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Launch Monitor Distance vs. Real Distance?

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wondering what other golfers experience is who have used launch monitor when demoing or getting fitted for clubs...

does the distance, slice, draw etc. all correspond to the "real" experience when playing a real round of golf?

interested to hear your views...

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Depends entirely on the quality of the launch monitor. FlightScope, Trackman, Foresight...yup, same as real life. I know About Golf is supposed to be good, but I've never used one. Beyond that, it's dicey to trust them too much. The good thing is that even the most juiced launch monitor can give you an "apples to apples" comparison if you test driver A and B on it one after the other.


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Indeed. You have to be careful of what type of monitor. Also double check what the temp and elevation settings are on. I've caught a company rep setting the elevation to Colorado levels when someone hits his clubs and back to our standard sea level when hitting theirs.

 

Also should you be on a About Golf sim, keep in mind that the standard stock ball they use is a Callaway HX Hot in most places. This is going to play a signifigant role in the launch/spin you get out of clubs vs the ball you use.


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What they said ...

 

I've messed around with clubs at Golf Smith and whatever launch monitors they were using were AWEFUL - half the time we couldn't get a reading.

 

If you're looking at a fitting situation, I LOVE being fit on a launch monitor, but nothing beats getting out on a course with the sticks to see how they actually perform in real life. I personally HATE hitting off of mats, so indoors tends to not be an exact representation of my normal swing.

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In addition to what has already been said: balls.

I've been to a Trackman fitting where they use balls that fly 20% less, because the driving range is in the middle of the city and it's not long enough.

So you have to make your own calculations :D


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Don't do it at any big box store. Go to a real fitting place. As ST said, the Colorado and sea level thing is not uncommon at all...


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All of these caveats aside - and they are points well taken - I think that if the user is being honest and faithful in setting the thing up and the balls being used are consistent and of a reasonable quality - you're getting the ugly truth. On the course or even on the range you can deceive yourself into thinking you're hitting the ball much farther and better than you really are. On a launch monitor you can always blame the equipment.

 

If you're finding that you hit the ball "shorter" on the launch monitor than in real life - the monitor is probably spot on.

 

Having written that it's spot on for what you're doing then and there - not what you did yesterday or what will happen when you get on the first tee - for most of us it's an artificial spot on - As Tim wrote - he hates hitting off of a mat - so that bit of indecision doesn't produce his best swing - I've discovered that I have trouble releasing the club indoors - since I normally play a little draw I end up with lots of pushes - its a great tool but its a part of the fitting process.

 

Ultimately I'd never buy any club that I didn't compare my current one apples to apples to unless I were with a big time fitter whom I knew I could trust (ie. Bob VanSweden).


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The Golf Smith near me is using ForeSight LMs now, they are damn accurate IMHO in terms of distance. The Distance was about correct but it seemed that the SS / BS was a touch low for the distance.

 

Just pulling some of the number from when I tested the USPG Black Ops shaft

Swing Speed ~ 110mph

Ball Speed ~ 158.5mph

Smash Factor ~ 1.44

Launch Angle ~ 10.3

Azimuth ~ 0.1

Side Spin ~ 254

Back Spin ~ 2461

Total Spin ~ 2475

Decent Angle ~ 40

Carry Distance ~ 284.00

Total Distance ~ 305.00

 

Now anyone that is around LMs a lot knows one thing or another is off here... Using the trajectory optimizer from FlightScope --> http://www.flightscope.com/index.php/Technology-Explained/trajectory-optimizer.html

 

We find that the carry distance and total distance doesn't match the SS and Ball Speed + spin / launch numbers... You end up getting something like a 256 carry plugging in the numbers above for the optimizer. No I did not lie about what the number were, I'm not that dumb and don't really care honestly. The distance is accurate in terms of carry I do get a 280+ carry on the course pretty easy. Only time I get a 256 carry is up hill into the wind.

 

To get a 284 carry at the same launch angle and spin rates you would need about a 170mph Ball Speed. So the ball speed was give or take about 10mph lower then normally I would expect. It Assuming a 1.50 smash that would be at least a 113mph SS so the SS reading also was about 2 to 3mph lower then I would have expected as well for the distance readings that I was getting.


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JMiller,

 

I spend a lot of time with Foresight at work and I am coming to the same conclusion: ball speed is a bit low. Without the HTM (?) piece, Foresight doesn't even measure club head speed (they just back into it with math), so I always ignore that piece. Oddly, even with the low ball speed, distances seem about right. Every machine has its little idiosyncrasies.

 

To paraphrase Bruce, the machine can't fit you, it's all about the man behind the machine.


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Yeah, once you fix the ball speed, that's in the realm. Very similair numbers that Poulter, Snedeker and Donald put out at the same average swing speed.


I laught at your claims to fight a zombie apocalypse when most of you can't stand up to a Spider

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been using launch monitors for a bit. even if the launch numbers are more or less than u think they shd be, they are good indication whether u are more consistent with comparing clubs


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been using launch monitors for a bit. even if the launch numbers are more or less than u think they shd be, they are good indication whether u are more consistent with comparing clubs

 

Ultimately this is the bottom line to the whole thing - you can compare clubs apples to apples on a launch monitor as well as conistency. If it's used as a fitting tool the fitter must use other factors in determining what to recommend for his customer besides the raw LM data - its an art - Golf, like all sport, is an art - I'm a pretty technical kind of guy in regards to my swing and what I play with but I do all of that to make sure I can let the talent that I have (such as it is) come out once I get on the course.

 

It's an art and there are a lot of ways to paint the scorecard red.


Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Fujikura Motore X R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,56,60

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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The flightscope in our shop is very accurate. Just double check with the machines settings that people do not tweak with it to play around with the results. I can hit high drawes to low stingers on the Flightscope and it picks it up very accurately. I want on in my house!

 

-Ryan


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