Launch Monitor Deux

A fascinating time on the driving range yesterday. I spent about an hour warming up and I was hitting the ball quite well. Or so I thought.

I spent an hour on the launch monitor with my golf instructor, Bruce McCarrol. This is my fourth year working with Bruce and he has done a lot to help me bring my handicap down.

We’ll see if he can work some magic on my drives.

I hit the ball really well and long on my iron shots. I can easily muscle a 7-iron to 170 yards. However, I often get more length out of my 5 wood than my driver. I now know why.

A launch monitor measures ball velocity, spin and launch angle.

Generally speaking a good range is an 11-degree to 14-degree launch angle and a spin rate of 2,200 rpm to 2,800 rpm. A player with a slower swing might need a higher launch angle with more spin, while a faster swing speed can get good results with a slightly lower launch angle. In a fully optimized hit, initial ball speed should be equal to 1 1/2 times clubhead speed.

PGA tour professionals would achieve about 165mph ball speed, launch at around 14 degrees with about 2,000rpm of spin. A typical male golfer will achieve about 130mph ball speed.

With my current driver I averaged 138mph ball speed, about 12 degrees of launch with over 5,500rpm of spin. Not good. From Bruce’s perspective, there is no reason why I should not be able to get to 150mph and a spin rate of roughly 2,000rpm.

With a couple of the drivers, I was able to bring the spin rate down to about 3,800rpm which gave me about 20 extra yards over my current driver. Bruce wants me to work on the driver exclusively over the next few lessons to get the speed up before we custom fit a driver. At my handicap, I should be able to generate a lot more speed. Our goal is to get another 10-12mph.

Isn’t technology amazing? Here is Titleist’s take on launch monitors. And a senior’s challenge.

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