Science of Golf at IJGA
Since its introduction in the early 2000’s, Trackman has helped to revolutionize the world of golf coaching. It is a Dopler Radar that uses similar technology used by the Navy to track missiles. It collects 26 different parameters relating to the club head, ball flight and the ball.
Some of the parameters include:
- Ball Speed
- Launch Angle
- Axis Tilt
- Club Head Speed
- Carry Distance
- Total Distance
- Spin Rate
- Dynamic Loft
- Smash Factor (Quality of Strike)
One of the best aspects of TrackMan is that the information is instantaneous and is based on the information directly gathered from the clubhead and the ball flight. TrackMan is also used for improving skills sets such as distance and direction control. Individualized performance tests are created within the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) to specifically target the areas of a players’ game that require the most work.
With all the data available, it is easy to become engrossed in each parameter and striving for improvement becomes addictive. However, there is a skill to deciphering the data, the skill of the coach is to look at ALL the numbers and decide which specific parameters must be improved. With all of the information gathered from TrackMan, the skill is then to communicate with the player in a simple, easy and logical manner.
This should empower the player to know:
What they need to change?
Why they need to change it?
How they need to change it?
Parameters vary depending on the type of player. Optimum numbers for one player may not be the same for another. For example, someone who has a high swing speed with the driver may be looking at having a spin rate between 1900-2200 rpm. Whereas someone with a slower swing speed would require a higher spin rate between 2500-2800 rpm to give the ball more lift and keep it in the air for longer. Knowing what numbers work with each player requires an in-depth knowledge of the player’s golf game, as well as a full comprehension of all the TrackMan numbers. At IJGA, TrackMan is used in conjunction with other equipment such as 3D Motion Capture, K -Vest and Video Analysis to give a fully detailed analysis of what exactly is happening within a players’ swing.
For junior golfers, a combination of the latest technology such as TrackMan, with specifically designed games, increases their enjoyment and therefore the speed of their development. The use of technology allows one of the worlds most difficult sports, to be made just a little easier.
By IJGA Senior Golf Coach Dan Jackson