Madeleine Winnett: Film your swing

The Scoop

Madeleine Winnett tells us why you should always film your swing if something's going wrong

CCTV has never worried me. I have always been of the opinion that if you haven’t got anything to hide, then there shouldn’t be
a problem. However, then we had video surveillance installed at the golf club, and I have been left feeling permanently guilty ever since!

The cameras are in place overlooking the car park. Presumably to catch any unsuspecting n’er do wells. For 30 years
I have more or less got by unscathed by glancing surreptitiously around to check for witnesses before a rapid change of shoes behind my car. But now, I don’t know who is watching, or when!

The camera never lies

I have made dozens of flimsy excuses for visits to the of face to study the four camera angles, to see if there are any parking spaces which aren’t covered, but by the time I have got home to draw diagrams, I have forgotten again.

I’ve even taking to sitting in the passenger seat to change my shoes, with the same level of rising guilt as if I had just walloped an old granny round the head with her handbag and run off with her life savings!

In a moment of impending insanity, I had temporarily contemplated donning the comedy glasses with attached nose and moustache to act as a disguise as I stood behind someone else’s car, rogue shoes in hand, ready to slip into, but then realised the entire episode would have been recorded from start to finish, which would only make matters worse.

I could have become a YouTube overnight sensation, which definitely wasn’t the kind of publicity I was seeking.

However, my attitude to CCTV then completely changed overnight when I found donkey cam! Technically, it isn’t called that. As it is the live 24 hour webcam coverage from the donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth, but I am now addicted to it.

Reality TV bores me rigid. I won’t entertain anything appertaining to celebrities getting out of jungles, and don’t even get me started on Big Brother. But reality donkey TV is compelling viewing.

Cameras on the 18th? Why not?

Madeleine WinnettNobody can entice me onto the fairways in the morning unless at least 10 something has been reached on the clock, but I will happily watch the 40 donkeys at the heart of the sanctuary begin their breakfast rituals from 8am.

The lights are on in the barn all night providing unrestricted viewing, and some of my golfing friends are now similarly hooked. Text messages are flying to and fro with the latest updates of what is happening.

There are great friendships, occasional fights, and I won’t begin to tell you what Roger (yes, they all have names) was up to the other evening, but thank goodness it was past the 9pm watershed!

If CCTV cameras were installed in the bar at the golf club, apart from an occasional glance to see if my friends were there so I might contemplate joining them, I would never watch it.

If cameras were positioned to follow golfers coming down the 18th fairway, I would think it was the most mundane enterprise ever. But watching live footage of rescued donkeys, now safe and warm, well fed and beautifully cared for, just makes you start and finish each day with a warm glow!

Modern day golf

Of course, video recording is part and parcel of modern day life. With so many people owning mobile phones and tablets, instant recording is always at hand. And not enough people take advantage of this.

I’m not talking about the completely baffling practice of capturing your own naked body parts and sending them on
to someone else which seems to be the normal code of conduct before a first date with young people these days.

Far more edifying is filming your golf swing, and it is really, really useful.

One of the problems with golf is that you often cannot feel what you are doing. I can be utterly convinced that I have completed a full turn to rival Rory McIlroy on my backswing until I see the incontrovertible evidence showing I have barely gone beyond 45 degrees.

The old saying that the camera never lies may not come as any comfort to those who spot the first signs of a double chin, or a new wrinkle, on the family holiday photo, but it is brilliant for analysing your swing.

My swing tends to go wrong at the most inopportune times. Namely shortly before I am due to play an important match or round. And when it is too late to seek out any professional help.

On several occasions I have whipped out my phone, stuck it on a chair in the practice shed in a last throw of desperation, and then had the ‘Ah ha’ moment of realisation as I have spotted something I never imagined I was doing.

Even if you don’t have an expansive knowledge of the golf swing, you can learn a lot from watching yourself in action.

We all know the feeling of hitting it well in a lesson and wishing we could have the professional sitting on our shoulder weeks later whispering in our ear. Well, now you can.

Get the pro to film you on your phone at the end of the lesson when you are doing it right, and then watch the footage at several intervals.

If things start to go wrong, lm your swing again and see if it bears any resemblance to what you were doing before. You will be amazed how much you can pick up.

Anyway, enough of the advice now. Roger has just wandered back out of the barn, and he’s definitely looking for trouble!

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