Another example of how technology has significantly effected golf and the performance of both professional and amateur golfers. Years ago, when TrackMan first hit the scene we thought of it as some wizardry that only pros had access to. We saw club head speed on broadcasts and that was neat. How were we, the everyday golfers going to take advantage of that?
Now, club fitters, major retailers, teaching pros, country clubs and even some individuals willing to spend a bunch of loot have TrackMan devices that we, the average joe, can access.
Again, that’s great that we can see the data, but the most common hurdle that remains is understanding the data and using that knowledge to improve your game. TrackMan golf numbers at their core are fairly easy to understand, but not everyone has the access to the resources and more importantly certainly do not know what the “good” data is.
- Club Head Speed (mph) – Simple, it’s the speed the club is traveling at impact. The simplest measurement of how far the ball will travel. Each 1 mph of club head speed equates to about 2 additional yards of carry.
- Attack Angle (deg) – The angle of the club, relative to the ground, at impact. A negative angle means your are hitting down on the golf ball, ideal for iron play. Positive means you are hitting up, ideal for the driver.
- Ball Speed (mph) – The speed the ball is traveling when it leaves the club face. However, it is only one factor to determine how far the ball will travel, stay tuned…
- Smash Factor – This is a ratio derived from ball speed divided by club head speed. Essentially, how efficient is your overall strike of the golf ball.
- Launch Angle (deg) – This is the angle, in relation to the ground, that the ball launches at impact. If it’s too high the ball could balloon, too low you won’t carry it the max distance you can. Take note that this is about the ball and Attack Angle is about the club.
- Spin Rate (rpm) – This is the amount of spin the ball has after impact. This is a big one, you really need to understand what the right numbers are here. You’ll see that below. It increases with more loft and that is expected. Spin rate could be the number one factor other than club head speed that impacts distance.
- Max Height (yds) – Often also referred to as Apex. It measures just that, the maximum distance in height from the ground the ball reaches during flight. An interesting note on this one, it is typically very close to the same height throughout the entire bag.
- Land Angle (deg) – The refers to the angle, relative to the ground, that the ball first strikes the ground when landing. Driver’s should land around 40 degrees. For each degree flatter you can add about two yards of roll. Just beware, that means the ball isn’t in the air as long.
- Carry – Measure how far the ball travels in the air.
Now that we have an understanding of what the data points mean, let’s take a look at what optimal data looks like.
Notice both PGA and LPGA. The LPGA trackman golf numbers are far more relatable to our average joe and should typically be used as more of a barometer. Share your results, ask questions or comment below. As always, thanks for being in attendance!
The Doctor Is Out…