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Pro Lessons: Green Grass or Launch Monitor?


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As you mention the data isn’t for the coach it’s to show the student what the coach is doing and why. Video and or a coach no has a good eye can spot exactly what a student is doing and based on knowledge of sequencing what the body is doing the coach makes adjustments on setups and movement patterns. The trial and error part is figuring out what feel/thought works for the student and how that student can understand and implement the change.
A good coach isn’t teaching positions because those aren’t static movements but happen based on the sequencing and what the student is doing especially in transition and the downswing which happens very fast. Most good coaches have a range of where a student should be within those positions in the swing. 

I disagree that the data isn’t for the coach, it’s 100% for the coach. It’s a tool that helps them do there job more efficiently. I’d bet the majority of golfers don’t have any idea what the numbers mean much less how to use them. It’s crazy to hear average golfers act like they don’t need the data but every pro carries a launch monitor to the range with them every day. Like I said before, I think golf is just so resistant to moving forward. Mark Crossfield did a few podcasts talking about coaching and how behind the times most are and talked specifically about data and launch monitors and how it helps expedite the process for a coach. He doesn’t take students without data.

It’s no different than a scan tool for a mechanic. Sure a good mechanic could diagnose a problem without it, but if it narrows the process and saves them an hour, why not use it...Unless you get paid by the hour I guess


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1.  Launch monitors are a tool in an instructor's tool box.  Just like video, still images, alignment rods, etc.

2.  A really good instructor will learn how an individual learns best and tailor their instruction to it.  Some people might benefit from knowing their path is 5* out to in, others need to be told to hit the inside of the golf ball, still others need to hit balls with a headcover to the right of the ball.  Your best method of learning might be awful for someone else.  

3.  All this being said, the whole point of instruction is to play better golf on the golf course.  You can't bring a launch monitor with you, and you can't lay something on the ground to guide you out there.  So a really good instructor should also give you a feel that you can go back to when things are going horribly wrong on the golf course.  Even if you're not a "feel" player - that's all you can bring with you on the course.

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9 hours ago, LeftyRM7 said:


I disagree that the data isn’t for the coach, it’s 100% for the coach. It’s a tool that helps them do there job more efficiently. I’d bet the majority of golfers don’t have any idea what the numbers mean much less how to use them. It’s crazy to hear average golfers act like they don’t need the data but every pro carries a launch monitor to the range with them every day. Like I said before, I think golf is just so resistant to moving forward. Mark Crossfield did a few podcasts talking about coaching and how behind the times most are and talked specifically about data and launch monitors and how it helps expedite the process for a coach. He doesn’t take students without data.

It’s no different than a scan tool for a mechanic. Sure a good mechanic could diagnose a problem without it, but if it narrows the process and saves them an hour, why not use it...Unless you get paid by the hour I guess emoji23.png


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If launch monitors are so important to lessons and instructors why have so many people had success with online lessons? The instructor has zero launch data form on line lessons and only have video of the swing and limited visual of ball flight. Read wrx threads that talk about Monte and Dan Carraher helping member there improve their game.

Theres not an instructor today doing in person lessons that doesn’t have a launch monitor and in my experience with lessons and talking to those who have taken lessons the better instructors rarely use the data to make adjustment. Things like pressure plates, gears and k vest are more beneficial technologies than a launch monitor for lessons and learning.

Coaches that understand ball flight laws and use the launch monitor don’t need to see the numbers to tell what a swing did. GG has an entire section of his online course about ball flight and has the rep from flightscope there. He was able to call the numbers based on what he saw from his flight and what he felt contact was.

 

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

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10 hours ago, LeftyRM7 said:

It’s crazy to hear average golfers act like they don’t need the data but every pro carries a launch monitor to the range with them every day.

 

1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Coaches that understand ball flight laws and use the launch monitor don’t need to see the numbers to tell what a swing did.

Every touring pro uses a launch monitor BECAUSE their swings are so good.  They need to understand exactly what's going on each day, and small variations really aren't visible to the naked eye.  You can't tell whether that 7-iron went 185 yards or 192 yards when you're standing on the practice tee.

