All things bicycle here.
This guy installed a Loud Bicycle. It's basically a car horn on a bike. Folks, don't be surprised if you hear a car horn and a bike is behind you. He also vlogged his ride via his helmet cam. LOOK AT ALL THOSE BICYCLISTS! You can hear him use the Loud Bicycle at around 05:54. I wondered if the drivers even noticed in time.
Some of this is obvious for experienced players, I'll list them anyway for the benefit of those starting out. Will add as I learn/discover more.
Duh, camera angles are very important. You probably know this already, but will mention it anyway. Always bring an alignment stick, which will make pointing your camera much easier.
You may hit a cr@p shot, but video may redeem you by showing you you actually did what your instructor advised. That's a good thing, you're changing the picture. This should gave you encouragement, you'll eventually hit the ball more solid with the new piece.
Everyone around you may be hitting more balls than you, it may seem video is slowing you down, but you're seeing what's actually happening versus guessing. By associating feel and real, you're actually making faster progress than those not using video.
You don't have to be at a range to use video, practice your moves at home and video them. Even without a ball or club. Frequent shorter spurts of practice is much better than cramming.
As per @billchao, work on one thing at a time. Usually there's a better angle for a specific piece. For shallowing, down the line, impact, face on.
Review your swing in realtime, 30fps and high frame rate, 120/240+fps. You'll see different aspects of your swing.
Switch up the camera position often, don't stay with down the line or face on too long. You'll get caught up in one aspect of the swing perhaps to the detriment of another. There's also the posterior view. I'm pretty sure your range will frown upon you using a drone for overhead views.
Review your swing on a big screen the night of or day after. You'll notice things you didn't see on the small screen. Use Analzyr (Mac) or Kinovea (PC). My preference is Analyzr as it's much simpler but feature rich.
If your range has dividers that block the face on view, pull the mat back past the divider. If your stall is walled on both sides, you could try turning 45, 60 degrees to get a face on view, that's what I've been told, have yet to try this though, comment below if you got this to work (or not).
If it's sunny and blistering hot, put a large towel over your head to review video, you'll look stupid, but you'll see the video better, save battery life and get respite from the sun.
Get a tripod bag. Be prepared to say, no, I'm not going to hot yoga. It'll make life easier, trust me on this.
When using an iPhone to record video, to save battery life, I turn off the GPS and turn on low power mode. When recording, I turn the screen brightness down - you're not watching the screen, so it doesn't matter. Yes, it's annoying you have to turn the screen brightness back up when viewing. Not sure how much this helps, but in theory it should save some battery consumption.
Or you can painter's tape a portable power bank to your tripod and your phone will outlast you, no battery worries there. It shouldn't make manipulating the tripod any harder. I'd recommend a model that's at least 20,000mAh so you don't have to charge the bank as often.
You may forget one or two important things your instructor told you, no matter how many times you watched your lesson video, reviewed notes. When you're in the thick of practicing, not hard to do. Copy your lesson text and/or video to your phone so you can read/watch again when things get pear shaped. I use Evernote for text, Dropbox/OneDrive/Google Drive for video. Try and put all your lessons in the cloud so that they're easily accessible. It's the closest thing to having your pro with you without him/her physically/remotely being there
You're going to have lots of video in storage and you'll probably delete them, don't delete them all, leave a couple of videos, preferably the last swings from the practice session, on your phone for quick reference. Learn how to clip videos to save space. A full swing, 240fps, on an iPhone, takes up about 15-30 megabytes, depending on how much ball flight you capture.
Portrait mode is looked down on, but is better for down the line views, you don't have to set the camera as far back as landscape and you can see more of the ball flight if you hit it high. Heck, use portrait all the time, that's what all my instructors do, they know a thing or two.
To see if your shaft is pointing inside or outside the ball at A5 you can use a straight edge to superimpose over the display as opposed to a swing analysis app to draw lines, don't use a credit card or transit pass or anything important (duh), it's going to increase the chances of you losing it. Use a clubshaft as a straight edge, just superimpose it over your smartphone display. Or if you have a removable case, use that as a straight edge, or even the bottom of your hand made into a karate chop.
If you're hitting into the sun and you lose track of the ball and you're recording in high speed video from down the line, you'll be able to the start line and maybe some of the initial curvature depending on conditions.
To see if you're hitting the ball fat, when videoing face on, if your mat is wet, you'll see the splash the water makes, it'll be especially obvious when you hit it fat. If it didn't rain, pour some water onto the mat. Same goes for when you make contact with the mat after hitting the ball.
