A launchpad for your game
If you haven’t been on a launch monitor yet, here’s why you really should
Launch monitors are everywhere in golf nowadays. Tour ranges are packed with them; every brand uses numerous versions to test clubs; most high street shops and club pros use them to fit equipment and give lessons and demo days. Yet we know there’s an awful lot of golfers who have never been near one. If that’s you, make this the year to have a go. Launch monitor tech has taken a massive stride forward this year, so much so that even putts can now be analysed. The new Foresight Sports GC Quad – which we now use for much of TG’S testing – measures club and ball data from a single unit not much bigger than your copy of this magazine. The five parameters we’ve picked below are a good starting point if you’re a launch monitor virgin; this box of tricks offers hundreds more stats, including the path of the clubface and its face angle at impact.
This issue is all about increasing it, and this is the only way to find out what yours is. Rory Mcilroy generates 181mph with his Taylormade M2 driver; club golfers with a 90mph driver swing speed should expect to be closer to 130mph.
Higher with lower spin is generally good, but whether you attack down on the back of the ball or up on it makes a massive difference to the trajectory your shots start on. Slower swing speed players generally need more launch angle to keep the ball in the air for longer and maximise carry; higher swing speeds can get away with less.
Backspin is a huge detractor to maximising carry distance; too little and shots nose-dive; too much can rob you of 30+ yards. The only way to know for sure and optimise spin is on a launch monitor, plus you get to see how much bad swings cost in terms of raw power.
Gone are the days of trying to keep shots as close as possible to the deck – believe us, higher is longer. It’s really satisfying to try a new set of irons on a launch monitor and see how you hit the 7-iron as far as your old six, yet shots fly higher, which means they will stop faster on the green.
It’s an all-important number and for most of us it’s a bit of a shock when we don’t hit shots quite as far as we think we do! If you’re on good terms with your pro or fitter get him to let you come back with your full set so you can work out how far you hit each iron, and work out what hybrids/woods and wedges would best fit your game.