Ifema – Feria de Madrid was the location for one of Europe’s biggest golf shows last week. The 2010 Madrid Golf Show represented the chance for the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy and Seve Ballesteros Foundation to showcase their achievements to a European fan-base and increase the support for a legend of the game.
Evergolf Madrid kindly provided a state of the art simulator for the SBGA and the team were ably supported by the Foundation staff, who were, luckily, willing translators! Despite competition from other golf simulators at the show, the popularity of our ambassador and the extremely worthwhile cause being promoted meant that the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy and Foundation stand proved very popular with the locals. Professionals and amateurs alike queued to donate their time and money to the cause and were rewarded with a video of their swing, compared of course, with the legendary Seve Ballesteros.
This years show also provided an opportunity for Spain to promote their bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup. The Spanish have a wonderful Ryder Cup record, providing players and venues in many of the recent battles. The most notorious including Miguel Angel Jimenez, Sergio Garcia and of course, European stalwart, past player and captain, Seve Ballesteros.
For more information on Seve Ballesteros, and the work being done on brain cancer research, please log in to www.SeveAcademy.com – powered by Optimal, and lend your support to this fantastic foundation.
Video analysis is a relatively new coaching tool used by professionals to help them review and improve certain aspects of a golfers’ performance. This footage helps to highlight the fundamental aspects of the golf swing and enables the golf pro to give clear and concise advice on how their students could improve these. In golf, a simple review of your own swing is a key visual aid, as in many cases how we think we swing the club, is not always how we actually do it.
Online video analysis is based on the same principle with the only difference that the coach is not present and with internet access, can be used anywhere in the world.
On top of the obvious visual benefit, the golf pro will provide a video of your swing with the relevant instructional pointers via voice over and also the use of on-screen drawing tools to help you understand the changes that you are being asked to make.
A traditional golf lesson is made up of three parts; a swing critique, a swing diagnosis with instruction on how to improve and finally a structured practice session. Online video analysis delivers the first two elements to the same extent as traditional lessons.
The benefits of video analysis:
Expert tuition is assured from approved professionals
Increase interaction and visual feedback
Improve and accelerate the improvement process
Increase you knowledge of how your swing works and what affects it
On its own, or in conjunction with a full swing analysis, a swing comparison can add several benefits to the golfer including highlighting similarities (good points) of a swing, demonstrate differences (bad points) of a swing and provide real examples of the benefits of correct positions and movement.
With a swing comparison, two swings are synchronized to a point in the swing, such as impact. Using an established swing, such as that of Seve, as the basis for comparison, this simple instructional tool can significantly help an understanding between fundamentals such as stance, posture, alignment and grip and highlight areas of improvement at address, take-away, at the top, at impact and the early stages of follow through.
At the Seve Academy, receiving both a swing analysis or swing comparison is simple. Simply upload a swing video you are happy with from your digital still or video camera or video phone to www.SeveAcademy.com. Review your swing in the My Locker section, click “Send for Analysis” or “Send for Comparison”, pay (if required) and leave the rest to us.
For an analysis, one of our PGA qualified Seve approved golf pro’s will receive your request, critique and take as long as is required to get to the root cause of your problems. They will deliver a swing analysis, sending the full analysis back to the My Locker section and notify you at the same time.
With support videos provided on the Academy site, including exercise drills, tips, improvement advice from Seve and the Swing Check feature after your personal analysis, the Seve Academy swing analysis delivers as full a service as a “traditional” golf lesson.
For the swing comparison, you will be notified that your swing comparison is ready and once you open this, you will be able to see your swing in a side by side, down the line comparison that will clearly highlight any major differences in your swing fundamentals at set up and throughout the swing.
No matter which level of membership you subscribe to, there is a healthy selection of professional golfers to choose from, but also many well known faces who have pledged to Swing for Seve.
The combination of exclusive Seve and Ballesteros Family instruction videos, rare and insightful footage from throughout Seve’s career, active one on one involvement from PGA professionals and an integrated creation of world leading technologies including the iPhone, deliver a unique meaningful, engaging and fully interactive golf improvement platform for players of all abilities.
Inspired by Seve, The European Tour’s youngest winner shows them how it’s done in Sunny Spain.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon just like every other at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo and the golfing history books were out, not for reference, but to be rewritten.
Host to the Castello Masters and the place where Sergio Garcia learnt his trade, Italian golfer Matteo Manassero finished strongly and was crowned a European Tour tournament champion, becoming the youngest ever winner on Tour at 17 years and 188 days, beating the previous record held by New Zealander, Danny Lee, of 18 years and 213 days.
