Using Trackman to Measure Attack Angle

Trackman is a Doppler radar based launch monitor. It is one of the most essential tools we use at the PGACLP. Nearly every full swing session utilizes this tool, ranging from a five ball check to monitor improvement, up to a full session. The strength of Trackman is the accuracy of the measurements. It proves that the vision of the coach and a camera can only do so much.

Thorbjorn Olesen - (blue line represents attack angle)

Thorbjorn Olesen – (blue line represents attack angle)

Among the most important parameters that Trackman measures is Attack Angle. This can be difficult to measure accurately with the naked eye and video camera. The attack angle can be defined as the vertical or up and down angle that the club head is moving at impact relative to the ground the ball is lying on. The attack angle and its measurement has many applications. When optimizing driver distance for clients, an improvement in attack angle can improve ball speed, launch angle and spin rate. These are the major parameters for improving distance. For example, at some swing speeds carry distance can increase by as much as 20 metres when changing a players attack angle with the driver from negative (hitting down) to positive (hitting up).

Trackman Optimizer data

Efficient club delivery = maximum smash factor and ball speed

As a coach this proves that knowledge of club fitting principles and good coaching methods is the best approach to maximize a golfer’s ball striking potential and performance.

The attack angle is also one of the primary figures used to accurately measure club path. Club path can be defined as the horizontal (left-right) angle at which the club head is moving at impact, relative to the target line. Positive refers to the right of the target line (inside-out for a right hand golfer), negative refers to the left of the target line (outside-in for a right hand golfer).

Whilst related, it is important to understand that club path is different to swing plane and is also very difficult to measure with the naked eye and or camera. To highlight the importance of attack angle, an “on plane swing” can result in an inside-out path if the attack angle is overly steep.

Michelle Wie - attack angle -5.0 (down) club path +1.5 (right) - The swing looks "on plane" on video

Michelle Wie – attack angle -5.0 (down) club path +1.5 (right) – The swing looks “on plane” on video

An “on plane swing” can also deliver an outside-in club path if the attack angle is ascending, as it might for a driver. An “on plane swing” would require an attack angle of exactly zero.

An on plane swing changing path relative to angle of attack

An on plane swing changing path relative to angle of attack

Having the ability to accurately measure angle of attack is becoming increasingly important. The only way to accurately do this is with the Trackman launch monitor.

To book a Trackman analysis session book here or call 03 8320 1902

 

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