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# Handicap versus Clubhead Speed/Driving Distance - Page 5

As I stated in an earlier post, this data is not Hank Haney data, it is TrackMan data.  Hank was just sharing this information in a tweet. This slide was presented at a TrackMan users conference in November of 2012.  I was present at the conference and wanted to confirm the data before I posted again.

The information presented in the graph was taken from over 3000 golfers that have taken TrackMan Combine test.  These assessments were conducted by TrackMan operators over about a year period all over the world.  The 24 data points represent the handicap range of +5 to 18.  For each handicap there we a minimum of 100 players. Because of the nature of who tends to take the Combine (mid to lower handicap golfers) there was more data collect in the low handicap range.  At each handicap, however, there have been enough data collected to draw this correlation.

Since this information was presented, there have been significantly more Combines administered.  At some point this year TrackMan will again analyze the data.

While there will always be outliers; i.e. a 3 handicap that only has 85 mph club head speed or a 18 handicaper who swings it 115, there is an very high correlation between club head speed and potential handicap.

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So basically those are median club head speeds for each handicap?

that makes sense if they averaged for each handicap and plotted the clubhead speed.

But still, that is data manipulation though. Either way, there should be a trend line roughly similar to the one on the graph, with our with out averaging. Also, the data should be weighted towards the higher handicappers, there are more of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Foley

The information presented in the graph was taken from over 3000 golfers that have taken TrackMan Combine test.  These assessments were conducted by TrackMan operators over about a year period all over the world.  The 24 data points represent the handicap range of +5 to 18.  For each handicap there we a minimum of 100 players.

That's the part that seems illogical or incorrect to me. I don't see a 95 MPH average dropping seven MPH to 88 MPH between a 10 and 11 handicap. They're basically the same golfers, and 100 minimum seems like plenty of golfers to smooth out a few bumps.

So I still question that, while I believe the gist and idea is still accurate.

I'd guess the graph is better used to predict potential handicap than actual, I'd also guess he's assuming playing from tournament tees not senior or shorter tees.

The graph makes more sense to me in that if you're playing from the tips and have a sub 100 mph club speed the average person is going to have a tough time being better than a scratch golfer.

One thing to look at...
The curve fit is only .91. That's a strong fit but not great. If you look at the higher handicap players (say 8 to 18) the curve fitting is substantially worse and the data is much more erratic. This makes perfect sense as you have good players (8-10 hdcp) with both "high" and "low" swing speeds for their respective categories.

On the other hand the curve fit for the lower hdcp players is much better and the data is more consistent. This makes real good sense too as there aren't many scratch players that swing "slowly".

The chart makes perfect sense and you non-believers are just being closed minded or don't know how to read a graph and trend line.
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf

I'd guess the graph is better used to predict potential handicap than actual, I'd also guess he's assuming playing from tournament tees not senior or shorter tees.

To the first half of your sentence, I disagree and can't see why you'd say that. It's a chart showing swing speed and the actual handicap indeces.

To the second half, why? A guy will typically shoot his handicap when he plays from any set of tees - that's the point of different course ratings and slopes for different tees. A 79 is pretty good if the tees are 73.1/141, and not so great if they're 68.7/119.

I know what the chart says, I was offering a different way to use the data.  It seems many people here dispute the results the chart shows given a) too small a sample size or b) the sampling was not truly random.

You're right on the purpose of course ratings and slopes.  The reason for my statement is that most of people I play with don't know that there are different course ratings and slopes for the different tees and assume the overall course rating and slope which I thought was from the tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas

To the first half of your sentence, I disagree and can't see why you'd say that. It's a chart showing swing speed and the actual handicap indeces.

To the second half, why? A guy will typically shoot his handicap when he plays from any set of tees - that's the point of different course ratings and slopes for different tees. A 79 is pretty good if the tees are 73.1/141, and not so great if they're 68.7/119.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 04v8s4

The chart makes perfect sense and you non-believers are just being closed minded or don't know how to read a graph and trend line.

Now that the data size is larger than originally thought, it does make sense as medians.  The graph is hard to read though, because it does not show exactly where the handicap numbers fall along the horizontal axis.  It looks like I fit pretty well into the 4-5 range though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 04v8s4

One thing to look at...
The curve fit is only .91. That's a strong fit but not great. If you look at the higher handicap players (say 8 to 18) the curve fitting is substantially worse and the data is much more erratic. This makes perfect sense as you have good players (8-10 hdcp) with both "high" and "low" swing speeds for their respective categories.

