What to Take from Your Next TrackMan Session

For new TrackMan users, all the numbers can be daunting. With 30+ parameters being measured on each shot, there’s a lot of information to digest. This week we’re going to look at a few things you should focus on if you’re practicing on the TrackMan Sim.

  1. Path and Face-to-Path

This is the first thing you should look at. You want to avoid extremes here, meaning 6 degrees or more in either direction is going to cause issues. Assuming center contact, a shot struck with a 0.0 Path and a 0.0 Face-to-Path will go dead straight. A few degrees isn’t a big issue, and can actually be preferable depending on your desired shot shape. What you don’t want is a huge gap between Path and Face-to-Path, for example a -7 Path and a +7 Face-to-Path (14 degree difference, will cause a slice for a righty). The bigger the gap between the two, the more the ball will curve.

  1. Attack Angle

We’re often told to HIT DOWN on the ball, which in a sense is true. Any shot hit off the ground should have a negative Attack Angle (drivers off a tee should generally be positive to gain distance). The problem comes when we hit TOO FAR down, which causes the ball to deflect off the face rather than compressing. We have Tour averages for every club posted in the Sim Room, and you’ll notice that their Attack Angles with irons are not very far down (-3.4 for a 7-iron, for example).  Chances are you’re actually swinging down on the ball too much with your irons.

  1. Spin Rate

Spin is an underrated aspect of distance, especially in the wind. With irons, your Spin Rate should generally be around the same as the club you’re hitting (~6,000 for a 6-iron for example). Your ideal driver Spin Rate depends on your Club Speed (we’ll get to that). Generally, the lower the Spin Rate the further the ball will fly, but only to a point. At 80-90mph, ideal spin is about 3,200-3,600, at 100mph+ 2,500-2,900rpm. If you’re 110-120, your ideal Spin Rate is 1,800-2,400. Low spin with slower Club Speed is going to cause the ball to dive out of the air, just as high spin with fast Club Speed is going to cause the ball to balloon and fall quickly from the sky. If you’re seeing a big discrepancy between spin and Club Speed, you might need to take a look at the driver/shaft combo you’re using.

  1. Smash Factor

This relates to how well you’re striking the ball. Smash factor is Ball Speed divided by Club Speed (150mph Ball Speed with a 100mph Club Speed would equal 1.5, which is the max allowed with driver due to USGA regulations). You can equate Smash Factor with energy transfer, meaning the higher the number, generally the more centered your contact. With irons, the Smash Factor will go down (1.35 is Tour average with a 7-iron).

  1. Club/Ball Speed

This is the one we’re all obsessed with, but it’s last on this list for a reason. Yes, Club Speed is great, and the more you have, the further your potential distance. The average amateur Club Speed is 93.4, while the average Tour player is at 113, so yes, Club Speed does correlate to Handicap.

Handicap vs Club Speed

Consider, however, that the average amateur scratch golfer is only at ~105mph. The takeaway here is that the higher your Club Speed, the more potential you have to shoot lower scores, but it’s not the be-all-end-all. Club Speed won’t do you much good if you hit gigantic slices or hooks all over the course and won’t matter much if you don’t have relatively good numbers on the first four categories above.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into your golf game and really improving, give us a call at (605) 341-5703 and schedule a lesson on the simulator. We’re here to help all winter long. Happy golfing!