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How Accurate Are Radar Numbers Anyway? Not Quite Buying It...

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Title tells it all. I've spent time on Trackman recently and I'm not convinced I believe these radar tracking devices are actually accurate. Mostly I'm referring to the club face angle readings. I've been tinkering around with my draw, sometimes hook, and there's no way the clubface us 5 degrees pointed to the right of my target as I come into impact. I've found that aiming everything right and hooding the face is in fact the best way, at least for me, to consistently draw the ball. Funny thing is... the ball still appears to be starting out in the direction I'm swinging, not where the supposed face is pointing.
Now I've deliberately opened and closed the face at address and when I point the face where I think it needs to be to start the ball right I literally hit blocks or pushes almost every time. When I point the face close to the target and hood it to my swing it's butter. I've been researching and have read that there's a lot of questioning on the accuracy of these readings.
Oh yea... Last thing, I was trying to hit up on my driver and although the ball definitely floes higher for some reason whenever I really nutted one the machine read like -2. The coach didn't really have an answer for me.. lol. What do you guys think?
post #2 of 57

I'd take the machine's word for it, trackman units cost tens of thousands and are probably the biggest jump in golf technology since the iron byron machine. They can track the club and ball hundreds of times faster than video with very tight tolerances. If the military can track and shoot down missiles going many times faster than the ball, the same technology even in a commercial form is going to be able to track the ball pretty well. Notice in tennis matches how they can electronically track the ball to within 1mm to determine a point, for example.

 

Also, I doubt what you're feeling or intending to do is actually what you're doing. I can set up with the ball off the toe, for example, and still hit the center, then claim that my clubs have the sweet spot out on the toe. But if I threw impact labels on there I'd see I'm actually just compensating on the downswing because I subconsciously know how to strike the ball properly at impact. You know how to draw the ball, in terms of muscle memory, but it's not happening the way you think.

 

As far as hitting down on the driver, it goes higher because of backspin. You want a lot of "dynamic loft" perhaps a bit more than the listed loft on your driver, and a "spin loft" around 10, plus an Angle of attack in the positive range. Makes the ball fly farther by a lot.

 

Hitting Up or Down with the Driver in an Inline Pattern
started on 02/25/11 last post 07/30/14 at 4:45pm 237 replies 23356 views

 

 

5 degrees open sounds about right for a largish draw, unless you like the ball to end up 30 yards left of target. You're starting it out to the right so that there's room to draw towards the target. The start line itself is mostly the face angle, and the ball curves in the opposite direction of the path. So you should be 5 degrees open at impact, starting the ball about that far to the right of target (a push) then your club path is enough in to out (more than 5 degrees in this case or else it will be a straight push or push fade) that the ball curves to the left of the start line back to target, more or less.

 

Your pro's a dope. :-P

 

Ball flight laws and misinformation
started on 03/19/12 last post 01/03/14 at 3:21pm 75 replies 6078 views
post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 
Why is he a dope? He says the sane thing you're saying... but when I do hit up it doesn't go as far or feel as solid as when I allegedly hit down. I think the face angle thing isn't accurate, not the pro. My guess is the ball may start on the face but personally I believe the path has a lot more influence than what you, and the pro, are saying.

If he's a dope than so are you.. hahaha. I think your both wrong
post #4 of 57

Ball starts where the face is pointed at impact and curves away from the path. Good players that draw the ball have a face pointed right of the target at impact. Poor players generally have the face left.

 

Trackman and FlightScope are quite accurate.

post #5 of 57

Assuming center contact (a good operator knows how to read a toe hit that might show the face as open to the path but with a draw tilt to the spin axis), the machines are quite accurate. In my testing, the FlightScope X2 was accurate to within a tenth of a degree on AoA, for example, 90% of the time, and was not farther off than 0.25° any time that I recall. The TM is almost as accurate. If it says you hit down 2, you hit down, you did not hit up.

 

Also, where you set the face at address is only slightly related to where it returns at impact. If your ball starts 5° right and curves back to your target, your face is a little more than 4° right-pointing at impact and your path is about 6° out, roughly.

 

Again, assuming you're hitting the ball on the center of the face.

