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Claude Harmon goes hi-tech in finding and rectifying common faults at his Butch Harmon School of Golf in Dubai Sports City.

After making your body flexible and strong, our expert now focuses on how to control your mind — golf’s ultimate equipment.

We have a look at the latest offerings from TaylorMade, Mizuno and Cutter & Buck. Also, which sports drink is the best for you.

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Walk into the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Dubai Sports City, and you may just think you have walked into some space-engineering lab. Equipment and gadgets of all kinds can be found in every nook and cranny. You see... Claude Harmon loves technology. He can catch most of your swing flaws just by having a look at it, but he wants you to see tangible proof as to where you are going wrong. We asked him to give us a few practical demonstration of the science he packs in his academy, which is one of the most advanced in the world.

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Putting is the perhaps the most important aspect of the game, and something that is often neglected by majority of golfers. This is also the area where you can shave off your handicap by a couple of strokes fastest. The Putter Studio at Butch Harmon School of Golf in Dubai Sports City is the most advanced of its kind. The studio is equipped with eight cameras, V1 swing analysis software with hi-speed camera and the Sam PuttLab. In the studio, we use the same method and equipment as used in Scotty Cameron Putter Studio in California. In the Putter Studio, what I am more

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interested in is how the ball performs rather than your putting stroke. We find out how the ball spins, how it moves, and whether it is rolling properly. Research done by Scotty Cameron shows whatever their putting style, the balls of the majority of best putters in the world behaves in almost similar fashion after impact. So, if the ball moves properly on impact, I don’t believe in changing your putting style, however unorthodox it might be.

If the ball does not perform properly, we then move on to the Sam PuttLab...


The Sam PuttLab allows us to go ahead and take an MRI of what your putter is doing – it does not focus on the ball, but it analyses as many as 28 different parameters of your putting stroke and displays the results in graphic form. Sam PuttLab utilises ultrasound sensory analysis and is almost exact. It comprises the Sam MotionAnalyzer, which is the hardware, and the Sam PuttWare, which is the software. For the measurement, a light sensor triplet is attached to the club shaft. The measurement device then transfers the registered movement data to a computer. The software then calculates all relevant parameters like rotation, acceleration, swing duration or impact, whether you are de-lofting the putter, or whether you are hitting the sweet spot every time.

The Sam PuttLab analyses as many as 28 different parameters of your putting stroke and displays the results in graphic form

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At our Butch Harmon School of Golf, we can do a complete check-up of your swing through equipment like the TrackMan, the V1 swing analysis software and the AMM 3-D system. The TrackMan is a radar-based launch monitor that allows us to see how you launch the ball, and the resulting ball flight. It delivers real-time data and

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graphics on club movement, ball launch, the flight and landing. The TrackMan can measure the full trajectory of any shot and the landing position with an extremely high degree of accuracy. When used in conjunction with the V1 swing analysing software, one can get a very good idea of the whole swing. The TrackMan is also an excellent technology to have for the perfect club fitting. If you want to hit your driver long, you need to have high launch, but low spin. All this data can be easily generated through the TrackMan. It also shows how far you hit your shots with different clubs. Most golfers have inflated idea of how long they hit their


BELOW: The overhead camera is perhaps the easiest way to find out problems with your set-up and alignment. On the right, you can see how I am aligned to the left of the target, and (below): a perfect set-up

The TrackMan, when used in conjunction with the V1 swing analysis software, can give a very good idea of the whole swing

clubs. l b And A d it also l tracks k where h the h b ball ll is going, thus giving tangible evidence of how your swing is. We have the latest version of V1 software, which is the industry leader in swing analysis. In fact, I am currently working on an add-on technology that can send your follow-up video lesson straight into your mobile, so that you can actually see it while practicing on the range. I hope to start this service within the next 3-4 months. The Swing Studio at the Butch Harmon School of Golf has four cameras, but we also have an overhead camera, which allows us to go ahead and look at how your body is positioned and how you are aligned to the golf ball. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen among golfers is the set-up and alignment, and the overhead cameras are very handy in showing this.

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THE AMM 3-D SYSTEM To help you appreciate the AMM 3-d system better, let me give you an analogy... For a golf teacher, video of your swing is similar to what an X-ray is for a doctor. The X-ray can show him the problem he is trying to solve from a couple of angles. So, if you go to him with a pain in your arm and you take only an X-ray, he will be able to tell you that there is no fracture, prescribe you some pain-killers, but there is a good chance the pain will resurface in a few days. However, if you use the MRI, the doctor might notice that you have muscle tear, or even some kind of tumour. The AMM (Advanced Motion Measurement) 3-d system is like an MRI of your golf swing. It captures, measures and analyses your

AMM 3-D SYSTEM: Once I have grabbed your swing, I can see it from whichever angle I want.

