This is article was written by Iain Highfield of GLT Golf
When I was 13 years old, I was fortunate enough to attend the Adidas Predator Kicking School. This was a camp hosted by world renowned performance coach, Dr. Dave Alred, and was designed to give budding rugby players the chance to evolve their goal kicking skills.
I recall this was the first time my goal kicking motion had ever been filmed during my 6 years of playing rugby (quite the contrast to how golf is coached.) During the feedback session with Dr. Alred, of the 12 frames that were captured on the camera and presented to me, 11 were said to be technically sound, and I was rapidly thrust to apply my exceptional technique in situations that were way more demanding than real-time game play.
At 36 years old, when I receive golf coaching, my experience is quite different than the one detailed above. When a coach provides feedback on my golf swing, I am told that my posture at address is too bent over, my arms get lifted and deep on the back swing, over active in transition and all this leads to an adverse effect on my sequence. I also early extend and do not rotate enough at impact! Wow, mind blown!
After receiving a golf lesson, I would often reflect on my time playing rugby and ask myself why I had such a good understanding of where my body was in time and space when I kicked a rugby ball vs the lack of understanding I have when I swing a golf club. Is there anyone or anything that can help provide feedback of what my golf swing should feel like? I want to experience the mind body connection in golf that I felt as a junior and college rugby kicker.
Well, I am excited to say that last week, I did. After a poor ball striking round, I asked team GLT member Arick Zeigel to help me. He suggested that we used two training tools to begin to ‘understand’ what it would feel like to make a more technically sound golf swing.
Arick used a K Coach to measure my swing sequence and collect information on what the eye cannot see. He then asked me to use a device called the GravityFit TPro. This provided kinesthetic feedback on what postural changes were needed; this felt extremely strange (almost to the point I did not believe it to be correct.) Then, after plenty of motions with no golf ball, Arick finally asked me to hit one! Compression, center strikes, better flight and more distance! Wow! This is what it feels like to swing the club more effectively.
Arick then boosted my confidence even further by providing what he called ‘bio feedback’ through the K Motion. Simply put, the computer would beep when I hit the correct position at impact. Again, we did this multiple times with no ball and, again, I was skeptical. Is this really how open I need to feel at impact? I basically felt like my abs and left glute might pop, but by now I was embracing the unknown.
After multiple reps without the distraction of the ball, Arick asked me to hit. Again, compression, center strikes, better flight and more distance! So, this is what it feels like to swing the club and hit the ball more effectively!
I want to thank GravityFit and K Motion for their tireless research and passion to help gofers like me develop an awareness of how the golf swing should feel!
Now it is on me to go train this new-found awareness in the appropriate way so I can retain what I am learning and transfer it to the golf course. And who knows, perhaps one day I may just experience that heightened awareness and effortless flow I felt when kicking a rugby ball during a round of golf.