Launch monitors for golf training?

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BUDDY DE JOYA

Just the thought of using a launch monitor, to coach with, really overwhelms me! It makes me think about it.

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There are various numbers you need to deal with as a student, which can be difficult to execute. It can be helpful to the more serious golfers but not to the majority. Moreover, as an additional promotional and marketing tool, it increases the professional fees tremendously. It is good for business but excludes the essence of educating.

So, let’s find out what a launch monitor is. Basically it’s an electronic device that measures various aspects of what happens to a golf ball when struck by a golf club.It is originally used for golf club-fitting purposes, to determine the ideal club heads, shafts and even golf balls suited for you.

There are two types of launch monitors. The most commonly used monitors utilize a “Doppler radar” technology, while the other, a camera technology. They both collect ball data and club data.

Andy Roberts of Golf Magic implies that, “ball data includes ball speed, launch angle, launch direction, spin axis, spin rate, smash factor (efficiency of the transfer of energy from the club to the ball), height, carry distance, total distance, landing angle and hang time.Club data comprises club speed, attack angle, club path, swing plane, swing direction, dynamic loft (amount of loft on the club face at impact), spin loft, face angle and face-to-path”.

I really think there are too many numbers to consider, with the accompanying adjustments to your club-fitting specification requirements and/or swing adjustments. Meaning, you may have to manipulate your swinging motion, considering the fact that, the swing biomechanics is difficult enough to learn and do. Thus, it is no good for the majority because it will kill the fun part of the game. I believe that only tour players and top amateurs will gain the most out of these monitors.

According to the National Golf Foundation, “the average golf score remains where it has been for decades: 100. This, in spite of all the innovations in club and ball design and instruction. The USGA says that the average golf handicap for men is 16.1, and is 29.2 for women”.

So, what does this tell you? Had innovations and technology actually improved the scoring capabilities of each golfer? NO! It just makes it fascinating and impressive.

Based on an article by GolfBlogger, the National Golf Foundation breaks down scores this way:

• 5% of adult golfers score 80 and under
• 21% of adult golfers score 80-89
• 29% of adult golfers score 90-99
• 24% of adult golfers score 100-109
• 10% of adult golfers score 110-119
• 11% of adult golfers score 120+

I personally don’t think that those who score from 90-99 (29%) are really serious about playing. I can consider the players scoring 80-89 (21%) more enthusiastic, especially those guys who can deliver an 80 and below score, at only 5%.

So roughly, only about 26% will really benefit in engaging the use of launch monitors. Mind you and nothing personal, I know several coaches who prefer to teach top amateurs and non-beginners. The top 26% is innately technical and willing to spend the most, believing that they can score better. I see it as an ideal market to earn further if you are into club fitting and instructions. Just my thoughts, I reckon.

If you are in the 90 to 120+ score bracket, you must wisely decide if you really want to get into the stream of being coached with the aid of launch monitors. When you do, make sure that you commit diligently. Definitely you can be charged more. But, it can be worthwhile.

I don’t really want to brag about myself. But on short golf courses, I can easily score between 2-3 over par. On long courses, I can score between 4-8 over par, without practice, and no mulligans in a round of 18 holes. The good part is, I still use my 12-year-old golf set, never been custom-fitted and never depended on a launch monitor in my entire golf life. What makes this possible? I have been playing for 52 years!

At the end of the day, the promotion of launch monitors in 2017 is all about business. For those who are keen on using launch monitors, well and good because they have their own reasons and progressive intentions. It is an additional service and a marketing tool.

I am actually eyeing one, it will serve just the same but more for personal expansion and a guide to a selected few. I still believe in deeply knowing and owning the game, living it with passion and fun,with lots of freedom. No numbers, I hate Math!

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