Leadbetter: Virtual coach on the Wii

Golf swing analysis and instruction in your own home

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 4 Mar 2010

Leadbetter: Virtual coach on the Wii

The recent long spell of bad weather kept most of us indoors, frustrated that we couldn't play golf. Even driving ranges were closed because balls were lost in the snow. Many were left to get their fix hitting balls on indoor simulators or watching highlights of pro tournaments in far off destinations.

A golf lesson would have been handy but many PGA pros, with their facilities closed down, took an early warm weather break to re-charge their batteries.

However, a new opportunity has been grabbed by one of the world's top golf coaches, David Leabetter, to bring top quality instruction into our home with a game-improvement partnership with Nintendo Wii.

Using the unique, user-friendly system that has made the Wii a global hit in millions of households, golf lessons are taking a huge leap forward with the introduction of ‘My Personal Golf Trainer’ (£99 from Data Design Interactive) even improving features and functionality offered by golf simulators costing thousands of pounds.

Removing the intimidation factor that some beginners experience with golf lessons, players
using their Wii for a few minutes each day will perfect their virtual swing while improving the chances of their actual handicap tumbling, claim the makers of this unique product.

As the player uses the Wii Balance Board and Motion Plus TM Controller, Leadbetter delivers advice, analysis and personalised feedback as if he was in the room with you, also suggesting drills for each of the seven basic components of a golf swing.

Golfers can improve their grip, posture, alignment, ball position, coil, swing shape, and tempo in step-by-step easy stages, following on-screen instructions. They can then graduate from training mode to the practice range, and finally onto a full 18-hole golf course where they can choose to receive feedback from Leadbetter after each shot played.

It's as if he is standing there, arms folded, legs astride, watching through shades below his trademark panama hat.

Using the ultra-sensitive, gyroscopically-controlled Wii MotionPlus controller, introduced in June 2009, golfers can compare their own golf swing with an ‘ideal’ swing, using 3D replays to view their swing from any angle.

The result, say the makers, is practice with a purpose, and the opportunity to work on your
golf swing  at home before, during or after a series of golf lessons with a PGA pro.

“Good golf is built around feel, and a few minutes at home with the Wii is a
great way of being able to maintain the perfect feel, and to allow yourself
to learn to swing consistently,” says Leadbetter.

"What you get from ‘My Personal Golf Trainer’, is
my feedback – so you know instantaneously when you are doing it right or
wrong. It gives you the opportunity to repeat a movement consistently, and
with tailored feedback you’ll learn a repeating motion which, hopefully,
you’ll be able to take out on the golf course successfully.”

Stewart Green, CEO of Data Design Interactive, says: “David Leadbetter is
recognised as the No.1 instructor in golf and his instructional DVDs are
perennial top sellers. We are delighted that this incredible new product
features his world-class personal golf instruction and  hope that it
will redefine the way that millions of golfers around the globe will think
about their golf swing.

We also expect it to encourage more golfers to seek golf lessons with their local PGA professional, and they will find that 'My Personal Golf Trainer' is the ideal product to refine the swing thoughts that their pro has given them."

‘My Personal Golf Trainer’ will be available for purchase
online shortly and from April at golf retailers throughout the UK.