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[FINAL RESULT] Trackman 4 VS GC2+HMT/GCQuad

LEO MODELEO MODE Advanced Members Posts: 127 ✭✭
edited August 2018 in WRX Club Techs
Introduction

As a simulator fanatic and a golf data enthusiast, I wanted to see which device can really be the closest to real outcome. I majored in business and applied analytics so having a large dataset is my fetish and that was the reason why I wanted to start this testing. So all I'm trying to show here is black and white on what the result was and what people should believe when it comes to the output with a little bit of my recommendation. Thus this is solely for people who haven't had a chance to own both devices or use them side-by-side so I can illustrate what the differences were and which parameter you should believe/not believe.



Devices Used

I currently own a GC2+HMT and a TrackMan 4. I also got my hands on GC Quad. I used 4 GC2’s, 2 GC Quads, 1 Trackman 3e, 1 Trackman 4 for the test. I calibrated 2 of the GC2’s more than 2 times but their result stayed pretty much the same.



Set up

I tested them both indoor and outdoor. Indoor I used a Premium ball (Titleist V1X) with a metallic dot placed and was hit 13ft from ball to screen. Outdoor I used a range ball with no wind. I also tested out on both mats and grass.



Each Parameter Breakdown

There are 9 ball data points which Trackman and Foresight can compare. An asterisk next to each metric means because their number is so close you can trust those numbers either on Foresight or Trackman products. There are also 8 club data points but because I can’t objectively confirm which one is correct other than the impact location, it will come down to a subjective and personal preference. I consider anything within 3mph or 3deg negligible.



*Ball Speed: Their difference is only within 0-2mph at max. This is negligible.



*Launch Angle: Their difference is only within 0-1.5deg at max. This is negligible.



*Launch Direction: Their difference is only within 0-1.5deg at max. This is negligible.



Spin Axis: Outdoor, their difference varies, especially Foresight products being more draw-biased, but also 30~40% of the time they are also fade-biased. In other words, Foresight products are very unreliable when it comes down to Spin Axis. Although they portray similar flight 2D modeling, the ball flight still doesn’t correctly reflect actual landing area. Indoor however, Trackman is also very unreliable especially when it goes up to higher clubs (i.e. driver shot) as high as 20deg. Iron shot is close to GC2/GCQ but still slightly fade-biased than GC2/GCQ.



*Total Spin: Outdoor, their difference is on average about 100rpm. This is negligible. Indoor, if you do not put the metallic dot on Trackman balls and even with the dot if the ball speed was too fast (i.e. driver shot) at a given distance the spin will be off as high as 2000rpm. I did notice that GCQ had tighter tolerance vs GC2 on TM4’s spin rate. It was about 50rpm vs 150rpm on GC2.



Apex: Outdoor, their difference is within 1-2.5deg at max. This is negligible. However indoor with a driver shot, their difference can go up as high as 3.8deg. This is likely due to Trackman driver shot usually shooting for more higher RPM than real life.



Carry Distance: Their difference varies either on a low club vs a high club and not indoor or outdoor. For instance on an iron, they’re within 2yds both indoor and outdoor. However on a driver, their difference is anywhere from 10-13yds on average. Because Foresight tends to show more yardage and their numbers do not match Flight algorithm a lot of times, it is safe to say that TM4 has a better carry number throughout (as Spin Axis doesn't cause a huge difference in carry distance). Also, I didn’t notice that much of a difference on GCQ vs GC2 as it still fluctuated carry distance longer than Trackman 4 outdoor. I honestly did not understand how National Club Golfer stated GCQ and TM4 driver carry was similar. That wasn't my case.



Side Distance: Outdoor, due to Spin Axis, Foresight products’ landing area gets as off as 7yds (almost 21ft) farther than actual landing area on a driver. Also the problem with this is that it’s not consistent (either lands on left or right). Indoor, therefore I cannot trust either device as both are very inconsistent other than short clubs.



Land Angle: Just like Carry, their difference varies either on a low club vs a high club. More close numbers to each other on an iron and as high as 4 degree difference on a driver.



Club Speed: Club speed is measured differently so this comes down to a preference. I prefer TM4 just because everyone can have 1.50 smash factor as long as they hit it right in the middle. It is impossible to reach 1.50 on HMT/GCQ. Also industry standard is Trackman club speed.



*Attack Angle: Their difference is within 0-3 deg at max. This is negligible. Although both were inconsistent, their difference was minimal (i.e. iron is lower on TM4 but club is higher on HMT/GCQ).



Club Path: Foresight always shows more open to the club path about 1-3deg on average which is negligible. Because Foresight has no way to measure the start point (please correct me if I’m wrong) but Trackman measures from the start of the swing it seemed to me as if HMT/GCQ measurement methodology is different from TM4. However when the club goes higher (i.e. driver), their club path tolerance went down as low as less than 1.5 deg which was then negligible.



