In golf, there is a world of information out there--everything from tips to training aids, and of course, technology. I recently stumbled upon the mother-lode of golf technology in Portland. Hidden behind a door at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Jon Warren is busy analyzing golf swings.
This is the Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade* or M.A.T.T laboratory. For Warren, who is the lab manager, his job is to fit you for the proper clubs based on the information gathered here.
"It's really an experience as opposed to a club fitting," says Warren. "You can go out and get a club fitting anywhere."
To say Warren can analyze your swing is an understatement. The system uses reflective markers to track your golf swing, and the result looks something like a video game.
"It's 3-D motion capturing," explains Warren. "It's the same system that a lot of video game manufacturers use to create a human avatars, and a lot of 3-D movies that have been filmed in the last couple of years use the same system."
So I suited up and took a few swings, and voila, there's my ugly golf swing, right on Jon's monitor. From there, Warren can look at the results in myriad ways, and help you select the clubs for your swing.
"If someone comes in here, and says they want to break 90, you gotta break it down a little bit both with their equipment, and see their golf swing."
Once that's done, a golf teacher, like John Grothe of the Oregon Golf Association can use the data collected in the M.A.T.T lab to help you find ways to improve your game.
"When we have an absolute M.R.I. of the golf swing, when we can see in complete 3-D, what someone is doing in the golf swing," says Grothe. "It's a very effective tool for seeing what someone is doing."
And the M.A.T.T. lab technology along with recommendations from Warren can help get you into the proper equipment.
"Where the technology is nowadays, it is to where you're not taking full advantage of it unless you get properly fit for it," says Warren.
Meaning there's hope for even high handicappers like me--maybe.