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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Getting Ready for the outdoor golf season

Many of us spend 3 -4 months staring at our clubs collecting dust in the corner, however some have found the benefits of swinging with the aid of indoor golf simulators over the winter.

After 3 months of cold frigid temperatures how do you prepare yourself for that first day of outdoor golf in the spring. The transition can be deceptive from indoor to outdoor golf, "there are no more perfect lies, calm conditions, and dry ground" says the owner of The Golfer's Academy in Burlington, Ontario. "The best way to get ready for that first round is make the course conditions a little tougher, add some wind, change the ground conditions, to simulate what you will be playing in outdoors and maybe if you feel the urge shorten your putting gimme range".

One must remember that keeping the clubs swinging throughout the winter is a great teaching aid as well as a way to stay loose and fit through those long cold months. What better way to play some of the top courses, such as Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and TPC Sawgrass with out those expensive airline flights and hotel costs.

Another way to prepare for the spring golf season is to get in shape during the winter. If you are a golfer you know that bulking up is not ideal for a golfers swing. We have seen so many professional golfers talk about the benefits of working in Pilates, and Yoga into their fitness regime. Gina Faubert of Serenity Valley Studio in Burlington says "the key to power comes from the core, and Pilates gives you that, while yoga benefits flexibility and rotation which is key to generating the power to compress the golf ball at impact."

We all know that nothing will replace a great 4 hour walk while playing a round of golf in 80 degree weather, but the next best thing for those that live in colder climates is to find a good indoor training facility to keep practicing your golf game.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Golf conditioning


Golf Conditioning

How Golf Conditioning with Pilates can improve Your Game:

Improved Concentration

Using Control to swing from a strong core.

Precision of movement, not momentum.

Increased strength and stamina.

Improved Flexibility

Prevent and Relieve tension and pain that interfere with your game.

Winter Golf Conditioning at Serenity Valley

Serenity Valley Studio in Burlington, Ontario is the most unique golf conditioning facility in the area. You can play a round of golf on PGA Tour golf simulator, have lesson with a CPGA pro, or focus on your fitness to improve your game in a personal training session, all under one roof!  Imagine… professional trainers and state of the art equipment just minutes away.  Perfect for golfers of all ages and genders, and especially those looking for privacy while they improve their game.


About Golf Conditioning…



At Serenity Valley their golf conditioning programs begin just like their personal training packages which include a full body assessment of posture, gait, flexibility and strength, plus they include a swing analysis on the simulator.  Their swing analysis records your swing and they play it back step by step to discuss how becoming more flexible or increasing strength in certain areas will create a better result in the golf swing.

For your first training session they’ll ask you to hit a few balls, next they’ll take you through your personalized fitness program, then move back into the simulator to compare your swing and see how things have changed in just an hour.  Most people see a gain of at least 10  - 20 yards immediately.

At the studio they will incorporate Pilates, along with traditional stretching and strength based exercises into their programs based on new methods of training from top golf professionals.  Pilates has been shown to significantly improve flexibility, core strength and freedom of movement. All aspects that are essential to a controlled, smooth, more powerful golf swing. Professional golfers like Tiger Woods, David Duval, Annika Sörenstam, Rich Beem, and Rocco Mediat have all discovered how Pilates can improve their game.  Now it’s your turn.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Indoor Golf: The Short Game

Many people that play indoor golf always say the the two toughest parts of playing golf on an indoor golf simulator is the chipping (60 yards and under) and the putting.

While most golfers believe that the game of golf tends to be 50% skill and 50% luck we like to look at it a little different. At a certain point in your golfing career one wants to get from being an 18 handicap to a 10 handicap and find that they are missing the key element of the game "Touch and Feel"

The average amateur golf is a visual player, while professionals play their shots based on feel and tempo. In a golf simulator the same rules apply, everything in the simulator seems like it is 20 feet away visually however this does not compute for the average golfer that needs to chip a 60 yard shot onto the green, when it looks only 15 - 20 feet away on the screen image, where a professional or low handicap player can judge ones distance outcome almost by watching a swing and through sound and tempo of the golf shot.

