Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rory McIrloy's Trackman Numbers

Here's a video from golf instructor, Gary Nicol, showing Rory McIlroy's recent Trackman numbers:

One of the big things that I discovered a while ago and that has changed my viewpoint on practice and my practice methodology is how Trackman numbers on the range are often vastly different than on the golf course.  Not only does the Tour have some Trackman numbers on the actual golf course, I have had Tour clients bring their own Trackman out on the course and we saw some surprising results.  In fact, a classic example is Bubba Watson who was measured by Ping at 120 mph club speed and hitting +5 degrees upward while his PGA Tour measurements were far different and indicated an attack angle closer to 0 degrees.

Here we see some differences with Rory in practice than on the golf course in competition. 

Here are some of Rory's numbers in practice on Trackman:

Club Speed: 118.6 mph. 

This year Rory is at 119.7 mph in tournament play.  He was at 121.6 last year and 121.3 in 2013.  From my conversations with some of my Tour clients that have brought the Trackman out on the course their club head speed tends to lower out on the course.  However, there are people that see an increase in club speed out on the course, especially in competition.  I would say that 65% of the players I've talked to about this see their club speed lower, 25% see it stay the same and 10% see their club speed get faster out on the course.

Ball Speed: 179.2 mph

Currently, his ball speed is at 176.9.  It was 179.7 in 2014 and 179.9 in 2013.  We should remember that hitting up more, all things being equal, will increase the smash factor.  And there's a tendency to see club speed drop when you're hitting up on the ball more as the release point of the wrists tend to change.  In the end, I'm skeptical of Rory hitting even +1.9 degrees up in competition.  He probably hits more closely to 0 degrees.

Spin Rate: 2,297 rpm's

He's at 2,563 this year, in 2014 he was 2,383 and he was at 2,697 in 2013.

Again, this indicates that in real course situations, he probably is not hitting up as much as +1.9 degrees.  What we have seen from statistics is that the best drivers in the world, like Rory, tend to generate roughly 2,450 to 2,750 rpm's of spin.  Part of is a hang time issue and other parts of it is that if you get too low on your spin rate, it's going to be difficult to keep some drives in the firm fairways that are throughout the PGA Tour.

We did see his spin rate go down more closely to the practice in 2014.  Rory's typical problem is that he hits some over-draws and of course if you're hitting less upward on the ball that will shift the path more outward (all things being equal).  His curvature in 2014 looked to be a lot less when I watched him than it was in 2013 when his spin rate was higher.  However, that spin rate may have all been due to an equipment change.

Either way, McIroy is an elite driver of the ball.  But it goes to show you that even the elite have things change on them when they are facing live ammo.


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