Swing Soundly – Tips to Improve the Mechanics of your Golf Swing

This educational video explores simple tips and tricks to fine tune your golf swing to help you become a more fundamentally sound golfer.

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While researching this story, I bounced back and forth between a few video ideas. Ultimately, I found it best to do a how to story because I thought it would highlight movement and instruction as well as maintain an orderly, structured story. The inspiration behind choosing golf came from my passion for the game, but also from the very nature of swinging a golf club – an action that requires calculated movement, movement that would capture and audiences attention. Although the audience may be niche, the journalistic value of this story comes from its educational and instructive nature.

I chose my subject, Cole Nichols, because of his long history playing the game of golf. Nichols was a former all-state golfer for Grand Ledge High School and local club champion at his hometown course, Grand Ledge Country Club. The location was naturally set at a driving range and putting green, and these were chosen so that I could get a variety of shots with different clubs and ranges showcasing his swing. The video was shot all in one day on Nov. 20, 2020. To capture the video, I recorded on my iPhone and then edited the video using Movavi software.

The logic behind the sequencing of my story was “big to small”. In golf, generally speaking, players with start their round and each hole with the biggest club in their bag, the driver. And as they progress through the hole after each shot, the player will club down to their irons, wedges and eventually, their putter. I wanted to imitate this sequence by following that same order. Additionally, I instantly knew that the last shot of my video was going to be the ball dropping into the cup after a made putt, so working backwards from that, the driver had to be the opening shot.

During this project, I learned how to edit video, as this was my first time creating a video story. Throughout the editing process, I became much more comfortable cropping the video as well as creating transitions to avoid jump cuts and clunky pauses. Perhaps the biggest challenge with this was running the software. For whatever reason, iMovie was not functioning properly, and moving the video to Movavi was a process in itself. Outside of technical challenges, I found my greatest obstacle to be filming from different, creative and engaging angles. In my head, the shoot was so much easier. But until I got to that driving range, I did not realize how difficult it would be to capture my subject and the entirety of his swing in frame and in focus. However, I was successful in my ability to maintain a clear narrative, and execute my self-proclaimed “money-shot” of the putt going into the cup.

What I really wish I had done differently is shooting the video horizontally. Despite instructions, I strayed away from the horizontal shoot because I struggled to capture my subject and his swing up close. Unfortunately, there was no editing software that could crop the vertical to fully fit the screen, so I was left with two black columns taking up 2/3 of the screen, which was obviously no bueno.

Overall, I am happy with my efforts in creating the story. I believe I choose a subject that is completely visual and best told by ways of a video story. As far as the execution, I wish I had done better, especially in the actual shooting of the video, as doing so vertically negatively impacted the quality of the final product.

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