How To Use a Launch Monitor To Improve Your Game

Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 in Clubfitting, Driver Fitting, Tips | 15 comments

If the clubfitter has years of experience in fitting many golfers and is knowledgeable in all of the fitting specifications that have a bearing on shot performance, the answer to this question is NO.  There is no question it is possible to gain so much experience in fitting that it is possible to watch the flight of the ball and know how to fit a golfer.

However, there are not all that many clubfitters who posses such qualifications, so it very definitely can enhance the accuracy of the outcome to be fit on a launch monitor. But ONLY if the launch monitor is accurate AND MORE IMPORTANT, if the operator/clubfitter knows how to translate what the launch monitor records into the proper fitting specifications for the golfer.

That last one is where so much of the problem lies in the golf industry. So many of the retail golf stores that have launch monitors have sales staff who come on to golfers like they know what they are doing, but in reality know very little about how to translate launch monitor data into accurate fitting recommendations. Launch monitors do all come with an operation manual, but they do not come with a “here’s how you use one to fit golfers guideline.”

Well one does. . . the number one launch monitor in the golf equipment industry is a unit called TrackMan. TrackMan was developed in the mid 2000s by a Danish engineer who decided he no longer wished to apply his Doppler radar knowledge to tracking cruise missiles and other terrible forms of ordnance. This engineer has also gone the extra mile to develop Driver Fitting optimization charts. Quite simply, these charts show what the optimum driver performance launch monitor parameters are for different swing speeds and different angle of attack into the ball.

If a golfer knows his clubhead speed and angle of attack, it is then easy to use these charts to find his/her most optimum launch monitor readings to ensure the very best possible driver performance.  To get a custom clubfitter that can properly use the results of a launch monitor to take your game to the next level, find a clubfitter near you.

Download the TrackMan Driver Optimization 2010 to get the low down on proper driver fitting.

15 Comments

  1. What would optimal numbers be
    On say 145 mph chs
    And 215 ballspeed
    Think I spin the ball to much
    But have a +11 attack angle

    Thanks in advance

    • Andrew

      Please forgive me but I question the accuracy of the angle of attack at +11*. Are you sure you do not mean your LAUNCH ANGLE? A of A is not an easy parameter to read for a launch monitor and even TrackMan and FlightScope don’t get it accurately with each swing. If you got these numbers from a launch monitor other than a TM or FS, I would seriously doubt the accuracy of that A of A output. If you had a true +11* A of A, your launch angle would likely be at least +7 or 8* or more higher than whatever loft you are using on the driver to hit the shot. And the flight would be toweringly high. In fact, in 40+ yrs of fitting analysis work, I have never seen a driver Angle of Attack higher than +6*. So before I can help you can you let me know in a follow up email to tww@wishgongolf.com whether the +11* is the launch angle and also let me know what was the loft of the driver you hit for the measurements?

      TOM

  2. Hello Tom,

    I have a similar problem / question as Mitch but for Irons and Hybrids fitting (I want a complete set of 775 and 771CSI). I am up to see a Clubfitter without a launch monitor and he said that he will fit me by observing the ball flight. I know my swing speed and can provide some data measured with a flight scope with my 5 Iron. Is that sufficient to get fitted correctly?
    I understand that the angle of attack will determine the loft and give an indication about for the shaft calibration for the driver. What about Irons and Hybrids?
    Thank you for your valuable explanations.

    Mike

    • MIKE

      Who is the clubfitter? Have you checked with other golfers who have worked with this fitter to find out if they were happy ith the fitting experience and fitting results? All the clubfitters are independent business people. None are tied to any company and all of them are on their own when it comes to their training and knowledge and experience. Yes, over the years I have provided the clubmaker community with more in depth technical information to guide their training, through my books and many articles I have written. But as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.” So there will be some clubmakers who are outstanding in the field while others may not be.

      But I can tell you that the fitting of the single length irons is about as easy, simple and uncomplicated as any segment of the clubs in the bag. In essence you are fitting for a short iron, for a 7 or 8 iron. Far fewer fitting variables exist with short irons than with longer clubs. It’s a matter of getting the right shaft weight, swingweight, lie angles, grip size with a small emphasis on shaft flex (because at this short of a length, the shaft hardly bends anyway so for 98% of all golfers, you could miss the shaft flex by one full flex and likely nothing bad would ever happen).

      TOM

  3. I’m going to have custom clubs designed for me by a Wishon club fitter in my area. I have recently sent him an e-mail asking which Launch Monitor he uses. Given the price of these apparatus/programs, I doubt very much that he has one. What will be his options if as you say very few fitters have the ability to accurately assess without a launch monitor. Are they encouraged to find someone who does and use theirs?

    Thanks,
    Mitch

    • MITCH:

      It is true that a launch monitor can be very helpful for fitting a driver to see the outputs for the launch angle, ball speed and for a small number of golfers, the spin. But it is also true that a very experienced clubfitter can fit a driver just as accurately from his experience in SEEING the ball flight shape. Granted that takes a lot more experience to do that.

      May I ask, who is the clubfitter you found in your area? let me know and I can let you know if he has a depth of experience such that fitting without a launch monitor may be done well.

      TOM

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