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TrackMan Golf: Build a Better Understanding

Many golfers who have actually been on TrackMan absolutely love the training options the unit provides. Unfortunately not every golfer truly understands the importance of practicing with one and how it can improve your golf swing.  Being able to gather accurate data concerning the flight of your ball is a essential part of being able to play golf more consistently.  The only way to gather that type of information is from using the premier golf swing analysis software available to golfers.  TrackMan Golf is the industries best when it comes to club delivery and measuring actual ball fight.  Here are a few essential data points collected and necessary information for golfers to understand.  Learn these and you can improve your golf scores.

  • Being able to accurately determine how far each club actually travels is an essential part of being able to hit the ball closer to the pin or over hazards.  Most golfers only know how far the total distance is but not how far the ball carries.  Knowing how far the ball carries is more important then knowing how far the ball rolls out.  That is because the roll of the golf ball is going to change from course to course based on how soft or hard the conditions are.  So knowing that a driver for instance rolls out 275 yards but only carries 250 yards, helps make the decision of not trying to carry a bunker which is 260 yards away not only easy but extremely smart.
  • Knowing and ensuring that a golfer has consistent yardage gaps between all their clubs is necessary information.  What we don’t want is having a couple of clubs overlap or only have a few yards between them.  Having two clubs that basically go the same distance is ineffective in the grand scheme of things.
  •  TrackMan Golf helps ensure the science behind the ball-flight is maximized.  This is especially important in being able to hit the ball not only straight but also the furthest.  We as golfers have a specific preference to a manufacture but TrackMan really doesn’t care what manufacture you play.  It only provides you data concerning the ball flight.  So using a golf swing analysis software like TrackMan Golf can help you not only improve your golf game but improve your golf scores.
  • TrackMan Golf measures the most important aspect of the golf swing, the collision between the golf club and golf ball.  Precisely knowing this information and gaining a greater understanding of impact, makes improvement not only easier but potentially faster.  Just using your eyes to determine the mistake at impact, it virtually impossible because of the speed in which that is happening.

Using TrackMan Golf for improving the way a golfer practices is a valuable asset in building ball control skills.  TrackMan Golf tracks the flight of each shot, separates the various clubs being used so that the golfer can review all the data collected.  This is a amazing feature when it comes to building skill based on hitting stock shots or working the golf ball at various distances.

  • See how good you are in controlling the flight of your golf ball at different distances.  You can also see how good you are at hitting specialty shots.
  • Compare your game to those golfers throughout the world.  This is especially important for those golfers who are serious about taking their game to the next level.  Knowing where you stand against other helps you learn exactly what is needed to improve your game.  http://trackman.dk/Products/TrackMan-Pro/Combine.aspx
  • Competitive junior golfers who are looking to play at elite colleges will learn where they stand by taking the TrackMan combine test.  This combine test is something college coaches are looking at when it comes to recruiting.  http://trackman.dk/Customers/University-new.aspx
New for the 2012 golf season is being able to rent TrackMan out for your practice sessions.  You know can use and improve your game with this game changing technology.  For more information on this please visit www.DennisSalesGolf.com

These are only a few features that TrackMan offers.  To learn more about the benefits of incorporating TrackMan into your game visit www.TrackMan.dk 

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TrackMan Golf for Strategy Building

I’ll have students use TrackMan constantly during practice sessions.  What this does for us in my opinion is indispensable.  Rather then giving the committed player ball control drills to work on their own, I have them do their practice regimen  while TrackMan is collecting data.  This forces them to be discover concepts on their own and become self-reliant since I’m not hovering over their shoulder.  Once they are finished with their practice, we can sit down and look over the data.

Because TrackMan measures and records so many parameters, it allows us to become very precise in grading ball control skills.  By measuring what the ball actually does helps us obtain crucial dispersion patterns.  These patterns help us create course management tactics which will help them shoot lower scores on the course.  If the committed players has precise information on their patterns, this in my opinion, provides them a competitive advantage over a golfer who doesn’t have this information.   Watch the below video as I discuss dispersion patters and how it will help you on the golf course.

