Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quintic Consultancy Scientific Review of Trackman

The Quintic Consultancy group presented their research on the accuracy of Trackman’s launch monitor.

Who is the Quintic Consultancy group?

“Founded in 1997, Quintic Consultancy Limited specialises in Premier Sports Video Analysis Software, Sports Biomechanics & Performance Analysis Consultancy. It is through our extensive consultancy work and constant liaison in the fields of elite sport, physiotherapy, podiatry and education that our three levels of premier sports video & biomechanical analysis software has evolved. It is this unique contact that allows us to produce easy to use, market leading software systems that specialise in 2D Biomechanical Analysis.”

Here’s a table they came up with to show the differences in data output of Trackman vs. the measurements they took with the Hi-Speed Phantom Camera.

Here’s some screen shots differences (click the picture to enlarge it)

Here we have a 3.1% difference in clubhead speed from Trackman (108.7 mph) vs. Phantom (112.1 mph). But, the ball speed for the Trackman is more and that creates a large difference in smash factor of 1.48 (Trackman) vs. 1.40 (Phantom).

The dynamic lofts are different, (10.1 for Trackman vs. 12.7 for Phantom), thus creating a different spin loft (although the attack angles are the same).

Where the big difference is in the club path where Trackman has a +3.4* path (inside-to-out) and Phantom records a +1.0* path.

So, for Trackman we have: +1.2* face angle +3.4* path This would create your classic push draw and the spin axis of -41.8* indicates the ball hooked.

But Phantom camera has: +1.0 face angle +1.0 path This would create a very slight push-straight ball.

Unfortunately, I did not see where Quintic published the actual ball flight in their Abstract.

But, for now I assume the ball hooked but it was due to the ball missing the ‘sweetspot’ and hitting off the toe versus having the clubface closed with relation to the path. Here’s another video.

Again, another difference in clubhead speed and ball speed. This creates a very different smash factor of 1.46 (Trackman) and 1.39 (Phantom). The dynamic lofts are 5-degrees apart. And the attack angles are 2.4-degrees apart, which alters the comparative spin lofts by 2.6-degrees 

More interesting is we see a much different path to face angle.

TRACKMAN +9.6* (open) clubface +5.3* path This would create a block-slice because the face is being recorded as wide open and well open to the path.

PHANTOM +4.1* (open) clubface +4.6* path This would indicate a big push with a draw to it, probably not enough draw to get back to the target. But, Trackman has the spin axis -10.3*, meaning that the ball hooked (negative number means a hook, positive number means it faded). So, the Phantom Camera appears to be more accurate in this scenario.

Here’s what the Quintic conclusions were (click picture to enlarge):

My feeling is that it presents a problem for Trackman in that according to an independent source (Quintic), the readings are very faulty on mis-hits. We have to remember that the ‘sweetspot’ is only about the size of a needle point. It’s not an ‘area’ like most people assume (that’s where the higher concentration of the MOI of the clubhead is located). Even still, some of the problems could be helped by using impact spray or tape and with a knowledge of D-Plane. Also, we don’t know what FlightScope’s new X2 model shows for accuracy. Lastly, Quintic is not ‘anti-sensors or monitors’ as they gave a very favorable review to the SAM Puttlab.

Anyway, you can visit Quintic’s YouTube page at the link below:


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