Secrets of the Trackman launch monitorMay, 2012
James Whitaker on what the market-leading launch monitor can tell you about your drives...
1. BALL SPEED
Measured as it leaves the face at impact. Most people are between 135 and 150mph with a driver.
2. VERTICAL LAUNCH
This figure tells us the launch angle at impact. It is a by-product of angle of attack, clubface loft and clubhead design. Ideally it should be between 12 and 14˚.
3. LAUNCH SPIN
Not many people know this but as soon as you hit the ball it begins to spin backwards. It’s measured in revolutions per minute. You never want to see too high number here, but it is relative to club speed. More spin helps keep the ball in the air to maximise carry for slow swingers.
4. SMASH FACTOR
A basic measure of strike quality obtained by dividing ball speed by clubhead speed. The optimum is 1.50, but once the figures reach over 1.40, you are making solid contact.
How far away the ball lands from you, in yards
The total distance is the carry plus how far the ball rolls on landing. I always try to make sure that the ball doesn’t roll more that 20 yards as, after this point, the player has often lost control.
7. LAND ANGLE
This tells us the angle at which the ball approaches the ground, the optimum being around 30˚.
8. ANGLE OF ATTACK
This is critical as it directly affects spin. It is recommended that this number is a positive, because if you’re hitting down on the ball it’s likely to result in too much spin. This number has a big effect on other statistics used with Trackman, so I use it regularly to inform me during custom fittings.
• Book a TrackMan fitting with James at Moor Allerton golf club in Leeds by caliing 01132 661 154.