To protect your smartphone while videoing yourself in the rain, trying using a rain cover provided with a bicycle smartphone mount. I use this from Morpheus Labs, it's a very snug fit, actually a bit of an effort to get on, but you can still use the touch screen, you'll have to press harder. The fingerprint scan won't work though and it'll widen your phone so your tripod mount will need to accommodate the extra width. If it protects the phone while cycling, which I found it does, pretty sure it's good enough for videoing your swing in the rain. You can use your bicycle smartphone mount as a portable kind of gorilla pod if there's something nearby to mount it to.
Zooming in is very handy. From down the line, I'll max out the zoom in and focus in on the ball, to see where on the club head the ball hits the face. You can see heel, toe, thin, fat better this way.
Instead of using a heavy power bank, you could use a lipstick charger and a short cable, the lipstick is not heavy enough to pull the cable off your phone. Don't need tape, simpler.
I remember when Amazon just sold books, people thought it was a cute company, it's a giant now. A leviathan. It sells nearly everything, its cloud services has the tentacles of a thousand octopi, not everyone is aware just how huge AWS is. It makes TV shows and is getting into movies for goodness sake.
Lately, I've been doing lots of price comparisons and Amazon's everyday prices are just so competitive. If you have Prime, which is pretty much free shipping and reduced price next day shipping (I make generous use of Prime's video, music, library, cloud and photo storage services), it practically can't be beaten. I try to support local stores, tried to buy a Dremel attachment for example - the experience was some stores didn't have it, if it did, 30-40% more than Amazon. I just had Amazon next day ship it to me as the overnight delivery step up charge was $0. Went to buy some windshield wipers at Pep Boys, looked at Amazon - it's half the price. How do you compete with this? While I find the money saved to be very copacetic, it just troubles me what they might be doing I don't know about to keep prices low and its effect on future commerce.
The cabled stayed bridge. When done right, it can really transform a skyline and especially look dramatic at night. Under certain conditions, it costs less to build and maintain than a suspension bridge, something to do with maximum road segment length. But it seems many of these projects are plagued with cost overruns. Rusted supports, salt water eating away. If they're supposed to save money, you wouldn't be able to tell based on news headlines. See eastern segment of the Bay Bridge.
If you travel around the world and return home only to see none, you wonder where are my taxes going? Why isn't the infrastructure being updated? Of course it makes no sense to tear down an old bridge and put up a new one just for the sake of it, but NYC, for example, has some pretty old, ugly looking bridges that must cost a pretty penny to maintain. The pigeon droppings alone costs a substantial amount to clean. The Williamsburg. The Manhattan. They just look... old.
The first cable stayed bridge in the US was built in Washington in the late 70s. Tampa has a stunning one. Boston's was finished 13 years ago. The one in Delaware is over 20 years old. Oakland has a new bridge to rival the GG. There are about 30 in the US. There are at least 60 in China alone and there are some stunning ones around the world. One of the bridges below is Calatrava's, but his projects tend to go over budget.
The NYC metro area is finally getting two. There are currently two in existence, but they're pedestrian bridges, at Rockefeller University and the Intrepid, that's it. You have the new Goethels and the Tappan Zee replacement, which 44 fast tracked because the TPZ was literally falling apart with holes and way over its 50 year shelf life and built to bear a lighter load than it does now. I guess that's not uncommon, we wait until the last minute or an accident to do something.
Who knows how much the final tally will be, but at least it's a sign we're updating our infrastructure. The new TPZ (The New NY Bridge? Hope it gets a more original name) has a pedestrian roadway, you'll finally be able to cross the Hudson on foot or bike from Nyack to Tarrytown. For 4 billion, there better be one.
Cooper River Bridge
On a totally unrelated note since we're speaking about infrastructure:
NBC announcers flaunt their lack of curiosity like... peacocks. If I were interviewing someone for a job and asked for his/her opinion of the new programming language Beta, which has been available for years, and that person said, I don't know anything about it, I've always used Alpha and it's better in my opinion, for me, that would not represent the candidate well.
In the video, Peter Jacobsen says he tried Aimpoint Express and still hasn't figured it out. Miller then asks Gary Koch if he tried it and he says no, plumb bobbing would get the same result. Miller follows up with plumb bobbing is more accurate. David Feherty calls it The Fickle Finger of Fate, a disparaging moniker with the randomness it invokes, or maybe it's more for chuckles - Feherty seems like a smart guy and would figure out Aimpoint straight away.
