A swing analysis such as this one is altogether different from a lesson video. John, an old friend dating back to when we spent time together in New York City at the All-American banquet in 1979, was nice enough to come out and hit some shots at the back of the range at Isleworth after we finished the first round of the Isleworth Invitational. John shot a 2-under 70 in spite of a triple bogey 6 on the par 3 11th, and would eventually shoot another 70 and finish second to Nick O’Hern. John has watched some of my swing analysis videos and finds them entertaining, and was curious to see what kind of observations I would make about his swing.
The key word here is “observations”. When a player comes for a lesson I assume that they are not happy with what they are doing presently and are looking for advice regarding how to improve. I look at these swings with a critical eye, and I try to figure out what may be causing the swing to be producing less than acceptable results. If the player has a handicap there are always going to be things that can be tweaked, and I use my own preferences to give the student a prescription for change. The student has voluntarily come to me for precisely that: they expect me to use my knowledge and experience to provide them means to get better and they are willing to pay me to do so. John did not ask me to comment on his action, and he made no indication that he was unhappy at all. Thus, we have a classic tour swing analysis, just like I do with swings from television or from YouTube, only in this case I was able to film the swing myself. I always take pains to explain to people that you look at successful player’s swings for that very reason: they are successful. When you break the swing down you are looking for why it works: when you give a lesson you may make note of the good things about the swing but you are really looking for why it doesn’t work.
Watching John’s swing makes me want to get more acquainted with Trackman and Flightscope, because I think it would be fascinating to see just how he produces a high level impact with a video that would appear to suggest otherwise. I have given lessons with a Flightscope present on every shot, and I was happy that what I was garnering from the video was confirmed by the numbers. In this case I think it would be highly educational to see how John produces an excellent strike with the shaft appearing not to lean forward much at all, something I have not seen in the past. Whatever the case, I don’t have to tell that John is one of the most consistently good players on the Senior Tour, and his record on both tours is close to Hall of Fame stuff. Watching this stuff is educational. In doing these analysis’ I am constantly learning and seeing new things. It really just highlights how fascinating the game is and that the more you watch the less you can ever say “you can’t do that and be good”.