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Thread: TrackMan Data Parameters

  1. #1
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    TrackMan Data Parameters

    Could someone tell me which of the 26 Trackman Data Parameters below are accurate? From what I have been reading the club data is not accurate enough to trust, but which of the ball data parameters are accurate enough to trust? Any?

    I'm not a Trackman owner, I'm just wanting to learn more about them. About a year ago I thought they were the most amazing tool to use and all the "experts" were using them, now I'm not so sure they are as good as everyone thinks.

    I know Kelvin and Jeff did some research a while back with Trackman and Phantom. Maybe either of you could help answer my question.


    Thanks
    Denny

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  2. #2
    Depends on how you define 'accurate.' For example, club head speed with the driver on Trackman is always going to be slower than what you're going to read on ENSO and many other machines. I had a Tour client recently tell me that he went on ENSO and was measured at 114 mph club head speed, but when he goes on Trackman, he gets to only 110 mph, tops. So, it depends on what your parameters for accuracy are (that's why most systems have a 'margin of error.'

    Part of why I will still use Trackman is that I know the flaws of the machine and the inaccuracies of the machine. But, the machine is fairly consistent. I know if I'm generating 108 mph of club head speed with the driver, that in reality it is more like 112 mph. I know if the attack angle is within a certain range, that can be viewed as 'steep', 'standard' or 'shallow.' So to me, Trackman still has valid use for helping with your golf game (although what I'm learning now more about neuroscience and skill acquisition, using Trackman for learning is very limited). As far as scientific research, the margin of error is too great on most of these parameters for legitimate scientific research.

    The Tour is starting to reach a phase where most of the older owners of Trackman rarely use it these days. And now they have a bunch of new users that finally started to use Trackman and they are all over it like the old users were. I don't think the issue with the old users is so much the accuracy of the machine, but using it to actually learn new mechanics is a bit troubling. You end up chasing the numbers which means you end up chasing feels and you stop focusing on the real goal....hitting the shot necessary to get the ball closest to your target.

    I saw this with Seung-Yul Noh this season. He would be on the range and if you have ever seen him hit a driver, it's quite impressive. He bombs it. On the range he will be there with his Trackman and you would think he has got to be one of the best drivers in the world. But, when he gets on the course his metrics tell a different story (145th last year in Driving Effectiveness). So, I would watch him on the course in practice rounds after he finished up on the range and the metrics weren't lying. When he would get on the course he was a completely different driver of the ball. Very wild off the tee.

    On the range he would be there with his Trackman and hit towering 290+ carry drives almost dead straight at the target. But, he will look at his Trackman after each shot...read the numbers and if the numbers are not perfect, he'll shake his head in disgust. Rinse and repeat.

    I think what Trackman has helped the Tour with is getting players from having viciously steep attack angles (-5 or steeper). And I think it has helped some Tour players that start to struggle with their driver because their attack angle starts to change and get way too steep for their swing. But by the same token, it has hurt golfers by suggesting that hitting up on the driver is 'optimal.' As I showed in 2014 Pro Golf Synopsis there is a real issue with using an upward attack angle and how much the ball will travel offline versus a flat or downward attack angle. That's why Bubba hits the driver with a giant curvature (by Tour standards). He's a great driver of the ball, but not many Tour players can curve the ball that much and control it. And Bubba can't always control it depending upon the course (and that's why he's pretty particular about what courses he plays). And in 2013 when Rory struggled, he was hitting more up on the ball and his ball flight was struggling and he dropped from 2nd to 29th in Driving Effectiveness. This past year he flattened out his driver's attack angle and he was curving the ball less and he rose to 1st in Driving Effectiveness.






    3JACK

  3. #3
    Lukman Ahmed Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Richie Hunt View Post
    So to me, Trackman still has valid use for helping with your golf game (although what I'm learning now more about neuroscience and skill acquisition, using Trackman for learning is very limited).
    Hi Richie,
    Thanks for that post. A lot of great information. Could you please elaborate on the preceding?

  4. #4
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    Richie,

    Thank you for taking the time to write that post. Some great information. I'm not too familiar with ENSO although I have heard it's good, there's only a few in the world and Ping has one. That's about all my knowledge on it .

    I'm also interested in the question Lukman asked. If you could elaborate that would be great.

    Thanks
    Denny

  5. #5
    Considering that it is more or less known by now that Trackman is unreliable in almost all of club parametres, it's unbelievable that even some tour pros and their coaches are still using it for instructional purposes.
    On the most popular golf websites and magazines, experts who are not shy to exhibit their credentials, love to explain the flaws of the golf swing by dumping trackman data, implying absolute scientifical truth, as if nothing ever happened.

    Richie, as a man in the know, how do you explain this phenomenon?

  6. #6
    Isn't the ball data very accurate?

    Great post Richie even if the Cowboys stole won and Jerry J is paying off the refs and brining in political thugs such as Chris Christie to get his dirty work done.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukman Ahmed View Post
    Hi Richie,
    Thanks for that post. A lot of great information. Could you please elaborate on the preceding?
    I think Lucas gave a good idea of the issues with skill acquisition purely using Trackman or FlightScope.

    I have used Trackman quite a bit. But the main problem is that if you're using just Trackman, you're going to have a difficult time executing the mechanics you intend on using. With Trackman, you're basically using reverse engineering....looking at the numbers and then figuring out what the possible mechanics are creating those numbers.

    That can work, but it's limited in how effective it will be.

