Swinging out to play on the sim? Take a look at some terms so you’re prepared when all these numbers pop out at you:

Club Speed – Club Speed is the speed the club is travelling immediately prior to impact. More Club Speed equals more potential distance.

Ball Speed – Ball Speed is created by Club Speed and impact. Bad impact such as shots hit on the heel or toe will reduce the potential Ball Speed.

Smash Factor – Smash Factor is ball speed divided by club speed. Smash factor relates to the amount of energy transferred from the clubhead to the ball. The higher the smash factor the better the energy transfer.

Spin Rate – Spin Rate is the amount of spin on the ball immediately after impact. Spin has a major impact on the height and distance of a shot. Spin Rate is one of the least appreciated numbers, especially in windy conditions.

Launch Angle – Launch Angle is the angle the ball takes off at relative to the ground. Launch Angle is highly correlated to Dynamic Loft.

Dynamic Loft – Dynamic Loft is the amount of loft on the clubface at impact. The golfer’s Attack Angle, how the shaft bends, how the golfer releases the club, whether the face is open or closed and where the ball is contacted on the face all impact dynamic loft.

Attack Angle – Attack Angle is the direction the clubhead is moving (up or down) at impact. Shots hit off the ground should have a negative attack angle.

Club Path – Club Path is the direction the clubhead is moving (right or left) at impact. A positive value means the club is moving to the right (“in-to-out” for a right-handed golfer and a negative value means the club is moving to the left (“out-to-in” for a right-handed golfer.

Face Angle – Face Angle is the direction the clubface is pointed (right or left) at impact. This relates to Target Line rather than Club Path (Face-to-Path). Face Angle greatly influences whether the ball starts left or right of target.

Carry – Carry is the distance the ball flies through the air. This is influenced by everything above.

We can’t wait to see you at Hart Ranch! Happy golfing!

A photo gallery update on our progress…much more to come!

The TrackMan Simulator

If you’ve stepped inside the Hart Ranch Pro Shop lately, you’ve noticed some big changes. We’ve gutted out the back room for our brand-new TrackMan Simulator, opening November 1st (which can’t come soon enough with the way the weather looks). Here are some of the changes from last year:

  1. Projector and Screen

Last year we hit into a net and watched the ball flight on the TV screen. This year, we’re hitting into a large screen with an image of the course/range. This will obviously offer a much more immersive experience. You TrackMan numbers will show up on a different TV display so you can monitor the quality of your shots.

This isn’t ours but it will look somewhat similar.

  1. TrackMan

We used a SkyTrak launch monitor last year, and while it was fairly accurate, we’ve upgraded to the most advanced launch monitor ever made. TrackMan is the gold standard for Tour players, Top 100 instructors, clubfitters and golf industry leaders. The numbers you see while watching PGA and LPGA Tour broadcasts often come from TrackMan.

  1. Surround Sound

To make the simulator experience more immersive than ever, the room will have surround sound. Feel free to play music, or just listen to the natural sounds the golf course software offers. You can also watch/listen to any games or TV shows you may want to watch.

  1. New Mat

While the hitting mat we had last year was OK, it got worn down through a lot of use. We’re upgrading to a more durable and realistic-feeling mat. This will give you a better sense of the quality of your shot and won’t allow you to “cheat” your results as much (this makes you a better player!).

  1. More Comfort

With lounge chairs, tables, more TVs and more space we’re able to offer an awesome setting for your next get-together. Birthday parties, corporate outings, big-game nights and more are welcome.

Last year those who don’t play much golf might have felt a little uncomfortable as the SkyTrak sat fairly close to the ball. With TrackMan you don’t have to worry about hitting the device as it sits behind the golfer.

We’re obviously excited to get up-and-running. Stay tuned to your email and Facebook as we’ll be offering some awesome deals and memberships as we get closer to opening. Let’s hope we can get in a few more great days of outdoor golf, but if not an awesome indoor golf experience is right around the corner!

What Does Trackman Do?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that we now have TrackMan at Hart Ranch. This week, we’re going to give you some insight into what exactly TrackMan is, what it’s capable of and how it can help improve your game.

TrackMan is a radar system that reads club and ball data by the changing frequency of microwaves reflected off the club and ball (much like a doppler weather system). This allows TrackMan to record critical data, including Club Path and Speed, Attack Angle, etc. In essence, it shows exactly why a golf ball behaves the way it does. TrackMan has redefined golf instruction, as old ball-flight “laws” were shown to be false when TrackMan was introduced to the industry. For example, for years people thought that club path was the main indicator of where the golf ball started relative to the target line. TrackMan showed that Face Angle was actually the main indicator (~80%). This along with other new data has changed golf instruction significantly.

Here are some of the many parameters TrackMan records:

Ball Speed: The speed of the ball immediately after impact. The biggest factor for distance. Center contact creates the most ball speed (relates directly to Smash Factor).

Club Speed: The speed of the clubhead at impact. More Club Speed equals more potential distance (relates directly to Smash Factor).

Smash Factor (Club Speed divided by Ball Speed): The amount of energy transferred from the club to the ball. The higher the number, the better. Max of 1.5(1) due to USGA club regulations.

Spin Rate: The amount of spin on the ball immediately after impact. Extremely important for distance and height of golf shots.

Club Path: The direction the club is moving (right or left) at impact.

Face Angle: The direction the face is pointing (right or left) at impact. This is the main factor in determining the starting line of the shot.

Face to Path: The direction the face is pointing relative to the path of the club. This is different than Face Angle, as it relates directly to where the face is pointing compared to the path of the club rather than the target line. Assuming centered contact, this is the main factor for Spin Axis (a fancy word for how the ball curves in the air).

Attack Angle: The direction the clubhead is moving (up or down) at impact. Shots hit directly off the ground should have a negative Attack Angle in order to create ball-first contact (this isn’t to say you should try to smash down on the ball like chopping wood folks).

Carry: What we all want more of. Carry is how far the ball is hit in the air before landing. Carry is mainly determined by Ball Speed, Club Speed, Smash Factor, Launch Angle and Spin Rate.

These are just a few of the numbers you’ll get when hitting golf shots on TrackMan. This data is why the best instructors and players in the world rely on it to get better, and so can you. Whenever we as instructors ask what our students struggle with, the overwhelming answer is “consistency.” The truth is, your swing is probably much more consistent than you think, just not necessarily in the correct way. TrackMan gives us reliable data to show you why you hit the ball the way you do, and ultimately give you the tools and drills to help you improve.

Be sure to stay tuned as we post updates on our new simulator room (it’s going to be awesome) and other TrackMan events. We’re ready to help you unleash your potential. Happy golfing!