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Wii 'ly good coaching - David Leadbetter's 'My Personal Golf Trainer'
By Rupert Hunter - August, 2010

When I began teaching the game of golf nearly twenty years ago, David Leadbetter was successfully working with Nick Faldo to change his golf swing, which helped him become Britain's top golfer and world no. 1.

Leadbetter was at the time the world’s leading golf coach, and perhaps the first high profile coach in the game. His extensive knowledge of the golf swing and excellent communications skills were just some of his many talents that made him an outstanding teacher of the game. So, when I had the opportunity to try this game-improvement software, both for myself and with my pupils, I was truly excited.

The packaging of the software looks good. The instructional leaflet/manual inside is clearly written and concise. Even if I was fairly new to the game of golf and did not know too much of golf words or jargon, I feel I would understand how to proceed. This would be good for beginner golfers.

Attention to the two important fundamentals of grip and posture are excellent. Using the Wii Motion Plus, having to keep hold of buttons 1 + 2, and both A and B, is superb. There are so many golfers that I coach who do not maintain a constant grip pressure throughout their golf swing, and let go of the club at times. This exercise would help them. Good reference to posture helps also.

If I'm to be critical, the golfers with smaller hands found it difficult to hold the Motion Plus and form a correct grip. Some of the ladies and junior golfers with smaller hands struggled and some could not hold it at all.

Monitor your performance over time

From a golf coach’s point of view, the practice drills that can be used are superb. This is where I feel the software really came into its own. Regular practice of the relevant drill depending on the fault needing to be fixed will improve a golfer’s game. The Right Arm Only drill and Ball Inside drill are two that will help cure the most common fault in golf, the slice.

The Driving Range section was fun and allowed you to make some full golf swings.

Being able to make up a Profile is also useful, and a player is able to record and track their improvement.

The golf course section of being able to play a front nine, back nine, or eighteen holes is still fun, although a little more like a computer golf game. A welcome addition, nevertheless.

Instant swing feedback Record every swing
Personalised training drills 18 hole course and driving range

The feedback with each swing, of swing speed, club path and clubface impact position is useful, although to fully understand its benefit, I feel you would need to be a fairly accomplished golfer with a high knowledge of the game of golf.

Using the Balance Board with the software, is in my opinion, the best part of the trial. When I teach, I focus so much on transference of weight on the feet at the address position and throughout the swing that the feedback it provided was invaluable. One criticism is that the Balance Board is at times a little narrow when making a stance wide enough for a driver. But still good.

In conclusion, a great, really fun product. The drills are good, although I feel that in order to get the full benefit from the software, a disciplined approach to regular practice using the software is required. All too often golfers are looking for that magical quick fix to better golf! So provided you take your time to work through each stage and be patient, an improvement will definitely be seen.

Rupert Hunter - PGA Golf Professional
Tonbridge Golf Centre,
Cannon Lane, Tonbridge,
Kent, TN9 1PP
T: 01732 353 281
E: info@hunterknightgolfcoaching.co.uk
W: www.hunterknightgolfcoaching.co.uk

 

Editor's note: 'My Personal Golf Trainer' is available from www.mypersonalgolftrainer.com or at www.amazon.co.uk for £99.
That may sound expensive for a disc, but consider this: assuming you already have the Wii and the Controller, what you are buying is akin to a high speed camera system with the video and software that could cost over £2000, and for your £99 you are getting all that, plus world class coaching.
If you don't have a Balance Board, that will set you back a further £60-70, but the whole package remains a very low-cost option for those who are serious about working on their game at home.









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