Lengthen Your Drives With a Golf Launch Monitor

Article by Mark Rummings of IMG Academy

Trying to fine-tune your golf swing? Head to a facility that has one of the newest gadgets to hit the golf world: the launch monitor. Launch monitors sit alongside golfers as they drive, measuring the speed, angle and spin of the golf ball as it leaves the face of the driver. Monitors are often used during the club fitting process, but you can use it as a tool to improve instead of to find a club that masks your faults. Spend a few minutes with a launch monitor, and you’ll have a clear understanding of the adjustments you need to make to improve your swing.

The ideal drive has a launch angle of 12 to 14 degrees, velocity of 2,000 to 2,500 rpm and club angle of attack of +2 or +3 degrees. Although long drive champs can get their angle of attack to +6 degrees, they’re not worried about accuracy since they have six chances to hit one straight.

When most players get measured, they find that they strike down on the ball and launch it too low and with too much spin. Teeing the ball higher, moving it forward in the stance and tilting the spine away from the golf ball can help get the club to swing up.

A launch monitor can also help you adjust your approach angle. For every one degree the driver swings up, the club needs to be one degree from the inside to hit straight. For example, an attack angle of five degrees up needs an approach of five degrees from the inside for a straight hit. Players who have a steep slice swing will have to make the most radical change if they want to develop a swing that approaches from the inside and swings up through the ball.

By using the launch monitor to practice, you can get instant feedback on swings and make adjustments to tweak the numbers. Players on the PGA Tour have embraced the launch monitor to enhance their swings, so it is no longer viewed as just a club-fitting device. Don't get left behind. Learn how to launch it!

Launch monitors are available online and in golf stores nationwide.

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