Pictures Can Lie, Your Hands Won’t.

As a college coach and teaching professional I receive many swing videos from young men wanting me to recruit them. Most think that just having someone standing somewhere behind them videotaping their swing is enough for a coach or a professional to determine what is right and what is wrong with their swing. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In fact, last night one of my new golfers sent me a video. It was of very nice quality but because of the angle at which the video was shot, I couldn’t make an educated determination about what was really happening in his swing. I saw his swing but didn’t really SEE his swing, if you know what I mean.

With the introduction of video smartphone APS and the like, everyone is using video to record their golf swing. Now more and more golfers have the ability to see and learn more about their own swing. This is great! It’s a powerful and useful tool and it’s fun! I love it! I use it almost everyday.

Here’s what you’ve got to know though:

When you use video as a training tool, camera position is vital if you really want to improve your golf swing. If the camera is positioned incorrectly you will get misinformation and you could end up trying to fix something that isn’t really a problem, or you might not ever see the root cause of your real swing issues.

I’m going to show you how to set up your video so you get the most accurate information about what is really going on during your swing.

It’s really easy. It’s all in the hands.

When videotaping in the “Face On” angle, always have the camera at the height your hands are at the address position, and right in line with your hands.

When videoing your swing in the “Down the Line” angle, as shown in the photo, first make sure the camera is pointing exactly where you want the ball to go. This should be in a line parallel to where your feet are aligned. Again, make sure the camera is at hand height. Now draw a line straight back from where the hands hang. Use alignment rods if you need, and keep the camera on that line. This will ensure when you look at the video you are gathering accurate information.

If the camera is misaligned in the “Down the Line” position and the camera is outside the hands, it will appear that the person swinging is taking the club way inside during the takeaway. If the camera is positioned too far inside the hands, it will appear the opposite — that the golfer is taking to club way outside on the takeaway. If this is the case when you draw your lines for swing plane, etc. everything will be way off, guaranteed.

With the camera in the right position you will see the true path the club is taking and what you are doing during the swing. Now we can make real improvements.

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14 thoughts on “Pictures Can Lie, Your Hands Won’t.

  1. thomas mather says:

    This is extremely helpful for me as in summer when on the range by myself, I use my golf bag as a temporary tripod for my phone when recording my swing. After reading this article I now realise its better to set up the camera angle at the specific height to get the truth behind my swing, thanks Coach!

  2. Brett says:

    Coach,

    I started videoing my swing a couple of summers ago when I got a smart phone but until I read this article I did not think much about the importance of putting the phone in exactly the right position but after I did it make it a lot easier to see exactly what I was doing wrong. I noticed instantly that I was taking the club inside too much which is something I have been working on ever since. Positioning the club correctly allowed me to trust that what I was seeing in the videos was actually incorrect and not just an illusion from positioning the phone at the wrong angle.

  3. Spinder says:

    Coach, I remember right after you were announced as the new head coach I reached out to you to by sending some video of my swing. As a result you have a good article. The video I had selected wasn’t positioned very well and did not give you a good idea of my swing. Now I position my phone in a better spot to actually see my swing. Thanks for the advice.

  4. Tim says:

    Coach,

    I always like to see videos of my swing but before seeing this article, I don’t think I ever positioned the camera in the right spot. I would just have someone stand behind me or face on to take a video. Your article makes perfect sense; having the camera in the wrong spot could really mislead us. Since I started recording from the correct position, it has been much easier to spot the real problems with my swing.

  5. Anthony says:

    It’s is incredibly important to be able to see yourself swing from the same position a coach would. We as students of the game know things about the golf swing that we have never applied to ourselves. This is a pivotal to getting to the next level.

  6. Zach Grossman says:

    This is so important even though it may not be applicable to actually playing the game. I know golf professionals who have filmed me that went from the wrong angle and I always left those lessons scratching my head, knowing that something wasn’t right. With golf professionals not being at everyone’s beck and call, the ipad’s and smart phones are really becoming a golfer’s best friend on the range. It’s crucial we know how to use them.

  7. Chris says:

    I had no idea that the angle the swing was filmed at played a role at all. It’s crazy how something so little like positioning the camera, could help you improve your game and to allow others to get a better idea of what you can do with your swing. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Will Caro says:

    For the entirety of my high school career I took videotapes of my swing at every opportunity. When I was away from my coach, I was cluelessly watching a swing that I could only judge from how I hit it at that point and my finish. I now understand that in order to take a positive lesson away from a video taped swing that camera angle is quintessential. Surely in the future I will make a significantly more active approach in correctly positioning the camera angle. Its these minor details that can really start putting golfers swings in the right direction.

  9. Mak says:

    Coach,
    I have never actually taken a video of my own swing until you started using your cell phone on the range with us. I was surprised to hear that there was a proper angle for recording a swing. I mostly made adjustments based on my ball flight rather than really trying to critique a video. With the proper camera angle, I have found that it is much easier to see flaws in a golf swing. Thanks for the help!

  10. John McCarthy says:

    CoachofGolf,
    Taking a video while using the hands as a target is spot on! All the time I watch swing analysis videos (from behind) that are not accurate due to an improper camera angle.

    Spot on article!

  11. Garrett Colgan says:

    Great point coach. This is very important information that many amateurs do not know. If the camera is not positioned correctly, you cannot analyze a swing properly. Theoretically, the wrong angle, could cause an incorrect analysis of the swing, causing someone to make changes in there swing that are not necessary.

  12. Mackenzie Nelson says:

    I never realized that the position of the camera could effect so much. I video tape my swing a good amount and I have never really been worried about where the camera is positioned. I will definitely be more aware of the camera position from now on so that I can accurately identify the problems in my swing. This is great advice!

  13. Teddy says:

    I have been taking videos of my swing for around four years and I never thought of how much the position of the camera effects it. I remember you telling me to do this when I was going to send you a video, but I never realized how much of a difference it makes. From now on I will film my swing the correct way. Thanks allot coach this is great advice.

  14. Mitchell Campbell says:

    I started videoing my swing around 2 years ago with a camera and a tripod. The proper position to video from never came to mind. Now when I use my phone it is even less stable and even easier to miss the proper position. I will definitely make sure to do this from now on. I can see where this could make a big difference. Thanks Coach!

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