefully.
Keep these golf tips in mind when videoing your swing. Doing so is a great way to iron out the flaws in your swing, boosting power and accuracy. Also, comparing a recording of when you’re going well to one when you’re not swinging well can help pinpoint bad habits you developed while playing. Doing that can boost consistency and help you chop strokes your golf handicap.