 

They test and have invested hundreds of thousands - millions, even - of dollars into this stuff. Both TrackMan and FlightScope. We had their $75k camera here for awhile, and tested things ourselves. They're constantly verifying things.

post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Assuming center contact (a good operator knows how to read a toe hit that might show the face as open to the path but with a draw tilt to the spin axis), the machines are quite accurate. In my testing, the FlightScope X2 was accurate to within a tenth of a degree on AoA, for example, 90% of the time, and was not farther off than 0.25° any time that I recall. The TM is almost as accurate. If it says you hit down 2, you hit down, you did not hit up.

Also, where you set the face at address is only slightly related to where it returns at impact. If your ball starts 5° right and curves back to your target, your face is a little more than 4° right-pointing at impact and your path is about 6° out, roughly.

Again, assuming you're hitting the ball on the center of the face.

They test and have invested hundreds of thousands - millions, even - of dollars into this stuff. Both TrackMan and FlightScope. We had their $75k camera here for awhile, and tested things ourselves. They're constantly verifying things.
I think the guy was pretty good and knew what he was doing. He also explained all that gear effect nonsense to me... too much info! I just don't think the face reading seems right to me, I think the ball might be actually closer to the path as the face isn't really read anyway nor the loft.
I just read through the link posted and there was someone in there who seemed to agree with me, at least about the hitting up thing ,but you guys seemed to jump all over the poster. The guy I worked with said hitting up makes the ball go the furthest but couldn't really understand why it didn't for me. I agree with some others who apparently believe certain readings aren't as accurate as we're claimed.
post #7 of 57

Did you read either of the threads I posted? I didn't put them there for my benefit. I don't understand how you could be presented accurate data and disagree with it in favor of your uninformed opinion.

 

Also I take back what I said about the pro. He probably knows what he's doing, and when you said he "didn't have an answer" he probably explained the same thing you've just been told and you ignored him.

post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wangus94 View Post

I just don't think the face reading seems right to me, I think the ball might be actually closer to the path as the face isn't really read anyway nor the loft.

 

I don't know what to tell you except for "you're wrong." They've spent a lot of money to verify this kind of stuff. It's a big part of their entire reason for being.

 

But I'm sure a 16 handicapper going by what he "feels" or "thinks" is more accurate.</sarcasm>

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wangus94 View Post

I just read through the link posted and there was someone in there who seemed to agree with me, at least about the hitting up thing ,but you guys seemed to jump all over the poster. The guy I worked with said hitting up makes the ball go the furthest but couldn't really understand why it didn't for me. I agree with some others who apparently believe certain readings aren't as accurate as we're claimed.

 

Hitting up does make the ball go farther. TaylorMade is claiming 17° launch angle and 1700 RPM spin is "ideal" for many people… how are you going to get those numbers hitting down? The spin will be too high and the launch too low.

post #9 of 57
Thread Starter 
Guys I'm definitely wrong about a lot of things..haha... ask my exwife. But I do have a background in mechanical engineering and have some radar understanding. I'm not claiming the data is bad, as a matter of fact the path readings made perfect senses and we're always + numbers. The face readings though... got some open to path readings that matched ever shot I normally hit and felt solid. It seemed like the more Intried to swing to the right the wider the face got even when I deliberately tried to roll my wrists. Someone explain how the radar can determine the face when it's behind it? I understand measuring sweet spot and seeing how it moves but the face, really?
The hitting up thing.... seems like it gets everyone all fired up? I know it makes the ball go further but has to be if it fits your swing right? I mean I was getting bad carry and spinny moon balls when I could pull it off. I aware, the shots that felt the purest, I mean really hit solidly were reading -2. I was convinced I was hitting up or at least level and they got me the straightest longest drives on that thing. I keep trying to hit up on it like everyone tells me and I can't make contact.
I just have this weird hinch that the ball takes off not as much on the face as everybody now thinks...,haha.
post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wangus94 View Post

I'm not claiming the data is bad, as a matter of fact the path readings made perfect senses and we're always + numbers. The face readings though... got some open to path readings that matched ever shot I normally hit and felt solid. It seemed like the more Intried to swing to the right the wider the face got even when I deliberately tried to roll my wrists. Someone explain how the radar can determine the face when it's behind it? I understand measuring sweet spot and seeing how it moves but the face, really?

 

It seems like you still think the ball starts primarily in the direction of the path? Yes the face has to be closed to the path to draw it but if you want the ball to curve towards the target, your face better be aimed right at impact.

 

Are you saying the face was open to the path but the ball was still drawing? Then it was probably a toe hit. 