Listen, if you're going to knock something on national TV, at least take a detailed look into what you're dismissing. I'd have more respect for these statements if they were, I took a clinic, gave it a concerted effort to try it, I just don't get it. Maybe we don't know the inside politics. Maybe there's some friction between the media and the company behind Aimpoint. Maybe there's some kind of extenuating circumstances. But if this isn't the case, there's no excuse for all the announcers not to have taken a clinic (Aimpoint Express isn't hard to learn, kids learn it.) That's their job, to know golf, right? Putting is one of its aspects.
Rewatching Band of Brothers, there's this scene where a CO says "Channel is socked in. No jump tonight!". Having seen BoB so many times, never bothered to look up "socked in". In context, knowing the situation, Operation Overlord, you just easily guessed D-Day was postponed because weather. But this time, I actually looked up "socked in".
Now maybe if I were an amateur pilot or airplane enthusiast, would have known this, but I'm usually pretty diligent in looking up things I don't know, especially now with smartphones, have a good dictionary on the home screen, but language is a big thing, slang/idioms constantly changing and expanding. Makes me wonder all the slang I don't know, even though born and raised in the US and watch a lot of tv and movies. Thank the gods for Urban Dictionary, I say.
Christ on a cracker,
One minute into the video below, the crew at NBC is gushing over Garcia's lag. They've been doing this for years and it just pains me how this is screwing up people who are less informed or experienced. And before I start, let me ask, aren't all genes, "God given"? Where would genes come from otherwise? The fairy golden space fantasy unicorn that poops multi colored ice cream?
If you face a mirror, make an L with a golf club and then rotate your forearms so the clubhead goes behind you, that's the same exact look. That's just massive shallowing from the top or even before it a little. The angle between Garcia's forearms and the shaft is still 90 or thereabouts. If you literally take a dry erase and draw an angle on your tv, sure, it's ~120 degrees, but that's the shallowing that makes it look that way, the wrists are around 90. It's an illusion. Garcia is a supremely talented golfer, I love watching him, but he's not some X-Men Mutant outcast or Richard Reed or a guy with rubber band wrists. Holding the angle in general, is not conducive to a good swing. I bet lots of people will be at the range tonight, tomorrow morning, and they're going to try this, and for the most part, it's going to be for naught. Look, I understand it's partially marketing, they're making the product look good. But there's a balance of that, and informing your audience with facts and good information.
And it's not just NBC, so I'm being fair.
There are the ones that look like chili peppers and the ones that taste like cotton candy are my favorite. These were at Trader Joe's yesterday:
They're ok, cotton candy grapes still my favorite. Sugar Crunch has like a "dry" taste to it, it's a little different from your standard variety green grape, sweeter and harder obviously. I'd still buy it again, because you don't see these everyday, but always on the lookout for cotton candy grapes.
Golftec (disclaimer - don't know anyone working there) was something I never looked into, probably confirmation bias or the social media out there about the hard sell to buy lesson packages. After trying out its video setup, the benefits of having both face on and down the line views simultaneously was intriguing, and a screen where you can see yourself live although you still have to manipulate your head to see the screen, VR goggles not available yet but you can bet that will be a thing in the near future, could be useful for some I thought.
Winter was a time where practice wound down, don't know anyone with a large relatively warm space (Hey buddy, you have so much photography/music studio loft space you could easily fit in a net there and we could practice during winter! Whadday think? ) where I could plop a net, and paying for a simulator when I wasn't using the simulator, just videoing myself, plus groups using simulators tend to be noisy, just didn't work - too limiting and expensive. Places w/simulators can be cramped spaces too, so you may not get a face on or down the line camera view. Practicing during the winter outdoors was getting more and more to be a drudge - it's one thing to swing, futzing with a camera when it's cold is the dealbreaker, even with touchscreen gloves.
So finally the plunge into a 1/2 year practice plan was made. If you go 2-3 times a week, the cost per visit goes down considerably compared to simulators. What I didn't anticipate is that dual video cameras has been more beneficial than I imagined, the connect between what I'm doing and what really happens is much more immediate, even though I've been using video, "only" one camera - and I think I'm making better progress because of it and now that plunge is looking like a great deal. So if you're looking for a place to practice in the cold winter, take a gander into any company/facility with dual cameras and multiple locations. You might get in some considerable swing work done during the offseason.
Better at shallowing from A4 and better at knowing the whys because cameras because instructor with a big assist from cameras:
4K/HDR is better than I thought it would be.