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swing motion. It is a 12-sensor three-dimensional bio-mechanic system, which generates images that can track all the body movements – starting from the wrists, arms, knees, ankles, shoulders, head, pelvis – that are used in a golf swing. The kinematic sequence graph shows how you are transferring energy in your swing. If you have an efficient transfer of energy, I probably won’t make much change in your swing. The kinematic sequence of better players – whether it be the classic textbook swing of Steve Elkington, or the not-so-pretty swing of Jim Furyk – is almost the same. We can also use a bio-feedback mode in the system. Say, for example, your hips are not into a square position, then we can feed parameters into the machine and it will give a beep as soon as your hips get out of position during a swing.



There are times when you will find that despite putting on your best efforts at the driving range and with your teacher, you are still unable to translate it to better scores on the golf course. The problem could well be your body, your physical make-up. Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) screens the golfer through 15-30 different tests to find out their golf fitness handicap. If your arms cannot bend more than a certain degree, or if your hips cannot rotate enough, there are certain things you won’t be able to do on a golf course. Based on this physical assessment screening, you are then prescribed 18- or 30-session workout programs, comprising exercises specifically tailored to target your problem areas. The entire TPI program has been developed after years of research by Titleist. I am a TPI-certified Level-3 instructor, which is the highest level that can be achieved,

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and both Justin Parsons and Peter Holland at the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Dubai Sports City are Level-1 instructors. We have a TechnoGym Kinesis machine, which is a functional movement machine that simulates how to get into your golf posture. From my experience, it is the best training machine for golf-related exercises.


If your arms cannot bend more than a certain degree, or if your hips cannot rotate enough, there are certain things you won’t be able to do on a golf course.

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MIND Yoga gives us a way to deal with the mind. The only point to remember is that we cannot control the mind; but through regulating our breathing, we can regulate the functioning of the mind. We all know when we’re angry, we are breathing about 45-65 times a minute, whereas when we’re relaxed, it’s down to 2-4 breaths a minute. Try focussing on any activity when you’re agitated. You cannot even get your putts to drop. While you need to be competitive as a sportsperson, you also need to be calm at ‘clutch’ moments. The yogic art of Pranayama will help you calm down at such times. The first thing is to practice proper breathing while on the golf course. Between your shots, you should practice breathing about 11 slow breaths through the nose. As you inhale, expand the stomach and as you exhale, let your stomach return to its normal position. By the time you have reached your next shot, you will be fresh, relaxed and yet remain focussed! The techniques showed in this article are yogic breathing techniques to calm down and learn to focus. These are specific techniques to help with your golf. The one asana (yogic physical posture) we have shown is an inverted posture that helps the blood from your body move towards your head so that all your mental faculties like focus, memory and creativity are enhanced.

Training the mind is an essential aspect of being a successful golfer. In fact, after your body has become flexible and added core and back strength through yoga, it’s time to start training the mind. While we all feel we know a great deal about our minds, we’re unable to focus it, or stop the deluge of negative thoughts and emotions when we hit a bad shot. The more stressed we get, the more confused we feel and eventually fail to concentrate on the next shot. How many times we’ve seen golfers — pros and amateurs — throw it all away?! TRATHAK WITH A CANDLE (YOGIC FOCUS TECHNIQUE)

• Place a candle at eye level, three feet (90cm) away from you. • Regulate breathing, and then gaze at flame without blinking. • After about a minute, close eyes. Visualise flame between eyebrows. • When the after-image vanishes, open eyes. Repeat 3-5 times.



• Lie flat on the back, with arms by your side. Slowly raise both legs to a 90-degree angle from the ground. • Lift hips and back off floor and slowly lower legs towards the head, supporting hips with hands. • Slowly shift hands lower down the back, towards shoulders, and bring legs to a 90-degree position. Support weight of the whole body from the shoulders. Body and legs should be in a straight line. Keep chin pressed to chest. • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing normally. Slowly lower the back and legs to ground, making sure there are no strained or jerky movements.

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• Sit comfortably with legs crossed or on a chair with your back straight. • Bend forefinger and middle finger of your right hand. • Place thumb between eyebrows, press ring finger on left nostril. Breathe in through right nostril to count of five. • Hold breath till count of 10. • Reverse positions. Place ring finger between eyebrows, press right nostril with thumb. Exhale through left nostril to count of 10. • Now inhale through left nostril, hold your breath. • Reverse position of fingers as in Step 3, exhale through right nostril. • Repeat 12 times.


• Keep eyes closed and body relaxed. Gently place your thumbs in ears and place fingers on head as shown. • Inhale deeply, exhale slowly through mouth, making a humming sound. • Listen to the sound and feel the vibrations as they travel through the body. • Repeat five times.

Manish Pole is the Director of Instruction at Yoga-for-Sports, which is a one-of-its-kind sports fitness and well being initiative founded by Dubai-based Alok Khanna dedicated to the various sports disciplines. The Yoga-for-Golf clinics are created by Yoga Guru - Bharat Thakur, and are taught at leading golf clubs in the UAE. To find out more, contact:, or text Y4G to 050 3641613

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Raise Your Game  

Tips & Tricks

Raise Your Game  

Tips & Tricks