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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Video Your Golf Swing

Some of you will be making videos of your golf swing this year. It's a common way of getting help online. This post is for you.

Hank Haney did a post for Golf Digest on how to make a swing video. Michael Breed has talked about it before on The Golf Fix as well. I'm going to give you some of the advice from both.

To get us started, here's Haney's video.

First you have to decide whether you want to make face-on or down-the-line videos. Ideally you'll do both, but Haney says to make it a down-the-line shot if you do only one. That will give him the most info.

The next thing is how high to set the camera. Breed said to use a tripod, and that will definitely give you the most stable video. Breed also said to set it at waist high to get the best overall view. Haney gives a bit more guidance here, saying that waist high is best for focusing on your takeaway and head high for the top of your swing; he prefers something in the middle -- around chest high according to the text but just above waist high according to the video above -- for a general shot.

That may sound like a lot of variation but it's only around 8 inches or so between waist and chest for most people. If the camera is somewhere in that area you should be fine.

One thing both are in complete agreement on is that the camera should be square to the action -- that is, you want the camera both perfectly vertical and perfectly horizontal to the action. (Or at least as close to that ideal as you can get.) Haney gives you the reason: There's always some distortion at the extremes of the shot, and those distortions are worse if you don't take the time to set the camera up correctly.

For a down-the-line shot, you want the camera to be aimed at your target (with you between the camera and target, of course), with the camera between your target line (where the ball is sitting) and the toes of your feet. For the face-on shot, he doesn't say but the logical place to aim is the middle of your body at setup.

There's one last thing that neither teacher mentioned but that should be a no-brainer. If your camera allows you to choose the resolution of the video, use the highest resolution unless your teacher specifies something different. Higher resolutions create bigger files, which can be a problem if you have to email it to someone, but you can always reduce the resolution (and therefore the file size) in a video editing program if necessary. Most computers come with something already installed that can do the job. (On PCs it's usually Windows Live Movie Maker; on Macs you'll probably find iMovie. Get one of your computer geek friends to help you if necessary.)

Those are the basics for making a video of your swing. Have fun!

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