A 20-handicapper is a completely different story.  The ball flight tells a decent instructor all he needs to know about impact conditions.  And again, a monitor tells you absolutely nothing about the CAUSE of those impact conditions.  That requires human eyes and training and experience, and can be assisted by video.  

21 hours ago, LeftyRM7 said:

Im much more about learning my tendencies and how/why they work for me, which in turn will make me better suited to make adjustments.

This sounds to me like you don't want to make any significant changes, even if significant changes are required for you to keep progressing.  Tweaking and grooving poor mechanics can definitely lead to improving scores, but you'll most likely hit a hard ceiling at some point.  

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6 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Every touring pro uses a launch monitor BECAUSE their swings are so good.  They need to understand exactly what's going on each day, and small variations really aren't visible to the naked eye.  You can't tell whether that 7-iron went 185 yards or 192 yards when you're standing on the practice tee.

They also use them for wedge and partial shot distances to make sure their feels are maintained and that they aren’t hitting them further or shorter than they expect.

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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This sounds to me like you don't want to make any significant changes, even if significant changes are required for you to keep progressing.  Tweaking and grooving poor mechanics can definitely lead to improving scores, but you'll most likely hit a hard ceiling at some point.  

I’d be interested to hear what you believe is the difference between a higher handicap golfer and a single digit handicap. Assuming poor mechanics/unplayable swing based on handicap? Again, old school thought process would be significant swing changes and building a more model swing. A 20 handicap that makes a few pars a round already has the ability, it’s about managing your swing and decision making. A golfer that hits a 30 yard slice off of the tee might have tight dispersion and could get a swing overhaul to hit it straighter but have worse dispersion or they could learn to manage it fairly quick and as they get better it becomes a fade.


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If launch monitors are so important to lessons and instructors why have so many people had success with online lessons? The instructor has zero launch data form on line lessons and only have video of the swing and limited visual of ball flight. Read wrx threads that talk about Monte and Dan Carraher helping member there improve their game.
Theres not an instructor today doing in person lessons that doesn’t have a launch monitor and in my experience with lessons and talking to those who have taken lessons the better instructors rarely use the data to make adjustment. Things like pressure plates, gears and k vest are more beneficial technologies than a launch monitor for lessons and learning.
Coaches that understand ball flight laws and use the launch monitor don’t need to see the numbers to tell what a swing did. GG has an entire section of his online course about ball flight and has the rep from flightscope there. He was able to call the numbers based on what he saw from his flight and what he felt contact was.
 

Again, not saying instruction doesn’t work, I’m only saying a launch monitor is a tool that helps the process along. Like a doctor might tell you he’s pretty sure you broke a bone based on his experience but then you get a scan to confirm.

I’m very weary of online swing analysis. Referencing a 2 dimensional picture is pretty dangerous. Camera angle can have a huge effect on what appears to be happening. In that case, an instructors eye is absolutely better than a video.

Again I say I’m talking about the BEST most efficient way of getting from point A to point B. The more tools and information at your disposal, the better suited you may be to get there. It’s obvious to me that in person is better, more efficient, than online, while having a launch monitors, force plates etc. take it to another level. And I have never seen an instructor using any of the above, besides a phone for video, on a range.


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12 minutes ago, LeftyRM7 said:


Again, not saying instruction doesn’t work, I’m only saying a launch monitor is a tool that helps the process along. Like a doctor might tell you he’s pretty sure you broke a bone based on his experience but then you get a scan to confirm.

I’m very weary of online swing analysis. Referencing a 2 dimensional picture is pretty dangerous. Camera angle can have a huge effect on what appears to be happening. In that case, an instructors eye is absolutely better than a video.

Again I say I’m talking about the BEST most efficient way of getting from point A to point B. The more tools and information at your disposal, the better suited you may be to get there. It’s obvious to me that in person is better, more efficient, than online, while having a launch monitors, force plates etc. take it to another level.


