How Training with a Launch Monitor Can Help You Improve Your Game

Posted by Dallas Golf on 12 Dec 2023

                 Dallas Golf

You can read all the “best golf shafts for drivers in 2023” articles you can find until you’re blue in the face, and they can give you a good place to start, but unless you actually put experience behind what you read, they won’t really help you to make good choices.

That is, if you’re looking for a new shaft for your driver because your current shaft feels whippy, too stiff, or just doesn’t give you the physical feedback you feel you need to make improvements, looking for a “better” shaft is going to take more than the printed word.

The best thing you can do is work with a golf club fitter. The next best thing you can do is practice with a launch monitor, even use it as a fitting aid. (Well, any practice is better than no practice but practice with a launch monitor as a personal aid is better yet).

With that said, here are a few things you need to know to get the most out of one, should you choose to use it.

What Is a Launch Monitor and What Does It Track?

Golf launch monitors are small electronic devices, most of which use radar to track your swing mechanics as well as the motion of the ball during flight, in order to provide feedback on your overall performance.

While some launch monitors may not make concrete recommendations, the data they can gather for you can be indispensable when it comes to helping you improve your game.

Some launch monitors are compatible with mobile apps that will help you track and record data, and some of them even have simulator functionality to stretch your training further.

Here’s some of the data you can glean from a personal launch monitor.

Swing Tempo

Swing tempo is not the same as swing speed, though it is easy to confuse them. Think of tempo not as how fast you swing, but how you swing fast (or how you swing slow, if you swing slow).

For instance, players with a very fluid swing and smooth mechanics may have a slow tempo, even if they swing really fast. A player with a jerkier, more abrupt swing with a less fluid transition would be said to have a fast tempo, even if swing speed remained the same.

Swing tempo influences how the shaft bends and loads, and can influence smash factor. Very high swing tempos can also cause shaft ovaling or deformation, so it’s a good thing to know about. A launch monitor can tell you more.

Clubhead Speed

Club speed is the next best thing and is akin to swing speed - something else that a launch monitor can help you discover.

Understanding how fast your club head moves through the swing, and more critically, at the point of impact, is a crucial metric.

For instance, if you thought your swing was faster than it is and are playing with shafts that are far too stiff and unforgiving for you, well, there’s your problem - or at least it might be.

Ball Speed

Ball speed is one of the primary determinants of carry distance and overall range, and it is a simple metric that a launch monitor can easily help you determine before you set on buying new golf shafts for your drivers - that’s about as simple as it gets.

Launch Angle

Launch angle is also something you need to know about. This is the sort of thing you don’t necessarily need a launch monitor for but it can’t help.

Eyeballing the launch angle is not the same as getting a concrete reading. Also, if you consistently produce a high launch (or a low one), you need to be able to determine if that is a product of your equipment or your swing - which is something else a launch monitor can help you determine.

                  Dallas Golf

Spin/Shot Tracing

Understanding spin is critical to understanding your swing, and it’s something you can’t do with the naked eye. Realistically only a personal training aid like a launch monitor can help with this.

You may not need us to tell you, but excess spin, though it does positively influence carry distance, can also cause shot errors and undesirable rollout once the ball is on the green.

So all things considered you need to be able to predict it in order to produce consistent results.

Carry Distance

Carry distance is how long the ball is in the air. Higher launch, higher spin, and faster club head speeds can all increase it - but knowing which one to focus on can be very tough.

Determining what your average carry distance is from shot to shot and how you can improve it is the sort of thing a launch monitor may be able to tell you.

Shot Dispersion

Like launch angle, shot disersion is something you can sort of read with the naked eye, but a launch monitor may be able to give you better information that you can put to use before getting new golf shafts for your drivers.

Or perhaps you don’t need new shafts - that is also possible, but a little peace of mind from a monitor won’t hurt either.

Getting the Most Out of It: Record What You Observe

One tip we have for you is this: many launch monitors are compatible with apps that will log data for you - but if you don’t use them, at least bring along a notebook to the range so you can track results and progress.

What Are Some Good Launch Monitors?

Here at Dallas Golf Company, we sell a few useful personal launch monitors.

One is the Garmin Approach R10, a portable launch monitor that provides readings for more than a dozen metrics and which is compatible with a useful mobile app through which log data, record videos, and even use a golf simulator.

Another is the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor, which can be used indoors and outdoors, pairs easily with your iPad or iPhone and can be set up and used in just a few moments.

Either of these would be an excellent choice, and both of them will furnish you with the data you need to help improve your game - or sift through the wide range of shaft offerings on the market.

                Dallas Golf

Get Fitted Before Buying Golf Shafts for Drivers

Got your eye on a Fujikura Ventus Black driver shaft with a stiff shaft flex? Wondering if an Autoflex golf shaft can give your driver head that extra smash factor it needs to carry further?

Don’t gamble on it. Work with one of our fitters before you commit to any golf shafts for drivers. Then use a launch monitor to progressively track your performance, see where you make improvements, and see where they remain to be made.

That’s the best way to ensure you don’t throw good money after bad and are ultimately satisfied with your purchase.