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# Launch angle and club head speed

## 21 posts in this topic

Am I correct assuming that higher club head speed=higher launch angle?

AKA, assuming you hit the same club with the same attack angle, shaft lean, etc. will it start off higher with a higher swing speed?

i.e. When I chip a 9i into my basement golf net, it hits the net low.  When I hit a half shot, it hits the net in the middle and when I hit a full shot it hits towards the top of the net.  Is it safe for me to assume that the difference in club head speed is (at least partially) responsible?

Thanks

(Feel free to move this is it is in the wrong forum)

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Am I correct assuming that higher club head speed=higher launch angle?

AKA, assuming you hit the same club with the same attack angle, shaft lean, etc. will it start off higher with a higher swing speed?

i.e. When I chip a 9i into my basement golf net, it hits the net low.  When I hit a half shot, it hits the net in the middle and when I hit a full shot it hits towards the top of the net.  Is it safe for me to assume that the difference in club head speed is (at least partially) responsible?

Thanks

(Feel free to move this is it is in the wrong forum)

No, it depends on many more factors. You might be equating launch speed to maximum height of the shot, which a faster golf swing will average a higher ball flight, but that isn't launch angle. You can have a lower launch angle, and a higher ball flight if your hitting the ball with 4500 rpm.

I am not sure if higher club head speed will add a few degrees to launch. I am going to say its negligible. Your not going to see like 4 degrees of loft change.

Here's the thing as well. If you chip, then you go to a pitch, then to a full swing your going to load the club differently. The shaft will bend more on a faster swing. So, you just can't assume its swing speed, though it does effect how the club impacts the ball. If you have the same dynamic loft at impact, I am going to say your going to see the same launch angle no matter what the swing speed is.

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I understand what you are saying about the shaft bending but find it hard to believe that my loft at impact is so much higher on my full swings compared to chips and half shots.  I would be very disappointed if the extra height into the net is due mostly to the club getting ahead of my hands (lack of flat wrist/shaft lean on full shots compared to chips/half shots).

Does anyone else have thoughts on this because I hope Saevel is wrong when he says

Quote:

Originally Posted by saevel25

If you have the same dynamic loft at impact, I am going to say your going to see the same launch angle no matter what the swing speed is.

Just did some googling and http://golf.about.com/od/golfterms/g/launchangle.htm says

"Many factors affect launch angle, including swing speed , angle of attack (how the clubface approaches the golf ball) and clubface position at impact. The loft of the golf club itself is the single biggest factor, of course. But the same club can produce very different launch angles in the hands of different golfers based on the other factors. A club will produce a higher launch angle with a higher clubhead speed , for instance, so long as other factors are equal."

That makes sense to me...

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Fairly certain you're flipping. You're not producing identical impact conditions except for differences in club head speed.
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The ball should come off the face at the same angle, no matter how hard the swing
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The ball should come off the face at the same angle, no matter how hard the swing

That's not true. Speed will change the launch angle. The ball will deform differently, grooves will come into play more or less, etc.

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That's not true. Speed will change the launch angle. The ball will deform differently, grooves will come into play more or less, etc.

To a significant extent?

What sort of change in clubhead speed could account for a change in launch angle of, say, 4*?

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Too many other variables to say. What kind of ball, what is the first clubhead speed, what is the lie, what is the clubhead CG and MOI, groove configuration, temperature, impact location, etc.
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I'm sure those variables need factored in to a theoretical model of launch conditions.

But are you saying that, keeping the other variables constant, you think a change in speed could account for a change in launch angle of as much as 4*?

If so, I can only assume that you're thinking of low speed impacts like pitches and chip shots, where it's feasible for clubhead speed to change by a factor of 2 or even 3. But would like to hear more.

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Here's the thing, everything is so intertwined you will never see that condition.

If you keep the same club, and swing easy versus swinging hard. The club shaft will flex differently, and the ball will launch differently. This type of discussion is not applicable to anything that is useful to an actual golf swing. In reality there is to much going on. You can change a few degrees just by a slight flip of the hands, or maybe the hands descend at a slightly slower rate. Its just crazy to think this matters at all.

Once again, if your talking about how high the ball goes, a slower ball speed will produce a lower overall ball flight. Not necessarily launch angle.

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I agree - particularly with the point that shot height is going to be seen to rise with clubhead speed, and it's not necessarily anything to to with launch angle. I also agree that harder swings are liable to change factors that directly impact the delivered loft.

But there's still the question of whether clubhead speed itself can change the launch angle to a significant degree . I'm inclined to think not, which makes it much easier to agree with you on the other points being much more important.

There's a reasonably interesting discussion about this point here - http://www.brianmanzella.com/golfing-discussions/15009-new-launch-direction-dictated-chart-trackman-conference.html - which suggests that change in clubhead speed is NOT a signficant factor in launch angle, at least on full swings.

