Radar Chronicles Episode 2: Baseline Iron Shot Data

Watch the video for our weekly update, and then continue reading below the video.

What does it take to play better golf? That’s exactly the question we’re investigating with our Radar Study. In this week’s issue of The Radar Chronicles we’ll cover a number of discoveries: The 3-Step Process to performance change, the value of precise feedback, the importance of self-adjusting, and changing impact instead of changing the golf swing.

Baselines: First Things First

We’re still in the data collection phase of the study, which we planned for the first two sessions. After collecting Driver data the first session, session #2 focused on getting baseline shot data on three important distance categories: the 100-yard approach shot, the 150-yard mid-approach shot, and the 190-yard long approach shot. The only way we can get accurate data is with our Flightscope radar systems.

We’re collecting baseline data first, without any swing instruction or coaching. The baseline is critical because we need something to use as a comparison as the study progresses. For the participants the only thing we specified was the distance: 100, 150, and 190-yards. We let the players select the club they normally played to those distances.

The first thing we discovered was that it took a long time to hit three 10-ball sets with three different clubs. That’s at least 90 shots per player. The implication is that even if Radar proves to be a faster way to learn, the process itself takes a little more time to get going than traditional instructional lessons. But we have to have some way to tell if progress is being made.

Three-Step Improvement Process

The second thing that has become apparent is that the process of using radar is different than traditional teaching. With traditional instruction the first thing that gets analyzed is typically the swing. But with Radar the first thing that gets analyzed is the performance results. It’s a very different starting point.

Radar lends itself to a much  more structured approach. Establishing a Baseline is, as mentioned, the first step. Once that information has been analyzed the next step is change the performance parameters. Usually this is where swing changes come in. The third stage is refining performance to produce more consistent and better outcomes.

“How Would YOU Do It?”

The third thing emerging from the Study is the effectiveness of self-guided change. It is far more efficient for a golfer to change themselves than it is for them to try to follow the advice and instruction from a third party – even when the third part is a skilled PGA professional. It’s far more effective to set a target parameter, like a 2* degree inside-out path, and then ask the student “How would you do it?” Asking the question this way allows the student to experiment and adjust on a shot-by-shot basis, and they do so in a way that is much more intuitive for them.

Stay Tuned For More

Stay tuned for more Radar Chronicles. We don’t know what we’ll find, but we can guarantee it will be interesting.

Radar Chronicles Episode 1: Is Radar the Next Big Thing?

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