IN 1919, reigning PGA champion Jim Barnes put out the first “modern” golf-instruction book. It was called Picture Analysis of Golf Strokes, and it gave the average golfer a chance to see how the best players swung the club. In the hundred years since, almost everything about the game has changed—including how we learn from the best. Now technology is helping to clarify what photos and videos from the 1920s to the 1990s could only hint at. At GolfTEC, we’ve measured hundreds of thousands of swings from the time our first teaching center opened in Denver in 1996. (We now have more than 850 instructors and about 200 locations in the U.S.) By crunching and decoding the data from all those players over 23 years, and comparing it to the same measurements captured from more than 200 tour players, we’ve been able to identify the specific swing movements and skills that separates average players from good ones, and good ones from elite ones. —WITH MATTHEW RUDY
You’ve probably heard that golf swings are like fingerprints, and each player is different. That can be discouraging because it seems like no advice you might get would be perfect just for you. But the takeaways from all that number-crunching we’ve been doing strongly suggest otherwise.
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