One of the most powerful aspects of a Golf Simulator, it that they provide us with insight into every shot. As the IslandKaddy team has been asked on numerous occasions what they mean, we thought it would be useful to explain what each statistic means and how it is useful.
|Distance (yards)||This shows far the ball travels after contact with the club. It is the straight-line distance to the ball’s calculated resting point with corresponds to CARRY as defined plus the calculated bounce and roll of the golf ball.
According to the USGA Yardage Rating formula, every 220 yards in distance equates to one stroke in difficulty for men; for women, that yardage is 180. Suppose a player could hit the ball 10, 20, or even 30 yards farther off the tee? How would that affect their overall scoring average, assuming no loss in skill? A typical golf course features four par-3s, four par-5s and 10 par-4s. A typical golf course features four par-3s, four par-5s and 10 par-4s. That’s 14 opportunities to hit the driver, and four more second shots on par-5s.
A man who hits both his driver and 3-wood 10 yards longer shortens the course by 180 yards (180 / 220 = .8 stroke according to the Yardage Rating formula); 20 yards longer shortens it by 360 yards (1.6 strokes), and 30 yards longer shortens it by 540 yards (2.5 strokes). In other words, every 10-yard gain in driving distance theoretically makes the course about 8 strokes easier.
Also, knowing the average distance of each of your clubs is key. This give a player guidance on the course, and a player can club up or club down depending on the terrain and elements.
|Ball Speed (mph)||This is the speed of the golf ball’s center of gravity immediately after separation from the club face. Ball speed is created by club speed and impact. Bad impact such as shots hit on the toe or heel will reduce the potential ball speed. “Glancing blows” created by hooks, slices, and hitting too much down on the ball can also reduce the potential ball speed. Although a golfer’s club speed is key to potential distance, the ball speed that is created at impact is the biggest factor in how far the ball carries.|
|Launch (degrees)||Along with speed, launch angle is a primary component to determining the height and the distance of a shot. When the driver is swinging downward into impact, the launch angle decreases and the spin rate increases, robbing shots of distance. Swinging up on a drive increases launch angle, decreases spin and adds yards. An improved driver launch angle often means more carry, which in turn leads to more distance. Launch angle does factor in with all golf clubs, however, and it should be noted that a higher launch angle is not always the preferred outcome (particularly moving through the set to the wedges).|
|Sidespin (rpm)||Just as it sounds, sidespin occurs when there a degree of sideways or horizontal (in addition to backspin or vertical rotation) on the ball. The more sidespin, the more curvature. A small amount of left-to-right spin, for example, results in a fade. Lots of rightward spin causes a more violent slice.
Understanding what causes sidespin is important for two reasons: 1) To diagnose your swing during a bout of slicing or hooked shots; 2) To learn how to play curving shots intentionally.
|Back Spin (rpm)||A well-struck shot will result in a large amount of backspin that will carry the ball higher into the air and farther. Backspin also helps with distance control, as if there is enough backspin, the ball will “check” if it lands on the putting surface, and sometimes even creep backwards (in the opposite direction that the ball was flying) upon landing.
The problem about backspin is, that too much actually creates more drag forces giving the ball a lift force sending it into a ballooning trajectory and reduces the distance. So, backspin is important, but the right amount is needed in combination with ball speed and launch angle to get maximum distance.
|Club Face (open/closed)||The importance of lining up the golf clubface directly at the target seems obvious. In fact, this most basic of fundamentals may be more crucial than you think.
Naturally, the ball tends to travel in the direction the clubface is aimed. So a clubface pointed left or right of your target is likely to send the ball that way. What’s more, a misaligned golf clubface will exaggerate the effects of a swing that’s off line. For example, if your swing delivers club to ball from outside the target line with a square face, the ball will curve a little left or right.
Make the same swing with an open face, however, and you’ll see a much bigger curve – The dreaded slice.
Poor clubface aim can even cause problems with your swing. If you have a habit of aiming to the right without even knowing it, your body may compensate by swinging to the left to guide the ball onto the proper line. This compounds the aiming issue and generates, that’s right, a big slice.
A good method for lining up the clubface is to find an object – such as a leaf or a tee- lying directly between the ball and the target. Point the face at the object and align your body as the shot requires.
|Club Speed (mph)||Club speed measures the speed of the golfer’s club head through impact. Higher speeds are beneficial to players in numerous ways. Players with higher speeds hit it longer off the tee and usually have the advantage of using a shorter iron into a green. Players with higher speeds also often hit their irons farther as well. These players gain a significant advantage both off the tee and on their approach shots and these advantages put together are substantial.
It is possible for a player to have a high amount of club head speed, but a lower amount of ball speed due to mechanical flaws in the swing. Therefore, the goal of the player should be to have both high club head speed and ball speed.
|Club Path (inside-out/outside-in/square)||Club path is often confused with swing plane, but there’s a subtle difference.
The plane of the golf swing is the angle (relative to the ground) on which the shaft travels around the body. The club path is the route that the clubhead follows during a swing.
Every golfer’s club path falls into one of three categories, all relative to the target line: square, inside-out and outside-in (also called over-the-top). The path of the club head typically determines the direction in which a shot will start. For example, a club traveling inside-to-outside the line with start the ball right of the target (right-handed golfers). While a square path would seem ideal, pros’ swings are marked by a very slight inside-out route. Coupled with a clubface that’s square to the target line, this creates a trapping action at impact that compresses the ball and generates extra distance. The inside-out path is necessary to hit a draw too.
|Direction (L/R)||The direction that the ball travels after being hit with the club (left, right or center)
Being able to see this statistic is useful as it can help a player sort out their swing to keep it more centered which will help the ball ‘straight’ down the fairway.
|To Pin (feet)||The distance left on the fairway after leaving the tee. This helps players to decide on clubs and the speed in which they need to hit the ball.|