Indoor Golf Training

I was having a discussing with a group of other professionals on indoor training.  Here is my take on the importance of training indoors in the offseason.  The offseason usually takes a few months especially if you live in the cold weather climates.  A few months give you and your coach the time necessary to go through the following steps.  This will help you finally have the golf season you have always dreamed about.

I truly believe it is so much easier to ingrain new movement patterns when the student does not get to
see ball flight.  That is only created when hitting into a net.  Having a student hit into a net forces them to become more focused on improving the current motion.  Here is the catch though, I’ve said it more than once that ball flight is king and is required.  The instructor must have an accurate way of measuring the collision between club and ball.  If that information is not available or potentially incorrect, then indoor training in my opinion can cause serious issues once you get outside.  The whole purpose of trying to improve your swing shouldn’t be about making it look better on video.  It should be about improving your impact alignments.  Impact alignments include but are not limited to club path, and face angle.  All impact alignments govern how the ball will fly!

So to gain control over your impact alignments you have to give some of that control up.  You give up searching for where that ball ended up and focus on what your coach wants you to do.  Let the coach keep track of what is happening at impact and how the ball flies.  If he is keeping data then you’ll be able to see the improvements happen without stressing about the finish product.  Also, to achieve that finish product you need a plan and must have set goals!

Now I’m going to have you think a bit.  When was the last time you entered the 19th hole and didn’t get asked “What did you Shoot?”  Did they first ask you what your swing looked like or how far you hit it?  Doesn’t it take ball control to shoot lower scores?  Tour professionals all have unique swings but possess unmatched ball control skills from tee to green?    I’m sure I’ve got you thinking now about your ball control skills.

Let’s continue looking at ball control.  The more control you have over the ball the greater the chances you’ll score better.  You’ll be able to hit more fairways, greens in regulation, and even make more putts.  Maybe you already have good ball control skills from the tee but suffer controlling the ball coming into the green. I really don’t know and you might not either.  Hiring a golf coach will help you find out exactly what skills you need to improve on.  Golf coaches and golf instructors are completely different which I’ll get into another time.

Lastly, I firmly believe that if everyone was to shoot lower scores their enjoyment of the game would go up.  Don’t know many people who consistently do things they are not good at or don’t even enjoy doing.  Golf is fun!

How important is Off-Season Work

I find that the off-season is the absolute best time to work on improving the mechanics of your swing.  Changing the mechanics of the swing also must coincide with what the student’s goals are and how much time they are willing to put into the equation. Trying to change a technical aspect in somebody’s golf swing during the season on a Wednesday for instance and they are playing golf on Saturday isn’t fair.  It’s not fair for the instructor or for the golfer.  This in my opinion is where golf instruction fails and where coaching thrives.  That I’ll explain another time.

What every golfer needs to understand is that you are ultimately being judged on your ability to control the flight of the golf ball from tee to green and not the motion of the swing.  If you keep that in mind you are well on your road in starting to shoot lower scores.  If you plan on making any swing changes those changes better be a result of improving a ball flight and not fitting into the method of your instructor.  We all have seen it week in and week out, all touring professional have their own unique style in swinging the club.  They have learned to develop the skills necessary to control their ball and you are no different.

Improving your motion is also best done without you seeing the flight of the golf ball.  The key word is YOU!  The instructor must have a tool to precisely measure your impact alignments because those impact alignments control the flight of the ball.  If you don’t believe me, research the D-Plane yourself.  The D-Plane is ball flight law on center face hits.  Tools that accurately measure impact alignments make working indoors well worth it.

