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Is chasing tour launch numbers as bad as chasing aesthetics?


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Lots of good talk on here about chasing aesthetics and positions. Assuming the speed is there, do you guys chase tour launch conditions?

 

I hit the ball pretty high. At what point do you just live with hitting the ball high/low or work on it? I've tried Monte's seminars, local instructors,Tour Striker, Planemate, and more.

 

All my clubs launch about 4 degrees higher than tour average. It seems fine in my mid irons, but my wedges and long irons bunch up.

 

This is my 8i. I have a feeling that this monitor is reading low spin. On the course I typically play my 8 iron for around 165 and they back up, not roll out. I know the trackman numbers are averages, but what are the variances for launch at that speed?

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Mats make the ball launch higher and spin less. Can’t compare launch numbers off a mat to numbers measured on a tight fairway

You mean the 3 iron that has a 6 stamped on it?

An amateur shouldn’t chase the numbers as an endpoint but if they improve their swing theyre probably going to get closer to the numbers rather than further , which is why I mentioned the high launch

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Is your launch affecting your ability to score?  If it is, changes are needed.  If not, it's not worth bending yourself over coals to see if yours meets tour average.  Are you playing in a lot of regional amateur golf events with hopes of winning competitive events?

 

When you say bunch up, you are referring to club distance?

 

I am much older and don't hit the ball as far as you do, but still play reasonably long tees.  By tour standards, I hit the ball relatively low but able to control the ball into the green with spin.  Does it bother me, nope, does it affect my ability to score, nope.  If I want to hit the ball higher I adjust my grip and or setup and bam.

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I wouldn't go off of tour averages.  Those guys have to build their launch conditions for tournament play.  Also, if you are going into the specifics, average numbers are meaningless in general when looking at many types of golfers being averaged.   Finally, if you can't be confident in the launch data that you are being given, then do not change anything off of that data.  Figure something else out.  You will just bring more in more confusion because of all the variables that go into a golf shot.  

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24 minutes ago, iteachgolf said:

Mats make the ball launch higher and spin less. Can’t compare launch numbers off a mat to numbers measured on a tight fairway

Thanks Dan. What causes that?

 

Are those Trackman averages based on tournament data? If it is, can we assume the data collected must be tee shots? Would hitting off a tee with a LM give more accurate numbers?

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1 hour ago, Shupe said:

I wouldn't go off of tour averages.  Those guys have to build their launch conditions for tournament play.  Also, if you are going into the specifics, average numbers are meaningless in general when looking at many types of golfers being averaged.   Finally, if you can't be confident in the launch data that you are being given, then do not change anything off of that data.  Figure something else out.  You will just bring more in more confusion because of all the variables that go into a golf shot.  

What else would you build your launch conditions for? Not playing golf?

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11 hours ago, Fairways_and_Greens said:

Thanks Dan. What causes that?

 

Are those Trackman averages based on tournament data? If it is, can we assume the data collected must be tee shots? Would hitting off a tee with a LM give more accurate numbers?

The averages are based on data off the range.  Tour fairways and ranges are very tight lies.  A mat is essentially like a flier out of the first cut of rough. 

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12 hours ago, Shupe said:

That reply makes literally zero sense.  Go look for a quarrel somewhere else bud.

You said you wouldn’t base your numbers on tour average bc those guys base their numbers on preparing for tournament play. What else would you set up your clubs for ? 
 

the average of elite golfers is a pretty powerful stat.
 

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15 hours ago, pinhigh27 said:

What else would you build your launch conditions for? Not playing golf?

 

The answer was right even if the reasoning was not.

 

Tour averages are just that, averages.  The pro's don't even try to shoot for those particular average values.  Lots of high level players are higher, lots are lower.  Drivers are the only clubs that the numbers can really be optimized.   For the rest it's all about finding the best trade off between distance, distance gaps and distance control (spin or decent angle)  through out the set and all within the limitations of the kind of swing you are physically capable of making consistently.

 

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15 hours ago, Shupe said:

That reply makes literally zero sense.  Go look for a quarrel somewhere else bud.

If you have tour average speed (or better), why would you not use it as a rough guideline, there is really nothing mystical about the numbers themselves. The hard part is figuring out why the ball is launching too high or too low and making the appropriate swing changes to optimize launch conditions, instead of trying to force changes just to see the numbers move. 

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10 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

 

If you have tour average speed (or better), why would you not use it as a rough guideline, there is really nothing mystical about the numbers themselves. The hard part is figuring out why the ball is launching too high or too low and making the appropriate swing changes to optimize launch conditions, instead of trying to force changes just to see the numbers move. 

Sure, rough estimate.  Why not.  That is not my point.  My point is that building your game around being the average of the pga tour is a poorly thought out quest.  There are an infinite way to get to those averages.  Many pros wont fit into those averages.   It's better to have good fundamentals and personalized goals than chasing after that average trackman sheet.

