“I’ll be in class and I’ll find myself just going through Clippd,” admits Rodrigo Barahona, a teenage prospect who grew up in Mexico but is now based in the United States at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. A world-renowned sports, performance and educational institution established in 1978, IMG Academy is a haven for talented young athletes who are looking to develop and become the best possible version of themselves.
It was only five years ago that Rodrigo’s golf started to show serious potential and that’s when, without previously visiting the institution, he decided IMG Academy was the best fit for him. He started playing golf almost by accident. His father bought a house on a golf course and decided to take up the game, encouraging his son, who was six at the time, to join him.
“I didn’t really like golf at the time, it was just something I’d tag along with” Rodrigo admits. However, around the age of 12 or 13 he started getting really good and is now happy to state that golf has become “a passion”.
Rodrigo has been using Clippd since the start of the year and is now dedicated to inputting all his on- and off-course stats as well as the full range of his golf-related activities. “It’s been a total game changer” he says of the platform.
His Activity Feed reflects how much he's using Clippd. It includes everything from yoga, which forms part of his daily routine at the academy, to wedge ladder practice drills and notes from meetings with his coach. By using Clippd as his personal golfing journal, he can view his golf life in one place and reflect upon the outcomes from all the things he’s doing to improve. The light bulb moment came, he reveals, when we introduced the ability to add off-course activities: "I thought, I'm going to upload my entire golfing day to Clippd."
Rodrigo pays close attention to his trends and the opportunities to improve highlighted by Clippd. “Two months ago my Player Quality for putting was around 116 but it’s dropped to around 99.” Through Clippd, he was able to identify that he’d been spending more time on the range than the putting green and he has now adjusted his practice accordingly. Part of that practice adjustment was to include some of the putting drills in Clippd's Micro Capture App. “It’s not only fun to do the drills and tests, it also measures how successful that practice was.”
Clippd’s insights now dictate what Rodrigo practices. After looking at his student's What To Work On dashboard in Clippd, Robbie Sherwin, his coach at IMG, noticed his und The Green) play needed work. “It saves time for both of us,” Rodrigo says.
That point is particularly pertinent when you consider Rodrigo’s daily schedule, which includes a gym workout, yoga and three hours of golf before midday with the rest of his day devoted to his studies. “As student athletes, we don’t have all the time in the world and it’s helping me to make my practice time very efficient,” he confirms.
Clippd isn't the first performance platform that Rodrigo has used and his initial reaction to trying it our was not altogether positive, chiefly because other platforms he’s used had "not provided much, if any feedback". By contrast, he says he loves how Clippd presents the feedback in a visual way that's easy to grasp.
It's not only the different components of his game that Rodrigo is improving by using Clippd, his mental game is also getting stronger. “My focus and motivation have increased so much, which is all feeding into my scoring,” he explains. A lot of that, he adds, is down to being able to trust what Clippd is telling him.
Fresh from his win in the Tour Championship on the IMG Junior Golf Tour, Rodrigo is feeling positive about life and his golf. This is a remarkable turnaround from where he found himself six months ago, when a hand injury had forced him to stop playing golf during the all-important college recruitment season.
It is a mark of his temperament and resilience that Rodrigo chose to use this time to work on his mental game. He now sees the lay-off as a blessing rather than a curse: "It's made me so much more grateful to be playing."
After finishing at IMG Academy Rodrigo will be heading to George Washington University where he will be a starter on the golf team. "I'd like to be playing every tournament on the schedule but I was raised with balance in life being very important," he explains. This is just as well given he’ll likely be majoring in Business and Finance.
In the meantime, he'll be using Clippd to ensure his game is in the best possible shape to begin the next chapter in his golf career. "I want to be a beast when I get to college." he says. "Clippd just fits so well with my game." And after college? "The PGA Tour," he replies, without hesitation. Don't bet against him.