TrackMan Face Impact Data Improves Fitting Results
We have long known in our fitting process that face impact has a tremendous affect on distance and accuracy. We have been touting for years that the “sweet spot” on a driver is not dead center, but slightly towards the toe and slightly above center. Well, TrackMan is now helping us prove our theory! TrackMan’s latest release of their Performance Center includes the ability to track the exact impact area on the face of the club for each club in your bag (putter coming this summer)! I have been working on getting by driver dialed in and the picture at the left shows my “impact area” for about a dozen or so shots. The smash factor is at 1.48, not bad for a guy of my handicap, but the detail show that those shots that are below center and slightly towards the heel drop to 1.45 or below. What this means is that I am losing up to 15 yards by not hitting in the sweet spot! Spin goes up, ball speed goes down and dispersion increases.
Fitting to Smash Factor
In our fittings we always try to maximize the efficiency of our golfer’s swings. This means getting the most ball speed for a given swing speed. This is the definition of Smash Factor, i.e. divide ball speed by club speed and you get smash factor. If you miss the most efficient part of the face, your ball speed is reduced and shot dispersion increases. Smash factor for a driver should be as close to 1.50 as possible. I have seen these high smash factors for some new fairway woods, and smash factors above 1.45 for hybrids and irons. At the end of the day, getting the right shaft, club head and face impact will maximize BOTH distance and accuracy.
Old Methods of Measuring Face Impact
We have been measuring face impact by either using impact tape or Dr. Scholl’s foot powder spray put on the face of the club. The bad news about that is that it will affect the spin off the face which will give incorrect distance and dispersion data. But, it is definitely helpful to get this feedback so we can make proper head, shaft and grip recommendations.
New Tools, Better Fitting
Bottom line? If you REALLY want to get the best fit, go to a fitter that uses TrackMan IV and the new Performance Fitting Studio 6.0. We will be able to dial you in to the right club length, shaft flex, shaft weight, tip profile, loft and lie to maximize your performance. So sign up for a fitting today and improve YOUR distance and accuracy!