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you are supposed to be feeling? The robot allows them to feel the swing they are looking for. The robot is also infinitely adjustable. If they have a swing fault, we are able to program the robot to correct that fault. We can identify where the swing fault happens through video.” Each golfer’s swing plane—or the angle of the club shaft during the swing—is embedded in the robot’s memory. That plane shifts during the swing, so the robot allows you to feel


the club on the proper plane; doing so helps create a more efficient swing. The robot has a perfectly planed golf swing embedded in its programming, and that can be adjusted for each golfer. If you swing the club from the inside out too much, then the robot gives a feeling of correcting that. The robot can also help smooth out your takeaway to provide the proper feel- ing, and it can be adjusted for each golfer’s level of flexibility and ability to turn. Want to feel a swing that will produce a fade or draw? Or what a certain PGA Tour pro’s swing feels like? Even Jim Furyk’s unique swing? That and more are possible on the RoboGolfPro. According to Small, what students


are looking for is a consistency in the message. “We are always try- ing to help our students,” he affirms. “They will come in for a lesson and we tell them something, then we say the same thing the next time but perhaps in a different way. Sometimes the student feels like the agenda is changing because the words we use are different, but that’s not really the


22 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2014


case. What the robot does is offer that constancy and consistency of our message, which is really important.” The RoboGolfPro is just part of the advanced high-tech offerings at the Pebble Beach Academy & Golf Practice Facility, located across Portola Road from the practice area that had been used since the early 1970s. There’s a course simulator that allows you to play various layouts (including Pebble Beach) as well as assisting in the club fitting process. The 3D Advanced Motion Measure- ment system creates your own per- sonal avatar that shows the sequence of motion in the swing. It also creates a report that details your flexibil- ity, range of motion and strength to create an overall physical fitness program. In another studio, the SAM (Science and Motion) PuttLab system measures 28 different components of the putting stroke. In just five min- utes, it can collect more than enough data on what you need to work on in that area. There’s also a Quintic Ball Roll system that can help determine the proper putter for you. A 350- yard, double-ended driving range, a 4,500-square foot putting green and a 40,000-square foot short game area augments all of that technology. The Pebble Beach Golf Acad-


emy golf schools, recently ranked by LINKS Magazine as among the Top Ten in the United States, incorporate the new technology, including the RoboGolfPro. “We get students in front of it as much as possible to see how it impacts their game,” offers Small. “There is a wonderful passion about golf and students always want to do their best work. The technology helps them to do that.” The wide variety of schools


include half-day, full-day and multiple day programs, with lessons at the Academy and possible playing lessons on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill. Customized programs for individuals and groups are available as well. When he helped launch the


concept for the Pebble Beach Golf Academy 27 years ago, Small did not


envision using robots as an essential teaching tool, but he’s not surprised at the integral role technology plays in the new facility. “Golfers have in their mind an


idea of how they are supposed to swing the club and hit the ball, ” clarifies Small. They are doing what they think they should be doing. If they are not happy with their game or unsure, they are confused. Data that we can gather helps eliminate the confusion because it creates a contrast between what they think they are doing and what they should be doing. The technology helps to validate and creates a conversation. They see that and then they are able to say, this is better. Then they can go work toward trusting that. Plus it helps us become better coaches because the technology cleans up the conversation. It’s all about learning versus about confusion.”


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The SAM (Science and Motion) PuttLab system measures 28 different components of the putting stroke, while the Quintic Ball Roll system aids in the putter-fitting process.


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