Filming Your Golf Swing

The proper angles and camera positions to film your golf swing with modern technology.

This is an updated (and slimmed down) article to the original one here.

Filming Your Swing

Recording your swing from the proper angles is very important. Consistently filming your swing from the proper locations not only makes it easier for you to compare your swings against previous and future swings, but also makes it easier for others you might show your swing to (for example, to folks in the Member Swings forum or to an instructor) see what’s going on.

Two views are commonly used in looking at a golf swing. If you’ve watched golf on television, you’ll be familiar with them. They are the “Down the Line” view and the “Face-On” or “Caddie” view.

Here’s how to set up and record each. (Mentally replace the camera images with your iPhone 23 Pro if you don’t mind. 😀)

Face On (or “Caddie View”)
Face On

The Face-On or “Caddie View” video should be shot with a camera at roughly “hand height” (near the hips or a little bit lower than the belly button) square (perpendicular) to the golfer’s target line, and centered in the middle of the golfer’s stance. The golfer should likely be a bit lower than the center of the frame to allow for enough room above the golfer’s head to see the hands and at least a little bit of the shaft at the top of the backswing and enough room below the golfer’s feet to see the golf ball.

The camera should be between six to twelve feet from the golf ball. Too far away and not only will the golfer not fill the frame, but the shift in perspective makes some angles and positions tougher to see.

The best way to set the camera up for a Face On view is to use an alignment stick perpendicular to your target line in the exact middle of your stance. Set the camera right on that line, and the stick can double as a ball position aid as well.

The caddie view is illustrative in looking at the length of the golfer’s backswing, any movement side-to-side of his head, the location of weight at key positions, the low point of the club, and any casting of the club or flipping of the hands, among other things.

Down the Line
Down the Line

The Down the Line view is a bit trickier to set up consistently. Again, the camera should be at roughly “hand height.” Of course, rather than being square (perpendicular) to the target line, the camera should be aimed parallel to the target line, as illustrated by the three red lines above. The golfer should be in the left-center of the frame with a little room above his head and below his feet.

Though many are tempted to put the camera ON the target line out where the ball is, centering the ball in the video, this isn’t helpful as it puts the golfer completely to the side of the video, wasting resolution and providing a poor angle for almost every phase of the golf swing due to parallax.

The absolute best position for the camera shooting Down the Line video is parallel to the target line along the rear foot’s big toe – the left-most red line in the image above (and where the green shading is the brightest). A camera pointed parallel to the target line and halfway between the ball and the toes is acceptable but not ideal. Finally, a camera positioned directly behind the ball (the right-most red line) – regardless of how perfectly parallel it may be to the target line – is not very helpful at all as it will distort almost every phase of the golf swing (including the position of the club shaft and head).

The camera should be between eight to twelve feet from the golf ball. Too close and things may be distorted as the club’s arc can get awfully close to the camera during the backswing and downswing.

Yes, if your stance is slightly open or closed, both sets of toes won’t be on the line of the camera. That’s fine, and in fact helpful, as many players have slightly open or closed stances. The best way to set the camera up for a Down the Line view is to use an alignment stick just in front of your toes, parallel to the target line, and to set the camera just inside that stick line.

The down the line view is illustrative of a golfer’s swing plane, his shoulder pitch at the top of the backswing, his setup and balance, his trail knee and footwork, and his head and butt positions, among other things.

Importance of Consistency

Framerates on Modern Technology

Most people have a brilliant camera in their pockets, as the modern smart phone can record HD video at 120 or 240 or even higher frames per second.

For all but the shots or situations listed below, we recommend that you record video at about 200-300 frames per second. Any less and you’ll miss subtle movements and you could miss impact by several inches. Any more and, unless you’re really looking to document something very small or intricate, and you’re just taking up more space and making playback take much longer than necessary. We also recommend recording in at least 720p video, with little need for 4K video at any frame rate (unless you’re recording a swing to print out at a large size or something!). The golf swing is, after all, a fast-moving thing with little time to stop and appreciate the pixels. (This recommendation will likely be outdated several years from now, as technology continues to advance, though there are limits to what the human eye can perceive, too.)

