3 Types of Motion Capture Systems and Why You Should Use Them

Motion capture is a critical tool to get accurate data on what the body is doing in the golf swing and a piece of technology that’s helping biomechanists do better research and golf instructors make better informed decisions. In this episode we talk about how they work and learn about a few companies.

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If you’re a coach and you’re serious about making people better, 3D is the most important tool to get in your toolbox. It’s the only thing that truly measures how the body is moving. Liam Mucklow

K-VEST inertial sensors

Inertial Sensors

An inertial sensor is a combination of magnetometers, gyroscopes, and accelerometers that can create a very accurate representation of what the body’s doing; looking at bend, rotation, and velocity (3 Degrees of Freedom).

Inertial Sensor Systems are the most common type of motion capture system in the marketplace because of their price point, ease of use, and accuracy of the technology. Systems can range in sensors from 1 to 15+ depending on what needs to be measured and trained for each student.

K-VEST 6Dof electro magnetic system

Electro Magnetic System

An electromagnetic field is generated from a small box sitting on a tripod behind the golfer which captures data from sensors placed on the body. The big benefits of an electromagnetic system is the high level of precision and accuracy while measuring 6DOF worth of data.

degrees of freedom
Examples of Degrees of Freedom > Image Credit to Dr Phil Cheetham’s PDF Basic Biomechanics for Golf

Optical System

Gears Motion Capture System

An optical motion capture system uses high speed cameras to capture different angles of a golfer to create a full capture.

GEARS is powered by eight 1.7 megapixel cameras running at 360 frames per second which look at over 600 images per swing to track everything that’s going on with the golfers body and the club.

Optical movement is widely regarded as the most accurate way to capture movement. Michael Neff

Motion Capture Companies:

K-VEST: One of the most mature companies in the industry, K-VEST produces a 2 and 4 sensor 3DOF system plus a 6DOF electromagnetic system. They’re software, reliability, technology, and biofeedback training are second to none as they’ve made dramatic improvements over the last couple of years. Highly recommend trying out their biofeedack if you’ve never been on it… Incredible!

Gears: The main player in the optical system arena in golf, Gears is featured in over 40 facilities across the world. Fascinating info and data to be learned from getting on or working with an optical system.

My Swing: Using 17 inertial sensors MySwing captures a lot of data and gives instructors a detailed look at what’s going on in the body. The angles, speeds and velocities of the golf swing is vital to a full understanding of the motion.

4D Motion: One of the newest companies in the marketplace 4D Motion has a really lightweight hardware that integrates with an iOS and Android app. Sensors smaller than a poker chip capture your movements in 3D for analysis right on your smartphone or tablet.

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Liam Mucklow

liam mucklowLiam joined the PGA of Canada in 2001, one year prior to graduating from the University of Alberta in 2002 with a Bachelor’s of Physical Education. At University Liam was on the varsity golf team, an All Star volleyball player and a medalist in badminton.

After spending nearly a decade with the World Long Drive Tour, California Mini Tours and various Professional Tours in Asia Liam dedicated his full focus to coaching. His innovative programming that combines student accountability and deliver quantifiable results have remain unique in the industry.

More recently Liam has refocused his energy on Education and Research. He has been working with the PGA of Canada to provide the highest level Golf Coaches in Canada with support on analyzing performance with technology. Liam also helped the Titleist Performance Institute launch its worldwide Power Coach Certification program in May of 2013. In 2014 Liam presented at the World Scientific Congress of Golf in Australia, and the World Golf Fitness Summit in California. This year he has been confirmed for to host a 3 hour workshop at the WSCG in St Andrews, Scotland. Liam will be demonstrating his Speed Set Driver Fitting protocol. This process has been consistently delivering golfers of all levels and addition 4-7% total distance through equipment optimization.


Tony Morgan – K-VEST

Tony Morgan Golf K-VESTTony Morgan is a PGA professional focused on teaching through better body biomechanics. As a managing partner for K-VEST, he is focused on providing feedback systems to golfers looking to improve.

K-VEST creates human motion learning systems for the golf, fitness, and medical industries. Their solutions are used by elite professionals and athletes around the world.

Michael Neff – Gears

michael neffMichael Neff is currently the Director of GEARS Golf and Sport Development. Michael has worked with and trained over 100 PGA professionals, Senior PGA professionals, LPGA professionals and mini tour players over the years on GEARS GOLF and the TaylorMade MAT-T system. Michael Neff has been a Class-A member of the PGA of America since 1991 and is also the author of the book Drive Like the Pros.

Learn more about Gears here

Music Includes

Here’s the Thing by Lee Rosevere
Modulation of the Spirit by Little Glass Men
Biolumina L2 by Little Glass Men