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A revolutionary new piece of technology that was used by the BBC during its coverage of this year’s British Open is the latest addition our teaching academy.
A revolutionary new piece of technology that allows golf coaches to record the precise moment that a club strikes the golf ball, as well as tracking and analysing the impact of that strike on the full flight of the shot, is the latest addition to the teaching academy at the Vale Resort, near Hensol in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The “TrackMan III” is the first of its kind to be put into operation in Wales, although a number of top pros, including European Ryder Cup star Eduardo Molinari and this year’s US Open winner Justin Rose, have been using the system. TrackMan data and images were also used by the BBC during its coverage of this year’s British Open.
A portable computer screen with an integrated high-speed video camera is positioned behind the ball and records the strike. The camera then tracks the full flight of the ball with the computer analysing the shot and beaming a detailed report and graphic wirelessly to a laptop or tablet for viewing.
The system has two main applications - in coaching sessions it can be used to help golfers improve the way they strike the ball with different clubs but TrackMan also improves the accuracy of custom-fitting golf clubs, where factors such as clubhead speed, the plane of the swing and the part of the club face that generally connects with the ball all need to be taken into account.
“There have been incredible advances in the custom fitting of golf clubs and it is no longer seen as something just for the top players,” says the Vale Resort’s golf manager Clive Coombes. “We’ve been using video analysis at the Academy for many years but this new TrackMan system captures such an accurate reading of the way a golfer strikes the ball that the information we get back enables us to give them the best advice on how to build their perfect set of golf clubs.”
A set of custom-fitted golf clubs can cost as little as £300 and Vale Academy is offering members and non-members the opportunity to put their swing to the test using the new TrackMan III before booking a standard fitting.
The TrackMan unit fits neatly into a small suitcase and has a battery life of more than five hours. This, together with the use of iPads to review the videos, will allow the new TrackMan to be used away from the Vale Resort, which is something that the team are looking forward to.
“The TrackMan III is a fantastic addition to the service that we can offer at the Vale Academy but we are also keen to take it out on the road. For example, we are hoping to link up with some local schools to offer half-day sessions for pupils that are interested in golf,” added Mr Coombs.
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