Sultans of swing

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Casio has launched a new range of high-speed cameras that promise to revolutionise our perception of the swing.

A recent study by Yale University revealed an astonishing truth about the swings of top-class golfers – regardless of how fast (or slow) a player swings the club, the very best golfers always maintain a 3:1 ratio of backswing and downswing.
The study uncovered this simple truth thanks to high speed camera technology. By analysing the swings of the world’s best golfers, researchers noticed that the number of frames needed to complete the backswing was almost always three times that needed to execute the downswing.
Coincidentally John Novosel, author of the book Tour Tempo, was making the same discovery at the same time as the Yale professors.
As an example of failed tempo he cites Greg Norman’s downfall at Augusta in 1996.
The Australian played the first three rounds just off the perfect 3:1 ratio at 25 frames for the backswing to 8 frames for the downswing, but during the final round he was swinging at 31:8.
His slower backswing was putting the entire swing cycle out of kilter.
The power of this simple equation is extraordinary, but even more so when you learn that Casio have introduced their Exilim high-speed camera range to the golf market – giving all golfers the golden opportunity to film their swing at 1,000 frames per second without breaking the bank.
Launched at the recent London Golf Show, the range is packed with the latest technological innovations and offers the tantalising prospect of not just viewing your swing in previously unimagined detail, but also discovering how close you are to that simple secret of tempo.
What touring pros have taken for granted for years is now available to all.
The range includes the highly acclaimed hybrid, the EX-FH20, plus two new compacts, the EX-FC100 and EX-FS10, all boasting a number of features that are ideal for professionals and amateurs alike, enabling them to analyse all areas of the swing sequence.
As the demonstrations at the Show proved, there is nothing for the untrained to be afraid of despite the technology on offer – Casio have made the cameras easy to use without sacrificing quality.
Most persuasive for the golfer is the EX-FH20 which has a high speed movie function that can record motion that is ordinarily too fast for the human eye to see – and then play it back in ultra-slow motion. The frame rate can be set as high as 1,000 frames per second.
As an alternative you can also select the HD movie function which will record videos at a size of 1280×720 pixels.
Both options can be viewed immediately in stunning detail on the 7.6cm TFT colour display.
For still photographs, high speed anti-shake function supports power-zoom shots and ultra-high-speed burst shooting allows up to 40 frames per second.
John Heggarty, professional at the 2006 Open host course Royal Liverpool, has used the Exilim EX-FH20 and is impressed.
“I can dissect a swing instantaneously with a client in a lesson,” he said. “The proof is there for them to see. There are so many components to achieving a great swing and the all new High Speed Exilim let’s you record them without any noises to distract the player.”
He adds: “I can see this camera revolutionising coaching and training in the future. People will be able to work on aspects of their game themselves and player-coach time can be spent on fine tuning.”
The range is available at selected Currys stores and all good camera stockists, with a recommended retail price for the Exilim EX-FH20 of £390. For more information about Casio’s Exilim high-speed camera technology, visit www.exilim.co.uk.
Tiger Woods swing images were captured by Mark Newcombe using the Casio Exilim range.

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