There are thousands of ways to capture your golf game with a GoPro. Whether you are trying to show off to your friends on social media or just want to keep the memories of a great day on the course forever, these 7 ideas will show you how to capture incredibly unique footage of your golf game.
1. The Bunker shot
The bunker shot can create some of the most epic footage that you can capture with your GoPro. Nothing looks cooler than a slow motion shot of a trail of sand appearing over the lip of the bunker while the ball is flung towards the hole. To capture these shots place your camera either in front of the golfer or between the ball and the hole. Ideally your camera should be placed on a small tripod. However, you could also just place the camera on the grass. If you do place your camera between the ball and the hole, I recommend that you put it in its housing beforehand. This gives it some protection if the ball goes astray.
In order to best capture the dramatic effect of the ball and sand scattering from the bunker, you need to use a high frames per second rate of 60 to 240fps. This will allow you to slow it down later.
2. Over head shots
Over head shots provide a very unique angle for capturing golf swings. Simply mount your GoPro to a pole and position it over the golfer’s head. Ensure you are standing facing the front of the golfer and not behind the golfer. This will ensure that your camera does not get struck by the golfers back swing. These shots work very well with a wider field of view setting so try using Wide or SuperView.
3. Body mounted
If you want to capture your golf game from your perspective using a head mount is your best option.
Having your camera on your head is less likely to interfere with your swing compared to using a chest or wrist mount. The biomechanics of a good golf swing work very well with the head mount. Since your head stays still and focused on the ball during the swing, you end up with a nice steady shot of the club hitting the ball. Then if your follow through is done correctly you should also get a nice shot of your ball heading towards the hole when you lift your head.
Head shots are best performed with a medium field of view setting. Using a high fps rate is also a good idea as it will allow you to slow the footage down later.
4. Club mounted
These shots can be a bit of fun, however before attempting this I have a few words of caution. First, golf clubs are elegant well balanced instruments. Therefore adding even the modest weight of a GoPro can cause damage to your clubs. This can be particularly harmful if you are using carbon fibre shafts or have a fast swing.
Also keep in mind that carbon fibre shafts are designed to withstand stretching and bending but not crushing. As the methods I will be discussing here involve clamping a mount to the shaft be very careful not to over tighten.
My last word of caution is that this is a nice novelty shot, but will completely change the balance of your club. So do not expect to hit your normal prefect drive.
There are two main mounts you can use to connect your camera to your Golf Club: the Handlebar Mount and the Sportsman Mount (also known as the Rifle Mount).
If you are using the Handlebar Mount place it over the bottom of your Golf Club’s grip. Then adjust the mount so that the thumb screw brackets are parallel with the face of the club and tighten the two hold down screws. When you attach your camera to this mount you can either point it towards the club face or the top of the grip. The club’s face will typically make for a more interesting shot.
The Sportsman/Rifle Mount allows for connection to smaller diameter tubes. This means it can be connected anywhere along the shaft of the club.
To use this for golf, clamp the Sportsman Mount to the club’s shaft. Align the mount so that it is pointed towards the head of the club. Once the mount is in position tighten the mounting screw and turn the lever towards the mount. This mount allows the GoPro to be positioned towards the club or back towards the handle. Both ways can make for interesting shots.
5. In hole View
This shot is an Instagram favourite and is dead simple. Simply set you camera to video or time-lapse mode and place it in the hole. This shot looks really cool with someone standing over the hole or with the ball dropping in. If you do decide to do this shot with the ball dropping into the hole, it is a good idea to place your camera into its housing to reduce the risk of damage.
6. Capturing Trick Shots
If you type “Golf” and “GoPro” in to YouTube there is high chance you will come across a significant number of golfers performing trick shots. These videos include people juggling golf balls with a sand wedge or smashing out the prefect drop shot with a driver. Here is one great example by the Bryan Bros
Now, I am going to break some very, very distressing news to you – you might want to sit down.
The people who upload trick shot videos on to YouTube normally have to attempt the trick dozens or even hundreds of times to get it right. Yes really, I am surprised as you are.
So if you are wanting to capture your self performing some sort of trick shot the best approach is to use the loop function on your GoPro. The looping function allows you to record continuously but only save the sections of footage you want to. This works great for recording trick shots, all you have to do is:
- Select looping mode (5min loop should be fine).
- Then point you camera towards where you will be performing your trick shot. I suggest using a tripod to do this.
- Attempt your trick shot over and over….and then over and over again until you nail it
- Once you nail the shot hit the record button on your camera.
And then, your GoPro will save the last 5 minutes of footage, without keeping the evidence of your many underwhelming attempts. Just don’t forget to hit RECORD!
7. Capturing the course
Some of the best footage you get while playing golf may not involve any golf at all. Whether it is the sun setting over the water hazard or the mist rolling over the fairway in the morning, the golf course itself can make for some stunning footage.
To capture these landscape shots, use the highest quality possible while still maintaining 30fps.
Another way of capturing the beauty of the course is to use the time-lapse function. This can be used for capturing the course first thing in the morning as the colours of in the sky change and while the first few golfer’s slowly make their way around the course.
For more information on using the time-lapse feature, see my How to Create Awesome Time-Lapse Videos with your GoPro
So there you have it – seven ideas for capturing awesome footage on the Golf course. If you have any questions or any of your own tips for capturing great golf footage please tell us in the comment section below.