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Golftec helps amateurs get in the swing of the sport

Golftec uses a behavioral approach to instruction, integrating video 3-D motion analysis and audio technology into lessons with a certified personal coach to enhance a player’s swing.

“I’m not here to make you swing like Tiger Woods,” said PGA pro Jeffrey Ackerman, store manager at the recently opened Golftec training center at 3211 Holiday Court, Suite 200, serving La Jolla/UTC. “I’m here to give you your personal swing.”

Ackerman noted almost all golfers, no matter their age, have everything it takes to improve the mechanics of their swing, which develops consistency, ultimately improving their game. His instructional mode calls for paring down what a player does with their stance, posture and motion. “We’re (golfers) going to figure out how to get the ball to go where we want it to go,” he said, “whether we have to do a lot of bad things to get it there, or we actually make good moves to get it there.

“They just put in a lot of extra features in their swing to get the golf ball to go where they want it to go. It’s my job to really take those out of your swing and leave you with your swing, not Tiger Woods.’ ”

Although golf has been taught for more than a century, in recent years, technology has vastly transformed the instruction process. Like medicine, where doctors can’t simply look at their patients and decide if they are healthy, it’s the blood work, MRI and X-rays that allows for a proper diagnosis. Similarly, technology can help diagnose the problem with the particulars of a golfer’s swing and develop a specific action plan for remedying it. Armed with the right facts and instant feedback, any golfer, from beginners to veterans, can improve their game more quickly and effectively.

Since its inception more than 10 years ago, Golftec, a franchise co-founded by PGA pros Jo Assell and Mike Clinton, has given more than 850,000 golf lessons across the United States in PGA-certified indoor teaching facilities.

The TEC in Golftec stands for technique, equipment and condition. The company’s philosophy is that combining a fundamentally sound technique with proper equipment and good physical and mental conditioning spells success out on the links.

At Golftec, a golfer has sensors attached to them to record the mechanics of their swing on video. The company’s patented software has compared the swings of 150 professionals on the PGA tour, taking a mathematical average of various ratios pros employ at various points in their motion. “It’s amazing how close they (pros) are to all those numbers on that spectrum,” said Ackerman, “even though their swings are totally different.”

The video taken of a client’s swing performed in an indoor bay at a Golftec facility is then replayed for them and analyzed by the instructor, who points out where their form statistically deviates from the tried-and-true form pros who earn a living from the sport employ.

Golftec’s patented system analyzes a number of variables, such as spine angle, weight balance, the position of the club head during the swing, showing where - and just how much - an amateur client’s form deviates from the pros. The golf instructor then uses sound in the computer program to condition a player to become more fundamentally sound in their swing. A loud noise goes off whenever a player’s swing subsequenly strays beyond the target mathematical goals they’ve set to improve their posture and the mechanics of their swing.

“Balance is a huge factor,” pointed out Ackerman, “whether your weight is on your toes, your heels or your arch, where you want it to be. We make people aware that’s a big part of the swing.”

Golftec instructors like Ackerman work with clients to alter their fundamentals in numerous fundamental ways. “We change your knee bend, your spine angle,” he said, adding, “If you’ve had major knee or hip surgery, we can work around those points.”

A common flaw in golf instruction, said Ackerman, is that clients are told they need to do something to change their posture or motion, but why they need to do it is never explained. Golftec’s approach is all about telling - and showing - them why.

“You actually see your golf swing,” Ackerman said, “then you know why you’re trying to accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish. We take everything in nice, smooth baby steps. You cannot learn five to seven things within a golf lesson. It’s too much information at one time.”

Ackerman added Golftec instruction is not a short-term fix.

“It’s really based on each person’s goals,” he said. “This is fixing for the long-term. We’re not a Band-Aid fix. I’m not here to make you swing really good one day, and in a week you come back and say, ‘I need you to fix that again.’ That’s not what I do.”

Ackerman said improving a golfer’s motion is a process taking days, weeks or even months. Golftec has a variety of packages offering up to 52 lessons, one per week, for members. The company offers an additional high-tech feature: A player’s videotaped swing complete with their instructor’s analysis is available for them to watch via a password afterwards online.

“Seventy-five percent of a golf lesson that is taken is forgotten within a one-week period,” said Ackerman. “With our Web lessons, you understand more of what’s going on. That’s a huge benefit to golfers rather than the old-school lesson with no video. Our program is based on your goals, what you plan to accomplish.”

For more information call (858) 228-5228 or visit www.golftec.com.