Industry News

GOLFTEC shows how big data informs modern golf instruction in Golf Digest’s September issue

Nick Clearwater, VP of Golf Instruction, provides insight on the importance of shoulder / hip turn

(ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) – GOLFTEC Vice President of Golf Instruction Nick Clearwater reveals one of the major reasons most golfers aren’t improving in an article featured in the September issue of Golf Digest, as he applies data insights to show how players should be making more of a shoulder and hip turn to hit it farther and stop slicing.

In “The one move every pro makes. Anybody can do it—but most of us don't,” Clearwater shares his analysis from motion data collected from more than 9 million GOLFTEC lessons, as well as measurements from more than 200 PGA TOUR players. He uses this information to show how the best golfers in the world turn their shoulders and hips to create wider, deeper backswings and more time to store power that can be released in the downswing.

GOLFTEC’s research shows that shoulder turn is the biggest separator among ability levels in golf, as the vast majority of elite players have 60 degrees of turn when their club shaft is parallel to the ground on the backswing. Amateurs, however, rotate their shoulders anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees less. Hip turn is also an important indicator of quality ball striking, as Tour players get to the shaft-parallel position with about 25 to 30 degrees of turn in their pelvis. Most weekend players only turn a maximum of 15 degrees.

“Technology is allowing us to capture and analyze data on a level that was previously impossible,” says Clearwater, who has been named one of the Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers. “The benefit of this data is that we can get rid of swing theories and replace them with a fact-based approach that gives us a blueprint for what works. It isn’t that we think everyone should have the same swing—we certainly don’t—but we can now see that two TOUR players with different-looking swings still have amazing similarities during key moments of their motions.”

Clearwater has nearly 20 years of teaching experience, and was named the No. 1 golf instructor in Colorado by Golf Digest. He regularly appears on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, where he provides tips to help golfers improve their swings. View the article in this month’s Golf Digest.

GOLFTEC is the world leader in golf improvement with more data on the golf swing than anyone else in the world, thanks to its award-winning SwingTRU Motion Study. Last year alone, GOLFTEC coaches gave 1.1 million golf lessons and measured over one hundred thousand individual golf swings at more than 200 locations. The global GOLFTEC coaching team is comprised of experienced instructors that have graduated from GOLFTEC University – a multi-week certification program based around a curriculum of mastering advanced training of golf swing mechanics and GOLFTEC’s proprietary technology used in all Training Centers. The majority of GOLFTEC Certified Personal Coaches are PGA Professionals who have taught thousands of lessons.

To learn more about GOLFTEC, please visit or call 877-446-5383.

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Since 1995, GOLFTEC has become the world’s largest provider of golf lessons and premium club fittings, operating more than 200 corporately-owned and franchised Training Centers in all major U.S. cities, Canada, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. A top employer of PGA Professionals, the company’s 700-plus coaches have taught more than 9 million lessons with students dropping an average of seven strokes from their scorecards. Its highly-trained coaches leverage leading-edge technology for a completely fact-based approach to instruction, practice and club fitting. GOLFTEC’s leadership position in golf improvement is augmented by its SwingTRU Motion Study™ – the largest ever conducted on golf swing mechanics.

Ben Cramer