Situations in which you may want to scale back the frame rate include:

  • When you’re looking to see the “rhythm” or “flow” of a shot.
  • Shorter shots like pitches, chips, etc. which have rhythm/flow but which also have less overall intricacy, and less speed.
  • Beginner golf swings with larger, more obvious errors (120 or even 60 FPS is often plenty).
  • When you’re trying to save disk or storage space. We still record videos at 240 FPS, but with lower resolution than HD because we record thousands of swings per year and the file sizes add up quickly.

Lighting

GOOD lighting is important. Though a camera recording at 240 FPS could have a “shutter speed” or “exposure time” of each frame of up to 1/240th of a second to properly expose the image in each frame, more light allows the shutter speed/exposure time to be much shorter.

We installed several lights in our academy to record video at 1/1000th of a second, which is very nearly the bare minimum shutter speed we recommend. Outdoors, even on a cloudy day, modern cameras are able to achieve 1/1000th or faster quite easily, but indoors some individuals will have a hard time getting 1/500th or so.

Why is this important? Because at higher shutter speeds, not only do we see the smaller motions, but objects are less blurry. If you’re trying to look at the leading edge of the clubface at A6/P6, you’ll see it pretty clearly at 1/2000th of a second, and you’ll barely be able to tell where the clubhead is at 1/500th, let alone make out the leading edge.

Get a Tripod

GorillapodIn addition to a camera, there are a few other accessories you may want to buy.

Some sort of tripod, or a phone clip that attaches to an alignment stick, are absolute musts. Your tripod could be anything from the $30 Gorillapod (shown at right), which can attach to a push cart, a golf car, your driver, etc. to a more expensive tripod. If you’re in a pinch, search the Internet for “bottle cap tripod.”

The purpose of a tripod? There are two. The first is to keep your video stable, so that any movement you see is due to the movement you’re doing, not the camera person moving as they record your swing. Second, and perhaps most importantly, to get the proper angles, particularly height. Without a tripod, many will resort to recording swings by setting their phone on the ground.

Precision Pro NX9 Rangefinder Review

Are lower cost alternatives to the big-name rangefinders a worthy value, or just inexpensive gadgets?

NX9 HeroI like nice things. I’ll admit to paying a bit more for things that are well built or feel or look better than competing products that do the same exact thing. This is particularly true in golf and tech, and when those two meet, well, let’s just say I could have afforded to play a little bit more golf if I had been more logical in some of the decisions I’ve made. <grin>

We all knew what a “good” rangefinder costs. Sure, you could go to Dick’s and get a rangefinder from a brand you’d never heard of for as little as $150. The thing might work for a few months before the display would start to fade, or it wouldn’t work with a hint of fog, or the laser would get mis-aligned after dropping it a foot into the rough a few times before playing your shot.

NX9 Box
Get used to that shade of green – it’s Precision Pro’s shade.

We all knew what the “good” brands were, and a lot of golfers either had to shell out as much as a brand-new big-name driver (or more!) to get one, or try to mess around with GPS apps or devices. (I’ve always been a big proponent of laser rangefinders over GPS, for various reasons, but this isn’t the place to re-open that discussion.)

I say “knew” because Precision Pro aims to change the game with their NX9 Slope, NX9, and NX2 range finders. They claim to deliver a quality product at a fraction of the price of the other companies.

How’d they do? Let’s find out…

RZN Golf Ball Review

Nike exited the hard goods business in 2016, but the original manufacturer of the RZN balls has brought them back to live (and store shelves).

When Nike exited the golf hard goods business in 2016, fans of the Nike golf ball with “RZN” technology grabbed all of the remaining balls that they could, fearful that the ball would never be seen again.

It’s not often that truly new things happen in the golf ball industry. The last may have been the switch to the solid-core ball at the premium level, started by Top-Flite, strongly pushed by Titleist, and now the realm of everyone including direct-to-consumer brands like Snell or Vice. A strong case could be made for the introduction of Nike’s “resin” technology, which isn’t constructed quite like other golf balls.

