Local golfer Bill Shelton uses Golftec indoor learning center to improve his swing as golf pro Noah Vinyard looks on.
When Charlotte's Bill Shelton wanted to improve his golf game, he decided to try out a new learning center he'd heard about in southern Mecklenburg called GolfTec.
The indoor facility sits near the intersection of I-77 and Tyvola Road. Inside, PGA Class A teaching professional Noah Vinyard attached Shelton to several harnesses which would measure several angles of his swing and tell him where his faults were.
Basically whenever Shelton got out of position, there was an audible beep. Better yet, Shelton could watch his swing in super slo-motion via a hard drive that allowed him to go frame by frame, forward and backward.
Vinyard quickly noticed that Shelton was overswinging, and picking his front leg off the ground. By using the cameras and harnesses, Vinyard quickly got Shelton to swing tighter and cleaner.
Vinyard said the technology has helped make Golftec a national leader in golf lessons. There are plans for 300 locations nationwide, including a new facility in Huntersville. Indoor golf lessons are nothing new in Charlotte. There are at least three similar facilities throughout the city. All are good. Despite being here for just over a year, Golftech already has more than 200 regular clients who buy packages of lessons that come with use of the indoor facility.
"I love teaching indoors," Vinyard said. "It takes the ball flight out of it. If you're outdoors, you might make a good move and shank it and then the person looks at me like I'm crazy. In here, I can show them through technology that you're making a better move."
Golftec has put its sensors on more than 200 professional players and can instantly put you in a split screen with golfers of similar build.
In Shelton's case, he's paired against Ernie Els. Shelton can see what a man of similar height -- Shelton's 6-2 and Els 6-3 -- would look like making a great golf move. After a few looks at Els and himself on split screen, Shelton gets a really good idea of what he needs to change.
Vinyard swears by the system, saying he's helped local golfers go from shooting 106 to 89 in a few months. There's a wall of fame just outside the golf simulators where students leave the balls they use to put up career scores. The board is getting crowded.
"I teach everything from an 8-year-old girl to an 80-year-old man," Vinyard said. "I got him to shoot 79."
But does it work?
After his 45-minute lesson, Shelton went to the range a few times and worked on his game -- then he shot his best rounds in months, an 84.
"It was easy to follow and easy to understand," Shelton said. "I think I'll definitely be going back."
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