Aug 19 2011 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
IT’S a technological breakthrough which has revolutionised golf coaching and television coverage of the Majors.
And now Perth professional Niall McGill is harnessing the amazing Flightscope kit to get, and keep, the swings of local club golfers on track.
The Noah’s Ark Golf Centre pro, and PA Sport golf guru, believes driving range coaching has taken a giant leap forward.
He said: “This invention has led to changes in the way golf is taught around the world.
“And now top professionals are using it to tweak their swings during the Majors and other events.”
The modest-looking but expensive bit of kit hooks-up to a laptop to track and record the clubhead’s path into the ball, the swing plane and it can also detect whether the club face is aiming at the target. Speeds, angles and yardage are all logged meticulously.
It captures information that is beyond the powers of video and the naked eye.
Niall said: “Flightscope developed as a spin-off from radar for military missile testing.
“But now it has been harnessed by golfers to capture ball striking in minute details and just how far any particular shot carries.
“Tennis pros and cricketers are utilising the technology. Television production teams also recognise its value for tracking tee-shots to give viewers’ a grasp of the ball flight.
“The system is ideal for custom fitting clubs and also for coaching.
“It is far more sophisticated and accurate than our old launch monitor.
“It can show that a club which gives you the longest distance is not necessarily the right club for you.
“Pupils get immediate feedback when they are trying to change their swing.
“They can see the results and that helps convince them it will improve their game.
“The best players win tournaments from 100 yards and closer to the green and this is ideal for confirming precise yardages for wedge shots.
“While higher handicap players look to get as close to the green as possible the pros will lay-up to their favourite distances.
“That is a strategy any golfer would do well to emulate.”