Swing lab a smash

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

University of Calgary researchers have scored a hole in one as they are now on the forefront of golf research.

With the backing of some of the biggest names in the golf industry -- TaylorMade and Adidas -- the U of C Human Performance Laboratory now has Canada's only 3-D golf lab.

The decision to bring the elaborate technology to Calgary was an easy one, said Dr. Ian Wright of TaylorMade.

"This centre has long had a history of doing sports performance research and for quite a number of years we've had a collaboration with the U of C, so it was a pretty easy decision for us to come up here," said Wright.

Utilizing nine high-speed cameras, the 3-D lab is intended to track and detail a player's swing in order to present a club-fitting recommendation.

Test subjects will wear reflective markers on certain parts of the body, allowing the computer to project an accurate visual representation of their swing.

More specifically, the 3-D lab focuses on club impact, such as loft and swing path. It also will give a colored detailed of the clubhead path and swing plane.

Other than helping people find the right sticks and improve their game, this technology should also help researchers understand golf-related injuries.

Having the confidence of TaylorMade not only thrills head U of C researcher Dr. Darren Stefanyshyn but says something about what they're doing at the centre.

"This lab is the only one in Canada and one of only a few in North America, so it definitely gives us a lot of clout," said Stefanyshyn.

"We have a strong reputation in other sports, so hopefully golf will be one of those as well. In a few years, when people are talking about golf research, hopefully they'll be talking about this lab."

Although the 3-D lab will be used primarily for research purposes, it will be open to the public in order to help the recreational player improve their swing.

Starting at $150 for an hour in the lab, you'll walk away with a video image of your swing.

Day-to-day operator Geoff Smith says since the lab opened, it has been well received.

"So far we've had some people come through and everyone who's come through has been blown away," Smith.

"Some people have been taking away major issues with their swing. Others have been looking at specific things but no one's walked away not happy with what they saw."


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