Given the ultra-competitive nature of NCAA men’s and women’s golf, collegiate coaches are always looking for any available edge to attract top players and help them develop their games. That means investing in the latest technology that affords these elite athletes with the feedback and data they need to consistently improve their swings and expand their skill sets.
At Auburn University, men’s golf coach Nick Clinard and his team, currently ranked seventh in the nation, enjoy the use of a dedicated, state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor practice space situated on the back of the driving range at finely-appointed Auburn University Club. Integral to the technology-packed practice building are face-on and down-the-line V1 camera set-ups linked to video monitors that enable Coach Clinard to review his players’ swings with them and compare them side-by-side with other swings.
Coach Clinard recently gave V1 Sports social media manager, Haley Sandberg, a tour of the team’s tech-heavy practice headquarters. (Enjoy the exclusive photos and videos here)
“Our V1 Pro studio is exceptionally user-friendly and helps our guys keep their swings dialed in,” Clinard says. “With college players, you have to understand there’s a huge demand on their time from both an academic and athletic standpoint. The ability to capture swings anywhere and anytime and send them to me or their golf instructors via the V1 Golf app helps maximize their time and use that instant feedback to become better.”
Auburn University Club Visit with V1 Sports
Auburn’s current roster is anchored by South African-born senior Jovan Rebula (the 2018 British Amateur champion) and fellow former All-American, junior Brandon Mancheno. A talented quartet of incoming freshmen– Austin Coggin, Hal Dove, C.J. Easley and Alex Vogelsong— joined experienced competitors Wells Padgett (2018 Southwestern Amateur champ), Andrew Kozan and a deep roster that has been a consistent threat win the SEC title and compete deep in the NCAA Championship tournament.
Rebula, nephew of Hall of Famer Ernie Els, comes into the season with big-time experience, having played in the Open Championship and finishing 24th in the South African Championship in 2018 and playing in the Masters and U.S. Open in 2019.
“Today’s college players come in with really good golf swings, so we tend to focus our practice time more and more on the short game. Getting these guys dialed to gain an edge from 150 yards can make a huge difference in their scoring,” says Clinard, who is now in his 11th season as Auburn’s head coach. “With the technology we use, our staff and our players’ instructors don’t have to guess anymore. The speed of the V1 cameras makes teaching and drilling good habits a much smoother process.”
In addition to face-on and down-line camera angles, Clinard says he and his staff get tremendous feedback from the V1 camera mounted in the ceiling above of the practice green.
“I really like that angle for putting because it shows things you can’t see with the naked eye. It helps our guys work on their feet placement, weight distribution, spine angle and eyeline with immediate feedback,” he adds.
Auburn’s V1 Pro studio system also integrates data from the V1 Sports Pressure Mat Powered by BodiTrak to help maximize swing efficiency and power. “The (BodiTrak integration) reinforces things we’re trying to show our guys who generate a lot of power from the ground-up,” Clinard says. “Once they see in real time what they’re doing with their weight transfer at various points in the swing, it increases the trust factor and speeds up the improvement process.”
Two seasons ago, Clinard’s team produced its best finish in program history when it tied for third in the country at the NCAA Championships. Mancheno tied for medalist honors at the NCAA Championships that year, tying for the best finish in Auburn history before falling in a playoff. Auburn opens the 2019-20 season Sept. 23-24 in Toledo, Ohio for the Inverness Intercollegiate at Inverness Club.
“Our players come in competitive by nature. They’re more fit and very knowledgeable about their swings, clubfitting and the technology and techniques they need to keep improving,” Clinard says. “Our job is to help them continue to develop and maximize their potential.”
If you’re ready to take your academy’s video capture and teaching capabilities to the next level, reach out to a V1 Sports expert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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