Everything In Moderation

By Jim McNaney

“Gentlemen…there is nothing wrong with a glass of beer now and then…as long as it is in …MODERATION!”

Such was the wisdom of one Fr. Piper, a Dominican Priest at the Catholic high school I attended in suburban Chicago many years ago. Sage advice don’t you think? Never mind the fact that he was delivering this message to a class of 17-year-old boys…and the drinking age in Illinois was and is 21. Still, in his own unique way, he was laying the groundwork for a way of thinking that he hoped would carry these boys into adulthood.

Let’s be honest, at some point in time we have all forgotten to do things in moderation. Ever decide, “This will be the year I get in shape” only to pull muscles you didn’t even know you had in your first workout.

Couldn’t just ease into it could you?

Lately there is a trend in popular culture to “binge watch” television series. I saw that in practice once… frightening sight. I came home to find my teenage daughter lying on the couch with the same look I used to see when she’d stay home from school sick. You know that look…pale, tired and disheveled.

“I just finished watching 8 episodes of…” she stammered.

I don’t remember the show. Honestly, after she said “8 episodes” I blacked out for a moment. Really…8 hours of television with no break just to see how a series goes? I’ve heard of getting hooked into a movie but those only last a couple of hours!
I wish Fr. Piper were here today. “Gentleman, there is nothing wrong with watching Breaking Bad now and then…as long as it is in…MODERATION!”

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it but still, sage advice nonetheless.
So what in the world does this have to do with golf?

In today’s golfing world, the use of launch monitors has almost reached the level of “binge watching” in my opinion. In the Information Age, when have you gained ENOUGH information to complete a task? I have no idea how a combustion engine really works but I can drive a car. When is enough enough to play golf?

True, I teach at GolfTEC and we use launch monitors. But in the immortal words of Fr. Piper, we need to use these in “MODERATION.”
Popular on the market today are a variety of models with something in every price range but the 3 biggies right now are TrackMan, Foresight and SkyTrak. I have worked will all of them over my career and, while each one has some features I like better than the others at times, they all basically do the same things. They either use radar or cameras to measure the spin or launch conditions of the ball. Then they make a calculation for what the club is doing through impact. Foresight does have an attachment call HMT (Head Measurement Technology), which measures the club in real time along with the ball.

These are all fairly pricey which means, for the most part; Teaching Professionals and Professional Club Fitters use them. That’s a good thing because there is so much information available from these devices that it takes a “trained professional” to help you decipher what is pertinent information for you and what is just fluff.

Another popular, yet affordable device is an accelerometer. Manufacturers like Swingbyte and SkyPro are the most popular. I like these devices for their convenience. They are small devices that clip onto your club and then send the measurements of the clubs movements throughout the swing in animated form to your tablet or smart phone in real time. They are also much more affordable and have less information so you can clearly see what your club is doing in swing. Mind you, they don’t tell you how to fix your over-the-top hatchet move…but it will show you what you are doing.

Someone once said, “Information is power!” I believe that but I also believe the average golfer can get “Information Overload” when we try to see EVERYTHING in the golf swing. I have yet to see a player absorb EVERYTHING in a golf swing AND play good golf at the same time. My advice, work with your Teaching Professional or Certified Personal Coach to find one or two key pieces of information for YOU and make those the best they can be.

So I am advocating for using launch monitors in…”MODERATION!”
Wow…I guess Fr. Piper accomplished his goal!?!

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