Now’s a good time to tune up your golf swing. No, this is not a story that was misfiled for nine months.
It sounds counterintuitive, but there’s something to be said about driving golf balls in a netted hitting bay instead of at a range or on a course.
When the distraction of where the ball goes is removed, a golfer can focus on developing a textbook swing, says Mountain View Golf Club pro Sean Lancaster.
“You can fine tune your swing this way a lot easier without getting discouraged by seeing the ball slice off to the right or only go 10 yards,” said Lancaster. “It’s a lot easier to work on your swing and gain confidence that way.”
“Some of the factors that are outside, aren’t in here. (Outside) you’ve got wind, other players hitting beside you.”
Not to mention mosquitoes.
“You can work on your positions, your ball contact, the fundamentals like your posture, your grip, your alignment.”
Mountain View currently has two netted hitting bays, not unlike batting cages, set up in its pro shop. It’s a chance for golfers to maintain their swing over the winter, or even improve it.
The club also has a pair of high-tech teaching tools to use with the hitting bays.
If a golfer wants an idea of where their shots would go, they can use Mountain View’s Optishot Golf Simulator.
The Optishot uses a small pad fitted with 16 infrared optical sensors to measure club speed, the angle of the club face, the swing path, and where the club face made contact with the ball. The program then uses that information to display your shot on a big-screen television, showing the distance, the path of the shot and whether or not it hooked or sliced.
It makes the Nintendo Wii look like ColecoVision.
“This is more of a teaching aid for teaching purposes,” said Lancaster. “We can’t have four guys coming in here and taking up five hours of the time.”
The other device is the V1 System, a video analysis tool.
Using an iPad, the program allows a golfer to view his or her swing frame by frame. It can also go to a split-screen function to compare your swing to professionals or even overlap the images to see how well your swing matches, say, Tiger Woods.
“How often do you get to see yourself swing the club?” said Lancaster. “It tells you a lot … It makes things a little easier to understand when we’re pointing things out.”
Mountain View’s indoor season kicked off on Wednesday. Golfers interested in using the facility are asked to call ahead.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org