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2 minutes ago, Shupe said:

Sure, rough estimate.  Why not.  That not my point.  My point is that building your game around being the average of the pga tour is a poorly thought out quest.  There are an infinite way to get to those averages.  Many pros wont fit into those averages.   Its better to have good fundamentals and personalized goals than chasing after that average trackman sheet.

That is not what you originally said, you said not to baseline off them because they are built for "tournament play" as if those launch conditions won't work at your average muni or private club.  If you have PGA tour average speed, what exactly about those numbers won't work? And there really isn't an infinite way to get to those averages, it's actually quite hard to get that mix of launch, speed, spin, and angle of attack. If you are in those windows, you probably have a pretty mechanically sound move, if not then there are swing issues that influencing things. 

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Just now, Krt22 said:

That is not what you originally said, you said not to baseline off them because they are built for "tournament play" as if those launch conditions won't work at your average muni or private club.  If you have PGA tour average speed, what exactly about those numbers won't work? And there really isn't an infinite way to get to those averages, it's actually quite hard to get that mix of launch, speed, spin, and angle of attack. If you are in those windows, you probably have a pretty mechanically sound move, if not then there are swing issues that influencing things. 

Most people do not need to launch the ball like tour pros.  They play in consistently firmer and faster conditions than the average Am will.  That being said, if you can achieve them why not......?   

 

Also, I'm not looking at this in terms of a single person.  The tackman numbers are an AVERAGE of different players.  You can get to that AVERAGE with a ton of different types of delivery characteristics when AVERAGEING different players.  I'm not saying that a SINGLE person can get to the average numbers in a ton of different ways...

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Can't compare Skytrak numbers off a mat to Trackman numbers off grass. That said those TM numbers are quite a few years old and would most likely be significantly slower/lower than the current PGA tour averages (especially driver). 

 

By definition half the tour will have numbers above the average and half below. That includes everything from speed and carry distance to launch angle. The key is optimizing your launch conditions to your preferred ball flight. 

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1 minute ago, Shupe said:

Most people do not need to launch the ball like tour pros.  They play in consistently firmer and faster conditions than the average Am will.  That being said, if you can achieve them why not......?   

 

Also, I'm not looking at this in terms of a single person.  The tackman numbers are an AVERAGE of different players.  You can get to that AVERAGE with a ton of different types of delivery characteristics when AVERAGEING different players.  I'm not saying that a SINGLE person can get to the average numbers in a ton of different ways...

You said to avoid them, which is just as bad as arbitrarily chasing them. No amateur is going to play bad golf with those launch conditions if they have the appropriate speed, but yes plenty will play very good golf outside of them as well. The goal is to work on your mechanics to the point that your ideal launch conditions are the byproduct of a good swing, and not try to force things just to see a certain number on the monitor. Tour pros aim to mix distance with consistency, its not just due to the conditions they play in. 

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18 hours ago, Shupe said:

I wouldn't go off of tour averages.  Those guys have to build their launch conditions for tournament play.  Also, if you are going into the specifics, average numbers are meaningless in general when looking at many types of golfers being averaged.   Finally, if you can't be confident in the launch data that you are being given, then do not change anything off of that data.  Figure something else out.  You will just bring more in more confusion because of all the variables that go into a golf shot.  

 

1 minute ago, Krt22 said:

You said to avoid them, which is just as bad as arbitrarily chasing them. No amateur is going to play bad golf with those launch conditions if they have the appropriate speed, but yes plenty will play very good golf outside of them as well. The goal is to work on your mechanics to the point that your ideal launch conditions are the byproduct of a good swing, and not try to force things just to see a certain number on the monitor. Tour pros aim to mix distance with consistency, its not just due to the conditions they play in. 

Where did I say avoid them?  I said I wouldn’t “go off” as in build your game to those statistics...   I think we agree, you are just trying to back me into a corner I’m not anywhere near.

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19 minutes ago, mgoblue83 said:

Can't compare Skytrak numbers off a mat to Trackman numbers off grass. That said those TM numbers are quite a few years old and would most likely be significantly slower/lower than the current PGA tour averages (especially driver). 

 

By definition half the tour will have numbers above the average and half below. That includes everything from speed and carry distance to launch angle. The key is optimizing your launch conditions to your preferred ball flight. 

That actually isn't the definition of an average, but if you look at average CHS, 113 really isn't that far from the median (oddly enough its Tiger woods). The handful of bombers that everyone obsesses over don't really drag up the average much. 

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1 hour ago, MonteScheinblum said:

You don’t chase numbers, you use them as a guideline and a measure of improvement.

 

One number means nothing by itself and there is a range, especially when introducing all numbers together.

 

If your club head speed is 20% below tour average, tour average spin is likely a poor strike.

In this case Monte, my ball speeds are at or slightly above tour average, which is why I was using them. Absolutely there has to v

Be variances. Heck none of us are perfect shot-to-shot, and club/shaft/ball combos can make a difference too.

