TrackMan & FlightScope: What Do All of These Numbers Mean?
When it comes to TrackMan and FlightScope technology, the possibilities are almost endless in terms of what you can learn about the golf swing. This is why we are seeing PGA Tour rookies winning out on tour and competing right away out of college, without skipping a beat. This technology is educating young players faster than ever before. Players now have a better understanding of the golf swing and the numbers that they produce with this technology. Instead of analyzing a golf swing on video, coaches and players will now ask "what are your numbers?". This is also why you'll see guys like Justin Thomas hit it a long way. Even with a smaller frame and less body weight, a player can optimize their spin, dynamic loft, attack angle and more to increase their distance. Swing coaches can analyze the numbers and then propose a drill or swing thought that will help the player to improve those numbers, whether it be to decrease spin or correct their swing path. But let's take a step back and analyze the data that this technology produces and get a better understanding of what it all means. If you haven't yet used this technology, this is the best place to start.
Club Path: the direction the club head is moving (right or left) at impact. A positive value means the club is moving to the right of the target at impact (“in-to-out” for a right-handed golfer) and a negative value means it is moving to the left of the target (“out-to-in” for a right-handed golfer).
Attack Angle: the direction the club head is moving (up or down) at impact. Shots hit off the ground should have a negative attack angle in order to create “ball first” contact, while a positive number is ideal for a driver.
Face Angle: the direction the club face is pointed (right or left) at impact. A positive value means the club face is pointed to the right of the target at impact (“open” for a right-handed golfer) and a negative value means the club face is pointed to the left of the target (“closed” for a right-handed golfer).
Launch Angle: the angle the ball takes off at relative to the ground. Launch angle is highly correlated to dynamic loft. Launch angle will always be a little less than dynamic loft, but will have a similar value.
Dynamic Loft: the amount of loft on the club face at impact. Too much dynamic loft can send the ball too high into the air and reduce the golfer’s distance.Too little dynamic loft can send the ball too low making the ball roll out excessively causing it difficult to judge distance.
Club Speed: the speed the club head is traveling immediately prior to impact. More club speed equals more potential distance. Adding 1 mph of club speed can increase your distance by up to 3 yards with the driver.
Ball Speed: the speed of the golf ball immediately after impact. Ball speed is created by club speed and impact.Bad impact such as shots hit on the toe or heel will reduce the potential ball speed.
Spin Rate: the amount of spin on the golf ball immediately after impact. Spin rate has a major influence on the height and distance of a shot. Spin rate is one of the least appreciated numbers, especially in windy conditions.
Carry Distance: the distance the ball travels through the air.
Smash Factor: the ball speed divided by club speed. The higher the smash factor the better the energy transfer.