This victory has seen Matteo become the youngest full European Tour Member – beating the previous record of his golfing idol Seve Ballesteros who achieved this feat in 1974 aged 17 and 200 days. Optimal caught-up with Matteo recently at the Dunhill in St Andrews and he was quick to tell the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy, how much of a hero and an inspiration he is to him and was happy to “swing for Seve” and pass a message to the golfing great.
2010 has been a fantastic year for the young Italian. From becoming the youngest player ever to make the cut at the Masters, and finishing inside the top 50, to turning professional in May, he has amassed €641,000 from 15 tournaments and moved into 43rd position on the ‘Race to Dubai’, giving him the chance to play in the illustrious Dubai World Championship presented by DP World, played around the Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 25-28. A win here would give him a 5-year Tour exemption and a healthy pay cheque of €1.125 million. All that stand in the way, are fellow supporters of the Seve Academy: World Number 1 contenders, Martin Kaymer (the current leader of the Race to Dubai), Lee Westwood (defending champion of the Harry Vardon Trophy, and US Open winner, Graeme McDowell!
However, if Manassero performs as he did on Sunday, this might present very few problems. Rounds of 68,66,67,67 saw him haul-in and overtake overnight, leader, Gary Boyd, to win by a convincing 4 strokes.
The young Italian achieved this feat by hitting fairways and greens and vitally, holing putts. He achieved this through steady performance in all disciplines. Although not the Tour’s longest or most accurate hitter – some way down the official European Tour’s stats list, with the eyes of Optimal’s launch monitor, he managed an average driving distance of 287.3 yds, with 64.3% accuracy, the 5th best in the field over the weekend. He hit 79% of greens, and was very high up the putting stats with an average of 1.646 putts per green!
Standing proudly behind Matteo is Alberto Binaghi, former European Tour player, a member of the Italian Golf Federation coaching staff and all-round advocate of performance analysis technologies. Binaghi has several of the world’s best and up-and-coming players under his wing, including the Molinari brothers and even finds the time to carry the bag for Manassero for the bigger events!
Coaching aside, this amazing achievement has signified Matteo Manassero’s arrival, proper, on the European Tour, and made many of his colleagues look up and notice the wonder-kid they label as the next Seve.
Celebrities and pros alike, pay homage to golfing legend Seve Ballesteros on a blustery day at St. Andrews, the scene of his famous 1984 British Open victory – you know the one, that magical celebration on the 18th green!
Decked out in Seve Ballesteros Glenbrae golf shirts and tops, the Optimal team embarked on to the Dunhill practice range to film the swings of some well-known faces of sport, entertainment and even victorious Ryder Cup stars. The purpose of our mission was simple; capture swings in order for users of the Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy to compare their swing with those of superior quality such as Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari (make sure you don’t get the brothers mixed up), Ruud Gullit, Jamie Redknapp, Sir Bobby Charlton or Hugh Grant! This was, however, only objective #1.
In order to raise awareness for the Seve Ballesteros Academy and thus the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, we also asked those who were willing to send out a message of goodwill and/or a memory to the legend himself. A particular highlight and favourite of mine was the hugely amusing Hugh Grant, adorned in Sunningdale Golf Club clothing, showing Seve how to hit a lovely little fade with an 8-iron:
“I wish you the very best… you are a great hero, and that is how you hit a soft fade with an 8-iron…”
Sky Sports golf presenter Di Stewart and Number-One-spot-chasing pair, Lee Westwood and Billy Foster, who delivered a very personal and quite hilarious joint message, direct to the golfing legend. Billy only associates himself with the best golfers; as those in the know will remember that it was Billy who carried Seve’s bag for many successful years.
Confident and fresh off the back of two Tour victories AND the Ryder Cup, we also captured the swing of the eventual Dunhill Links Championship winner, superstar Martin Kaymer, who blew away the field with a flawless display over 4 rounds. Not only does this victory cement his place at the top of the Race to Dubai rankings, but brings in a new element to the world number 1 mixing pot.
Unbeknownst to many, if Kaymer is successful at the Andalucía Masters on Halloween, he could possibly leapfrog Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood into the number 1 spot! Regardless of who wins that, Kaymers’ swing will be available for comparison alongside Seve’s to members of the Seve Academy.
The amount of support shown to Seve’s cause, was quite breathtaking and when golfers (of all abilities) realise what the Seve Ballesteros Academy is and what it achieves through the Foundation, they are only too willing to lend their support to the cause.
The Seve Ballesteros Golf Academy harnesses the spirit of natural golf to deliver the most advanced online golf instructional and golfing entertainment platform on the web.
The combination of exclusive Seve and Ballesteros Family instruction videos, rare and insightful footage from throughout Seve’s career, active one on one involvement from PGA professionals and an integrated creation of world-leading technologies including the iPhone, deliver a unique, meaningful, engaging and fully interactive golf improvement platform for players of all abilities.