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Importance of Camera Position in Golf Swing Video Analysis

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Very informative! Thanks Erik.

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Erik, I have a question on video analysis and interpreting the ball flight laws. Now that I have started using video to analyse swings, I have noticed that sometimes what I see on film after a shot doesn't match with how the ball flew. Let me explain. Occasionally, I'll hit a ball that starts off right of target and draws back to the target. So far so good, that's what I'm looking for (a push-draw).

However, when I look at the video I can see my swingpath is clearly out-to-in. How is this possible? If the camera is positioned correctly and I'm aimed correctly, even though it feels I have hit the ball in the middle of the clubface, must I conclude that I hit it off the toe and what I observed was the gear effect?

Or...occasionally, I'll notice that although I am clearly over the plane line with my arms and hands, the clubhead appears to strike the ball from under the plane line. Is this possible? Have I managed to come over the top and then manipulated the clubhead somehow to hit from the inside. Please clarify.

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Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

However, when I look at the video I can see my swingpath is clearly out-to-in. How is this possible? If the camera is positioned correctly and I'm aimed correctly, even though it feels I have hit the ball in the middle of the clubface, must I conclude that I hit it off the toe and what I observed was the gear effect?

That's unlikely. I'd like to see such a video. Most likely it's a case of this:


Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

Or...occasionally, I'll notice that although I am clearly over the plane line with my arms and hands, the clubhead appears to strike the ball from under the plane line. Is this possible? Have I managed to come over the top and then manipulated the clubhead somehow to hit from the inside. Please clarify.

Good players all tend to do that if they get their arms out - they'll uncock the club and even bow their left wrists sometimes to keep the clubhead to the inside.

You can come "over the top" with your right shoulder, your left arm, your hands... or the clubhead. The latter is the only one that matters in terms of the ball flight.

Imagine in the pictures below Charlie's clubhead was in the same spot (both slightly under-plane) but his hands were a little above the plane. He'd be "over the top" with his arms/shoulders/hands but still be delivering the club from under the plane.

__1.jpg

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Originally Posted by iacas

Good players all tend to do that if they get their arms out - they'll uncock the club and even bow their left wrists sometimes to keep the clubhead to the inside.

You can come "over the top" with your right shoulder, your left arm, your hands... or the clubhead. The latter is the only one that matters in terms of the ball flight.


Ah OK, thanks for clearing that up. I wasn't sure if I was imagining things or had the camera in the wrong place! Still, it's a really bad way to hit the ball.

By the way, my feel isn't so off that I don't know the difference between hitting the ball in the middle of the face and off the toe. It's just I've heard so many stories about being just one dimple off and the differences it makes to the ball flight.

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Agreed. Camera angle is INCREDIBLY important regarding 2d analysis. Good video.

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Great explanation.  I can see what I have been doing wrong now.  Better videos to come....

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Originally Posted by TN94z

Great explanation.  I can see what I have been doing wrong now.  Better videos to come....

Thanks.

The easiest way is to put a stick on the ground and make it vertical in the camera. Then put your toes against the stick. If you don't want to hit balls with the stick there, put tees near where your toes go or something.

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Thanks Erik.  I have been positioning it more in the middle (incorrectly).

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bumping...

Very helpful thread. What is the recommended height that the camera should be set up at?

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Erik, I have a question on video analysis and interpreting the ball flight laws. Now that I have started using video to analyse swings, I have noticed that sometimes what I see on film after a shot doesn't match with how the ball flew. Let me explain. Occasionally, I'll hit a ball that starts off right of target and draws back to the target. So far so good, that's what I'm looking for (a push-draw).

However, when I look at the video I can see my swingpath is clearly out-to-in. How is this possible?

1. First, consider that your video itself may not be accurate. Many cameras use a rolling shutter, which can cause some distortions with regard to high speed motion.

2. The "sweet spot" of the club as far as the ball coming off exactly straight may not be where you think the center is. And can depend on club design. And what happens on hits more towards the edges also varies depending on clubhead design. These effects shouldn't be large near the center, but just a few degrees might have you off by as much as 10 yards at target. So basically, you could even be slightly out in, with a draw, and still have the ball come off slightly right and draw back toward target, even with what you think is a center hit. So if you are talking about a shot being off a fairly small amount from your expectation, yes that is possible.

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Roughly hip or belly button height.  From "Filming Your Golf Swing"

thx

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