Getting back in the swing

Steve Wilson tries out the Flightscope radar tracking system
Steve Wilson tries out the Flightscope radar tracking system
Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

Ellis crashes out of US Amateur Championship

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Brave the frozen fairways or settle in for a couple of hours on the driving range and iron out some of the glitches in your swing?

To some of us, neither activity is particularly appetising at this time of the year as clubs gather dust in a cupboard until the green shoots of spring return and people start talking about the US Masters.

In fact, some prefer to do their golfing on the computer or games console until it warms up a bit.

But down at Tournerbury Golf Centre on Hayling Island, you can combine them both, while making some serious improvements to your game.

Plane Truth coach Kevin Flynn put my swing through its paces in the swing studio with a bit of help from Flightscope – a radar tracking system to analyse the swing of an erratic 14 handicapper.

Hit your shot and a computer will track the ball flight, work out the distance, club head speed, angles of approach and a host of other factors all within a few seconds of the shot touching down.

While Flynn spotted my obvious flaws – well, some of them – with the naked eye, he could then point out the raw data that was staring me in the face.

The faults in my swing are not terminal – not quite yet anyway – but my technique had got itself into a bit of a mess and needs work to get it back to some level of consistency.

Flynn explained: ‘The swing is too far right.

‘It goes “in to out” (inside the line to out) too much resulting in an unstable clubface and the attack into the ball is too shallow.

‘We need to work at getting the club head out past the hands in the downswing and taking the handle of the club around to the left to stabilise the club head and also steepen the angle of attack.

‘The result should be a better strike and neutral ball flight once you learn to not roll the club over during the shot.’

Without ever knowing it, my straighter shots and what I thought was a controlled draw when it was firing on all cylinders were simply down to me flipping the wrists with good timing to make up for all of those wrong angles I had been creating.

Basically, a lot of the better ones were lucky.

When you’ve been doing the same thing for quite a while, it takes time to correct it so it won’t be a quick fix.

But it’s worth sticking with and revisiting before the weather perks up.

Flynn also has a video camera at hand to point out a few more things which don’t make for pretty viewing and it’s slightly strange to see your swing played back to you.

But in terms of seeing where you are going wrong – and the things you are doing right – it’s all the evidence you need.

For more information telephone (023) 9246 2266.