What is Toptracer?November 20, 2018 Golf Equipment
We've all seen it on the TV but did you know it's not just available for the pros? Equipment editor James Savage gives his verdict after visiting a Toptracer driving range
What is Toptracer? We’re probably more familiar with it being called Protracer but the technology has been re-branded after being purchased by the Topgolf Entertainment Group.
It’s the technology which shows us the real-time ball flight after a golf ball has been hit.
We’ve become accustomed to it when watching golf on television whether it be the European or PGA Tour.
When we see a golfer teeing off and the camera is straight down the line, we feel a bit cheated if we don’t have the Toptracer technology to accompany it.
It’s something which has really enhanced the experience of watching golf on TV.
But it’s not just for the pros.
There are now dozens of Toptracer driving ranges allowing golfers of all abilities to have more fun when practising golf.
How does Toptracer technology work?
Sweden-based Protracer’s proprietary software is the only technology on the market which actively tracks all ball flight paths across an entire field of vision.
It’s similar to Trackman or Flightscope in the way it tracks the ball through it’s flight.
We don’t get club data like swing speed, attack angle or club path but we get very accurate real-time ball data.
So when we watch golf on TV, the Toptracer software picks up the trajectory and shot-shape of the ball and makes it visible to viewers.
At Toptracer driving ranges there are cameras above the hitting bays which pick up the flight and transfer the information to a TV screen in that bay.
The ball flight can be affected by weather conditions on the day but the use of range balls is compensated for to give numbers for a premium golf ball.
What else can you do at a Toptracer driving range?
We recently visited the Toptracer range at Leicester Golf Centre to film some equipment review videos.
There’s a whole range of games and features which can be synced up with your profile from a free mobile app.
After downloading the app, you simply scan a QR code on the TV screen in the driving range bay and you’re off and running.
You can then store your data and stats within the app to monitor performance and improvements.
There’s a standard ‘launch monitor’ mode where golfers can see their measure their ball speed, distance and dispersion.
A ‘what’s in the bag’ mode allows golfers to gather and store data about how far they hit each club.
The ‘closest to the pin’ game allows players to compete against each other at the range but also on local and worldwide leaderboards.
Visitors can also use the ‘virtual golf’ mode to play some of the world’s best courses.
There’s also a ‘longest drive’ game and a ‘points mode’ which allows golfers to compete in a Topgolf-style game where points are awarded for hitting certain targets.
That’s the lowdown on Toptracer – but what do we think? Find out on the next page…