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GolfTEC Taps into Technology

David StoneBy David Stone,

Technology has made most of our lives easier, if not busier. And although you probably haven't spent much time thinking about it, technology has even helped your golf game, in the form of balls that go farther, clubs that are lighter and more accurate, and other innovations. Now, thanks to GolfTEC, you can really use technology to help improve your game.

The six-year-old company specializes in using three-dimensional, motion analysis computer software to break down every aspect of your stance, swing, and follow through to make you a better golfer. There are ten GolfTEC learning centers throughout the country (in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, and Illinois), including three Chicago-area locations - in Highland Park, Naperville, and The Golf Center Des Plaines. The $8-million facility in Des Plaines, located just off of I-294 on North River Road, also houses a par-three golf course, driving range, pro shop, and a restaurant.

GolfTEC's lessons involve a flesh-and-blood instructor, of course, but also incorporate the latest technology, including biofeeback, to make your swing the best it can be. Clients are strapped into unobtrusive harnesses with sensors that measure the movement of your shoulders, hips, legs, and other body parts from your first movement through the end of the follow through. (Think of the commercials that have aired showing how video game makers reproduce athletes' movements.) The entire lesson is recorded on videotape, and once your swing is immortalized (for better or for worse), it can be quantitatively analyzed and compared to those of various golf professionals.

"If you've never used video before, I'm not sure how good of an instructor you can be, to be honest," says Tom Fisher, a PGA member and GolfTEC's Director of Instruction in Des Plaines. "The more that you use technology, the more you educate yourself and become a better instructor. To do a good, thorough job with somebody, you really need the video. The motion analysis allows us to set biofeedback tones and get people to feel correct positions versus incorrect positions. It helps us change your golf swing, and get you into the positions that you should be in."

David Stone is a longtime freelance writer and editor. Although he received his MBA degree in 1999 and works on the development of public facilities (including golf courses), he continues to write for a number of sports-related publications. He is currently the business writer for Soccer, Basketball, Football, Auto Racing, and Hockey Digests, and was formerly a staff writer for The Sports Business Daily.

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