Golf’s latest revolution—Launch Monitors

Golf Launch Monitors

There been a few revolutions in recent years in golf. They started with the ball, which was put through the developmental hoops by the industry boffins, and came out the other side bearing little resemblance to the balls of yesteryear, except that they were still round and had dimples. The other revolution was with clubs and shafts: new materials, thinner faces, multiple movable weight placement , and adjustment options, combined with a higher emphasis on club fitting means, (in combination with the ball developments), golfers are basically playing a completely different game than they were twenty or thirty years ago.

A brief history

One interesting result of this has been that golfers who started playing in say, the late seventies with balata golf balls, wooden headed drivers and steel shafts have actually experienced hitting the ball farther as they’ve gotten older? I don’t know of any other sport, where in the last fifty years, players have been able to get appreciably better as they’ve aged!

The next revolution was the introduction of video into the teaching process, notably in the early days by coaches such as David Leadbetter in his famous re-tooling of Nick Faldo’s swing. Video allowed coaches and players to bypass the guesswork that had previously been such a big part of the learning and game maintenance process—the old “dig it out of the dirt” approach—and see what was actually happening in a players swing.

It was a natural progression to be able to verify other “givens” around players performance in regards to what the ball was doing through the air and what the club was doing through impact. When tracking technology, mainly initially developed by the military, started to cross over to other industries this became popular.

Of course in the early days, like any developing technology, it was clunky and expensive. At 24/7 Golf we’ve been in the industry right from the get go, and can remember ball tracking technology that could not measure spin or shot shape at all! Launch monitors were generally only found in commercial settings like indoor simulator centres, golf retail shops, major teaching centres and club fitting operations.

Fast forward to 2020

Fast forward to 2020 and the technology has gone through the roof. And like all technology as it develops, and competitors arrive, the relative cost becomes more affordable. The result being that in recent years incredibly accurate and easy use Launch Monitors like Flightscopes X3, Mevo, Mevo+ and Skytrack have come within reach of the domestic market.

Most of the current range of Launch Monitors offer multiple driving range experiences, short game and skills testing areas. They also allow golfers to store data, and retrieve it easily, so they can track their progress over time. Then there’s the bevy of course play options. Literally thousands upon thousands of different courses taken from real life or virtually created.

All of these options, which 24/7 Golf carry, can be combined with screens, hitting mats, safety enclosures and projected images to create complete immersive at home practice and play environments for the modern golfer. We’ve also created dedicated packages at various price points, to make it easier for your to find the right solution for you.

The result with this latest revolution is two-fold. At a tour player level we no longer see the long periods of form drop off that even top players would experience pre the 1980’s. Where they’d often have to just keep on beating balls until they hopefully got their form back, or be lucky enough to have an experienced coach with a good “eye”. Nowadays, with pin point data retrieved in a matter of minutes, combined with video feedback and even weight placement analysis, the modern player and coach can find the root cause of a fault and remedy it before it destroys a career. This is one of the reasons you’re seeing less and less of the funky Jim Furyk type actions coming through on tour these days, and if you do it’s because top coaches like George Gankas are seeing great numbers from a player like Matt Wolfe and only changing what they need to—the aesthetic has changed. Now it’s about maximizing functionality in a swing and not just changing it to fit a “classic” model.

Optimize your putting

It’s the same reason you see hardly any tour pro’s develop the “putting yips” these days. They get their putting numbers checked at the first sign of any issues and nip problems in the bud before they fester to become larger issues.

In fact, whether it’s full swing, short game, or putting related tour players don’t so much fix problems that go wrong anymore, as much as just keep their launch monitor numbers, and thus their games, within parameters they know will spell success for them.

What does this mean at an everyday player level? Well it means that if you’re smart, and get the best launch monitor and practice environment you can afford, you can stop wasting time going around in circles and work on things that really matter. Golf is all about feel, but you need accurate feedback to tell you what your “feels” are producing.

For instance, starting out in golf now as a beginner you can, from day one, with the help of a launch monitor, be monitoring accurately the distances you carry your shots. Thus if you also have a GPS or Range finder, when you go out to play, your not guessing at which club to choose.

At a higher level, improvements are incremental, at times microscopic. For instance if a tour player knows that a certain backswing length, angle of attack, backspin rate, launch angle, maximum height and smash factor with their gap wedge, produces an 80 yard carry, they can repetitively internalise the feel of that swing. The end result being they have a reliable 80 yard shot even under extreme pressure.

Launch monitors have changed the landscape in golf completely. Browse our website to see the best  options available, at the best prices, with review and specs on each one.

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