I took a Combine test last year, may be my figures are there! But anyway, I may be an example of high HC causing havoc there, avg SS 103 and HC 18.

Quote:

speed as in baseball is disputed as not the silver bullet, of course not........all other things being equal, I would rather swing at 110 than 90.  You have the potential to hit the ball further at 110 than at 90, and distance equals accuracy........

Distance equals Accuracy?? How?

Well, if you take golfer A, who has a clubhead speed of 90, versus Golfer B who has a clubhead speed of 110, and put them on the same tees, i bet Golfer B will hit more GIR's in the long run, just because he's probably playing 2-3 clubs less into the green than his opponent, which is more accurate.

honestly, i don't like averaging the data points before plotting them, i know it fits a nice line, but it kills the standard deviation. I get what there trying to say, and just having a relationship like that goes to show you that impact has a ton to do with swing speed as much as how hard you swing. Think of it this way, if you hit near perfect, lets say 147 smash factor, but you mis hit one down to 137, that is 10 mph difference in ball speed with a 100 mph swing, that's a pretty big chunk of yardage right there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25

Well, if you take golfer A, who has a clubhead speed of 90, versus Golfer B who has a clubhead speed of 110, and put them on the same tees, i bet Golfer B will hit more GIR's in the long run, just because he's probably playing 2-3 clubs less into the green than his opponent, which is more accurate.

Wow, that's a pretty liberal interpretation of his "Distance equals accuracy" statement.

What you're saying is that a (shorter) distance (in to the green) equals (more) accuracy from you approach shot. Although that's true, it the opposite of what he is saying.

He's talking about swing speed as it results in distance. The farther you hit the ball, the more it is going to stray off line.

If we draw a line down the dead center of the fairway, and you hit a shot that is just 2 degrees off target, at 200 yards out from its start, it will be less off target than at 300 yards out. It's simple physics. The farther a ball travels, the more it can move away from its target line.

Distance does not equal accuracy. That statement actually makes no sense unless you change it around to completely.

Less distance (into greens) equals more accuracy. But that's not what he was arguing.
Quote:
The farther you hit the ball, the more it is going to stray off line.

That's not true, just like there's a wide spectrum of golfers, there are those who hit it long hit it farther off course, but that isn't a correlation. I've seen people who hit it 30-40 yards shorter than me hit it just as far off line on shots.

Yes, if both shots are 2 degrees off, and go straight 2 degrees, the 300 yard shot will be about 4 yards more to the right. So that is true, geometry and the math does not lie.

But that doesn't mean towards ability, so the statement, though true if all else is equal, is true, but in golf you hardly ever get if all else is equal. So it doesn't matter. If a guy who hits a 300 yard drive, with a 10 yard push, can put the ball in the middle of the fairway just as easy as a person hitting a 200 yard push. So, it doesn't matter, distance does not equal accuracy isn't a good axiom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25

That's not true, just like there's a wide spectrum of golfers, there are those who hit it long hit it farther off course, but that isn't a correlation. I've seen people who hit it 30-40 yards shorter than me hit it just as far off line on shots.

Yes, if both shots are 2 degrees off, and go straight 2 degrees, the 300 yard shot will be about 4 yards more to the right. So that is true, geometry and the math does not lie.

But that doesn't mean towards ability, so the statement, though true if all else is equal, is true, but in golf you hardly ever get if all else is equal. So it doesn't matter. If a guy who hits a 300 yard drive, with a 10 yard push, can put the ball in the middle of the fairway just as easy as a person hitting a 200 yard push. So, it doesn't matter, distance does not equal accuracy isn't a good axiom.

You are crazy man...the farther you hit the ball...the farther off line it will go. Period.

Quote:
You are crazy man...the farther you hit the ball...the farther off line it will go. Period.

If this is true, then how come some people i play golf with hit it further right than i do on my mishits? I've hit mishits offline, just as far as people who hit the ball 50 yards less than me, so how is distance meaning i hit the ball farther off line. Its an absurd notion to think this is a way to think of distance.

The point is, you can't take that distance = further off line as a rule of thumb, because in golf its not that simple. To say distance is bad because your going to hit it further left or right is just absurd, because as a golfer we control the distance and we control how far left or right the ball goes.

How about this, i've a hybrid as far as some people hit there driver. Now which is more accurate? A 19 degree hybrid or a 10 degree driver? Just curious, because with more loft means, the ball will travel less horizontally. But wait, i hit it the same distance, shouldn't we be just as less accurate? Just curious, how does your law of distance and accuracy play into that? Because the physics tell me a higher lofted club is more accurate because it will deviate less than a lower lofted club?

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