It may be an old saying but it still holds true – drive for show, putt for dough and Wayne O’Callaghan is hoping to build on that with a brand new putting analysis system. Wayne, who is based at the Cork Golf Centre in Ballincollig, is one of only two PGA Professionals in Ireland to use the Capto Putting Technology system. Using a small sensor on the shaft of your putter, the system can instantly capture twenty key parameters of the putting stroke. Wayne along with Killarney based David Keating travelled to Spain in December to pick up their new systems, which offer a whole new level of detail when it comes to analysing putting. While there are several options for measuring the swing of irons and drivers, and there are several putting systems that capture the reaction of the ball once it’s hit, this is one of the first systems to focus on the swing and the actions of the golfer. The system operates by putting a small 3D sensor onto the shaft of the putter and using a computer or phone you can see the results from the sensor. The sensor, which doesn’t affect the weight or balance of the putter, captures the equivalent of 300 frames per second and almost instantly breaks down the information. Details are then displayed in a user-friendly format, covering key details such as face angle, swing path, speed, tempo and muscle tension.
The 300 frame per second data capture means that the Capto is extremely accurate when it comes to measurements. Results are displayed as a series of graphics. Details on the golfers level can be entered into the system which then allows results to be displayed in the form of green, amber or red lines highlighting the key improvement areas. While Trackman and other have led the field in swing analysis for irons, wedges and woods for a long time, this is one of the first tools to give a detailed analysis of the putting stroke. The system will be on display at the PGA Show in Orlando in a few weeks where it’s expected that the new device will be snapped up by teaching professionals and tour players.
Like most analysis tools, the system can be used by elite amateurs and high handicappers. The system reports the metrics in terms of both percentages and actual degrees. This allows the high handicapper to quickly identify issues, and the lower handicappers can look at tightening up their putting stroke by narrowing any tolerance for off-square or off-path putts. “One of the best features is free aiming so unlike other systems where you have to stay in one particular spot with Capto you can move around” said O’Callaghan. “It captures a golfer’s initial aim and then impact so for example if a student holes out a putt but Capto reports the putter face was 10 degrees closed at impact then that identifies an aim problem. The Capto is also the only system that can measure yips both linear and vertically. Students strokes are compared to what is also optimal and each student receives a detailed report from each session. With the data available it is much faster to diagnose a fix and it can be verified by the system.” As well as using the Capto system for stroke analysis, the new system also has a second use as Wayne explained: “We also have a custom fitting service using Capto, and we have a large range of Bettinardi and Lynx putters available to be tested with various styles and face balances to best suit a student’s style. With putting accounting for 45% of a player’s score the putting academy will be a massive feature of the centre.”
The past 12 months have seen lots of change for Wayne O’Callaghan, after establishing a base for his busy academy over several years in Fernhill, last year O’Callaghan moved to Raffeen Creek where he operates from the short game area and provides on course coaching. He was part of the launch team in Cork Golf Centre and has based himself there since it opened. Ballincollig filled an obvious gap in the market and the centre has been a popular spot for golfers since it opened. With over 20 years of experience as a PGA Professional, Wayne achieved the PGA Advanced Professional designation in 2016, underlining his credentials as a teaching professional. In addition to his bases in Ballincollig and Raffeen Creek, Wayne also operates from his indoor performance studio in Carrigaline. Although Ballincollig is a bit of a drive for the Carrigaline based Pro, has seen a pick-up in demand for his services: “I have had a very busy year and certainly the ability to provide lessons with Trackman and 3D analysis has been a major draw along with having a private studio to teach. The junior academy has continued to grow and I run classes three times a week in the centre. I’m also running three junior classes in Raffeen Creek where I’m lucky to provide lessons in their short game area, and can also take students to the course to access their games. Raffeen Creek is always in fantastic condition.”