Have you ever went to the range to try and improve your game only to end up leaving more frustrated than when you arrived?
If so, you’re not alone. I know I’ve been there countless times and so has every other golfer. Most sports you can practice consistently and reap the rewards. But golf isn’t most sports.
If you want to get better at golf you need to practice smarter, not longer. Most amateur golfers head to the range, bang a jumbo bucket, and don’t have a clue on what they’re working on.
This only leads to ingraining bad habits and decreasing confidence levels. Instead, you should take advantage of the device in your pocket and start recording your swing.
While you might need lessons as well, your phone is a great resource to help document your swing and practice session so you can begin to lower your scores.
Here’s everything you need to know about the best way to record a golf swing.
Most golfers don’t improve because they keep doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results. Change in anything, let alone golf swing changes, is difficult to stick with.
But recording your swing is the first step in making a constant effort to improve your game and create the swing you truly want. It allows you to notate progress and easily identify errors. Without filming your swing you’re just guessing at how the ball is reacting off the club face. You never know, video could show you a simple mistake like a not setting up correctly.
Plus, golf coaching is expensive. Some coaches charge $50-$80 an hour while others change several hundred dollars! While recording your swing isn’t a replacement for a coach, it can help you identify what is wrong so you can make a plan to correct it.
The first question most people ask is, “Do I need a fancy camera to record my golf swing?” The answer is a simple no. The average camera on any iPhone and Android are incredible compared to technology only five or tens years ago. Don’t waste your money on a fancy DSLR camera to record your golf swing.
But a good idea is to get a tripod or one of the methods at the end of the post to hold your device. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to lean your phone against a trash can, water bottle or something else and it won’t be nearly as effective as a tripod.
Now that you know what to use, here are the two best ways to record your golf swing:
If you’ve ever been to the range and noticed someone recording their swing, my guess is that they were recording down the line. Down the line is easier than a face on view if the range is busy as you often don’t have the room to do face on angle.
Down the line will give you certain features that you can’t see as well with a face on angle. The main benefits include seeing the plane on the backswing and where the clubface is pointing at the top of the swing.
Before recording, I always recommend using alignment sticks or clubs to make sure you are aligned to the chosen target. Not choosing a target is one of the biggest mistakes amateurs make when practicing on a wide-open range!
Use Alignment Sticks
Once you choose a target and have alignment sticks on the ground, place your phone 12-15 feet directly behind you. If you’re too close you won’t be able to see the top of the swing and if you’re far it might include other players hitting next to you.
Ideally, you want your hands in the middle of the frame. I like to use the front camera as you can see in real-time how it looks on your phone. Once you’re warmed up, start recording your shots. I like to hit two or three of the same shot in case one is a big miss and the first one might feel awkward.
While down the line is the most common method, you should also do a face on angle as you can see things that you can’t from a down the line view.
When recording a face on angle, make sure you still use alignment rods to ensure you’re setting up square to the target. With a front angle view, you can see your knees, hips, and shoulder turn much more clearly than a down the line angle.
Once your alignment clubs are set up, place the tripod 10-15 feet back (the taller you are, the farther back). You want the tripod to be at hand height when you’re set up to the golf ball.
The ball should be at the bottom of the video and the backswing should be at the top of the screen. Again, I like to use the front camera for best results.
Here’s a good video to show you the best way to record a golf swing:
You can watch them at the range or choose to wait until you upload them to your computer. While it’s easy to want to delete the bad ones, I recommend watching them as well and storing in a specific folder. Often times the worst swings teach you more than the best ones.
If you don’t have enough memory on your phone for all videos make sure to upload them to a free cloud software like Google Drive. This makes it easy to watch your swing on a computer and sync with any editing software as well.
Lastly, I like to use a free app to chop up my best swings and make a sort of highlight reel. This can help your mental game by watching the clip before your round. Seeing videos of you hitting quality shots can give you a boost of confidence before you hit the first tee.
While those are the two easiest ways to record your swing, don’t forget a secret weapon that is on most new phones — a slow motion camera. Think of the slow motion feature as your own amateur version of the Konica Minolta you see being used on tour. You can use the slow motion feature for both down the line and face on angles.
Slow motion works great for your swing but it also works great for putting as well. Most players record their swings but have you tried it with putting as well? If not, you 100% should as 30-50% of your shots occur on the putting surface!
The slow-motion feature will make it easy to realize if you’re taking the putter too inside, outside, or have the ball positioned incorrectly. Like the full swing, you can benefit from recording your stroke with a down the line and face on angle.
If you’re playing a serious round you probably won’t be using your phone much unless you’re posting a video to make your buddies jealous on Facebook. But if you’re playing a casual round I highly recommend videoing your swing on the course as well.
Like I always say, it’s easy to hit on the range when you have a perfect lie on a flat surface but how often does that actually happen on the course? Instead, have a friend help you out by recording a specific shot you’ve struggled with on the course. This could be hitting from the rough, a punch shot or a pitch from a tight lie.
I recommend not watching it until after the round as the less swing thoughts during a round the better.
As I mentioned the tripod is the easiest accessory to help you learn how to video your golf swing. Here are a few other options to record your swing:
Another great accessory to help record your swing is the Selfie Golf Record training aid. This fits in your bag easily and can double as an alignment rod when you aren’t recording.
If you want to keep your accessory small, make sure to check out the adjustable bag clamp that attaches to the top of your bag.
While this might seem crazy, it’s actually a drone is an awesome way to record your golf swing. There are one on Amazon like the Holy Stone HS170 Predator that is only $49! This is a great option if you play a lot of golf alone and your course doesn’t mind it hovering behind you.
As I mentioned, it’s a great idea to keep as many videos of your swing as you can so you can learn from your mistakes and save the good videos. Whether you use Dropbox, Google Drive or something else, don’t just delete them after watching once.
Recording is one thing but analyzing is an entirely different aspect that I’ll cover more in-depth in my Guide to Analyzing your Own Golf Swing. But if you want to get a head start, I recommend the free “HUDL Technique” app that allows you to easily draw lines, shapes, and other features 100% free.
Hopefully, you feel confident about learning how to record your golf swing the next time you practice. The biggest keys are to make sure you have an alignment rod and use both down the line and face on angles when recording.
Pairing these two together will make sure you have the all the footage when you begin to analyze your swing. Start recording your swing today so you can start changing your swing and dropping shots easily!