I didn’t get quite get the new model nailed down today on my first foray back to hitting balls at the Tracer Golf facility.
I’ll be honest, however – I loved it every moment of it.
The most joy I’ve had in my swing research over the years have been in those solitary moments on the range or golf course, working on whatever it was I was after, and the process always gave me as much pleasure as the results.
Today being the first day back after a layoff, I first spent some time seeing what my ball and club speed were with the swing I brought there, before getting down to working on changes I’d set upon during the down time.
I broke the 190 mph Ball Speed barrier and nearly hit the 130 mph mark in club speed for max numbers, and I know that even if I didn’t quite nail the model, it’s much better, because I was in the 180s and 120s for ball and club speed for many of my swings.
All without feeling I was straining to leverage the club, and without any twisting sensations in the lower leading leg apart from one or two swings that made me back off and re-evaluate stance and pivot.
Here are the max ball and club speeds, 191.4 mph ball speed on two separate swings with 128.7 and 129.6 mph club speeds:
My alignment issues hitting at screens continue – both swings hit flush and yet the machine said “pull,” which meant I was aligned slightly left.
I’m not sure about the spin and roll numbers – I know that ball and club speed are not an issue for high-speed cameras but the algorithm seems off with spin and run.
I say that because I’ve never hit a drive that carried 280-290 yards with 5 meagre yards of run – that’s less than a long iron would give me on the fairway or green, and I was hitting my 6 degree Geek Dot-Com This, so I’d like know how a 6 degree face would produce 3500 rpm back spin without a slice (open face, extra loft) coming into play.
You all know I was reporting 280-290 yards of carry in the summer with a good run-out of 20-30 yards based upon my laser measuring the mounds up which (and over at times) I’d put my drives at the range, so I know the ball speed, club speed and carry distances are what I expect when swinging for speed.
If you’re not sure you can get your club and ball speeds up to these numbers, despair not – after some fiddling around and when I was working on the fundamentals, I was driving the ball nearly as far with a good deal less speed.
For those who may have trouble with the blurry pic (I was just grabbing my phone and snapping a pic here and there while working), I hit a 295 yard drive with a little more run from a 282.5 yard carry, with the following numbers:
- Club Speed 117.5 mph,
- Ball Speed 172.3 mph,
- Launch Angle 7.8 Degrees (about 2 degrees positive AA with a 6 degree lofted club),
- 2500 rpm Back Spin and
- Less than 10 yards off dead center of the fairway.
As you can see, it is possible to drive the ball 300 yards, give or take, with a ball speed around 170 mph and club speed between 115 and 120 mph, provided you keep your back spin numbers below high-2000s, which many people no doubt feel they can target with a technical improvement.
Now, it may just be that, as with my SC300i launch monitor, these facilities aren’t quite geared for higher speed balls and club speeds and are designed for the average amateur, because the faster I swing, the more the spin and run-out numbers just seem off compared to the other numbers.
For example, if I had actually pulled those two first drives that I posted above, I would expect a lot more than 5 yards run-out (when you pull or hook the ball with good contact, you get a good deal of roll, which is why you can never find those errant drives as opposed to slice or pushes).
If it isn’t that, I’ve got nothing.
So, after a two month layoff, I hit higher speeds than the previous trips to Tracer Golf, which means the swing work did help, although I know I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be with the technique.
I will work on the setup some more (not the theory but with the real swing, because I likely nail it at home and then get off track swinging an actual club), and then return to see how things go.
To be fair, I would be delighted to nail the model with little to no increase in the actual club and ball speeds, because that would mean that this soon-to-be 53 year old would still be able to drive it 350 and beyond with a fitted club and playing balls, all looking as smooth and silky as this guy:
The work continues.
More to come!