A golf swing analyzer is an electronic device designed to help golfers improve the mechanics of their golf game. Designed for golfers who want to improve their golf scores without spending hours on a golf course, these devices can bring attention to swing errors and provide feedback in an indoor setting.
There are two basic types of golf swing analyzers: simple home gadgets and sophisticated systems available at golf centers. Golf swing analyzers can range wildly in price; a basic mechanism can cost a hundred dollars, while a golf center package offering a computer generated analysis and instruction can cost several thousand dollars.
Uncomplicated home golf swing analyzers can be purchased at golf pro shops, specialty sports stores and on the internet.
The most basic golf swing analyzer is a small electronic contraption that can be attached to a club shaft. As the golfer swings the club, the golf swing analyzer records club speed and computes a distance projection.
For more complete feedback, home golf analyzers are available with sophisticated computer software packages. Directions vary by company, but in general this is how they work:
- The golfer records their swing on a video or digital camera.
- This swing information on the camera is downloaded into a computer program.
- Special computer software analyzes the club head speed, the club head path and the club face angle.
- The computer predicts the distance and trajectory of the ball.
- A computer program recommends swing improvements. Some computer programs will provide a side-by-side comparison of the recorded swing to that of an "ideal swing."
Golf centers offer the most thorough and expensive analysis systems. To get the analysis session started, a golfer addresses a golf ball at a tee box (usually indoors). Normally, the tee box has synthetic turf and a net to capture the golf balls after they have been hit. The golfer hits a series of golf shots into the net as a professional cameraman records the swing.
Just like in the home version, the swing is transformed into a computer image for evaluation. The software program analyzes the biomechanics of the golfer's swing. In addition to the standard swing information, a sophisticated golf analysis system provides feedback on body alignment, stance, hand position, and head movement.
When purchasing a golf swing analysis package, the golfer will often receive a video or CD to take home as well as computer printouts. Many golf centers provide instruction on improving any swing errors identified in the analysis.
Used wisely, a golf swing analyzer can help frustrated golfers hit the ball further with greater accuracy and more consistently.