    The other part is you can cheat the numbers. You can achieve them without actually coming anywhere near what mechanics you want to implement.

    Of course, one could say 'if the numbers are good, what difference does it make?'

    But, I would respond to that by saying that you're trying to consistently achieve those numbers and those mechanics that you wish to achieve should help you consistently achieve those numbers. So if you're 'cheating the numbers', you're not likely to consistently implement that in your game.

    One of the things I've discussed with a few players, their caddies and coaches, is how when they take a Trackman out to the course...their numbers...often times...changed *drastically* from the range to the course. So, we can see the limitations of using Trackman because if it wasn't limited, at the very least they would be able to transfer similar numbers on the course.







    3JACK

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Luis Palma View Post
    Considering that it is more or less known by now that Trackman is unreliable in almost all of club parametres, it's unbelievable that even some tour pros and their coaches are still using it for instructional purposes.
    On the most popular golf websites and magazines, experts who are not shy to exhibit their credentials, love to explain the flaws of the golf swing by dumping trackman data, implying absolute scientifical truth, as if nothing ever happened.

    Richie, as a man in the know, how do you explain this phenomenon?
    Every Tour player I've worked with has been super nice to me. Even the ones where I've done some initial work for and they decided to not work with me full-time. Even one that won this year right after I did some extensive work for and credited another statistician for his success after talking to that guy for all of 2 minutes.


    Anyway...

    As nice as they are as one of them told me 'you're not working with rocket scientists out here.'

    If you want to get something to become big on Tour, get a few Tour players using it and it was spread like wildfire. I had one client that was putting well and we talked about using AimPoint Express and he thought it was stupid...until a bunch of other players started using AimPoint Express and then he had to start using it himself (and his putting still improved).

    Again, I think it's useful for *some* instruction. But, it's limited in what it can do for somebody as witnessed by those that have taken Trackman out on the course and get vastly different numbers (one client recently told me that his club head speed actually improves by about 10 mph from the range to the course!).

    In the end, Tour players generally want to be told how things are in a nice little package (which is part of what I do). They don't have time or the desire to delve into the finite details. And if people are telling them 'this is good', then they go with it.






    3JACK

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Davidson View Post
    Isn't the ball data very accurate?
    I have even major questions about the ball data. I was at the Faldo Institute and their Trackman was saying that I was carrying my 3-iron 192 yards. Went out that same day with no wind and a laser and was consistently carrying my shots with the 3-iron 215-220 yards.

    I spoke to an electrical engineer who is a reader of mine and he claims he has a degree from MIT. He told me some things of how doppler radar isn't exactly as accurate as many people think. I have just never been able to verify his claims and the conversation was private and off the record.

    I'll just leave it as I am skeptical about it.







    3JACK

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie Hunt View Post
    The Tour is starting to reach a phase where most of the older owners of Trackman rarely use it these days.

    One of the things I've discussed with a few players, their caddies and coaches, is how when they take a Trackman out to the course...their numbers...often times...changed *drastically* from the range to the course. So, we can see the limitations of using Trackman because if it wasn't limited, at the very least they would be able to transfer similar numbers on the course.

    3JACK
    Very interesting. This coincides with my evolving theory of the "one hour lesson". Instructors on social media love to boast about the results they achieved "in just one lesson", but, from what I have been learning about how the brain ingrains motor patterns and performs best under pressure (as well as my own experience and observations), those results are transitory, merely an illusion of "results".

    In a lesson, you are in one place, narrowly focused and, it would appear, after awhile acquire the ability to use frontal brain activity (conscious thoughts) to create new movement patterns during your swing and make good contact. Hence, the player "picks up 15 yards" and "stops slicing" or whatever.

    But, those new movements need thousands of reps to be ingrained, so conscious thought on the course would be required to make the new movements while playing. However, research all points to frontal cortex activity as a sure-fire way to disrupt peformance. So, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that, once out on the course playing for a score, tour players "put away" the frontal cortex-oriented Trackman "range swings" and revert to the swing embedded in their subconscious. If that's the case, the Trackman range work is pretty much pointless, because it is never "taken to the course". And eventually, it seems, players figure that out (one way or another), and stop using it.




    Jeff

  11. #11
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    Just found the summary table from Quintic Consultancy's Phantom-based study evaluating Trackman's accuracy. Similar findings to that reported by Richie's client using ENSO: club head speed is under-reported by 3 miles per hour on average on an actual club head speed of around 111mph. Further, ball speed is over-stated by Trackman by about 1mph. Those two errors combined will cause the Trackman smash factor to be inflated by almost 0.05 (1.473 v. 1.427).

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    Jeff

  12. #12
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    BTW, that 0.05 over-statement of smash factor revealed by the Quintic analysis is identical to what we found at the Research-a-thon, due to a 4mph under-statement of club head speed, on average:

    http://jeffygolf.com/showthread.php?...d-smash-factor





    Jeff

  13. #13
    Jeff -

    Dr. Keefe would be proud of the frontal cortex reference. Brain first!!!!

  14. #14
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    Jeff,

    That's some great information. Thank you for sharing and thank you to everyone else who posted something. I am learning so much everyday.



    Denny

  15. #15
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    FYI, I posted posts #11 and #12 above into a thread in the Unofficial Trackman Users Group page on Facebook. That thread has been deleted. Seems as if moderator Matt Dobyns cares less about than "users" and more about the "usee". #keeptheminthedark





    Jeff

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