GOLFTEC diagnoses bad habits to shave strokes off your round
“Do something you love.” That’s what Tony Pu’s wife told him when he burned out after 12 years in corporate restaurant management. Pu, who grew up in Taiwan, immediately thought of golf, a sport he had picked up in high school.
The family packed up their Washington, DC-area home and moved to Orlando, where Pu graduated as valedictorian of the Golf Academy of America in 2015. His first gig on this new career path? Coaching at a Philadelphia GOLFTEC, a golf instruction center that utilizes technology—including advanced motion measurement and video analysis—“to help people play better golf,” he explains.
Since it was established in Denver some 25 years ago, GOLFTEC’s grown to include 200-plus locations in North America, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Last May, Pu and a Golf Academy classmate, Ray Passaro, added Charleston—a city with a strong base of resident golfers—to the list.
High-speed cameras capture students’ swings.
At the 2,700-square-foot facility in Mount Pleasant, clients don specialized sensors and join coaches like Passaro, who has been nominated by Golf Digest as a Top 100 Clubfitter, in four private teaching bays. From three angles, high-speed cameras capture their swings, then proprietary technology compares their motion to a composite of 150 PGA Tour professionals. If the golfer isn’t rotating their shoulders 90 degrees or their stance is flawed, it’s visible to them on a screen, allowing them to make adjustments that can have a major impact on shot distance and accuracy.
“It’s hard to teach ‘feel’ if you don’t have fact-based knowledge,” says Pu. “This system lets us connect ‘feel’ and ‘reality.’ By fixing what’s wrong with your swing, you can play pretty good golf.”
Clients set up lesson plans that can include one-on-one coaching sessions and solo practices. A “club fitting” that uses Foresight data to determine the equipment best suited to the player is also part of the process, and the company reports that three out of four people add 15-20 yards to their average shot as a result yards to their average shot as a result. Says Pu, “Seeing fellow golfers experience real improvements in their game is just the kind of reward I was looking for.”
Hole In One A by-the-numbers look at GOLFTEC
Level Playing Field
From beginner-to expert-level 1 to 5 handicap golfers, GOLFTEC teachers work with players of all kinds.
Serving Locals Currently
90 to 95 percent of GOLFTEC’s clientele are from the Charleston area, though some do travel from as far away as Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach.
GOLFTEC students typically see a drop of more than seven strokes in a year.
Photographs (3) courtesy of Golftec