This is very frustrating and leaves most golfers weary of returning to play simulators, however with practice and understanding of what the shot feels like you can improve your game, and by the start of a new season you will be ready to lower those scores.

Technology has far exceed the old ways of setting up a cup 10' away in the house and using a Nerf ball or at worse taking the risk of hitting a shank with a real ball and destroying that new 50" plasma Tv you just bought. Take the time to look up a reputable indoor centre with proper equipment that can give you feedback such as club path, trajectory and swing tempo. These will be key to helping improve over the cold winter months.

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Putting can be just as tough on simulators but there are numerous key benefits to practicing on simulators. The stimp factor is one key element in practicing puts on a on a indoor golf simulator, this is an adjustable factor and can help one to understand how the ball reacts differently to uphill and downhill putts based on a greens speed.

Another key benefit to practicing putting indoors on a simulator is there is no hole. You are picking a target and putting to the desired location on the floor. This in the end will help with stopping the head from following the ball to the hole. The most important key element is learning the distance of a putt through feel as mentioned above a key element to reducing scores and becoming an overall better golfer.

Get to know your clubs and how they work and you will enjoy the game that much more, as well as becoming a better golfer in the end.

Indoor Golf Lessons Do Help Improve



The overwhelming majority of recreational golfers do not take lessons. It is another one of those quizzical, only-in-golf mysteries. Most of us could use help and the help is widely available, so, naturally, most golfers instead keep their heads down (or not) and plod on, hoping to master the game on their own.
According to the National Golf Foundation, roughly 11 percent of all golfers take lessons.
Now, some golfers avoid lessons because they believe they cannot be helped. Which just proves what golf can do to you. It’s also most likely not true. Some golfers have taken exactly one lesson, and when they did not improve as much as they had hoped, they never went back — for 15 years now. Some golfers don’t want to spend the money, even though they buy a new driver every spring and hope for the "Quick Fix".
Other golfers, and this is a big group, like to work things out for themselves. I’ve never quite understood this. Did they learn to drive a car by themselves?
Of course not. And we all know golf is infinitely a sport that requires some knowledge of swing dynamics.
One of the real reasons people don’t take lessons is the embarrassment factor. A golfer has to acknowledge needing help and then go to a practice range where other people might be watching and submit to an overhaul of some part of the golf swing.
One new and increasingly prominent dynamic in the instruction landscape is the indoor golf simulator, a device that allows for a more private and multidimensional lesson experience. Lessons given on simulators, have grown in popularity in the last five years, especially among beginners, juniors and women.
“It’s a golf laboratory where people relax and swing without any thought to who is around them — because there really isn’t anyone,” said Randy Henry, a longtime, top-ranked teacher of recreational and tour pros who uses simulators daily in his instruction. “That alone improves the teaching environment. Then we get all the readouts on the swing and video of it too. But it’s more than technology. Yes, we get a thousand readouts of a golfer’s swing. Then, a trained teacher can pick the one thing that will fix a thousand things.”
“The privacy of a simulator studio is important to a beginner or to a golfer who has never taken a lesson before,” said Michael Sole, a teaching pro who gives about seven lessons daily on the simulators. “You know, it’s away from prying eyes. You don’t have to worry about upsetting someone on the range if you hit one sideways.”
John Hobbins, a senior teaching pro at the Chelsea Piers golf complex in Manhattan, said golfers trying to make a swing change focus better on a simulator.
And then there’s the weather advantage. Rain, snow or wind cannot ruin a lesson. Golfers can keep swinging and keep their weekly or monthly lesson schedule all winter in cold climates. If it’s 100 degrees outside, they can go inside to the air-conditioning. Darkness does not stop the instruction either.
Simulators have been around for a couple of decades. Once they were fuzzy, bizarrely inaccurate machines. You hit your ball into what seemed like a quilt hung over a concrete wall. The golf course scene was generic. The system did not reliably replicate chipping or putting.
Now, simulators are highly sophisticated, brightly lighted devices with the engineering to precisely imitate the golf course experience. It’s not the same as being outside — you won’t be fooled into reaching for the sunscreen — but it is remarkably close. It is advanced equipment. The company, aboutGolf, which has supplied numerous high end academies, has multiple simulator models that sell from $50,000 to $80,000. It is a worldwide business. In many Asian countries, there are 10 times as many simulators as there are golf courses.
These devices come with software that allows golfers to play courses from around the world. Going on a trip to Scotland and wish you could get acclimated to links golf beforehand? Go play a few rounds on the Old Course on a simulator near you.
And it is that ability to play golf in a more controlled environment that might be the best use of a simulator.
“For a 12-year-old taking up the game or for a woman who is learning because she wants to play with her husband, the first four months playing the game can be unnerving on the actual golf course,” Henry said. “There are so many different shots to learn and they feel like they’re holding everyone up. Now four gals can come in together, turn on the simulator and play a round by themselves.
There are costs to playing on a simulator, but depending on where you live it may not be more than playing at the local municipal golf course. Many outlets package lessons on a simulator with the purchase of clubs or a club fitting. At The Golfers Academy in Burlington, ON, a 60-minute lesson on a simulator is $90.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Indoor Golf tracking technology

