Friday, December 4, 2009

Trackman Q and A

I've received a few questions about the Trackman translations and I thought I'd add them here.

But again, let's post the sample Trackman data I had been using.
1. Clubhead speed = 87.3
2. Ball speed = 127.1
3. Attack angle = -3.4
4. Club Path = 5.7
5. Vert swing plane = 63.1
6. Horiz swing plane = 3.9
7. Dyn Loft = 11.3
8. Face angle = -3.6
9. Smash factor = 1.46
10. Vert. angle = 7.2
11. Horiz angle = -0.9
12. Spin rate = 6194
13. Spin axis = -17.9
14. Max Height = 15.5
15. Carry = 165.4
16. Side = 29.3L
17. Length = 178.5
18. Side yards = 34.1 L
1. How can I use these numbers to help my game?

With Trackman a golfer can get the true dynamics of their golf swing, their clubhead and clubface thru impact and make changes accordingly, often time simple changes, in order to greatly improve ballstriking.

In this case, the numbers that stand out are the very closed clubface angle (-3.4*) and the very inside-to-out swing path (HSP - 3.9*).

It can also be used to help better fit the golfer with proper equipment. When I got fitted with my Mizuno irons at the Golf Doctor, they noted that where Trackman equipment fitting really 'shows up' is with the driver. Here the golfer has a very normal spin rate with the 6-iron. The vertical launch angle and max height is low, but that's probably due to the closed clubface at impact. This is only one particular shot the golfer hit. If this was an average of 10 shots, the golfer might need a stiffer clubshaft that has a lower kick point.

2. What do the good players 'do' when it comes to Trackman

Speaking to some Trackman owners the good players are very consistent with the following:

Attack Angle
Vertical Swing Plane
Horizontal Swing Plane
'True' Path
Clubface Angle

For example, a good player may hit ten shots with a 7-iron with an attack angle in the range of -4.5 to -3.5*. The vertical swing plane may be in the 63 to 63.5* range and the horizontal swing plane may be at -1 to -2* range. That will create a consistent true path in the 0 to +1* range.

The golfer may also have a clubface angle in -1 to +1* range. Thus, combine that with the consistent true path the golfer will consistently hit the ball either straight or with a little draw.

The thing that seperates the all-time great ballstrikers is their level of clubface control. The other factors are somewhat easy for golfers to be very consistent with. But clubface control is something that varies quite a bit, even with very good golfers or even PGA Tour golfers.

But the all time great ballstrikers...Hogan, Moe, Knudson, Trevino, O'Grady, etc...were likely fantastic with controlling the clubface and it not varying much unless they wanted it to do as such.

3. How would you clubfit somebody for irons with this data?

Fitting the driver with Trackman should be pretty easy as this video shows.

To reduce spin rate, clubfitters primarily will find a lower lofted clubhead, a higher kick point clubshaft, a stiffer clubshaft, and a heavier clubshaft.

The same applies with irons as well. However with irons clubhead speed tends to play a bigger factor. The general rule I live by is that the more of a 'snap release' (aka a 'smaller pulley') the heavier, stiffer and higher kickpoint of a shaft the golfer should look to use. This is because it takes the golfer lesser handspeed to generate more clubhead speed. Two prototypical 'snap releases' are Hogan and Sergio Garcia, both of who have used heavy, stiff golf shafts.

OTOH, a more 'full sweep release' which creates a larger 'pulley' the golfer should look at more flexible and lighter shafts. Tom Watson is an example of using a full sweep release. Now, clubhead speed does play a factor.

But if say Hogan and Watson had the same clubhead speed, Watson should likely use a much lighter and more flexible shaft to allow him to generate that clubhead speed consistently.

Of course, many of today's irons manufacturers will make the irons fit to your desired swingweight regardless of the shaft you use.

I see many golfers use a popular brand of graphite shaft in their driver that weighs about 90 grams and struggle to hit the ball with distance because they don't generate enough clubhead speed and they don't have a snap release to generate power more easily.

Of course, I've been very impressed with the fitting that Mizuno's Shaft Optimizer gave me as I put the recommended KBS Tour Shaft in my 6-iron to experiment with.


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