From Brian Keogh at Riviera
Graeme McDowell looked more like a science experiment than a golfer. Wired up by the boffins from the Titleist Performance Institute (T.P.I.) so that his swing could be captured using the 3D-GOLF motion system and filed away for analysis, he put up with the jibes from his caddie Ken Comboy and nearby tour players like Daniel Chopra to take another tiny step forward in his career.
With his chiropractor Dr Dale Richardson overseeing the process, McDowell was trussed up in a harness and wired with sensors that captured every nuance of his swing in a 3D biomechanical assessment that will determine future fitness programmes and swing changes.
“We are doing a 3D sequence of his swing to see how he is transmitting the ground reaction forces and how much he is drawing from there,” Richardson explains. “Then we are looking at the rate at which the hips, shoulders and clubhead are moving and checking how efficiently he is using his energy.”
According to Richardson, around 85 percent of tour players are approaching fitness and biomechanics in the wrong way but McDowell’s backroom team will be able to analyse every aspect of the Ulsterman’s action and determine how it can be improved through exercise or coaching.
“It looks a bit ungainly and I normally do it indoors and not in public,” McDowell explains, looking sheepishly at a grinning Chopra. “It puts your swing in a 3D model and takes all kinds of pretty cool measurements. Basically, it is all about transitions of power through your swing.
“Dale and my coaches will look at the data and find out why I do things with my golf swing and how I can make it more efficient. They will determined whether or not there is a physical issue - something I need to work on in the gym. Or they may discover that it something I need to work on something in terms of my technique.”
“You can always get better physically and technically. How good can you be? Look at the best players in the world. Look at Tiger. That is what we are all striving towards.”