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Swing Catalyst App


Swing Catalyst App

Driving Back to the Range

By John Ehle

I stood on the range at the Bog with Andy Runkel, whining about my inability to pull myself out of the funk I'd slipped into with my driver.

Runkel has seen me swing the golf club on and off for nearly twenty years so he has more than a passing acquaintance with the flaws in my swing. We discussed my recent TIA and how those unsavory events can contribute to other natural processes which contribute to less-than-desirable golf as we age . Poor balance was the most insidious outcome of my TIA. All aspects of my life had been affected by it. Getting around in the dark is one. Riding my bicycle....another. And swinging my driver......pronounced.

Andy is familiar with the consequences of these events and his experience and knowledge made my inability to golf seem piddling, by comparison. I'm plain lucky.

He watched me swing both my short irons and my driver. The characteristic which he immediately saw was my tendency to bend my left elbow in order to lengthen my backswing. Inflexibility and a bad habit were contributing to my tendency to bring the club down too steeply......often causing a popped up drive or a smothered hook. Maddening.

He suggested shortening my backswing, causing my elbow to remain somewhat straighter. He showed me the before/after on his Ipad and drew my attention to the heartening outcome; a longer, straighter drive.

My poor balance and my habit of overreaching during my backswing had caused me to bend my left elbow. This altered my already suspect balance by moving my weight onto my back foot. Andy had drawn my attention to this, of course, and urged me to shorten my backswing in order to not only enable me get my weight back where it belonged but to regain my control of the golf club.
Additionally, he suggested that I get an assessment of my flexibility throughout my torso and to work on it as I was missing the turn needed to transfer my weight forward as I finished the swing. Belt buckle forward. I was swinging the club with my hands and arms; excluding the largest groups of muscles on my body; my torso and legs.

When I started taking lessons thirty years ago, I usually spent 30-60 minutes/lesson with my teacher. There was no record of the lesson and, as the recipient of the instruction, was responsible for remembering what I was taught and, possibly, to spend time on a range with the intent of working through the concepts; ingraining the instruction. Without benefit of an artifact.

Present-day technology,( smart phones and tablets,) allows for immediate feedback during a lesson. I was recently introduced to a teaching tool called the Swing Catalyst App. This app can be downloaded onto either your smart phone or your tablet. It enables you to record your swing and to analyze it immediately. Or, you can email it to your instructor or friends to obtain feedback.

It allows you to view (in HD) your swing, frame by frame, synchronize videos of side by side swings, download tour swings (Justin Rose and Suzann Pettersen), upload 10 videos to Cloud storage, and utilize multiple drawing tools to plan/plot out your learning strategies.

This app is available to anyone and simplifies the learning process immensely. Learning is no longer constrained by time and place. I've benefited immensely already and will be forwarding my recorded swings to Andy Runkel for post-lesson coaching.

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Revised: 09/01/2014 - Article Viewed 33,667 Times

About: John Ehle

John Ehle John Ehle writes for, GolfTrips,com and other golf-related sites in the US. He has attended 6 Open Championships in the British Isles and many men's and women's US Opens and PGA Championships as well as Ryder Cups and President's Cups.

His primary international writing is golf course reviews and travel articles. He also writes about golf equipment and other golf-related products. Most recently he traveled to Cuba and will be in SE Asia for 6 weeks in February and March, 2012.

He writes a weekly column for a metropolitan newspaper in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. He is a 10 handicap golfer and has competed in many Wisconsin State Golf Association events.

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