RoboGolfPro Offers An Instant Golf Swing Fix

I don’t know what it’s like to be in Tiger Woods’ shoes. But now I know what it’s like to be in his golf shoes. And Jason Day’s. That’s because this past weekend at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., I tried RoboGolfPro. It’s a robotic golf-training system that stores pre-recorded PGA Tour pro swings in it. Any amateur can grab onto the grip of a club that’s connected at the other end to a robot, and then be guided through a pro’s swing -- right down to every detail and at least at first in slow motion. So I was able to hang on and see exactly what it feels like for Woods and Day to swing a club. For what it’s worth, Woods’ swing -- his old one from 1997, before his back problems -- felt more inside-out than I thought it would be. And his wrists power through the impact zone much more forcefully than I ever imagined. Yet when I watched myself going through it in real-time on the monitor in front of me, it was unmistakably Tiger’s swing. And Day’s felt like his backswing is exaggerated low and outside, while his follow-through is much more extended than my own. It was truly one of the cooler experiences in my 27 years as a golf writer.

itech-dude-contents-20170818_095151-1200x675 RoboGolfPro Offers An Instant Golf Swing Fix | iTech Dude - The Technology BlogScott Kramer

So what purpose does RoboGolfPro serve, besides the novelty of it? It’s also an amazing teaching tool, if you’re lucky to come across any of the 30 around the world right now. When a capable golf instructor gets trained on the software, he or she can build any golfer an ideal swing based off any student’s physical dimensions, range of motion, current swing and swing orientation. And once you hang onto the club and start swinging and feeling exactly what you’re supposed to be feeling -- and experiencing where your hands should be at all points of the swing -- you will be wowed.

“It’s quite remarkable,” says AJ Avoli, La Costa's resident PGA director of instruction and one of America’s top golf teachers. “You won’t see anything else like it in the industry. It’s priceless. Beginners probably improve more quickly than anyone, because they instantly feel what they’re supposed to feel during a swing. And I’ve seen a huge improvement in the process of teaching students who don’t speak English. Some of our students come from foreign countries (and I otherwise wouldn’t be able to teach with words). I put them on this robot and they feel it instantly. It’s a great tool. You can learn by feeling what the robot does and by mimicking what it does with perfect geometry -- which is great for kids. And you can see what it’s doing with a perfect visual, as well. It’s immensely helped our teaching business.” Adds Scot Nei, RoboGolfPro inventor who’s also the company CEO and director of instruction: “it’s not a golf lesson anymore, it’s a golf experience. It’s instant feedback. And you won’t get worse before you get better” unlike with most conventional golf lessons.

For me, Nei assessed my swing and physical build quickly, and brought up renowned instructor Hank Haney’s swing on his software -- claiming we were similar on both fronts. I hung onto the club and he guided me through Haney’s swing, which was pretty similar in feel to my own. After some tweaking on the backswing, hand motion through impact, and adding follow-through extension, Nei had me go through that swing about 25 times -- gradually expanding the full swing arc and speeding up the motion. And then I went to play La Costa’s Champions Course. As Nei predicted, I think I added about five yards per shot -- throughout my bag.

We later worked on my chipping game, which lately has been a train wreck. Nei was able to show me exactly what I should be feeling throughout my pitch stroke. I continually repeated that swing on RoboGolfPro for a while. Next day on the resort’s Legends Course, I shot 79 and didn’t miss a chip shot all day. In fact, it was the best my short game has been in years. To me, this is evidence of how quickly this system works.

I hope someday more beginners can try RoboGolfPro -- before they develop and reinforce bad swing habits. It may change their golf lives forever.

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