Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trackman Analysis 9.13.10

****JUST A NOTE: I will be cutting down my posts on WEEKENDS as it's football season and I'd like to have more of my weekend time to myself. Plus, the blog traffic on weekends is significantly lower. That doesn't mean I won't post on the weekends, but the amount of posts on weekends will be cut down. Thank you.****

Here’s some Trackman data for a female golfer with a driver. Let’s go over it:

Clubspeed: 92.4
Attack Angle: 3.6
Like most female golfers, they do not generate a lot of clubhead speed and to make up for this, they tend to hit up on the ball so they can hit the ball further. IIRC, the average LPGA golfer hits about +3* up on the driver. Whereas, the male PGA Tour average attack angle with a driver is about -1.3* downward.

In order to hit it dead straight at the target, this particular golfer needs to have a ‘horizontal swing plane’ of approximately +3.6* as well.


Well, what we know about attack angles is this:

Positive attack angle = the clubhead has reached the low point and will hit the ball *after* the low point

Negative Attack angle = the clubhead has yet to reach the low and will hit the ball *before* the low point.

Now, PRESUMING that we are setting up everything right directly at the target, we also know the following about attack angles (for right handed golfers):

Positive attack angle = since the clubhead has already reached the low point, it will go UP and LEFTWARD (staying on the circle and on the inclined plane) as it is about to make an impact with the golf ball.

Negative attack angle = since the clubhead has *not* reached the low point, it will go DOWN and RIGHTWARD after it makes impact. This also means that as it comes into impact, the clubhead is also goind down and out to the right as well. Eventually it will hit the low point, and then start going up and leftward.

So, let’s assume that this golfer is aiming at the target with everything…the clubface, body, etc. Since they hit up on the ball (+3.6*) with the driver, their low point can very well be directed right at the target as well. However, since the clubhead goes upward and left after the low point is reached, that means that this golfer’s path would be to the left (or ‘outside-to-in’).

What is one thing the golfer can do if they want to square up the path with this upward attack angle?

Find a way to direct their swing out to the right. Almost like the old ball flight laws would have you try and hit a hook, with the face pointing at the end target and the body pointing right of the end target.

HSP: -4.2
This golfer’s HSP was actually -4.2* (left). This is problematic because with this attack angle, had the HSP (low point) was at 0.0*, that would make for an ‘outside-to-in’ clubhead path. But at -4.2*, this path is very much ‘outside-to-in.’

Club Path: -7.0
As we see, a -7.0* path is extremely outside-to-in. In fact, anything over -3 or +3* is very much outside-to-in or inside-to-out.

According to Trackman, the most leftward path of a PGA Tour golfer is Colin Montgomerie at -6* and the most rightward path is Kenny Perry at +6*. So I wouldn’t advise anybody to get outside of those numbers and more than likely getting close to those numbers could cause a problem. And because of the different attack angles of golf clubs, that’s why Perry is a great driver of the ball who isn’t a great wedge player and why Monty was much more of a great iron player than a great driver of the ball.

VSP: 51.5
The numbers so far signify a golfer with an over the top move of sorts. However, the Vertical Swing plane, which is really a measurement of the golfer’s downswing plane, is sort of low. However, given she is a female and is shorter, that may have played a role in this VSP.

Face Angle: -2.3
She’s learned to play the slice spin she puts on the ball by having a closed face at impact. I think Monty would do the same thing, closed face at impact to start the ball off left of the target and then slice it back to the target.

The problem is that closing the face at impact will reduce the loft of the club a bit. She counters that though with an upward attack angle.

Vertical Launch Angle 13.0
Good vertical launch angle. Karten Mfg. (Ping) recommends a launch angle of 11 to 14*, but from looking at last year’s PGA Tour radar stats, I recommend a launch angle between 12 to 15*. She’s is good shape though.

Horizontal Angle: -3.0
This is the direction the ball went. Her ball went initially 3* left of the target, like we expected with that closed clubface. Had she mis-hit the ball, like on the heel of the clubface, she could have see the ball start out to the right of the target instead. But with it starting left like we expected it to, it’s obvious she hit the ball well here.

Spin Rate: 2279
This spin rate is a bit too low which could mean that the ball flies too low and she can lose power that way.

Spin Axis: 7.7
We also suspect she would’ve hit a big fade/slice. The spin axis is a positive number, meaning that the ball’s axis was spinning to the right which is a slice spin.

Landing Angle: 31.2
She could use a different driver right now because the landing angle should be in the 40-45* range. When it’s this low, that means she didn’t much trajectory on the driver which would be suspected with a closed clubface angle and a low spin rate.

Now, let’s take a look at the swing:

As suspected, the downswing plane is pretty steep although she does make a pretty good swing at it. I think a decent golf instructor can see that without Trackman, but the launch monitor does help in some areas.

1. It shows the golfer first hand how the laws of ball flight work. Some golfers need that extra bit of convincing that the ‘old ball flight laws’ are pure rubbish. Some golfers never get it

2. It shows what the ball is actually doing and suggests that with her current swing, she needs to make a few tweaks to her driver dimensions in order to optimize its performance.

3. In this case, if the golfer has access to Trackman…she can work on some things and check that from time to time against Trackman’s VSP, HSP and Path data. Most golfers will want to figure out where they want that data to be eventually and try to work their way to that point and monitor their progress.

Either way, Trackman is a great way to effectively make the most out of your practice time.



Ringer DaMan said...

What I see with that IRON swing does not match up to the numbers I see for her DRIVER trackman data. Any chance of a video of her swinging the driver?

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Riccardo!

This is a personal obseration more than anything else.

I realize that her face is closed to the target line and that's our reference point.

But even with the "new" laws it takes getting used to thinking in terms of her with a closed face. Swinging that far left, I'm pretty sure it "always" feel open to her path.

I guess my point is this: Do you guys think players "feel their face" with reference to their HSP more than anything else?

I mean if your face is on the wrong side of your path, that's double cross city.

Anyway, no worries on the weekend, Rich, we'll be watching football, too.

Rich H. said...

I think over time good players understand how to get their clubface where they need it to be so the ball curves back to the target.


Erik J. Barzeski said...

I'm as much in favor of using technology as possible, but if the ball starts left and fades or slices, you don't need Trackman to tell you that she swung outside to in with a closed clubface.