How Pros Use The Latest Technology To Teach

We take a look at the tech behind modern golf teaching.

How Pros Use The Latest Technology To Teach
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We look at what technology pros are currently using in golf teaching and ask them how and when they implement it in golf lessons.

How Pros Use The Latest Technology To Teach

We’ve all become more adjusted to technology in golf. Whether through club design, on-course gadgets or what pros use during lessons, technology has imparted itself on the game of golf and its impact has been wide-ranging.

The terms Strokes Gained Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Trackman and GC Quads are all terms that have entered the lexicon of the game and we’re becoming more accustomed to the benefits of technology at the same time.

Related: 10 Best Things About Being A PGA Professional

Arguably, it has become such an integral part of the game that teaching pros across the world to simply have to implement technology into their lessons to stay relevant - but how do pros use the latest technology to teach? What do they use? And do they use it for every lesson?

Jake Dunstan, golf coach at Cranfield Golf Academy in West Sussex, said the relatively simple and accessible use of slow motion video recording is probably the most impactful piece of technology coaches use to teach.

"Slow-motion video is an incredibly useful tool to provide visual feedback to golfers. With the advancements in camera technology in phones and tablets, a golf swing can be viewed instantly after recording."

Justin Thomas plays a shot while being recorded by his father and coach Mike Thomas during a practice round.

"Golf video analysis applications allow us to slow down videos frame by frame, compare videos and annotate clips with lines to help explain swing faults and highlight the golfer's tendencies. Video analysis is a great way to bridge the gap between what the golfer feels they're doing and what they're actually doing."

The use of relatively simple mobile phone apps and slow-motion video has given golf coaches a new way to communicate often complex swing movements to students.

There's also a place for launch monitors like Trackman and GC Quad in teaching too, but often for the lower-handicappers looking to dial in on specific nuances of the swing.

Trackman is a popular launch monitor used on Tour. Many coaches will also invest in one to enhance the student experience.

"Launch monitors are incredibly useful for some golfers looking for some really subtle things to work on in the golf swing," Dunstan said.

"If you've got a scratch golfer who is looking to optimise some launch angles to help them gain 10 yards off the tee, that is where launch monitor data is incredibly useful and something coaches can't do without."

Related: 10 Things PGA Professionals Are Talking About 

"However, with that kind of technology in teaching, we have to be careful that it doesn't draw people's attention away from the lesson and what we're working on. Students can often veer away from the main teaching point when there's too much technology involved and they don't get as good an experience of trying to change technique or work on a fundamental skill.'

So, despite the wealth of technology and data available, teaching pros don't use it with every student and instead cherry pick the right situations to use the appropriate technology.

Actor Hugh Grant receives some coaching on the the practise range at St.Andrews in 2001. In 2001, the use of video recording and slow motion swing analysis wasn't as accessible as it is today.

It's not just technology on the range and practice area that coaches are using nowadays. Technology that students are using on course - such as GPS tracking sensors in clubs and strokes gained analytics - are also being utilised by coaches to help improve golfer's games.

"Devices that track a golfer's performance round after round out on course allows coaches to gain insight into pupils' performances without the need for tedious post round data input."

"For coaches like me to have access to accurate and unbiased round statistics is invaluable in creating effective lesson plans for working on player's weaknesses."

Golf's jump into big data has also helped teaching pros use technology to their benefit and enhance the coaching experience as a whole too.

But, for most teaching pros across the world, it is the humble mobile phone that has helped them use technology as they coach golfer's of all standards.

Dan Parker
Staff Writer

Dan has been with Golf Monthly team since 2021. He graduated with a Masters degree in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides, specializing in golf shoe, golf bag and golf cart reviews. Dan has now tested and reviewed over 30 pairs of golf shoes and is an expert in the field. A left-handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 6.5 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands. 

Dan is currently playing: 

Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 

Fairway: TaylorMade Stealth 2 15°, Ping G425 Max 21°

Hybrid: Ping G425 

Irons: Cobra King Tec Utility, Ping i230 (5-PW) 

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x