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My range added Toptracer, and it's not good


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My practice place (and lessons and clubfitting) is Miles of Golf Cincinnati. They have added Toptracer, and today was my first time using it. I had heard others complain that the yardage numbers it gave were way short, and I found that to be quite true today. It's a neat setup,  if they get it to be accurate. In the mat bays they have a monitor in each bay,  but for the grass tees you need a smartphone and the app. They provide a bunch of stands to hold your phone, and you can move it where it works best for you. You start by hitting a few shots, and it fixes your position based on sound. Once you confirm your spot, before hitting a shot you input which club you're using. For each shot it gives you "flat" carry, total distance, launch angle, height, landing angle, hang time, curve, and offline. It gives you summary stats for each club. All sounds great, but the yardage it calculates is clearly way short. I used my rangefinder to shoot some of the targets (the app also gives you a map of the range with yardage for each target - that was accurate), and, with my 8 iron, for example, I was hitting it consistently a few yards past a pole at 149 yards. The app said my average carry was 133. With the driver I was carrying it between the 225 and 250 markers, but the app said my average was 204. I'd really love to be able to use this to dial in carry yardage for partial shots, and especially wedges, but right now it's not good enough. Unfortunately, I have not been on a launch monitor in some time, so I can't comment on the accuracy of the other stats. I did not have a chance to ask any of the staff about it, as the shop was not yet open (balls can be gotten from an auto dispenser before and after hours). I have a lesson next week, and I plan to find out more.

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yeah i spent some time hitting at a range with top tracer back in july and if you were to take those distances to heart, it would be humbling to say the least. 

i was really striping long irons that were being clocked at 220-230 despite flying well past the 250 marker. 

is it the software? the dead range balls? probably a little column A and a little column B. 

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Must be a location thing. The one I’ve been to (Griffith Park driving range) was very accurate. This is the full setup with individual screens in each bay. At the end of the day, it’s not going to be as accurate as a full on launch monitor just because of the limitations of the system, but I was still pretty impressed.

Driver: Honma TW747 460 VIZARD 50 S-flex
3 wood: GigaGolf TRX 15*  Grafalloy Pursuit M2T S-flex
Hybrids: GigaGolf TRX 18* and 22* UST HDX 70 S-flex
Irons: GigaGolf TRX PowerSlot 5-PW UST HDX 80 S-flex
Wedges: GigaGolf TRX 6.0 50*, 55*, 60* Dynamic Gold S-flex
Putter: Ray Cook M1 (2020) 34”

“Golf is a good walk enhanced”

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I had an experience at Del Mar in San Diego with this technology. 

The limitations of it not picking up every shot, not seeing the ball below about 10 ft above the ground, and the limited flight range balls turned out to be only a partial hindrance. 

The cool things were being able to see ball speed, peak height, and a history of shots. If it was not super accurate to my normal course yardages, which it wasn't, I could still use the relative distance gaps from club to club accurately. 

Overall, I thought it was a great addition that does more good than harm. It seemed to be good to have a friend calling out the numbers instead of trying to hit and look myself. 

Golf is simple - people are complicated.

5w Taylormade SLDR S 19* - 220yd, Ping G2 5-U - 190-105, Maltby M+ 54* & MG 60* - 95-75, Evnroll ER8, Titleist 816 H1 4h 21*, Maltby 4 Hybrid Iron 24* - 210-200, Callaway XR16 8* - 235 carry

886809507_image1(5).jpeg.56bc697c3b02b1fb00feb8d4b66389bc~2.jpeg

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If the inaccuracy is consistant across all clubs you can easily just add the dievation to your results. So if you hit your 8 iron to the 150  mark and the system tells you 130 just add 20 yards. Basically you are looking for consistancy  anyway. 

Any range work will yield results less than actual unless you are on tour hitting new ProV"s on the range. My course does not use restricted flight golf balls. I can hit to the back of the range. The first tee is right beside the range and I can hit it 30 yards further down the fairway past the end of the range. Our range balls are replaced every other year. Range balls are meant to be beat to death. Harder scratch resistant covers two piece cheap balls. PS: I'm not a long hitter. 250 on a great hit.

Its the same thing with Top Golf. Restricted balls with locating chips in them. Crappy clubs with big offsets. You smoke a driver and it barely gets to the back net at 200 yards. Its a golf game promoting a party atmosphere. You can't take it too seriously if your a decent golfer. But you can always become a platinum member and rent better clubs. I wouldn't bring my own clubs there. 

