Updated: Apr 21, 2021
One of the things that I personally love about training with a Trackman as compared to just hitting balls on the range is the level of feedback that you get. Like many of you I've played golf for years and honestly with all the shots I have hit on the range I didn't really make a lot of improvement with those range sessions. When you just hit balls with no video and no numbers your feedback is pretty limited.
Over the past few months now that I have been practicing on a Trackman system my body mechanics and associated impact positions of the club are getting substantially better. I've moved from always hitting a weak fade to being able to regularly hit draws on demand on the course.
To paraphrase an oft repeated quote, "If you don't measure it you won't improve it"
I recently had a trip to St. George, Utah and took the opportunity to reach out to Barry Schenk, the owner of Golf Logics, a Trackman studio in St George. I asked him to show me what techniques he advises his customers use when they come in for lessons and practice at that Trackman facility.
He suggested that effective sessions contain the following elements:
Hit 10 to 15 shots and look for patterns. Don't just aimlessly hit. Take the time to look at the data and understand what every shot means.
Always make sure you are monitoring the club path and the face angle relative to the club path. Nobody hits dead straight balls shot after shot. Learn how to feel what a draw vs a fade feels like and how to feel the control of the face angle for a draw vs a fade spin. Learn what the "corridors of success" are for combinations of club path and face angle and how that feels to you when it works.
The horizontal launch angle of the ball should be about 1/2 the club path to generate a draw or fade spin that will cause the ball to end up on the target line. The club face to path number drives the horizontal launch angle of the ball. The ball will launch between the club path and the club face angle. The ball will launch closer to the club face angle as compared to the club path but it always launches between the two. The angle left or right of the target line where the ball launches is called horizontal launch angle in Trackman.
There is a window of success or a corridor so to speak for shots to end up not too left or too right of the target line. You need to keep the face to path number smaller than the club path number. If your club path is a +5 for example, you need to keep the face to path between -1 and -4. If you path is -5 you need the face to path +1 to +4. This gives you a corridor of success. So monitor those relative numbers and gauge the feeling that is needed in your body mechanics to generate them.
Once you see the pattern and try to adjust, pay attention to the video that shows the actual body positions. In particular monitor how the wrist positions are working through impact. Wrist angles need to be driven by body rotation, and not from casting the club at the ball. We'll have some other videos on this from Barry in another post.
You cannot generate consistent face angle control when your right (trail side) wrist is flexing or flipping through the impact. It just requires too much timing and will not generate repeatable face angle control shot after shot. You need to be pulling the weight of the club through the shot, not pushing the club head through impact with the right (trail) wrist.
Relate the feelings you have in the swing to the actual body positions and the actual numbers generated. Golf requires a lot of precision. So you need to be precise when you look at your video to understand the progressions of your feeling to actual positions to actual numbers generated with the ball flight.
I'll be posting some other videos in terms of some feedback he had for me after looking at the numbers in this session. The video here shows me trying to go through these steps. I hope you find it useful to see how he was working with me to help drive a productive practice session.