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But there's still the question of whether clubhead speed itself can change the launch angle to a significant degree. I'm inclined to think not, which makes it much easier to agree with you on the other points being much more important.

First you'd have to define "significant."

There's a reasonably interesting discussion about this point here - http://www.brianmanzella.com/golfing-discussions/15009-new-launch-direction-dictated-chart-trackman-conference.html - which suggests that change in clubhead speed is NOT a signficant factor in launch angle, at least on full swings.

That thread is about horizontal launch direction, not launch angle, and it shows the change as about 15% (and even 5% or so just between two irons that are about, what, 1.5" different length?).

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That's not true. Speed will change the launch angle. The ball will deform differently, grooves will come into play more or less, etc.

Originally Posted by iacas

Fairly certain you're flipping. You're not producing identical impact conditions except for differences in club head speed.

If speed will change the launch angle, why are you "fairly certain" I am flipping?

-most amateurs flip

-you saw some of my evolvr video from last year

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First you'd have to define "significant."

I'd be happy to take significant to mean the 4* I asked about earlier. But if you have data illustrating a change of more, or less, I'd be equally happy for you to define it however you like. But a sensible measure of significance, for me, would be the difference in loft between 2 adjacent clubs.

That thread is about horizontal launch direction, not launch angle, and it shows the change as about 15% (and even 5% or so just between two irons that are about, what, 1.5" different length?).

Is the physics governing horizontal launch direction different from what governs launch angle?

As regards that chart, I took the difference to be more a function of the difference in loft than the difference in length. Do you have a different hypothesis?

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If speed will change the launch angle, why are you "fairly certain" I am flipping?

-most amateurs flip

-you saw some of my evolvr video from last year

A combination of all of those (except I don't recall your swing, but I can see your handicap), plus the fact that you're trying to compare chipping to your full swing. There will be several different things.

Your observation was enough to tell me that you were doing something different, too. If you could noticeably see the difference in height, it was due to things other than clubhead speed.

I'd be happy to take significant to mean the 4* I asked about earlier. But if you have data illustrating a change of more, or less, I'd be equally happy for you to define it however you like. But a sensible measure of significance, for me, would be the difference in loft between 2 adjacent clubs.

You can't really measure it without an Iron Byron or something capable of generating very precise impacts at very precise speeds and keeping everything else constant. This question is a lot closer to a "theoretical" one than a practical one.

Is the physics governing horizontal launch direction different from what governs launch angle?

Yes. One of the primary reasons? Grooves (and their "corners") are oriented to have an effect vertically, not horizontally.

As regards that chart, I took the difference to be more a function of the difference in loft than the difference in length. Do you have a different hypothesis?

Length affects clubhead speed. If you had to narrow it down to one thing, it would be how much the ball deforms. The more a ball deforms, the more it will want to "get away" from the clubface (i.e. more perpendicular). The slower the clubhead speed the more the ball can truly be "carried" a little by the path. I'm simplifying too because the ball will "roll up" the face a little on a higher lofted club more so than a lower lofted one, and many other things. And obviously there's a limit to this effect because a putter is 90%+ face angle.

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I don't understand how speed can change the effective loft of a club. My hands at impact, forward press, flipping, opening/closing club face change the clubs loft. Swing speed does not. Am I wrong for thinking this??
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So if speed doesn't effect loft, then it doesn't effect launch angle either. So my conclusion would be the club is being manipulated to cause different launch angles on different speeds.
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I don't understand how speed can change the effective loft of a club. My hands at impact, forward press, flipping, opening/closing club face change the clubs loft. Swing speed does not. Am I wrong for thinking this??

The assumption would be that as you vary the force of your shot, your alignments at impact will change. In crude terms, the harder you swing the more you flip.

Yes. One of the primary reasons? Grooves (and their "corners") are oriented to have an effect vertically, not horizontally.

The frictional effect of the grooves would be to "carry" the ball a bit more in the direction of the vertical component of the clubhead path, but the frictional effect would not be so strong with regards to the horizontal direction?

Length affects clubhead speed. If you had to narrow it down to one thing, it would be how much the ball deforms. The more a ball deforms, the more it will want to "get away" from the clubface (i.e. more perpendicular). The slower the clubhead speed the more the ball can truly be "carried" a little by the path. I'm simplifying too because the ball will "roll up" the face a little on a higher lofted club more so than a lower lofted one, and many other things. And obviously there's a limit to this effect because a putter is 90%+ face angle.

Sounds fine in theory. But longer clubs are also less lofted - which in turn will compress the ball more too, even holding clubhead speed constant, no? Which would trend in the same direction but for a different reason.

I'm still not sure though whether these effects are "significant" - or if in the real world the effects are so minor as to be negligible.

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