Usually an earlier adopter regarding things tech so late to the 4K train, didn't think it would be that much of an improvement, but beginning to see more of a difference than when in the store, looking at different TVs. When you're at home, rewatching the shows you're used to seeing in HD, that's the better distinguisher. It helped that the new screen is bigger too, going to 65 from 50. Could have bought earlier, but saved a ton waiting a bit, got a decent deal, barely did any research and comparison shopping and got a decent set under $700, free shipping, no tax, was looking at sets costing $2K a year ago. Even the free economy shipping took only 2 days.
Amazon Prime's show, Mozart in the Jungle, was the first UHD content I tried and the color and sharpness stood out although I could barely tell the difference between that and and The Expanse, which is HD on Amazon, dunno if upscaling is helping or my eyes suck. Upgraded Netflix to UHD, watched Dark, and it was more obvious than Mozart, the picture quality. The kicker was Planet Earth II, which is UHD. This is obviously the show to tax a tv's ability to the limit.
Still assessing sports and output from the Bluray player. Guess there will be a movie that will eventually convince me to go Bluray 4K, The Last Jedi, but will have to see how the current Bluray library is, how well it upscales.
So with dramas, it's a little better, but with science fiction, like The Expanse, with detailed ships and planetary details, you can really see the difference. Looking forward to what The Masters will be like. Even though trumotion is turned off, still seeing a little Soap Opera Effect. Going to take a bit to play with all the picture adjustments.
Lord, I was born a ramblin' man - The Allman Brothers
Yesterday, Jim Nantz on the Masters broadcast referred to Homer Kelley's, "The Golfing Machine" as "The Golf Machine.” Maybe Nantz has an aversion to gerunds. You don’t expect him to be Grammar Girl or William Safire, but being an announcer for decades, you'd expect him to grasp the subtleties of the English language.
No matter, language is more de facto than de jure, no? It matters more that the average person understands you than what’s written in the textbooks, yes? It’s a mixed bag. Google yields more hits for “The Golfing Machine” than “The Golf Machine”. You wouldn’t write a book titled, The Footballing/Baseballing/Basketballing Machine. But you would call someone a running machine, a hiking machine, a picking machine (see the movie Moneyball.) The official website has the gerund plastered all over its pages. However, search results also yield a lot of people who intimately know TGM refer to it as “The Golf Machine”. So basically it’s interchangeable.
It would take a few seconds for Nantz to say “The Golf Machine, or the official title of the book, The Golfing Machine.” God knows there is enough time in a golf broadcast to fill. So why does this matter? It wouldn’t make a lookup easier, ecommerce and search algorithms would easily “fix” your mistake, Did you mean “The Golfing Machine”?
The subtle read, to me, is he never looked at the book at any length. He works with Gary McCord, who definitely knows TGM, there’s a 1 hour video of him talking about it with Mac O’Grady, but maybe McCord refers to it as The Golf Machine, but McCord probably had a copy of the book floating around and maybe Nantz never bothered to go through it given he had chances. Nantz has a lot more things to do to prepare for the broadcast (I'll give him he's probably got a lot of football and basketball knowledge taking up space in his memory) I guess, like prepping for the Tom Watson send off, schmoozing with TPTB, figuring out his opening and closing lines, friends. It makes me think that the way television and people who run golf, see golf differently than I do, way, way, differently. There's a dichotomy, talking with the best players, working with execs who basically control golf empires, versus me, the guy who just loves to play golf, learn golf.
The golf industry talks about popularizing golf, gaining a broader appeal. To do so, you need to start catering to a wider demographic. In my humble opinion, better instruction is part of that and starts with the little things. Like learning the basics of radar and Aimpoint and giving the public a simple, unbiased assessment of them, rather than something like “the fickle finger of fate” or old cliches of Rae’s Creek drawing putts in its general vicinity. Yes, the proper title of a book is an extreme case (and very anal), but it’s basically a step in the general direction. Facts, not opinion.
All this is stemming from an offhand interpretation of three letters, or maybe I misheard him or there was something wrong with the audio, so I could be totally wrong, but I ramble.
I used to believe impact is king. Lots of pros, announcers and good players say this, but it's more nuanced than that. Impact is important. Your shaft should have some forward lean, your hands should be ahead of the ball, you should hit the ball first, divot should be in front of the ball. These are musts.
But it's not the whole picture. How you arrive at impact and where your path and face are headed just after it are just as important. You could be coming into the ball way "dumped under" and have a path that's like +8. That's hard to control and subject to blocks and hooks. I might have seen myself on video face on, with perfect impact conditions, with a driver, bowed wrist, forward leaning shaft, hands ahead of ball, a look I used to die for, but I've hit a low bullet that would just barely clear an NBA center.