Face Angle: Trackman calculates this while Foresight directly measures it. Trackman is mostly about 1-3 deg closed than HMT/GCQ which is negligible. However, there is no way for Trackman to measure this and only derives from other metrics. This measurement is pretty much the same throughout all clubs.



Face to Path: Due to club path difference, their difference can go as high as 3deg. However because Face Angle is directly measured by GC2/GCQ, I saw that their impact location is highly correlated with its Face to Path.



Lie: With a new impact location feature on Trackman, measuring lie also requires a precise input under the settings to measure impact location. However, HMT/GCQ simply measures it by taking a snapshot of the impact which seems more reliable to me.



Loft: This shows a lot of discrepancy between the two. Perhaps the measurement is different between the two just like club speed. The numbers seem to make more sense with Trackman numbers, but I have no way to verify that. HMT/GCQ loft number seems to be much higher as high as 15 deg difference.



Impact Location: While TM4 also tends to show the result pretty well at times, at default setting it goes pretty off than real. I noticed that after calibrating to HMT/GCQ’s result, TM4 came out pretty close to actual impact. However, HMT/GCQ was almost always spot on.



Conclusion



Outdoor, a clear winner in ball data was Trackman. Trackman never missed a shot showing a true ball flight. On a side note, Trackman has a real flight option as well as Normalized option which gives you flexibility to see both. Trackman also has different data parameters which are very helpful in teaching (Swing Direction, Swing Plane, Low Point, etc.). Unfortunately, although GC2 or GCQ showed similar ball data, because of Spin Axis difference they weren’t able to portray actual ball flight but slightly either to left or to right.



Indoor, the winner is GC2/GCQ but partly. Although they didn’t show perfect ball flight like TM4 outdoor, on the other hand TM4 struggled to show the same consistency as GC2/GCQ when it came to indoor, mainly also because of calculated Spin Axis discrepancy. The only concern though is that GC2/GCQ’s carry distance is not consistent and accurate when it comes to a higher club (i.e. driver) which will also result skewed data indoor.



Some of you may want to know the difference between GC2 and GCQ. I would say GCQ definitely did get better. So far, it didn’t miss a shot (IR maybe better than flash? no idea), it didn’t give an error, and it definitely showed tighter tolerance especially on Spin Rate. Justifying $5k more is up to you, and you're locked onto FSX software only for now. GC2 has a lot of different Bluetooth option which is a huge benefit, and ball algorithm gets calculated separately by the software so GC2 carry is not reflected in the game which is nice. GC2/GCQ have the most potential to be the most perfect device both indoor/outdoor if they can fix the Spin Axis and ball flight algorithm which probably can be fixed with a firmware update. The only thing Trackman has to do is to make a supplement device to capture and measure Spin Axis so it can show perfect ball flight indoor too.



Ultimately, it was extremely unfortunate that neither devices showed perfect result both indoor and outdoor combined. However if you are thinking of using it outdoor only, Trackman 4 should be the one. If you ever are thinking of using it indoor only, GC2/GCQ will be the way to go which will simulate close to real ball flight. Also for simulator game purposes, TM4 does not track putts shorter than 6’ all the time which is a huge disadvantage if you also want to putt in a simulator game. For fitters, using HMT/GCQ will help capturing accurate data. The decision in choosing which one is solely up to you and I hope this helps you make the most informed decision possible.







***Parameter Cheat Sheet***



Outdoor

Ball Speed, Launch Angle, Launch Direction & Total Spin: All tie

Spin Axis: TM4

Apex: TM4

Carry: TM4

Side Distance: TM4

Land Angle: TM4



Indoor

Ball Speed, Launch Angle & Launch Direction: All tie

Spin Axis: GC2/GCQ but not 100% accurate

Total Spin: GC2/GCQ (and TM4 only when spin was measured)

Apex: GC2/GCQ but not 100% accurate

Carry: TM4 but not 100% accurate

Side Distance: GC2/GCQ but not 100% accurate

Land Angle: TM4 but not 100% accurate



Club Data

Club Speed: Prefer TM4

Attack Angle: All tie

Club Path: Prefer TM4

Face Angle: Prefer HMT/GCQ

Dynamic Lie: HMT/GCQ

Dynamic Loft: Prefer TM4

Impact Location: HMT/GCQ



Outdoor Use: TM4

Indoor Use: GC2+HMT/GCQ

Fitting Use: GC2+HMT/GCQ

Training Use: All tie

Simulator Use: GC2
TrackMan 4, GC2+HMT, GC Quad

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