 

After reading Dan's post I found this on Trackman's website. The difference for a scratch golfer was 2k of spin and a club or so of launch. 

 

Regardless, there are feels I'm chasing in my golf swing for more shaft lean that are doing the exact opposite.

 

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45 minutes ago, golfsticks said:

Just chase birdies and be done with it. 

And how do we get birdies? Have more looks inside 15 feet. How do we get inside 15 feet? Repeatable/optimal trajectories and launch conditions. 

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To the op, yes just as bad.   Imo best thing an average golfer can do with a lm is baseline their carry and dispersion.   That information is important to playing.     Chasing numbers is a similar rabbit hole to using YouTube video as the sole source of swing improvement.    
 

just like a fitter uses a lm to best match club to the golfer a good instructor uses it to help a golfer  to improve their swing - numbers are the result not the goal to be chased.  And frankly most lessons don’t require an lm.  

 

 

 

 

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Just now, Krt22 said:

That actually isn't the definition of an average, but if you look at average CHS, 113 really isn't that far from the median (oddly enough its Tiger woods). The handful of bombers that everyone obsesses over don't really drag up the average much. 

 

I stand corrected. Thank you

 

I would still expect the current average to be noticeably higher than those TM averages from years ago. (6? I want to say they are from 2014). Most of the guys coming up are swinging faster than 113. Even Morikawa who was around #100 in distance for 2020 is at 114-115mph.

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5 minutes ago, Shupe said:

 

Where did I say avoid them?  I said I wouldn’t “go off” as in build your game to those statistics...   I think we agree, you are just trying to back me into a corner I’m not anywhere near.

You backed yourself into that corner from the start by claiming pinhigh was just looking to argue, when that really was not the case, your initial statement was simply off base and you continue to move the goal posts instead of admitting that. There is nothing mystical or bad about the pga tour average launch conditions if you have the speed to support them. Higher speed amateurs can use them as rough guidelines and there are plenty of courses they would play where having those landing angles would benefit their game. There is one hole at my home course that is essentially a double or worse if you can't hit the ball high enough, but an easy par or potential birdie if you can. The issue isn't the numbers, it's how most ams seek to achieve them. 

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6 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

You backed yourself into that corner from the start by claiming pinhigh was just looking to argue, when that really was not the case, your initial statement was simply off base and you continue to move the goal posts instead of admitting that. There is nothing mystical or bad about the pga tour average launch conditions if you have the speed to support them. Higher speed amateurs can use them as rough guidelines and there are plenty of courses they would play where having those landing angles would benefit their game. There is one hole at my home course that is essentially a double or worse if you can't hit the ball high enough, but an easy par or potential birdie if you can. The issue isn't the numbers, it's how most ams seek to achieve them. 

I haven’t changed one thing I’ve said.  There have been multiple people In this thread including monte who have said similar things.  You are holding me to the fire against the scenario of an Am that has PGA tour swing speeds and higher launch conditions to guys on the PGA tour.   Most Ams won’t surpass those numbers.  

 

18 hours ago, Shupe said:

I wouldn't go off of tour averages.  Those guys have to build their launch conditions for tournament play.  Also, if you are going into the specifics, average numbers are meaningless in general when looking at many types of golfers being averaged.   Finally, if you can't be confident in the launch data that you are being given, then do not change anything off of that data.  Figure something else out.  You will just bring more in more confusion because of all the variables that go into a golf shot.  

It’s simple, there is a list of things I would do than chase after PGA tour averages.  I don’t understand how that is so hard to comprehend.

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7 minutes ago, Shupe said:

I haven’t changed one thing I’ve said.  There have been multiple people In this thread including monte who have said similar things.  You are holding me to the fire against the scenario of an Am that has PGA tour swing speeds and higher launch conditions to guys on the PGA tour.   Most Ams won’t surpass those numbers.  

 

It’s simple, there is a list of things I would do than chase after PGA tour averages.  I don’t understand how that is so hard to comprehend.

The main issue with your statement is this notion that those launch conditions are only suitable/required for pga tournament play and that just isn't the case.   And I have reiterated multiple times there is a big difference between chasing numbers and using them as a guideline as you improve your swing. 

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11 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

The main issue with your statement is this notion that those launch conditions are only suitable/required for pga tournament play and that just isn't the case.   And I have reiterated multiple times there is a big difference between chasing numbers and using them as a guideline as you improve your swing. 

Lol.  You have to be trolling at this point.  Where have I said those numbers are “only” suitable for PGA tour play...?  

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Just now, Shupe said:

Lol.  You have to be trolling at this point.  Where have I said those numbers are “only” suitable for PGA tour play...?  

" Those guys have to build their launch conditions for tournament play "

 

Pretty clear to me what you are implyin, you even doubled down and said it was due to the firm tournament conditions they play in, as if those numbers wont work elsewhere. Feel free to revise if that is not what you are implying.

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