When it comes to his job as manager of Jones Creek Golf Club, it pays for Jeff Howell to know the golf business from every angle.
But when it's time to tee it up at the Evans course, Howell says he's just an old, stubborn guy who isn't interested in learning any new tricks.
"I don't want to change my swing," he said. "Anything I do on the course is fine."
After meeting MATT, though, Howell changed his tune - he's gone from old school to new age.
"MATT tells you what you need to do with your swing and what kind of clubs you need," Howell said. "I was amazed."
Greenbrier golfer Will Rogers
practices on the driving range at Jones Creek in front of the new building that is being built at the facility.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Howell wasn't wowed by some golf guru. MATT stands for Motion Analysis Technology by Taylormade, an innovative teaching system that will be part of The Golf Academy at Jones Creek.
The semiprivate course was upgraded during a recent renovation project, and a new teaching center is another stage of the master-plan to improve facilities at Jones Creek.
The Golf Academy will be housed in a 2,700 square-foot building currently under construction on the far end of the Jones Creek driving range.
MATT entered the picture when Howell visited the Taylormade golf company's home office in Carlsbad, Cal.
Once Howell saw what MATT could do, he was sold on the system and decided it would be a great addition to the Columbia County course.
MATT is computer-based technology used to analyze an individual's golf swing. The player is fitted with a specialized suit, which breaks down swing components and transfers them onto a computer screen.
"There's an animated character, and basically you become MATT," Howell said.
MATT can show a player what body part they are moving incorrectly during the swing. Pinpointing the problem can be a solution to poor mechanics.
"What it's going to do is expose Augusta to the same instruction and process that the tour pros are receiving," said David Goolsby, who will be head instructor at The Golf Academy. "This system takes golf instruction to the highest level known to man at this moment."
In addition to helping correct swing flaws, MATT functions as a fitting system, and can monitor launch angles and spin rates, which is golf jargon for how a ball exits the club face when struck.
MATT simplifies the science of the swing, and allows a teacher to monitor a student's progress. The end result, according to Goolsby is,"this technology has helped players pick up 30 yards instantly."
Taylormade, which currently has the only MATT at its Carlsbad site, plans to have 10 to 12 worldwide. Jones Creek will be the first other place to have MATT, which is expected to be ready for work in mid-March - just in time for Masters week.
"We're really excited about it," Goolsby said. "This will be the only facility in the country where you can pay a fee and have your own tour-van experience. Local players will be able to take golf to another level."
Along with MATT, The Golf Academy will feature a club fitting and repair room; a conference room with video capabilities to enhance lesson sessions; and eight covered hitting bays beside the teaching center's main building.
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