RZN Balls

As best as I can tell, Nike produced balls with Bridgestone for a number of years, but introduced the resin ball produced by Feng Tay Enterprises since 2006.

So, fans of Nike’s later golf balls rejoiced, and the rest of the world? Well, I suppose we were interested to see if the golf world had moved on from 2016, or if Nike was truly on to something that was reborn in the RZN.

Read on to find out what we thought of the RZN HS-Tour and MS-Tour balls.

TRUE Linkswear OG Feel Shoe Review

TRUE continues to smash out the hits with this lightweight, zero-drop, flexible shoe for warmer (dryer) days. Read on to see how I feel about the OG Feel.

TRUE OG Feel xxxxIf you see me playing golf, teaching golf, watching golf (in person, not on my couch!), or shopping at Lowe’s for golf training aids…, you’ll see me wearing a pair of TRUE Linkswear shoes. They’re my every-day, every-where, every-thing shoe, and I still have and wear pairs of them dating back to the original Tour.

I love that the original Tours, even though they looked a bit “clown-ish” according to my wife, had wider toe boxes and flexible soles, were zero drop, weighed less than most golf shoes, and were still waterproof and had enough grip to play golf in most conditions without fear of slipping.

Continuing (and improving) on many of those features of the original Tours, and among the latest from TRUE are the TRUE OG Feel. They have a lot to live up to.

Do they? Read on to find out.

TRUE Linkswear TL-01 Review

TRUE Linkswear’s lightest shoe evokes a simple, classic style that appeals to many. Does it work for us?

I’ve been a big fan of TRUE Linkswear since the Tour debuted in 2010. The classic TRUE “way” is a minimalist, spikeless golf shoe that performs well in all sorts of weather and is comfortable and stylish.

TL-01 Black Sole

TRUE revitalized itself with the Outsider and Original in 2017, returning to their roots of minimalist, comfortable, stylish shoes that perform. That continued with the TRUE Knit and the TRUE Major.

The TRUE TL-01, introduced earlier this year, continues the old and recent tradition of delivering stylish, comfortable, minimalist shoes in all but one regard (we’ll get to that part), and is a welcome addition to the TRUE lineup, which also includes three shoes mentioned already: the Original, Major, and Knit.

How does the TL-01 stack up? How will it fit? How does it fit compared to the other TRUEs? Read on to find out…

4 Major Golf Courses for Your Bucket List

You’ll find in our article major golf courses that should be on your bucket list. From the outstanding views of the Sewailo Golf Club in Arizona to the challenging golf course that will test your abilities in Scotland, there’s something for everyone. So, if you’re looking for major golf courses that are definitely worth your time, keep reading.

Sewailo Golf Club – Tucson, Arizona
The Sewailo Golf Club is part of the Casino del Sol Resort, located in Tucson, Arizona. This is a golf course designed by the amazing Ty Butler that has designed many notable desert oasis style golf courses. The desert terrain is transformed into hills, turfgrass, and beautiful valleys. So, it’s safe to say that you will enjoy playing here.

Otherwise, you can enjoy playing exciting casino games in the casino or relax in a highly comfortable and elegant suite. If you feel that you want to continue playing in your room, you can sign up and play on reputable casino sites like Casimba online casino UK, for example. Not only will you find high-quality casino games in many variations, but you’ll also access numerous promotions and great offers. It’s also worth mentioning that loyal players experience exclusive VIP treatment in the VIP program of the Casino.

Royal County Down Golf Club – Newcastle, Northern Ireland
Royal County Down Golf Club is located in the breathtaking nature in Murlough Nature Reserve, and it’s one of the oldest golf courses in Ireland, established in 1889. The 18-hole links courses are exceptionally challenging, while the Championship Course was recognized as one of the best golf courses in the world by Golf Digest. Some of the tournaments hosted here include the Curtis Cup, the Irish Open, Palmer Cup, Senior British Open Championship, among many others.

