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VIRTUALLY PERFECT YOUR GAME
                                                                                  
I have never been able to figure out why my pitching wedge wasn’t working properly. Turns out it had nothing to do with the club … it was me. Go figure.
And I learned this bit of news by ‘stepping into the body’ of a golf pro and comparing my swing with theirs. How did I do that, you might ask?
At Whitby’s new golf learning center, Virtually Perfect, owner Leo Plue gave me my first lesson using ‘virtual reality’ technology. This interactive system, developed in Canada and based on teaching methods used by Ben Hogan and George Knudson, is completely different from any lesson you’ve had before.
After donning the 3D glasses and strapping on the ‘fanny pack’ of recording equipment, I molded my stance to fit the image in front of me. Together, the virtual pro and I took a back swing, I adjusted the club face, and we followed through. There I was, looking and feeling like Lorie Kane chipping for the big prize. And that’s when I realized I no longer had to leave my pitching wedge in the trunk of the car.
Virtual reality is changing the way golf is learned. And Virtually Perfect is changing the way it’s taught.


As a student, you will start out by taking several swings so the pro can assess your abilities. A computer, which appears to be a GPS system for golf, tracks the trajectory of the ball and provides data on swing path, face impact, distance, speed, launch angle and azimuth.
Then you go into the teaching studio where you don the equipment for a virtual practice session. But don’t let that daunt you. In a couple of minutes, the glasses are as comfortable as a sun visor, and you almost forget you have them on. What you see is a ‘wire cage’ model of a pro who just happens to have the perfect swing. As you fit yourself into their ‘body’, you develop the motions you require on the golf course. Repetitions build muscle memory, and the transfer from lesson to the course is much quicker than with traditional learning.

Golf balls are not used in the virtual reality session. Remember, here you are working on your swing, not on making contact with a ball. After the lesson, you come away with a video tape which includes the comments of the pro, so you can practise at home.

The advantage of the virtual reality system is the ‘real time’ feedback, and the immediate self-correction. CPGA teaching pro Graham Ure has taught both methods, and admits he has seen marked differences and improvements in students using virtual reality technology.
What I found most helpful was that I could alter my stance and swing without having an instructor move me into position as if I were a mannequin. I could feel where my body and limbs were supposed to be, so the adjustment was natural and more easily remembered.
A large percentage of the population has chosen golf as their favourite pastime, and most of us want to get better. Virtual reality lessons are a little more expensive than traditional lessons, but you get the benefit of cutting edge technology.  Virtually Perfect  offers a package that makes an affordable Christmas or birthday present, or just a gift to yourself. Consider registering now for winter golf school, and by next summer, you’ll look like a pro!

Virtually Perfect is located at 910 Dundas Street West (Queen’s Common Shopping Centre) in Whitby. Phone 905-668-3171 or visit their website at www.virtuallyperfectgolf.com.