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same on the latter. Call it the differ- ence between feel and real. Merging those two traits on the course is rarely captured on a consistent basis, even by the world’s best golfers. But now the Pebble Beach Golf Academy has a way to do just that. Two ways in fact, and both were built in Germany, weigh 840 pounds and stand nine feet tall and five feet wide. A pair of RoboGolfPro machines


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—or robotic swing trainers—are located within the Pebble Beach Golf Academy & Practice Facility, which has received rave reviews since open- ing this past January. Although full of the latest cutting-edge technology, its stars may be these robots. “What they offer us is the ability


to allow students to feel what their swing is like while they are actually making a golf swing,” observes Laird Small. “Within a few swings we can diagnose their faults or enable them to feel what a draw or fade swing feels like. Then they can work towards owning that swing through more repetitions and more practice.” Scot Nei, founder and CEO of


20 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2014


here’s a saying that the longest walk (or ride) in golf is from the practice range to the first tee. Strip- ing shots on the former is no guarantee of doing the


RoboGolfPro and a veteran golf instructor, says the robot can take you through impact perfectly on every single swing. “You are feeling the cor- rect delivery over and over again.” At the base of each robot is a


32-inch monitor with a video camera angled toward the student, allow- ing them to see themselves making a swing as well as any necessary cor- rections. “That also allows us to draw coaching lines so we can show the golfer (who takes his or her grip on a club attached to the robot) the correct swing plane to be on and also if his or her body angles or posture changes,” emphasizes Small. “We compare the videos right on the spot and distin- guish between what they normally do and what the correction will be. That’s where the learning happens—in the distinguishing of those two areas: what they did and what the robot makes them feel.” All levels of golfers have benefitted


from working on the RoboGolfPro, which cost $150,000 each. Beginners who have never held a club can learn the perfect swing motion and mechanics right away. Junior golfers can come in and take 100 swings on


The Pebble Beach Golf Academy has two RoboGolfPro machines, which physically guide you through the golf swing. You can even swing like Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods or Jim Furyk.


the robot to groove the feeling of their swing. Even PGA Tour and Champion Tour players—including Tom Kite, who won the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and Kirk Triplett, winner of the 2012 and 2013 Nature Valley First Tee Opens at Pebble Beach—have tried it and loved it. “Golfers have experienced


fascination, curiosity, and giddiness about learning what a proper swing


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