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April 1, 2018

A Different Angle

Live View Golf provides instructors – and users – with a different type of video camera for swing improvement and immediate feedback

Patrick Parrish wanted his students to see what they were missing. So when an opportunity arose to partner with someone on a video camera that differed from others on the market, he went for it.

The result is Live View Golf, a portable camera and app suite that offers users the ability to view swings in real time on their phones or tablets with the aid of on-screen lines and other markers.

Parrish, the director of instruction at Nicklaus Club-Monterey in Northern California, is a co-founder of the device with Shane Yang, a hardware and software developer in the Silicon Valley who had three daughters taking lessons from Parrish when he formulated the idea for the camera.

The result is Live View Golf, a portable camera and app suite that offers users the ability to view swings in real time on their phones or tablets with the aid of on-screen lines and other markers.

Parrish, the director of instruction at Nicklaus Club-Monterey in Northern California, is a co-founder of the device with Shane Yang, a hardware and software developer in the Silicon Valley who had three daughters taking lessons from Parrish when he formulated the idea for the camera.

Parrish brought his range and teaching experience to the table, and Yang provided the high-tech nuts and bolts of the operation that started with a concept in mid-2015 and was in the hands of instructors and consumers in early 2016.

“The exciting thing is the immediate feedback the camera provides,” says Parrish, who uses Live View Golf with his students and when working on his own game. “It’s like a digital mirror that I can use to show them immediately, and in detail, the things that they should work on.”

Users can download the Live View Golf app through iTunes or Google Play. When the camera is turned on and a hotspot is located, the camera is ready to go once the user’s device is also connected. (No Wi-Fi is necessary, so no data is used.) The camera, which is designed to clip onto an alignment stick, is then placed at the desired height about 12 feet behind or in front of the golfer, with the phone or tablet on the ground in front of the user so he or she can watch their swing in progress. With lines drawn on the screen, if needed, a user can see if his or her backswing is on plane, for example, or if their posture remains intact throughout the motion.

“A lot of people think they’re swinging correctly or making adjustments,” Parrish says. “But most of the time they’re not. This shows them that. They can get in their reps with a kinetic awareness of what to do properly. It really speeds up the process and adds a layer to their learning and an instructor’s lessons.”

The live video also enables users to have an infinite number of learning cycles to create muscle memory for the correct swing mechanics, Parrish says. Adding that when every practice swing is correct, a user’s learning curve accelerates dramatically.

“If a person has someone stand behind them with a camera phone or video, there’s a lapse from making the swings to taking a look at what occurred,” Parrish says. “This camera is like having eyes in the back of your head, or down the line, or from the front or side, and there’s no pause when going from swinging to learning. It really bridges the gap between feel and real. It makes people more aware of what they’re doing in space. It really speeds up the learning process.”

James Sieckmann, a PGA Professional at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha Nebraska, likes using Live View Golf because it gets to the point and fills a void when it comes to instruction.

“People know what to do – as in what they’ve been told, instructed to do or read about – and they feel like they’re doing it when they go out and practice,” Sieckmann says. “But they’re not because there’s no confirmation or real-time feedback to show if they’re doing things properly or incorrectly.”

The ability to do split-screen viewing and draw on the screen are things Sieckmann especially likes, and he stresses that learning takes place quicker and more efficiently when he gives students a drill or two to work on when they’re at the range on their own.

“I’m really high on it,” he says. “I use it for my own game and find it very valuable when using it with my students. Learning happens so much faster and efficiently. That’s what we’re all after, as both teachers and students.”

About half his students end up getting a Live View Golf camera after a lesson or two, Sieckmann says, so they can monitor their practice time and share it with him when they return for a lesson. And that’s a point that Sieckmann and Parrish stress as a positive when talking about Live View Golf: Just because a student purchases a camera doesn’t mean they’ll be out of the picture, so to speak, when it comes to lessons.

“They still need a pro in order to figure out what they need to work on,” Parrish says. “If they get a camera, that shows how interested and dedicated they are to learning the right way. That can only enhance lessons as you continue to work together on various aspects of the swing and they continue to get immediate feedback and reinforcement when with an instructor or using it on their own.”