Camera Angle: The Little Things Make a Big Difference

Posted on: Nov 28 2017 | Blog

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Consistency Is King

Golf instruction relies on the pinpoint precision, and frame-by-frame analysis that video cameras provide. With lightening fast capabilities, cameras have come to revolutionize how the game of golf is taught.

Cameras provide insight for club path, body rotation, and head movement that could only be guessed at not long  ago. While the advantages of these tiny machines are unquestionable, the consequences of inconsistent camera angles and placements can be serious.

Dave Kendall, V1 instructor and lead coach and academy founder at Miles of Golf’s Kendall Academy, states, “Where you put the camera has a huge effect on the picture you get. If an instructor doesn’t pay attention to where they shoot it from, it will dramatically affect what it is they are wanting to look at.” Video capturing is commonly done from behind students, usually captured from one of two angles: off the toe line, or off the ball line.  Both are used across the golf world; yet, each provides dramatically different views of the golf swing. Kendall prefers to shoot on the toe line: “It just means that if you’re going to look at videos from behind, you should shoot from the same place. Some instructors shoot on the ball line, because they can use videos from television of top professional swings.” (Television videos of professionals are shot from the ball angle in order to stay out of the player’s sight line).

Same Swing…Different Angle

One the Ball Line vs On the Toe Line

Dave Kendall models how a difference in camera angle can affect how one diagnoses the swing. The camera angle on the left, shot from “on the ball” shows a swing path that appears to be significantly in-to-out. The same swing, shot from the “toe line”, shows the path of the club swinging in a fairly straight, or down the line direction.

As Kendall mentions above, either angle is appropriate for teaching, as long as the instructor is consistent and cognizant of the angle being used.

On the Ball Line vs On the Toe Line

Tiger Woods provides another example of how the camera angle impacts the photo you are looking at. Instead of examining swing path as seen above, this comparison focuses on the position of the club at the top of the backswing. From the ball line camera angle, Tiger’s club appears to be much more “across the line” at the top. In fact, Tiger’s club is at an 88-degree angle. The photo on the right from the toe line appears to tell a different story. Tiger looks to be more laid off, with the club head at the top pointing farther left. The on the toe line camera angle shows Tiger’s club at a 67 degree angle. That is a 21-degree difference from one angle to another.

As demonstrated by Dave Kendall and Tiger Woods, camera angle is hugely important for all instructors to consider. The benefit of using cameras, and video capturing tools are immense. Yet, it is important to understand how to use these tools, or you will end up more confused than when you started.

Dave Kendall’s Profile

Kendall Academy at Miles of Golf

Dave Kendall founded the Kendall Academy of Golf at Miles of Golf, in 1997. Dave leads a team of 9 successful coaches and instructors. Dave is one of the founding members of the Golf Channel Academy network of Lead Coaches and first in Michigan. The Michigan PGA has previously honored Dave as the Teacher of the Year, Golf Professional of the Year, recipient of the Horton Smith Award, and Senior Player of the Year Award. He has served the Michigan PGA as a Board Member, Officer, and President. As a player, Dave is a 2-time Michigan Senior Open Champion, Senior PGA Champion, and Senior PGA Match Play Champion. He has been inducted into the Jackson, Michigan, the Michigan PGA, and the Michigan Golf Halls of Fame. Dave has been listed on Golf Digest’s list of Top Teachers in Michigan since 2000.Dave is one of the first 20 graduates of Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management Program and one of the first to become a PGA Member Head Professional, when he became the PGA Professional at Cadillac Country Club in 1981.

For more information on The Kendall Academy visit: www.milesofgolf.com/lessons/kendall-academy-ann-arbor/

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