The launch monitor lesson experience

Hi guys

I’ve been fortunate enough now to have taught/consulted to 400+ golfers on TrackMan since 2013. I’m proud to say that these golfers include beginners, juniors, junior champions, amateur champions, club champions, national champions as well as professional athlete. Just like how a good doctor diagnoses his/her patients, the purchase of the launch monitor and it’s education program ( I’m TrackMan certified level 2)has helped me diagnose golf shots accurately, may it be wedge right up to the driver.

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Picture: 2 TrackMan onsite at the facility I teach at ( MST Academy, Seletar Country Club)

It is however interesting to note that many golfers I meet at the practice tee at Seletar or at the corporate days I’ve attended do not know what is TrackMan, let alone a launch monitor is. I guess there are 2 main reasons. They include:

  1. According to www.mytrackman.com, there are only about 8-10 TrackMan on the island of Singapore. Which means that only 8-10 golf professionals teach with a TrackMan ( note: there are maybe 5-10 Flightscope users at this stage. Flightscope is also a competent launch monitor with a more attractive price point that TrackMan)
  2. Even in this day and age, not all ‘clubfitters’ know what a launch monitor is, let alone use it. Interesting how some can ‘fit’ you without any statistical measurement of improvement

In any case, I’d like to share with you how I use TrackMan during my lessons and how my student’s have benefited from ‘the numbers’

Step 1  Ask

The most important thing before getting right into the lesson is to know the client has well as I can. Always,during the warm up stage of my lesson, I make it a point to note down on a client excel sheet that I’ve created:

  1. Has the client has/had any existing/previous injury? This will compromise how the golfer  is able to move.
  2. The golfing history of my client. Who has he/she had lessons with before.How long has he/she played. What level has he/she played at or is playing at now. What has been the trend of ball flight.
  3. The equipment of my client. Has he/she been fitted before. Are the clubs suitable. If not, how does it compromise movement.
  4. The most important one of them all, what does the client expect from the lessons? Better looking swing? lower scores? Longer shots? straighter drives? I’ll always remember a story David Milne ( Co-Founder of the highly successful golf academy Pro Tour Golf College) shared with the class at one of his seminars. He had not met the expectations of one of his clients that day. Even though he helped  him improve his swing,he found out later that the student had just wanted to learn how to get out of the bunker,not improve his driver swing.

Step 2 Measure

Once my client is warmed up and go to go, I’ll get him to hit a few shots on TrackMan. This is where I start to capture say a group of 5-7 shots with 7 iron, a longer iron/hybrid and then some drivers.

Below is an example of a group of 5 shots from a recent lesson, just looking at

1. club path (negative would suggest and out to in path, vice versa for a positive number)

2.smash factor ( smash factor is : ball speed/ clubhead speed. Example. 150MPH /100 MPH = 1.5 SMASH)

3. Dispersion of shots on the right.

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From the above sample, I could determine that my client’s smash factor is low ( ideal smash factor for a 7iron would range between 1.33-1.37  depending of ball, loft of iron etc) and his club path is too out to in (for most small fades we are looking at -2 to -4 path, depending on clubface angle)

After explaining what these numbers meant, I then proceed to show him the videos of his swing that produces these numbers.

Step 3 Analyse

screenshot-2016-09-10-09-41-52Here I have drawn two lines. The aqua line is the golfer’s initial shaft plane. The Blue line is his backswing shaft plane.
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Here you can see that the shaft is along the blue line, indicating that the backswing shaft plane is much flatter than the shaft plane at address.

screenshot-2016-09-10-09-42-15Here you can see that I’ve drawn a purple line to show how his downswing plane is now much steeper than the initial shaft plane and even steeper than the backswing plane, resulting in his out to in path.

Step 4: Practice Movement then Compare

After helping my client understand his swing and TrackMan data, we proceed onto practice drills to encourage ‘correct motion’. In this instance, we focused mainly on the backswing and downswing shaft plane, understanding the correct movement required to perform a motion that would encourage better results. After a decent amount of practice drills, we get back on TrackMan to record, capture and compare. Here’s the side by side comparison:

Check out the different take away position on the left. Clubhead in line with the hands.

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The shaft plane now is closer to parallel with the address shaft plane instead of the shallow shaft plane from before.

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Now the downswing shaft plane matches the address shaft plane compared to the steeper downswing plane from before.

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Check out the post impact position on the left as compared to the right. Clubhead and shaft is on the right of the blue line compare to the right swing. screenshot-2016-09-10-09-46-11

Not only does his swing look ‘better’, he can see that his club path improved dramatically from -10.2 degrees to -0.1

( check out the club path numbers, first number from the right)

Therefore not only was my client able to see the difference in his swing, he’s able to instantaneously see how changing movement patterns changed his numbers. This for me is most powerful aspect of launch monitor as clients would then be able to piece the motion they made to the results they created.

I hope this blog post has given you more insight on how my lessons work!

Cheers

Justin.

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