By Darren Zancan
I stood next to Tiger Woods and out drove him. My swing was just as accurate. My posture was dead on and my clothes were sexier. It makes me think that with some more practice, and a nice set of plaid pants and sweater vest, I, too, could join the ranks of the Professional Golf Association (PGA).
OK, in reality, I wasn’t technically in person, face-to-face with him, but on a large television screen as we stood side-by-side hitting balls. I was recorded for an evaluation, and he was there for me to see how the pros do it.
I got to test out the new V1 Coaching Software golf simulator that belongs to the Professional Golf Management program here at Eastern.
It’s like a driving range, mixed in with enough cameras to think the paparazzi were there. Then there is a giant flat screen television and computer station to watch either the embarrassment of a terrible swing or drive of a champion.
So I felt compelled to write about it in this week’s column. The staff that handles the PGM program was kind enough to let me pick up a seven iron and drive as many balls as I could. Trey came along to take some pictures of this event.
I was honored to find out I was one of the first to try out the simulator.
Here’s how it worked. I got into my golf stance, on the green driving area. There are three cameras; one on my left, on my right and one behind me. As I swung, the cameras recorded the entire swing.
After I finished, I met with PGA Golf Management Player Development Coordinator Ross Lingenfelder to get my evaluation. It’s interesting, and amazing, at the same time all of the things I learned in one swing.
Ever watch a football game on television when then broadcasters take the yellow markers and draw all over the screen, diagramming a play? That’s what he did.
He went through a thorough evaluation of my swing.which by the way was rock solid. If you don’t believe me, ask the pro! He drew lines where my swing was supposed to start and finish. He marked how the head of the club should be in relation to the ball. I learned where my legs, knees and head should be and the position of my lower half.
I’ve played golf on and off for several years, so I know enough about the sport, but to hear it and see it from a pro was pretty intense.
He has more than 200 videos of different golfers, their drives and their stances. So I got to compare mine to mister ladies man himself, Tiger Woods.
My first swing was reminiscent of John Daly’s, minus the excessive booze. So we corrected one mechanic, which resulted in a more powerful and straight drive.
So I took about 10 to 15 more shots just to see if the tweak in my mechanics paid off. It did. Straight and powerful. It’s amazing how one piece of technology works. Out all the components together and it does wonders.
I left impressed, not only with the simulator, but the atmosphere as a whole. As I sat down with Director Kim Kincer, she talked about how amazed she was with the atmosphere when she arrived here a few years back. I can see why.
I thought about dropping journalism, picking up my Titleist golf clubs and joining PGM.
Tiger Woods, you should be jealous.