Anyway I rambled a bit...... just achieve consistency on the range and don't worry about distance.

:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:cleveland-small: Wedges, CBX 56* & 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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12 hours ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

If the inaccuracy is consistant across all clubs you can easily just add the dievation to your results. So if you hit your 8 iron to the 150  mark and the system tells you 130 just add 20 yards. Basically you are looking for consistancy  anyway. 

Any range work will yield results less than actual unless you are on tour hitting new ProV"s on the range. My course does not use restricted flight golf balls. I can hit to the back of the range. The first tee is right beside the range and I can hit it 30 yards further down the fairway past the end of the range. Our range balls are replaced every other year. Range balls are meant to be beat to death. Harder scratch resistant covers two piece cheap balls. PS: I'm not a long hitter. 250 on a great hit.

Its the same thing with Top Golf. Restricted balls with locating chips in them. Crappy clubs with big offsets. You smoke a driver and it barely gets to the back net at 200 yards. Its a golf game promoting a party atmosphere. You can't take it too seriously if your a decent golfer. But you can always become a platinum member and rent better clubs. I wouldn't bring my own clubs there. 

Anyway I rambled a bit...... just achieve consistency on the range and don't worry about distance.

Just for reference, this isn’t a TopGolf setup, but their TopTracer technology. Basically the same thing they use to make the tracer lines on TV. They come to a normal driving range and add cameras to set up the system, then the players get all the standard ball flight data except for spin. Besides the virtual range mode, they have target practice, long drive, and virtual golf games in the system as well. At my local range, it’s 20 bucks for 75 minutes and includes the range balls.

Driver: Honma TW747 460 VIZARD 50 S-flex
3 wood: GigaGolf TRX 15*  Grafalloy Pursuit M2T S-flex
Hybrids: GigaGolf TRX 18* and 22* UST HDX 70 S-flex
Irons: GigaGolf TRX PowerSlot 5-PW UST HDX 80 S-flex
Wedges: GigaGolf TRX 6.0 50*, 55*, 60* Dynamic Gold S-flex
Putter: Ray Cook M1 (2020) 34”

“Golf is a good walk enhanced”

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5 hours ago, Cory O said:

Just for reference, this isn’t a TopGolf setup, but their TopTracer technology. Basically the same thing they use to make the tracer lines on TV. They come to a normal driving range and add cameras to set up the system, then the players get all the standard ball flight data except for spin. Besides the virtual range mode, they have target practice, long drive, and virtual golf games in the system as well. At my local range, it’s 20 bucks for 75 minutes and includes the range balls.

Yes, I'm familiar with both systems. Just really stating that all range balls will not give you the results of the ball you actually play.

:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:cleveland-small: Wedges, CBX 56* & 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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4 hours ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

Yes, I'm familiar with both systems. Just really stating that all range balls will not give you the results of the ball you actually play.

The range got their new balls to coincide with the introduction of the Toptracer system, so they're pretty new. And to emphasize, I can hit a range ball to 150, and Toptracer says 133. And unfortunately, the difference is not linear. If I hit a partial wedge to 70, it says 40, if I hit to 200, it says 160, if I hit driver that carries between 25 and 250 (can only go by the markers, I don't know more precise than that, but on the course I can usually count on 240), it says 194. Until they get it calibrated better, I won't try to use it again.

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The thing with range balls is that they may be limited flight and the yardage markers you see out on the range might be adjusted based on that. Track Man (https://blog.trackmangolf.com/trackman-webinar-ball-conversion/) has the ability to convert range balls to regular golf balls via some special calculations and I suspect Toptracer has a similar setup, but  it's possible those adjustments haven't been made at your range. 

There's a Toptracer range near me and the numbers I've seen appear to be fairly accurate. The longer clubs are the only place where it seems to struggle a little, but even then it's still usable.

There is one admittedly imperfect, but reasonable way to determine how accurate or inaccurate your Toptracer range may be. If you know your driver swing speed, you can hit a few balls and once you feel like you've crushed a couple dead center, look at your ball speed numbers. Calculate your smash factor by taking the ball speed and dividing it by your known average club speed. If your smash is below 1.4 then there's a reasonable chance these additional calculations aren't being used (it's also remotely possible you're not hitting it as well as you think). One way to really know if the calculations are turned on is when you get the occasional smash of 1.59 or something like that. I've seen those numbers at my range before and while it's possible that particular swing was just faster than normal it's a good indication that you're getting calculated numbers instead of real numbers off a limited flight ball.

Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Fujikura Atmos Blue 5S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Nike Vapor Pro Combo (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Pro S300
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura 6m 33"
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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I guess I need to be clearer. I use my rangefinder to get my yardages to the targets. I always have. The balls are not restricted. I get the same yardages at the range as I get on the course. It's just the computer that is off.

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I went back this morning for my second try with Toptracer, and it was much better. The yardages it reported were spot on up to about 160 yards. Beyond that I think it was understating by up to 20 yards. I hit my 5 iron right at or a little past a pole at 183, but it showed my carry at 165. I have still not had the chance to speak with the staff, as I was there before the shop opened (automated dispenser with a range card). One difference might be on my first trip the tee line was as far back as could be, and the cameras were almost directly above. This week the line was very far forward. The cameras are fixed, so there was a good bit more room between me and them. Is that important? I don't know. At least with the accuracy good for shorter shots I really liked how it helped my partial wedge practice.

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Sounds like to me that they had not calibrated it properly. Where I get my lessons they use the latest Trackman and Sam checks the calibration every 4-5 weeks. 90% of the time it is good but he has found that every now and then it go out and he has know idea why.

Callaway Epic Flash 9 Degree

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion 3 wood 15 Degree

Callaway Epic Hybrid 18 Degree

Callaway Steelhead Pro 4-AW Irons

Cleveland 54 Degree Wedge Steel Shaft

Recoil Graphite Shafts in all Callaway Clubs

Callaway Big Bertha Putter - for when it is wet

La Jolla Putter with Flat Car Grip.

Preferred ball - Currently Costco Kirkland Performance 3 Piece but Seed 001 is preferred.

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  • 1 month later...

A follow up after a few more trips back:

Until today, all of my sessions were on the grass tees. There, you use a phone app to display your results. The sensors have to "find" you first, which is done by the sound of hitting a few balls and then confirming which spot you're in. Today it is raining, so I went to the covered bays. Each bay has it's own monitor, and the location is preprogrammed. Today I found the results to be absolutely spot on. Is it +/- 1 yard, as they claim? I can't say that, but it's certainly close enough for me to use and be happy. I'm currently taking lessons to build a new swing for my aging back, and my instructor prefers me to ignore TopTracer while I'm working on mechanics, but I found it extremely useful in determining yardages for partial wedges, as well as punch shots. If there's no trouble to carry on a shorter short, my instructor wants me to punch it more often. I've had trouble learning the yardages those punch shots travel. It also confirmed something I suspected, that my 5 iron carries just as far as my 4 hybrid. For the majority of my practice I will stick with the grass tees when possible, but I'll use the bays in poor weather, and I'll turn the TopTracer on when I do.

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The range got their new balls to coincide with the introduction of the Toptracer system, so they're pretty new. And to emphasize, I can hit a range ball to 150, and Toptracer says 133. And unfortunately, the difference is not linear. If I hit a partial wedge to 70, it says 40, if I hit to 200, it says 160, if I hit driver that carries between 25 and 250 (can only go by the markers, I don't know more precise than that, but on the course I can usually count on 240), it says 194. Until they get it calibrated better, I won't try to use it again.
I've experienced the same issue with the toptracer lounge at my local course. We more or less use it to play virtual golf and games now. Calibration was iffy, it has improved, I still find in about a club short compared to where I'm hitting it to on the physical range. It's not perfect, and I wouldn't use it as a standard for gapping. Especially not on mats. Mine is indoor with heated bays and a bar right behind. I'm hoping to spend some more time there this winter. Beer and playing golf when there is snow on the ground will be worth the trade off in distance accuracy


Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

WITB

Driver: Srixon Z785 , Hazardous Smoke 6.0

3 Wood: Srixon F85 @ 13.5* Hazardous Red 6.0

Driving Iron/Utility: Srixon ZU85 2iron @ 18*

Irons: Ballistic Forged MB 4-PW

Wedge: Cleveland RTX4 Satin, 56* 10/Full

Putter: Cleveland Portofino @ 4* with KBS Putter and Ping Blackout

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