By Nate Dougherty, BGGA Senior Coach
At the beginning of each semester and when a new student arrives at Bishops Gate Golf Academy, we use SAM PuttLab as part of a broader assessment process to accurately evaluate the student’s abilities and proficiency of skills related to performance. Based on the individual’s ability and goals, the associated POD (group of coaches) identifies the student’s priorities and creates the blueprint for improvement.
Using SAM PuttLab, coaches get an accurate analysis of the student’s putting stroke and level of consistency presented in easy to understand software and reports.
After evaluating the student’s performance and analyzing the mechanics of their putting stroke, coaches use SAM PuttLab to help the student understand exactly what is causing inconsistent and/or poor putting through the simplest possible explanation.
Initiate Technical Change
With an accurate diagnosis and a simple solution, the coach can use SAM PuttLab in Training Mode so that the student gets real time audio or visual feedback related to their specific technical goal. The coaching from BGGA and feedback from SAM PuttLab are critical for the student to gain an overall understanding of the new skill through information, guidance, error detection and error correction.
After the student understands exactly “what” to do from the SAM PuttLab analysis and training, they spend time implementing the new skill in various environments, including the training facility and golf course, where they are learning “how” to perform the skill. During this phase, SAM PuttLab can be used regularly in Training Mode to set a task or challenge for the student to achieve a certain level of proficiency in the specific skill.
Once the student has had sufficient training (different for each student), coaches can use SAM PuttLab in Measurement Mode as a way to evaluate the progress of the new skill and to ensure that the student is on the right track. By using SAM PuttLab to regularly flip back and forth between measuring and training, coaches at BGGA are helping students improve performance in the short term while building sound fundamentals that will enable improved long-term performance as well.