TaylorMade Performance Lab Validate Claims
By Leonard Finkel
We've all heard claims such as, "the greatest, guaranteed to lower your scores, etc. etc. etc..." Medicus knew that their products worked but wanted to demonstrate scientifically that their claims were accurate. The company went to TaylorMade Golf and their TaylorMade Performance Lab (located at Kip Puterbaugh's Aviara Golf Academy ), the world's most sophisticated, accurate and objective measuring and fitting system available today. While in no way agreeing to endorse Medicus swing trainers, TaylorMade agreed to perform testing on the Medicus Dual-Hinge Driver.
Previously only available to Touring pros, the MATT System at the TaylorMade Performance Lab employs nine cameras that simultaneously measure and record every position of the player and their club in real-time throughout the swing, all within one tenth of a degree. The system instantly creates a three-dimensional graphic image of the golfer that enables the swing to be viewed from 360 degrees. As opposed to flight monitors that only measure what happens to the ball after impact, TaylorMade's Performance Lab captures and measures the static set up position, start of the backswing, impact, all the way through to the finish in minute detail.
Medicus went the extra mile to prove that a golfer can materially improve their swing and performance, utilizing the TaylorMade Performance Lab's ability to measure the golf swing in a way that no other system can. "We wanted to be able to demonstrate unequivocally that using the Medicus golfers can improve their results in a very short time. TaylorMade's Performance Lab gives us the ability to prove in an objective manner that using the Medicus can indeed help golfers improve," says Medicus founder Bob Koch. The Labs' system can compare swings either side-by-side or overlaid on top of each other at critical points in the swing so you can see precisely how the swing has changed. It also gives the golfer the opportunity to obtain a recommendation for the precise clubs which will enable the golfer to maximize their performance.
Medicus swing trainers provide instant feedback identifying proper and improper swing plane positions and good and bad tempo. At any given point during the golf swing, the Medicus will "break" when the club is either off plane or swung with poor tempo but stays intact during a solid golf swing. Using Medicus will build the feeling of a fundamentally sound swing in muscle memory. At the Performance Lab, 3D graphics of the golfer reveals vital information such as swing plane, club head position, lie angle, exact location on the clubface where the ball hit, impact data showing ball position, launch angle , ball speed, club head speed, the degrees that the clubface is open or closed at impact, etc., a plethora of information.
Testing Parameters & Results
A random sampling of 20 golfers was chosen as a test group. Golfer's baseline swings were measured in the Performance Lab and then measured again after practicing with the Medicus driver. After training with a Medicus for a mere 15 to 20 minutes, several positive trends emerged. Three quarters of the test group gained additional swing speed, with a full third of the overall group achieving a dramatic increase of up to 10 miles per hour. Joanne Gruskin was the star in this category, increasing her average swing speed from 53.4 to 63 mph.
Several other factors not only produced added distance but were important in achieving greater accuracy and more consistent swings. Forty percent went from a strike pattern on the club toe or heel to a more center strike. Although Brant Sarber's swing speed remained virtually the same, the fact that he struck the ball in the center of the clubface as well an improved swing path and angle of attack added an average of 30 yards to his driver! Brandt enthusiastically relates, "We went inside and looked at some things I was doing and could easily see that I was going way straight up and wasn't able to follow through at all. Practicing with the Medicus you could just tell where you need to be."
Pat Gay was among the golfers that showed the greatest improvement. He picked up additional swing speed, ball speed and improved his swing path which added an average of 20.7 yards to his drive. Pat later wrote to the company gushing that he continued practicing with the Medicus and it is delivering phenomenal results. He said that his average drive pre-Medicus ranged from 220-240 yards. Now he rarely hits it less than 240 and he adds that he has even flirted with 300 yards a few times. Pat says, "My average score before the Medicus driver was around 87. Since using the Medicus driver, my scores have been 85 -- 86 -- 83 -- 83. It's a different game when you can get closer to the greens with long, straight drives."
Adam Suggs showed the most dramatic improvement in swing plane. Adam's average swing went from a weak outside to in and over-the-top -4.2° to an inside approach at the ball of 1.5°. Those numbers more resemble a Tour swing and deliver greater consistency and accuracy. Adam said, "I think that's the most productive 15 minutes I've ever practiced; I changed my whole swing plane. I increased my swing speed 10%. The more I practice with the Medicus, the more I'm going to increase that head speed."
TaylorMade Performance Lab Assessments
Tom Fisher, Technical Director of the TaylorMade Performance Lab concluded," We videoed their swings beforehand and looked at certain swing dynamics; we looked at path, face angle, speed of swing, ball speed et cetera. We noticed after they came back into the Lab after using the Medicus driver, we actually saw improvements in all of the above. Changing someone's path and face angle in 20 minutes time is pretty impressive to me. I think the golfers left today's and Friday's event very, very encouraged about the change in their golf swings and looking to the future. They're going to get their handicaps down from say a 15 to a 10 or even to single figures."
It appears that practicing with Medicus will all but guarantee a smoother, more consistent swing while adding distance and achieving greater accuracy. Ian Wright, TaylorMade engineer and inventor of the MATT System observed, "For the most part, training with the device seemed to have, on average, across all players a beneficial effect on performance." Reflecting on the events of the weekend, Darren Huff basically summed up the feeling of all the test participants when he said, "It was an amazing experience. Learning how your swing was before and then after swinging the Medicus made a world of difference with my swing. You just couldn't ask for anything better than what was accomplished today. It made a big difference."