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I really want to improve my ball striking once and for all. I’ve been using the 18 Birdies app for lessons this winter and I think it’s good feedback. So how do I know if am improving if I can’t see the ball flight? I know how far I usually hit the ball but sometimes I hit a push or a block with what felt like a solid shot. That’s my concern. 

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I really want to improve my ball striking once and for all. I’ve been using the 18 Birdies app for lessons this winter and I think it’s good feedback. So how do I know if am improving if I can’t see the ball flight? I know how far I usually hit the ball but sometimes I hit a push or a block with what felt like a solid shot. That’s my concern. 

I have 18 birdies too, but beware the AI: it’s a tad generic, and can’t account for physical limitations you might have. Their AI insists I have too much head movement and a bad spine angle: 2 things my in-person instructor has never even brought up, let alone gave me drills to improve on. IMO it diagnoses swing fault symptoms, and not actual causes.


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This is just one study, but I believe the answer is yes (if it’s a quality launch monitor):

https://blog.trackmangolf.com/effects-trackman-training-development-elite-junior-golfers/

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This is something that I have really been mulling over for awhile.

#1 will shelling out a minimum of $500 but probably $1500 actually benefit my game enough to warrant the purchase?

#2 will I actually use it enough to warrant that kind of purchase?


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If you can’t interpret the data and use it to implement a swing change/fix to improve the data then not sure it will help improve ones game

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11 hours ago, neva_adoubt said:

I really want to improve my ball striking once and for all. I’ve been using the 18 Birdies app for lessons this winter and I think it’s good feedback. So how do I know if am improving if I can’t see the ball flight? I know how far I usually hit the ball but sometimes I hit a push or a block with what felt like a solid shot. That’s my concern. 

The answer to your question is maybe.   Many people claim that even seeing the ball on a simulator isn't the same as in real life.   Also,  chasing numbers on a launch monitor isn't a way to improve either since we don't always hit optimal shots on the course.   IF you use the launch monitors to simply understand your numbers and what is occurring in your swing then it can be helpful,  but understanding all the numbers isn't easy. 

In real life we hit shots left, right, past, and short of our intended target;  this is called a dispersion pattern and it is generally pretty wide.  To improve,  you need to see and know that pattern for each club.  Doing it on a cheap launch monitor isn't an easy task.

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I'm with @cnosil, a launch monitor provides information.  A lot of the information can be had by simply observing ball flight, but a good launch monitor can provide quantitative data, and data on more factors.  But a launch monitor cannot diagnose the cause of any problematic ball flights.  Based on ball flight, you can tell that your swing path is left of your intended target, and that your face at impact is open to that swing path.  A launch monitor can tell you that your swing path is 4.5 degrees left of your target, and that your clubface is 2 degrees open to the path at impact.  OK, what's next?  Why are you coming outside-in, why aren't you squaring the face to the path?  That takes human eyes, training, and expertise just for the diagnosis.  OK, you find out that you're goat-humping, standing up and stopping your hip rotation too early, what then?  How do you change that pattern, what drills or feels do you need?  Again, expertise, experience, training.  

A launch monitor is a tool, nothing more.  Coupled with good instruction, perhaps even video to help you SEE that you're making the right change even when your shots are still poor, a launch monitor can indicate improvement.  

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It is extremely unlikely a LM will make you worse. If you don't put a practice plan together, it is also not going to make you any better blindly hitting balls on it. 

It can be a big help to dial in your carry numbers with irons, see how much distance you lose on "average" poor strikes to better course manage, allow you to work on partial shots and awkward distances from 50-100 yards that many people struggle with, as well as tracking max distance with driver if you are chasing speed gains. Just to name a few... Many have the option to generate random numbers to game-ify your practice which can help keep you engaged or provide scoring on your performance to help track improvement or highlight deficiencies. 

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On 12/28/2020 at 9:56 PM, neva_adoubt said:

I really want to improve my ball striking once and for all. I’ve been using the 18 Birdies app for lessons this winter and I think it’s good feedback. So how do I know if am improving if I can’t see the ball flight? I know how far I usually hit the ball but sometimes I hit a push or a block with what felt like a solid shot. That’s my concern. 

If you’re not going to buy a GC Quad, Trackman, or the like, then the only way one of these cheap monitors helps is by having you swing more often. They’ve shown in numerous tests that they just aren’t accurate, so why look at “distances”, or “direction” if the feedback you’re getting isn’t true? I just don’t see any reason. 

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The only value I see from a personal LM is club head speed. If you're looking to improve SS that'll help you and you'll be able to find several under $500. I've also used Trackman data to set-up a 'carry distance' chart for each club which is later confirmed by real distance check using programs such as ARRCOS. 

Gizmos are nice and provide info - but unless they're paired with an improvement program/lessons, they're just nice toys. 

