IF YOU’VE WATCHED a golf tournament on television in the last five years, you’ve seen the results of TrackMan technology in action — it’s that set of numbers showing distance and swing speed that pop up almost instantaneously after Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy hits a shot.
But TrackMan offers far more than just that basic information. It quantifies 26 different aspects of the golf swing — including smash factor, spin rate, launch angle, ball speed, dynamic loft, attack angle, club path and face angle — via a highly focused dual Doppler radar, all while recording the swing in HD video, basically mapping the DNA of the swing.
In the days before TrackMan or other flight- and club-based data devices, lessons consisted of taking a swing while being filmed, and then the teaching pro made his best professional assumption why some shots were good and some bad based on what he saw. Then the student tried to implement suggested changes. With TrackMan, it’s not so much how the golfer looks during the swing but rather what the club and ball are doing.
Tim Mitchell, a certified PGA golf instructor at Pelican Hill Golf Club® with more than 20 years of teaching experience, likes using the system with his clients because it more accurately identifies “the right component” to analyze, and he can then introduce to his students the appropriate actions to change what’s taking place at impact. “Oftentimes feel isn’t real,” he notes. “From hip height to hip height, it just really breaks down the delivery of the golf club and lets you know if the clubface is too closed, or if your swing path is too much to the left or right.”
TrackMan’s other strength lies in its use as a strategic course management tool. If you’ve always laid up as close as possible to the green on a par 5 or on recovery shots on a par 4 thinking that would give you the best chance to get up and down for either a birdie or par, TrackMan will take out the uncertainty and help you pinpoint the exact distance you’re best and most confident from, be it 40, 60 or 75 yards. Let’s say you’re 250 yards from a green surrounded by bunkers. Hitting a 7 or 6 iron to a distance you’re best at makes much more statistical sense than trying to blast another club as close as possible and risk bringing the bunkers into play or leaving you at an uncomfortable distance.
“TrackMan has made me 100 times more confident,” says Kaley In, a former UC Irvine scholarship golfer who’s now chasing the dream at the next level. “I’ve been working on flighting my wedges to 75 yards with three different clubs, and TrackMan tells me how much spin each shot has and how high it’s going. I know, without a doubt, that this swing with this club is going to get there with the ball flight I need.”
So if you’re taking lessons without TrackMan, you’re handicapping yourself in a game that is already hard enough to learn. Golf has embraced data. It’s time to get with it or get left behind.
For more information on TrackMan instruction, please contact the Golf Club at 949.624.6035.