Here is an example of true and accurate shot tracking 

Aboutgolfs technology for tracking indoor golf shots

This is a company that is building indoor golf systems to improve the accuracy and not just seeing who can build the most courses


Small Rooms and Cheap Simulators Why?

To often we hear complaints from our members that they have visited so many other indoor centres only to be dissatisfied with the technology and the fact that the rooms are so small that they do not enjoy swinging indoors.

We understand the reason is that most places are out to make a quick dollar but at what expense to the golfer. Why is it that a indoor centre can charge $40 p/hour for low end technology and small room sizes and people are willing to pay for this.

I think that we need to understand the difference in the technologies out there and that people should understand what they are paying for.

Post comments on where you have gone and your experience to these centres lets be honest radar and infrared tracking are a thing of the past if your going to charge the same as a real training centre then buck up and spend some money on real technology.

Here is a few pictures of what people should be building when calling themselves an indoor golf centre.


20W x 12H x 30L sim bays
Old scottish clubhouse feel (pine boards)
www.thegolfersacademy.com


New Blog about indoor Golf

 Indoor Golf @ The Golfers Academy

Indoor Golf simulators

golf simulator allows golf to be played on a graphically or photographically simulated driving range or golf course, usually in an indoor setting. It is a technical system used by some golfers to continue their sport regardless of weather and time of day in a converted premises. Simulators have been available since the early 1970s, and systems range in cost from compact units costing well under $200 dollars that work with a computer or video game console, to sophisticated ones costing tens of thousands of dollars. Advanced systems may utilize a dedicated room, hitting screen, projector and other paraphernalia.
Simpler simulators typically do not possess built-in software, but measure the movement of the hand-held sensor and feeds the information to the video game. The information received is then translated into an action of some sort, usually hitting the ball. More advanced simulators often come with their own software, allowing the user to use the system as if they were on a driving range. Relying on a battery of environmental sensors, the software tracks each shot and represents the entire shot, from impact to how the ball bounces visually on screen. In this way, the golfer has a detailed analysis of the entire flight of the ball which can be used for practice or training.
It utilizes a projected landscape, sometimes with natural images. A computer calculates the expected trajectory of the golf ball from data gathered on the swing, which can be obtained by infrared, ultrasonic, or radar measurements. The image of the golf ball is then simulated on the screen via a projector. Different systems obtain different data measurements. Some utilize the velocity and trajectory of the golf ball as it is hit, while others measure the velocity and direction of the club. Some systems analyze the swing as well. This data is then fed through complex algorithms to determine the ball's trajectory. Simulators will usually offer options for an 18-hole game, played realistically, in addition to a driving range mode. The standard equipment utilized by a modern golf simulator includes some method of measuring a hit, a computer, a projector, and an impact-resistant fabric, which catches the ball. Matches may be played with traditional golf balls and bats, including woods, irons, and putters. The first golf simulators already existed at the beginning of the 1980s. The typical dimensions of a golf simulator are about 4 × 6 meters in the area and just over 3 meters in height, allowing freedom of movement whilst swinging.

