In recent years, it seems like every serious golfer has obtained a golf launch monitor. A golf launch monitor, also referred to simply as a launch monitor, tracks several different variables of your swing, including clubhead speed, clubhead path, and the spin of the golf ball immediately after it’s struck. Many avid golfers use launch monitors to see how changes in their swing may affect the distance and flight of their shots. Launch monitors have been around for a while, but early launch monitors were often seen only at large facilities. These days, launch monitors are affordable and portable so that any golfer who wants one can get one to start tracking the dynamics of their golf swing. To learn more about how launch monitors track these statistics, read on.
One of the first numbers that golfers think of checking when they first get a launch monitor is clubhead speed. Everyone wants to hit the ball further, especially with the driver. One of the ways to do this is by increasing your clubhead speed. Of course, launch monitors also record the clubhead path and spin of the ball, both of which are also important to distance. Golfers at all levels of ability often make equipment changes and even swing changes to increase their clubhead speed. However, without a launch monitor they are simply guessing whether or not they were successful. Using a launch monitor when you’re trying to increase the distance you hit the ball gives you immediate concrete feedback on any changes you make so that you know if you are going in the right direction.
The path of the clubhead is another important metric that launch monitors follow. Of course, the path of the clubhead is important to the path of the golf ball after it’s struck. Many golfers use launch monitors when they are slicing or hooking the ball to see what they need to change about the path of their clubhead. Having a correct clubhead path can also help golfers hit the ball further. It is the path of the clubhead being off center that leads to hits on the heel or the toe of the club instead of the sweet spot. Also, a curving clubhead path can lead to a severe slice or hook, which of course will not go nearly as far as a straight shot.
The third of the big 3 metrics that nearly all launch monitors record is the spin of the ball. Launch monitors record spin that leads to hooks and slices as well as backspin. Backspin is very important not just for the trajectory of the shot, but also for the distance. This is especially true when it comes to the driver. Shots from the driver that have less backspin will have a more penetrating trajectory that will lead to the ball flying further and rolling further once it hits the ground. Golfers can also use the ball spin metric to see if a change in their swing or equipment reduces their slice or hook tendencies.