 

As @iacas has said, they've spent a lot of money verifying their technology, Erik himself has verified it with an camera, not sure what else there is to say.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wangus94 View Post

The hitting up thing.... seems like it gets everyone all fired up? I know it makes the ball go further but has to be if it fits your swing right? I mean I was getting bad carry and spinny moon balls when I could pull it off.
 

Hitting up isn't complicated, you just play the ball more forward, slightly in front of your left shoulder. It shouldn't result in spinny shots, it actually lowers the spin rate. So if you were trying to hit up, you were doing something wrong.

post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure what I think anymore. Just seems like the pro down there in San Diego I saw who just got one didn't know and said there's this big riff now in those circles over all this stuff like attack angle and face angle. There's these two guys who are trying to copy the Trackman Maestro guy. Schoen and Brossard I think
post #12 of 57
You know, after reading this thread, I think I'm changing my opinion. I'm gonna go with @Wangus94 feelings or hunches rather than the millions of dollars of engineering behind trackman.
post #13 of 57
@Wangus94, it's not just about face, path, and AoA. Where you hit the ball on the clubface has a huge influence over the flight, as others have mentioned. Gear effect plays a larger role than you may think, so if you aren't hitting the sweetspot consistently, then yea you can throw the ballflight laws out the window.

If you hit up on the ball and it ballooned on you, you probably hit it low on the face, which increases spin. You hit an open to the path draw, it came off the toe.

Not really sure what else anybody can tell you, if you don't believe in the science.
post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

@Wangus94, it's not just about face, path, and AoA. Where you hit the ball on the clubface has a huge influence over the flight, as others have mentioned. Gear effect plays a larger role than you may think, so if you aren't hitting the sweetspot consistently, then yea you can throw the ballflight laws out the window.

If you hit up on the ball and it ballooned on you, you probably hit it low on the face, which increases spin. You hit an open to the path draw, it came off the toe.

Not really sure what else anybody can tell you, if you don't believe in the science.
I'm not sure if you guys are really understanding what I'm saying? I do believe in the science to some extent and completely understand how the club numbers tare tracked and derived. Still nobody answered my question: how can you accurately calculate the face when the radar can't see it? Million dollar question right there. The Trackman guys will be the first one to tell you the face is not measured, it's a calculated guess same with loft. I'm not anti-Trackman just not convinced the calculated measurements are perfect and apparently this guru shadow instructor down here named Brossard somehow has figured this all out. At least that's the rumor... lol.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wangus94 View Post

I'm not sure what I think anymore. Just seems like the pro down there in San Diego I saw who just got one didn't know and said there's this big riff now in those circles over all this stuff like attack angle and face angle. There's these two guys who are trying to copy the Trackman Maestro guy. Schoen and Brossard I think

 

Did you go see Bob Townsend?

 

The discussion or "riff" is more about the percentages of how much the face determines start line, whether it's 75% or 85% for certain clubs. There isn't a disagreement that the face angle primarily determines start line.

 

Golf pros love to gossip ;-)

post #16 of 57

Brossard:

 

https://www.facebook.com/TrackmanSD

https://scontent-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/t1.0-9/p370x247/1001759_518206751567411_886266605_n.jpg

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/damon-brossard/63/788/6ba

 

Okay, let's hear what he has to say:

 

http://www.radarprecisiongolf.com/

 

Dead link, doh! Everything about TM on is FB page is already available on the official Trackman pdfs.

post #17 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

Did you go see Bob Townsend?

The discussion or "riff" is more about the percentages of how much the face determines start line, whether it's 75% or 85% for certain clubs. There isn't a disagreement that the face angle primarily determines start line.

Golf pros love to gossip a2_wink.gif
No, whose Bob Townhend? This guy said this Brossard guy was the front runner with all the Trackman stuff. I guess a bunch of guys who shunned it a couple years back are now all following in his footsteps and there's a bunch of them pooping up around here now.
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wangus94 View Post


No, whose Bob Townhend? This guy said this Brossard guy was the front runner with all the Trackman stuff. I guess a bunch of guys who shunned it a couple years back are now all following in his footsteps and there's a bunch of them pooping up around here now.

 

Bob is an instructor I know in SD that recently got a Trackman. 

 

Brossard has trolled this site a few times. @iacas and I had to correct him a couple times on stuff he got wrong.

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