Advantages Of Indoor Golf

The principal advantage of a golf simulator is the ability to conveniently play and practice in a controlled environment. Often this means the ability to play without any pressure, green fees, or tee times; however, the advent of "indoor golf centers", which provide simulators for commercial play, bring many of these competitive and social aspects into the simulated game. For those who live in wintry climes or urban settings, golf simulators offer the ability to play and practice year-round or within the confines of their locale. The space requirements can range from just needing an 8-ft ceiling to an entire wall upon which the game's screen is attached.

Mechanics
There are a number of different technologies in use presently. Principally they either track ball flight or club head motion. Ball flight is typically tracked via wavelength (infrared), audio, and/or laser sensors. These instruments serve as a means by which the ball's flight properties are tracked, namely launch angle, ball speed and ball direction. Club motion is similarly tracked via wavelength sensors or other devices such tethers, cameras, or lasers, which record the speed and direction of the club's head as well as the impact point of the ball on the club's striking surface. In some cases, based on the location of the sensing devices, it is now possible to capture data on both ball and club for most accurate speed and directional information, and simulated ball flight behavior.
The data collected is extrapolated to provide ball flight trajectory and roll out according to certain calculated relationships to the ball's flight performance per the tracked motion of the ball or club, adding environmental aspects through which the ball is projected, including terrain, wind, rain and other such influences or obstacles.
The way that the information is tracked varies as much as having a wall-sized screen recording ball speed and placement upon impact, to sensors that record the moments before, during and after the impact between the ball and club, in which case, the ball is held by a tether.

Accuracy
A key attribute of any simulator is accuracy. Ball flight is the primary determinant of a system's accuracy. Speed of the calculations and a predictable projected image of the ball in flight is one measurement of a system's accuracy. Predictability or the plausibility of prediction is a measure according to known ball flight properties among golf experts.
A ball's flight depends upon many things, including the ball itself, the strike and impact of the club upon the ball, the ball's launch angle, direction, spin rate and velocity, as well as the hitting surface from which the ball is struck and the simulated environment through which the ball virtually flies, suggesting wind, rain, and other environmental aspects that may affect ball flight. The battle for superiority in this market exists between the technologies utilized to track ball flight or club motion.

Realism
Combined with accuracy, realism is a collection of factors that make the simulation seem realistic and life-like. Factors such as the graphical realism of the course, 3D motion graphics, sound and visual effects such as the sound of the ball when it strikes the green or splashes into a lake make the game that much more realistic and lifelike. New developments such as auto ball feed and changes in the slope of the hitting area now allow the golfer to experience the feeling of playing the ball where it lies, no matter where it lies. This creates the feeling of thinking like you are on a golf course, rather than playing on a golf simulator - it is the feeling of planning your next golf shot, and not your next simulator command.

Training Facilities
One such facility is The Golfers Academy in Burlington, Ontario Canada www.thegolfersacademy.com

The facility utilizes a PGA Tour simulator by Aboutgolf which is the leading simulator maker on the market today. The system uses a high speed camera system called 3trak


Integrated Simulator Unit (ISU)
The ISU is a sleek, self-contained unit that installs quickly and offers superior serviceability. It integrates aboutGolf’s most advanced version of its proprietary 3Trak ball and club tracking technology, as well as specialized lighting.
3Trak is proprietary, three-dimensional machine vision that tracks nearly every element of the club and the ball. The consistent, reliable and definitive data enables true playability, resulting in enhanced improvement and maximum enjoyment.
3Trak is a unique kind of machine vision with a superior rate of image collection, high resolving power and no minimum ball flight requirement. The result is the highest-quality tracking available, with virtually no missed shots and accurate shot recreation every time.



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