One of the biggest challenges golfers need to overcome when trying to improve their swing is the notion of ‘feel’ vs ‘real’.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent hours watching YouTube videos trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong in your own swing, or maybe even sought advice from your scratch golfer mates to try and get some tips.
But, often, no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get the results you hoped for.
This is where filming your golf swing can be a gamechanger.
There’s a reason why a session with a golf pro – or at least, a good golf pro – usually involves technology.
It’s because data and pictures don’t lie, and even if you think you are doing everything correctly, often the reality is you just aren’t able to overcome that deeply embedded muscle memory of poor habits without getting visual/video feedback.
So, if you aren’t able to see a pro or want to go it alone, what is the best way to record your own golf swing?
To record your golf swing you need two things: a camera and a tripod. A phone camera will usually be sufficient and this should be fixed to a tripod to get a clear, down the line perspective from behind as you swing. Golf apps can also help you check club path, head position and alignment.
Recording your golf swing could do wonders for your game and this is a clear reason why golf instructors will record and show you your swing during lessons.
It is extremely hard to know from feel alone whether you are implementing swing changes correctly, especially if what feels ‘closed’ for you – in regards to clubface or stance, for example – is actually incredibly ‘open’ in reality.
Recording your swing will help you to overcome the feelings you have of being too far inside in your takeaway or swaying in the golf swing, creating hard evidence that will help your brain override the bad muscle memory formed via months, years or even decades of poor habits.
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What is the best way to record a golf swing?
The best way to record your golf swing is with a smartphone and a tripod. Several apps are available on smartphones that will help you identify your club path and alignment on your recordings, while a tripod will ensure the camera is stable and appropriately aligned.
Even though cameras and high-quality filming equipment is becoming more affordable, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should go out and purchase specific filming equipment to capture their golf swing unless they are a high-level golf coach.
Your smartphone will do a more than adequate job, with many boasting 4k resolution and extremely high frame rates, allowing for capture in super slow motion.
The one thing you definitely need to consider purchasing to get the perfect swing recording is a tripod.
Pair this with your smartphone and you will be able to get a high-quality, stable video each and every time.
There are a range of tripods on the market at different price points that will suit any budget.
Our top three are featured below:
UBeesize 67” Phone Tripod Stand & Selfie Stick
At 67 inches in length, this tripod will sit at a perfect height to record your swing when placed directly on the ground.
It slides down to 20 inches in length for storage purposes, fitting easily into your golf bag.
The UBeesize 67” has multiple attachments for cameras, phones and even a GoPro, so you’ll be able to firmly fix any filming apparatus to this tripod at full extension.
The aluminium alloy composition with stainless steel and ABS plastic makes it extremely durable and safe when knocking about in your golf bag.
Bluehorn Portable 40 Inch Phone Tripod with Wireless Remote Shutter
At 40 inches in maximum extension, this tripod isn’t quite as long as others on the market, but boasts superb flexibility with a range of attachments.
It can shrink right down to be used at 7.9 inches, so it will sit comfortably on top of a bench or platform behind you at the driving range (or home simulator, if you are that lucky).
The exciting feature of this tripod, however, is the remote-control shutter, meaning you can start and stop recordings from up to 10 metres away.
This allows users to record a sequence of swings without having to constantly return to the tripod – perfect for people on a tight schedule.
UltraPro 72” Inch Heavy-Duty Aluminum Camera Tripod with Universal Smartphone Mount
At the higher end of budgets is this 72-inch tripod from UltraPro with a universal smartphone mount.
This tripod is lightweight (under four pounds) and can shrink down to 28 inches for easy storage.
One of the best features is the built-in bubble levels for extreme precision and accuracy when lining up for the perfect swing capture.
How do I film my golf swing with my phone?
To film your golf swing with your phone, you will need to fix it to a tripod to keep it level, directly behind you. Record the video in slow motion to see every movement in detail, or use an app that allows you to draw lines on your recorded footage.
By using an app, you can analyse your videos with ease, utilising a range of specific features designed to improve your swing.
Many apps will allow you to draw lines to monitor things like head movement and shaft angle, as well as compare videos side-by-side so you can determine why one swing was better than another.
Some useful apps include:
Technique Golf by OnForm – Record swings in HD at 240 FPS to anaylse in slow motion with swing plane drawing. Compare your swing to the top pros to shape your game against your idol.
V1 Golf – Record swings and analyse them with drawing and slow motion. Store videos in your cloud or send to one of the thousands of instructors who teach with V1 to receive timely feedback.
How do you set up a golf swing video?
To set up a golf swing video, you need to position your camera down the line of your shot, directly from behind you. The camera should be at a height level with your hands, when at address. The camera needs to be stable and have everything in picture from the top of your head to your feet.
It is crucial the camera is looking down the line of your shot, otherwise you might mistakenly think you are coming over the top, or are open in your takeaway due to an incorrect camera angle.
If you are trying to monitor something like too much lateral movement, you may want to film your swing from a side on angle as well.
To do this, make sure the camera is set up facing directly at the body at address, in particular the hands.
This will allow you to draw lines to show where the hips start, and see if they move away from those lines during rotation.
It will also allow you to get feedback on whether you are creating enough shaft lean with your club at impact which, as we’ve explained in other articles, is essential for creating good compression and clubface control.
The below video from Me and My Golf gives a good summary of how to set-up your phone/camera to film your swing:
Where should the camera be when filming your golf swing?
When filming your golf swing, the camera should be directly in line with your target, or face on. It should be pointed at the hands from both angles. This will allow you to look for errors in swing path or lateral movement, depending on the angle.
If you are filming from side-on, make sure the camera is positioned far enough away from you that you can get the full body, from head to toe, in shot.
The same rule applies when filming down the line.
It may seem silly, but it is vital that the camera is far enough away from you that you have no fear – not even a perceived fear – of making contact with it, as this will no doubt scramble your head and mess with your golf swing.
How do you draw lines on a golf swing recording?
To draw lines on your golf swing recording, you will need to use an app that includes this built-in feature. Apps such as Technique Golf by OnForm or V1 Golf allow you to record your swing and analyse it with lines for swing plane, lateral movement and head position.
Many smartphones will also have options where you can mark up and edit videos taken and play them back in slow motion, but in my opinion, downloading a cheap – or even free – golf instruction/analysis app is well worth the effort to help improve your game.
How many FPS does it take to record a golf swing?
Any camera that records in 30 FPS (frames per second) or higher should be more than suitable to record a golf swing video that can be played back in real time, or slow motion. Most smartphones can record in 60 FPS or beyond, so there is no need to rush out and make a specific purchase for recording your golf swing.
If you really want to spend big and have greater use beyond filming golf swings, purchasing a GoPro with 240 FPS capability may be a worthwhile investment.
While you may only want to analyse your footage instantly with the help of a golf analysis app, the picture quality will be second-to-none if you do opt to go down the GoPro route.
Otherwise, for most people, a smartphone is going to shoot in a frame rate that is perfectly fine for what you need.
There’s no denying it can feel awkward bumbling around at the driving range with a camera and tripod, but filming your golf swing may just be the remedy you have been looking for to correct the flaws that are plaguing your game.
It is incredibly hard to know whether you are implementing swing changes in real time without visual feedback, but with some affordable equipment and your phone, you might find it incredibly easy, and rewarding, filming and analysing your golf swing during practice.