This is just one of so many common cliches to "simplify" learning the game. It's all about impact, hit it to right field, keep your head down, hit down on the ball, etc... Have they really helped golfers learn the swing, or have golfers learned in spite of them? Imho, it's time to dispense with these one liners along with that mystical golf pro that charges $30/hour and will fix you in 5 minutes.
Not sure which aircraft carrier this was, but imagine hitting balls in the wee hours of the morning and then this passes in front of you? Those white spots are seamen standing at attention, all surrounding the ship. Such a big object makes not a peep of sound.
Is making a shorter backswing harder than a longer one?
When coming back from not playing for awhile, the first noticeable thing on video is my backswing is longer. Both the big muscles and the small. Shoulders turn more and wrists hinge even more so.
It seems like if you look at swings at your typical driving range, you have more swings going past parallel than not. PGA Tour and good amateurs less so these days because the "modern" swing you don't see the shaft go past parallel as much w/exception of driver, longer clubs.
You'd think it'd be easier making a shorter backswing than a longer one, fewer moving parts but I think it's easier to make a longer one because a longer swing gives you more "time" to make a swing. Plus it feels more powerful because you're taking more of a windup.
A shorter backswing, I intellectually know its advantages, easier to shallow, less opportunity for things to go wrong, simpler, but human instinct seems to take precedence over what you're brain "knows" is "right".
A shorter backswing is uncomfortable because you have less time to make the swing, it feels rushed if you're used to a longer backswing. Like you're trying to compress the pieces you want to implement in 1/2 the time. You hear so many times during a lesson that the shorter swing felt like a 1/2 swing or even 1/4 one.
I guess you could write this same piece saying the exact opposite, but if I had to guess, more people, 60/40, maybe more, would say shorter is harder, especially as the club gets longer.
Jimmy Walker on Charlie Rose, 13:52. Is golf an art? Yes.
I agree. With all the technology and more technically oriented talk about the swing (you can listen to Walker get into technique in the middle of the interview), I must bang this into my head. Golf imho, is ultimately, a form of art. On the course, it's a flow, no?
I would think all three in varying degrees for different players.
Can a man or woman carry their own bag, get their own distances and be their own best friend? Absolutely. It's not an inherent essential element of golf play, professional or otherwise.
But why take a chance really?
In general my take would be similar to @bkuehn1952's. The arena is so cutthroat competitive for relatively large sum of moneys, that any advantage, however small or even if it only perceived at best, would be acquired.
I know I would. Especially the 'carrying my own bag' thing sounds like it would cost me some physical fatigue strokes over 72 holes.
I'm not a mudder either. Especially in the Winter months when the fairways are dormant. Our club doesn't overseed even though we play year round. This year our course has been wet since October. It's just not much fun playing on thin soaking wet Bermuda. While our greens drain pretty well there are some low areas in our fairways that will have to be re-sodded when Spring arrives.
I think you summed up the why do use caddies pretty well in three reasons:
Pack mule / course maintenance
GPS / course scout / game manager
Emotional Support / Coaching
I think the real question is why do pros maintain a regular caddie as opposed to using someone different each week. I think the answer is obviously NOT #1 and obviously YES to #3.
But I think #2 is an interesting issue. I would imagine most tour stops have good local caddies - I must assume that Riviera has some good caddies that really know the course so well they might be an advantage over a regular caddie - think the guy Crenshaw used at Augusta. But I would guess some of the issues with using a local caddie are: 1) there's probably not one for the entire field; 2) how do you know / do you have confidence that you are getting a good one? Still I'm a little surprised no head strong pro has tried the "local caddie" strategy. Maybe because there might be more downside than upside.
I don't know if this will work but this links to an article from two years ago where a tour pro talks about what the tour would be like if there were no caddies.
Undercover Tour Pro: What If We Had To Play Without Caddies? - Golf Digest
Here's the question: What would the World Ranking look like if we had to carry our bags? No caddies.
Also, FWIW, there was an interview podcast last year with Webb Simpson's caddie right after he won the Players. He talked about one of the things he does to prepare for a big round is prepare a list of non-golf things to talk about to keep Webb from thinking about golf every minute of the round.
Interesting subject to discuss.
I mostly go long with your ideas. Outside of the physical effort of carrying the bag and grooming the course, I imagine one of the biggest reasons every pro has a caddie is because they can have one. And they are afraid that IF a caddie might make a 1 or 2 stroke difference, then they sure as hell want to have that advantage when everyone else in the field has a caddie.