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The most efficient way to improve is to may a properly sequenced swing. The numbers will fall into place for the golfer when they match up their swing to their body.  
 

if a student comes in that drags the club way inside, lifts the arms and swings ott and hits a huge sweeping banana ball does the coach need the monitor to tell him/her the student is too far out to in? No he can see that in the swing and the ball flight. They will get the student to work on keeping the club head even with or just outside the hands and to rotate the body better so the club works more vertical, shallows and comes more from the inside or close to nuetral.

As the student gets better at this movement pattern the ott will be less drastic and the resulting ball flight will be less movement left to right and may even start more right to left depending on how quickly the student picks up the changes. The ball flight and video will show they improvement and the numbers will just confirm that and the coach would be able to make those changes without ever knowing what the monitor showed for any of the relative numbers.

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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I think that the launch monitor is more useful to a coach during lessons when it comes to working with a player on distance control especially with wedges. 

For a full swing it would be more beneficial for those who are low handicaps probably starting around 5 and lower if they are working on adding a new shot to their game whether that’s learning to move the ball opposite of their stock shape, flighting the ball up or down. 
 

For the majority of amateur golfers it’s about learning proper sequencing and face control. Learning course management and improving the scoring game from whatever distance they see most. It could be 150 or 125 or in between all the way into the hole. A 15 can be a 10 just by scoring better from these distances 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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1 hour ago, LeftyRM7 said:

I’d be interested to hear what you believe is the difference between a higher handicap golfer and a single digit handicap. Assuming poor mechanics/unplayable swing based on handicap? Again, old school thought process would be significant swing changes and building a more model swing. A 20 handicap that makes a few pars a round already has the ability, it’s about managing your swing and decision making. A golfer that hits a 30 yard slice off of the tee might have tight dispersion and could get a swing overhaul to hit it straighter but have worse dispersion or they could learn to manage it fairly quick and as they get better it becomes a fade.

In general, mechanically sound swings produce better distance and more consistency.  That doesn't mean its impossible to groove unsound mechanics, doesn't mean you can't hit it a long way with unsound mechanics, its just less likely.  I've played with a bunch of different people, I can't remember a single one who played a 30-yard slice while having tight dispersion at the same time, and I can't remember a big slicer who achieves his real distance potential.  In my experience, making positive changes to swing mechanics often results in widened dispersion in the short run.  It takes a while to overcome old bad habits and consistently execute changed mechanics, but immediately successful band-aids don't usually last.  

My history, I was a slicer as a kid.  In college a friend helped me severely change my set-up, which helped me to hit the ball straighter.  So I played for another 10 or 15 years as a 15-handicap or so.  An actual lesson helped me revise my take-away, and with lots of practice over a few years I got to about 8.  There I stayed, even with lots of practice, until a couple more lessons (including online) helped me to revise my lower body rotation, and I've been in the range of 4 to 6 handicap for a few years now.  In each case, it took instruction to get me past a ceiling, I was practicing, but not getting any better.

1 hour ago, LeftyRM7 said:

Again, not saying instruction doesn’t work, I’m only saying a launch monitor is a tool that helps the process along.

What you said earlier, and what I objected to, is that you'd rather use a launch monitor without an instructor than go to an instructor who didn't use a LM.  For most players, a launch monitor is of extremely limited use in determining how to best change their swing.  Its like  giving me a $10,000 mechanics tool set and asking me to fix a carburetor.  Without decent instruction, that car isn't moving.

1 hour ago, LeftyRM7 said:

I’m very weary of online swing analysis. Referencing a 2 dimensional picture is pretty dangerous. Camera angle can have a huge effect on what appears to be happening. In that case, an instructors eye is absolutely better than a video.

This is absolutely true.  Any competent instructor who uses video will make sure that the player understands exactly what camera angles are required, a first step before any instruction takes place.  And in general, a combination of face-on and down-the-line videos are required for good analysis, giving more of a 3-D evaluation.  

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:titelist-small: Irons Titleist AP2 714, KBS Tour S, 3 flat

:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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