Will 3D Real-Time Swing Analysis Help Or Hurt Your Game?

Golf continues to grow, and with the increase in technology, the game is going to evolve even more quickly. Naturalpoint is introducing a new 3D real-time swing analysis for retail, instruction and research & development. Their GEARS golf performance measurement system has been building using the OptiTrack motion capture platform.

Utilizing NaturalPoint’s OptiTrack cameras and software, GEARS combines the engineering-grade precision of optical tracking with a strong emphasis on an intuitive user interface – a combination that has made OptiTrack popular for applications ranging from biomechanical and scientific motion research, to film and game production.

The GEARS tracking module measures body, club and ball motion with real-time visual feedback. “We’re offering a level of empirical swing analysis that the golf industry has never had access to before. GEARS measures hundreds of data points per second, including detailed 3D information like impact location, club head speed, shaft deflection, loft, lie, shoulder angle, spine angle and much more,” said Jim Richardson, NaturalPoint co-founder and lead engineer for the OptiTrack motion capture line.

Additionally, powered by a simple interface and club modelling for the top 10 manufacturers in the world, the GEARS club recommendation module enables golf instructors and retailers to recommend the ideal club to customers based on their unique swing profile. “We’re excited to offer an unprecedented view into the science behind golf, and how it impacts important decisions like club fitting, swing adjustment and product design,” said Richardson.

You can find out more about the the configurations that GEARS will be offered in their press release.

It won’t be long before this technology will be offered in home through systems like Playstation Move, Wii, and the Xbox Kinect. But will all of this instant feedback help or hurt your golfin’ game?

On the “For” it side: GEARS or systems like it will allow for the real-time feed back of your swing, giving you recommendations for movement corrections and gear better fit to your swing style. The information recorded will also help the Research and Design teams to create even better clubs that will fit the styles even more.

On the “Nay” side: Real-time swing analysis may drive some golfers insane. At first, not all swing styles will be incorporated into the feedback and recommendations, and may force some golfers to undergo a complete overhaul of their swings. Since golf is such a feel game, the swing corrections could really throw off a golfers game. He may spend countless hours in front of this gaming screen in an attempt to secure the perfect swing and retraining each of the hundreds of muscles that goes into each drive. Once out on the course, he may then fall apart. Possibly because he had become too dependant on the instant feedback, and be unable to play with it, or because the feeling outside on the green is entirely different from being inside a living room. It will also take a while for the systems and tailored gear to conform to everyone’s swing styles, while also providing the right amount of feedback.

So what do you think Rock Heads? Will GEARS and the soon to follow real-time 3D swing performance measurement systems help or hurt your golf game?


Bonus: If you want to improve your swing, but don’t have access to a store with GEARS or the 60k it currently will cost to put one in, you can check out some of the great training aids offered at The Cave!

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One thought on “Will 3D Real-Time Swing Analysis Help Or Hurt Your Game?

  • January 24, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Some will likely do well. I suffer from thinking I’m doing the right thing in my swing! A lot of the time I hit a great shot and scramble to recall what I did and repeat it. Hopefully this will be fine tuned to help me repeat good things and not have my muscle (layered as it is) remember just new things! Some of the mechanics of the posture, plane, fulcrum point breakdown and speed point analysis will help … maybe! If it isn’t too expensive I can see the guys coming over for a few beers and tweaking as yet another techie golf get together!


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