Al Geiberger’s Sybervision Videos
When my game gets completely off track (as it does frequently), I often turn to an instructional DVD called Sybervision (on Amazon) , featuring PGA TOUR legend Al Geiberger.
In 1977, Al Geiberger became the first player to record a 59 in a PGA TOUR tournament, earning the monicker “Mr. 59.”
Geiberger’s swing was a thing of beauty: smooth, flowing and free. Anyone would do well to imitate it — which is where the Sybervision DVD comes into play.
Sybervision is unique. Rather than having Geiberger give instructions and demonstrations — the usual fodder of golf videos — Sybervision simply shows repeated images of Geiberger swinging a club.
It is hypnotic. Geiberger’s fluid swing is set to electronic music and shown from multiple angles. He demonstrates swings with the driver, fairway wood, long iron and short iron, as well as pitches, chips and putts. Each is flawlessly executed in a classic golf style.
It’s a classic bit of observational learning, which is the principle that one of the ways we learn is by watching others and then replicating behaviors (among other subjects, I teach high school psychology).
A classic example here is that Phil Mickelson — a natural right hander — plays left-handed because he learned by watching his father. The catch is that he watched head-on, which led to a mirror image swing of his father’s right-handed motion.
The Sybervision videos were developed by Steven DeVore and his brother Gregory DeVore, MD.
Stephen had suffered a childhood case of polio and part of his physical therapy was watching other people walk. He later studied educational psychology and realized that you could perform better by watching pros at the peak of their skills. The idea turned out to be psychologically and neurologically sound.
The DeVores ultimately produced two Sybervision learning series: one with Geiberger and another with tennis pro Stan Smith. Follow-up studies showed that the videos did indeed produce improvement.
For my part, I end up watching Geiberger’s Sybervision swing a couple of times a season. It works for me. I have actually converted the DVDs to .mp4 files so I can watch them on my phone or tablet as needed (no, you can’t have a copy. Buy them like I did).