Lastly, using a stat tracking program such as Shot-by-Shot during the season makes figuring out what YOU need in the off-season easy.  These stats help a coach create your program for improvement.  Without stats it’s almost like shooting in the dark!  If you don’t have stats, start researching Shot-by-Shot and get on it.  It will be well worth your time and I’m pretty certain it could open your eyes to what you truly need.  Why do I say this?  I have student’s using Shot-by-Shot now and it has changed what my students now want from me.  That and most students are not honest with what they really need.  I have learned what golfers’ want isn’t exactly what they need.  Now since we are in the off-season and you probably have no stats, so we really don’t know what you need.  This is where getting some type of ball control skills testing is a must!  That test will help direct you in a direction to start your off-season improvement program.

What Makes Indoor Training Worth It

As winter seems to be settling in here in the North East, we find ourselves having to make a decision on how or will we continue with our training.  I find that it’s important for golfers to take a short break, and then continue to work on their swing during the offseason.  Especially, if you want to hit next year’s golf season in full stride, rather than struggling through the first few months.

As you decide on where or even if you’ll continue to practice and take lessons, you need to think about a few things first.  Indoor training means having a limited ball flight.  Working on your swing while hitting a ball into a net, really allows the golfer to focus on the movement more than the flight of the ball.  Is that entirely a good thing?  I tend to think so, but only up to a certain point.  Ultimately what we want to improve is the flight of the golf ball but what if there is no flight?  Even a perfectly felt shot that has a few degrees closed club face turns out to be a poor shot on the golf course especially if your path is right at the target.

This is where indoor training can be tricky and actually hurt the golfer.  Let’s assume that you have a perfectly looking golf swing on video.  Each shot feels really flush and smacks the net over and over again.  The swing feels good and looks good on video.  Man you are now grooving what you think is a great swing.  April now comes around, your first round of golf out on the golf course and you are so excited about this golf season.  You tee up your golf ball, make that same great swing, and low and behold a low pull hook to the left.  You will automatically think where that came from since you have been hitting it pure all winter long.  But have you really?  Or have you been creating that specific ball flight?  We as golfers are only really judged on your ability to control the ball and put it into the hole in the least amount of shots.  Not on how good your swing looks.  The number one thing you need to understand is that what you are trying to do change or even create in your golf swing is directly related to the flight of the golf ball.  What the ball does is the most important aspect and it absolutely can’t be left out of the equation.  So before you start getting into a training program ask yourself these few questions.

  1. What will be measuring the clubs data? 
  2. How will I know where the ball went?
  3. How will my progress be tracked?
  4. How will I know that I’m working on the right motion to improve my ball flight if I can’t see where the ball ends up?

Please don’t think I don’t like the indoor concept cause I really feel it has some major benefits.  You just really need to research what the facility is offering in being able to accurately measure the most important aspect of the swing.  That is the collision between the club and ball.  Simulators are great fun and can be entertaining but some of them really don’t tell the truth behind the flight.  I’m sure you know exactly what I mean if you have been on one.  Have you not laughed at the distance it gave you, especially after you felt a terrible shot?  Then you know exactly what I mean.

Assessing Your Game

Mother Nature has done an amazing job in postponing winter fornorthern state folks this year.  But it soon will be that time of year again where the clubs get set aside for a period of time.  I think this time is great to reflect on how your season went.  Sit down and look at the goals you set for yourself.  Do you or did you not hit them?  Start asking yourself questions as to why those goals were not meet?  Once you have those answers written down, you’ll either need to adjust them or find somebody that will help you achieve them. 

Now I need you to look at those goals, questions and answers.  Did any of them have a system in place that you could monitor the progression?  How can you improve your golf game if you are not measuring it?  I personally find it very difficult to improve if you don’t have a specific way of monitoring your progress.

I really like using ShotbyShot with my students.  This provides students with indispensible data to not only track your progress but show you exactly where improvements are needed.  Remember golf is more than just improving the full swing, it requires you to know exactly what area is costing you the most shots. Image