Too Much Technology

The week-end marked the official start of the golf season: lessons. I have been working with Bruce McCarroll, a highly regarded teacher, for the past six years.

Bruce has recently moved to the Golf Institute at Bond Head. When I arrived at the school, construction work was still underway. But what an impressive facility. Modern. Very high tech.

Bruce gave me a tour of the facility. There are three large rooms that resemble the kind of service bays that you might see at a very high-end dealer. Each room has a large opening out to the driving range which allows for indoor training if the weather is poor.

One room is dedicated to biomechanical assessment and training. More on that in a moment. One room is dedicated to more traditional golf instruction. And the last room is equipped with a comprehensive virtual assessment system. The student puts on sensors and the computer tracks all movement through the swing as well as complete information at the point of impact. With six cameras, the computer can create a virtual image that shows the swing at any angle. The computer can assess all aspects of the swing including angles, rotation, clubhead speed.

Remarkable. And a bit intimidating. I’m not sure I want all that information about my swing.

And so I had two sessions for the afternoon: a biomechanical assessment and a golf lesson.

The biomechanical assessment was really a physiological assessment of my 50-year old frame. Sad to say I have a few crooked angles. My spine has a pronounced S-shape curvature both lateral and vertical. My feet have an 18-degree angle. The muscles in my hip area have shifted to compensate for the posture.

All of this means that it is nothing short of a miracle that I can break 80 on a regular basis. My anatomy is working against me. Although it was a tad depressing to hear about the imperfections in my body posture, the exercises and massage therapy were really quite magical. Changes in left-side muscle strength were dramatic. And muscle tension also changed dramatically.

I fared better with the golf lesson. The swing has held up pretty well after a long lay-off. Just not sure if I will have much time this year to invest in the game.

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