Golfers are a funny bunch when it comes to working at getting better at this frustrating game.
There are those who willingly put in the work practicing to get better and some who feel just playing more will see their game improve greatly. Many will consult their local professional for lessons while others think one lesson will be plenty in order to turn it around(you will pay big bucks for that miracle).
With no shortage of training aids to guide you along this Holy Grail of Golf we have another aspect of training on the scene from a company in Seattle called Ikkos.
Long story short, former United States swim coach Sean Hutchison was looking for ways to make swimmers go faster and physics, along with how the brain learns, was the area he searched through.
“I literally had a eureka moment thinking about it one day and felt if we put together some things just right maybe we could affect a learning change in a very direct manner,” he said.
This all happened back in May of 2008 and he was happy with the way the initial prototype worked. Without getting all Stephen Hawking here, CopyMe Golf uses audio and visual cues to help golfers cure what ails them. It’s called “neuroplasticity-how the brain adapts to stimuli and how we learn.
His swimmers on the U.S. Olympic team in 2008 used it and there were a few records broken so there was some proof it was working in the pool. The pairing of audio and video would also benefit basketball players and people going through stroke rehabilitation -the heart issue, not the golf stroke. But golf was just around the corner.
“Very early on with the company we began experimenting with anything because my assumption was that because this was a neurological process of learning that it would work with just about anything and we had to test that,” he said.
He promised his team the company would never go into the golf market until they were ready.He viewed the golf industry as a beacon for his product due to the nature of teaching and learning the game.See it.Do it.
Using the GolfMe app and a set of goggles which could be a prop from a science fiction movie, a person can upload their own content of any golfer they want (Jordan Spieth for example), any club you want and watch the same five second video for three to five minutes.
“Instead of visualizing your own swing we kind of trick your brain into thinking that you are Jordan Spieth and so your nervous system fires exactly like what you’re observing in his swing.”
Hutchison says if we think about something deeply your brain doesn’t know the difference between thinking about doing the golf swing and doing the golf swing. The learning through video or audio feedback is generally how most everyone learns something but Ikkos is taking a different approach by targeting what the brain is doing while we are learning. It’s brainwashing without a mad scientist at the controls.
“What we’re doing is actually addressing that middle ground at the brain where you really learn,” he said. “So that’s the big difference in what we’re doing and why it’s so effective.”
He has testimonials from athletes in other sports along with health care professionals about the positive results gained from using this method.
Once you part with the technology Hutchison says you still need to reinforce the skill you have learned by revisiting the process three or four times a week for two or three weeks. Depending on the skill level of the golfer your retention level will differ but he claims you will see results to a degree as you begin this journey.
Ikkos is still gathering data from people who are using the gear so Hutchison says he can’t definitively claim a 20 handicap will become a one after using their product. He is confident the product won’t end up on the junk pile along with so many other golf training gizmos out there (think Tin Cup).
“I will say that I feel very confident that if anyone follows the learning protocol exactly then they will definitely improve.”
Now that is a claim worth exploring don’t you think? Let that sink into your brain.