Victoria – Melbourne, Australia
This is an undeniable top golfing destination designed by Alister MacKenzie, a famous golf architect who designed courses all over the world. The golf course has recently had a green replacement program, so you will find lush green playing surfaces. Whether you’re a skillful golfer or an amateur, your abilities will certainly put to the test. Victoria was home to the Women’s Australian Open and will also it will host the Men’s Australian Open in 2022.

Old Course – St. Andrews Links, Scotland
This is an iconic golf course, considered to be the ‘Home of Golf’ and one of the oldest golf courses in the world. Allegedly, golf was played here since the 15th century. It’s also one of the largest public golf courses in Europe, and it’s open to all. Legendary golfers like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, John Daly, have played here, among many others.

On the other hand, if you feel that you want to improve your skills, they offer first-class lessons for amateurs and skillful golfers. Here you will find many prestigious tournaments like the St Andrews Links Trophy, St Rule Trophy, and the renowned Open Championship and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Power Package Training Aid Review

The Power Package is supposed to help with a variety of things, but its one trick is just a bit too limited.

Power Package HeroEvery so often, a training aid grabs the market and enjoys a really nice run. In 2018, the Power Package was one of those devices, and after a full season of using it with some students, I’ve got some thoughts.

Endorsed by Tom Pernice Jr. and Lanny Wadkins, the Power Package aims to fix a number of swing flaws and increase distance. Simply put, the Power Package attaches near the bottom of your grip, and while making a backswing and in your follow-through, you guide your forearms into the “cups.”

Read on to see how I felt about the Power Package.

QOD Electric Golf Cart Review

QOD – A small and affordable golf cart for those who still appreciate when their good walks aren’t spoiled.

QOD Cart HeroAt first glance, the QOD Electric Golf Push Cart doesn’t look like much. And make no mistake – I mean that literally. The QOD folds up to about the same size as most standard push carts at only 13.5″ x 14.5″ x 17.5″.

Take a closer look at the QOD, though, and you’ll soon notice the LED control panel. Shortly after that, it will dawn on you… the QOD is an electric push cart!

Over the years, I’ve reviewed a couple of electric carts, from Bag Boy and Sun Mountain, but none have been as small as the QOD.

QOD stands for “Quality of Design” and I put that quality to the test in five states over dozens of rounds and more than my fair share of hills, bridges, paths, fairways, and weather situations.

Here’s what I discovered.

Callaway Apex MB (2018) Irons Review

Rumor has it Sergio Garcia’s switch to Callaway played a role in the company’s introduction of these irons. If so… Thank you, Sergio!

Callaway Apex MB 2018 HeroWhen Callaway acquired the Ben Hogan brand all those years ago, better players were curious what would come of the Hogan designs, names, and ethos. Callaway was, at the time, producing great clubs but was seemingly focused much more on game-improvement and super-game-improveement irons, while the Hogan brand targeted primarily better players with simple, austere designs that evoked a sense of history and longevity over fanciful new technology and flash. Would Callaway use the Hogan IP to bolster their better player lineup, or did they just want the Apex name and the Hogan designs, patents, etc.?

For a few years, many feared it was the latter, as few clubs Hogan-like clubs were introduced, and even as recently as 2016 the “Apex” name was stamped onto clubs that didn’t resemble the old Hogans very closely. But, over the past several years, Callaway has seemingly boosted their stable of PGA and LPGA Tour pros. They’ve continued to introduce irons aimed at the game-improvement and super-game-improvement segments, but they’ve also strengthened their commitment to players clubs with wider releases of clubs designed for the better player.

After a series of irons like the Apex Pro and the 2014 Apex MB, the 2018 Callaway Apex MB fully returns to the Ben Hogan roots. Easily the best looking irons Callaway has released within the last decade (hey, this is my review, after all!), the Apex MB unabashedly says “I’m not giving you a ton of help, but if you can handle me, I’m going to be your new best buddy.”