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As a SkyTrak owner I’ve developed an indoor SkyTrak swing and then I have my normal outdoor golf swing because what works indoors doesn’t seem to translate on a real golf course. The one benefit I have seen is SkyTrak has really helped me with a better swing path because I feel left/right spin numbers are accurate enough to tell me if I’m slicing or hooking a shot. This has translated to the course.


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Looked at the MLM's that are affordable and have decided to rent time, $25/hour, with expensive Trackmans, perhaps once or twice a month during Winter.  During week hit into net while recording video with iphone.  The big issue I have had in 2020 and hopefully not in 2021 is dispersion -not available on all MLM's, specifically have tendency to have an occasional super well hit ball that is score killer (ex. 8-iron not mishit  but 30 yds more-potential lost ball over green).  Doing in person lessons-with masks- to address this winter.            

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On 12/30/2020 at 12:35 PM, PMookie said:

If you’re not going to buy a GC Quad, Trackman, or the like, then the only way one of these cheap monitors helps is by having you swing more often. They’ve shown in numerous tests that they just aren’t accurate, so why look at “distances”, or “direction” if the feedback you’re getting isn’t true? I just don’t see any reason. 

Just when I was plotting how to get my hands on a Mevo+

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22 hours ago, JohnSmalls said:

Just when I was plotting how to get my hands on a Mevo+

This thread is making my used, $125 SC200 look like a 05/17/1997 Amazon stock purchase 🙂.  I too have been contemplating a more budget friendly, DIY, LM set-up.  It sounds like part of the decision to do so had better be for the fun/entertainment of seeing balls fly down a simulated golf course... not so much for the improving my game. I suspect $10k+ worth of golf lessons would yield a better ROI with that goal being the primary reason for purchase.

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Im curious about the same thing.  The one MLM im interested in is the Rapsodo.  The numbers seem very close to as accurate as a GC quad. It does show dispersion in the app.  But it works for for iphone.

Keepin' the long grass short and my balls wet, 1 shot at a time .

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I am probably not in the norm on this topic but I wanted to share my opinion.

To me, all that matters is the first few inches of the club path before you impact the ball and the few inches past impact. As long as there is a straight line between the center of the club face, and the distance before and after impact the ball will go straight. Sounds so simple! Before launch monitors were even a thing there were video cameras. I used to go video my swing and play it back on my TV in slow motion and draw angles on the screen with dry erase markers. Then compare to golf book angles, golf digest and such. It worked for me. I wanted to get better but I lived in areas without the technology to assist with golf. 

I never lived in an area with access to fittings like the ones that are available today. Still don't have access. My local golf shop doesn't even have a place to swing a club. To get to my point I never knew my numbers and truthfully still don't. What matters to me is performance on the course or range. I put an Optishot2 system in my garage and really the only thing I care about is the face angle feedback. Am I square or not, open or closed and by what degree. I was given a brand new MEVO a couple of years ago from someone who won it in a golf tournament because he said he would never use it. So I have a tool that I can use but the only time I use it is for data for a MGS test. My club did just put in a Trackman system on the range but I have not asked anyone to check my numbers.

I am not someone that gets hung up on the numbers. Even though I have the tools I couldn't tell you my launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, smash factor and such because I don't get hung up on it and I don't want to fall into chasing numbers. I want to see my ball flight and see my distance, dispersion and accuracy on the course. That just means more to me. I figure I got from a 30 something handicap down to a low single digit without knowing numbers, why start now.  I'm no spring chicken and there is not a lot that I can do to drop my handicap further. At this stage I am just trying to keep myself at my current performance level. 

Best investments is lessons. Find someone that you relate to and can work well with. Video often and compare your before and after.  But if you are a numbers guy I understand completely. Life is full of choices. 

NUMBERS GUYS... Don't bash me too badly. 

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I think I am more of a feels player and course performance player than a numbers guy.  But I do make use of the LM numbers for comparison sake when making changes to a club or swing. 

Its easy to see a change in flight data on a LM when tweaking club weight like I did recently.  Swing it in the current set up to get a baseline, made changes to the head weight and hit about 10 to get ball data and swing feels for comparison.  Made another change or two and hit it again to get comparison data.  All the while noting how the club feels and if I can work the ball flight into the different windows that I want.

I can also use the clubface data to see if the swing adjustment to slightly increase my AoA has been effective since the last session. 

I will still make the final decision on a club set up and swing with how I can work the ball on the course not based on the LM numbers.  

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40 minutes ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

I am probably not in the norm on this topic but I wanted to share my opinion.

To me, all that matters is the first few inches of the club path before you impact the ball and the few inches past impact. As long as there is a straight line between the center of the club face, and the distance before and after impact the ball will go straight. Sounds so simple! Before launch monitors were even a thing there were video cameras. I used to go video my swing and play it back on my TV in slow motion and draw angles on the screen with dry erase markers. Then compare to golf book angles, golf digest and such. It worked for me. I wanted to get better but I lived in areas without the technology to assist with golf. 

