Benchmarking Week

Benchmarking week shows the coaches where a player is with their game when they first arrive at IJGA. We do not base our assessment on opinion, but on facts  based on testing. From these facts, we then create a collaborative blueprint. This serves as the road map for each individual and their game. The coach then plugs them into our periodized system and allows changes and improvements to manifest with a heavy focus on skill acquisition and skill mastery.


  • Trackman- The ball responds to physics, not emotion. Trackman records all the player’s ball ballistics as well as planes and paths in their swing. This gives us fact based evidence of why the ball does what it does. We can tie this into why a player swings by linking body movement and conditioning using our physical screening and strength tests.
  • V-1- Video is the X-ray for a player’s swing. We use it to visually show what the 3D and Trackman are showing us. It is a powerful tool if used in the right way. Many people are visual learners. We can tangibly show the player a ‘before and after’ of their swing via a V1 video


  • 3D- If video is the X-ray of a golf swing, 3D is the MRI. It gives us an in-depth look at timings, sequences and energy transfer not possible to see with the eye alone. When linked with Trackman data, 3D gives a reason why the ball does what it does, as we can see how the body is influencing things.


  • Bodi-trak- This shows how the weight and center of pressure move in a golf swing. Linked to 3D this gives a great tangible record of how the mass and center of gravity move. A correct and linear pressure trace is vital in all good golf swings


  • TPI Screening– We use TPI physical screening protocols to find out how people move and where their physical limitations are. If a player has restrictions or weaknesses, there is no way they can swing to their optimum. Often poor results on V1, Trackman and 3D can be traced back to a lack of mobility or strength, so this is clearly a vital area. Each player goes through a choreographed battery of tests to ascertain where they are in the physical continuum.


  • Strength and Endurance- Players go through a battery of tests to see where there are starting from with regard to strength and endurance. A particularly good test Is the one minute 15-yard dash. It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, it really makes a big impression and sets the tone for endurance!


  • Mental Assessment- The mental side of golf is the glue that holds everything together. It is a vital component that oils the wheels of success. Our students initially go through some sampling tests to examine why they are here, who they are and what their goals are. This serves as a barometer for future interaction with the trainer. The mental program has three components: A weekly classroom based curriculum in which all student’s participate, an on-tee practical element and a character development aspect.


  • Short game- The short game is vital to all golfers. At IJGA we teach some proprietary short game skills tried and tested on tour. The players benchmark their skills using a variety of tests which are recorded and which serve as a map for future improvement.


  • SAM Puttlab- Putting is one of the most important skills in golf. It can keep a bad round together and make a good one great. All the best players putt well. It’s non-negotiable. SAM Puttlab is the Trackman of putting. It gives us twenty-four parameters of information about the stroke of a player. This allows us to make informed choices about how the make the player better.


  • Flair and flow- All golfers need flair and flow. It is part of the game. Golf is part science and part art, so a player must be adaptive and artistic. We test this aspect by getting players to control the ball in various ways, off various lies, hitting various shots. We see how precise they are. Anyone can hit a fade, but not many can hit a perfectly controlled fade for example.


  • Course Management- We use a course management system based on how the tour players construct a score. Scoring average is a marker of improvement for us, along with tournament results. We set a benchmark score in our 36-hole event and use it as a starting point. We use an in-house handicap system to give the students a target to aim for and to allow them to compete against each other more fairly.


  • Equipment assessment- We look at the equipment fit and make sure everything fits the player, their size, shape and speed. Again, vital that clubs fit a player and their frame.


Next week… Blueprinting.


Jonathan Yarwood

IJGA Director of Golf

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