I never lived in an area with access to fittings like the ones that are available today. Still don't have access. My local golf shop doesn't even have a place to swing a club. To get to my point I never knew my numbers and truthfully still don't. What matters to me is performance on the course or range. I put an Optishot2 system in my garage and really the only thing I care about is the face angle feedback. Am I square or not, open or closed and by what degree. I was given a brand new MEVO a couple of years ago from someone who won it in a golf tournament because he said he would never use it. So I have a tool that I can use but the only time I use it is for data for a MGS test. My club did just put in a Trackman system on the range but I have not asked anyone to check my numbers.

I am not someone that gets hung up on the numbers. Even though I have the tools I couldn't tell you my launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, smash factor and such because I don't get hung up on it and I don't want to fall into chasing numbers. I want to see my ball flight and see my distance, dispersion and accuracy on the course. That just means more to me. I figure I got from a 30 something handicap down to a low single digit without knowing numbers, why start now.  I'm no spring chicken and there is not a lot that I can do to drop my handicap further. At this stage I am just trying to keep myself at my current performance level. 

Best investments is lessons. Find someone that you relate to and can work well with. Video often and compare your before and after.  But if you are a numbers guy I understand completely. Life is full of choices. 

NUMBERS GUYS... Don't bash me too badly. 

I don't disagree with any of this. Feedback from ball and working the problem backwards is how I taught myself to play this game. And while yes, you can get hung up on the numbers, having technology SHOULD help get the results faster. There are many ways to get the ball in the hole and for each individual the way they attack that is different.

 

To the OP if you commit to understanding and using the LM there are very few downsides. 

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As someone who just bought a used Mevo, my 2 cents is that I agree with what everyone above says. Having a LM is great if you are a numbers/data guy (I am an engineer by trade so data makes me hot lol) but if you don't know what to do with that data then that is all it is...data. What you want to do is take that data and turn it into useful information so you can make an informed decision on what to do next. I went from a simple LM with swing and ball speeds with calculated carry to the Mevo because I want to work on my spin and launch. I know that the accuracy of the data can be a bit varied but I am not looking for exact numbers. I am looking to establish a baseline and then improve off that baseline. I know that based on my latest driver fitting my launch angle is around 15 degrees with about 3500 back spin. Those may or may not be the numbers I get on the Mevo but I can normalize the data and look for improvements. As for flight and feedback, I plan on mostly hitting at the range so I will be able to see ball flight. I know that on the range I go to, I carry to the 200 yard flag with my driver but that translates to about 220-230 yards of carry on the course (the course is at the base of a mountain so the range is uphill) so again if you are using a LM to improve, it is critical to be able to translate that data to usable information to develop a game plan.

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2 hours ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

I am probably not in the norm on this topic but I wanted to share my opinion.

To me, all that matters is the first few inches of the club path before you impact the ball and the few inches past impact. As long as there is a straight line between the center of the club face, and the distance before and after impact the ball will go straight. Sounds so simple! Before launch monitors were even a thing there were video cameras. I used to go video my swing and play it back on my TV in slow motion and draw angles on the screen with dry erase markers. Then compare to golf book angles, golf digest and such. It worked for me. I wanted to get better but I lived in areas without the technology to assist with golf. 

I never lived in an area with access to fittings like the ones that are available today. Still don't have access. My local golf shop doesn't even have a place to swing a club. To get to my point I never knew my numbers and truthfully still don't. What matters to me is performance on the course or range. I put an Optishot2 system in my garage and really the only thing I care about is the face angle feedback. Am I square or not, open or closed and by what degree. I was given a brand new MEVO a couple of years ago from someone who won it in a golf tournament because he said he would never use it. So I have a tool that I can use but the only time I use it is for data for a MGS test. My club did just put in a Trackman system on the range but I have not asked anyone to check my numbers.

I am not someone that gets hung up on the numbers. Even though I have the tools I couldn't tell you my launch angle, spin rate, ball speed, smash factor and such because I don't get hung up on it and I don't want to fall into chasing numbers. I want to see my ball flight and see my distance, dispersion and accuracy on the course. That just means more to me. I figure I got from a 30 something handicap down to a low single digit without knowing numbers, why start now.  I'm no spring chicken and there is not a lot that I can do to drop my handicap further. At this stage I am just trying to keep myself at my current performance level. 

Best investments is lessons. Find someone that you relate to and can work well with. Video often and compare your before and after.  But if you are a numbers guy I understand completely. Life is full of choices. 

NUMBERS GUYS... Don't bash me too badly. 

I'm with you all the way.  Lessons to learn what makes the ball go and turn, practice to understand what makes the ball go and turn translates to lower scores.  The key here is putting in the work to improve your game.   The tech side can help accelerate those lessons by  watching your own video playback, or allow you to get the reps in under what were unplayable conditions before (cold, rain, nighttime) with a launch monitor and a roof over your head---shout out to @THEZIPR23

 

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