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Why I Don’t Own a Trackman- Yet

If you've seen some of the talk on Reddit or a golf forum, you might've seen at least a few people talking about a "Trackman".  But what is it?  Why is it?  Should it matter, and does Green Lantern Golf use one?

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Anyone that's serious about golf knows what a Trackman is.

If that's not you, that's OK; what it is is, a launch monitor.  

And they're EXPENSIVE.

Here's what it looks like:

trackman launch monitor

Fancy, ain't it?  Source

The Trackman 4 starts (I reiterate: starts) at $18,995 for a brand new unit.  They don't display that on the homepage, but if you wait until the popup appears, you'll get to see it.

Sure, they track a lot of stuff.  They cover:

  • Smash Factor
  • Club Head Speed
  • Spin Rates

Among other things, which is cool.

But I've found, after about a decade of doing this, that no, you don't need an almost $20K machine to get a golfer into a club that allows them to find more distance and accuracy.

Is club fitting harder to do without the fancy Trackman?

Kind of, but not really.  

The Trackman covers so much, and it just gives it to you.  So, as long as you can interpret the data, you can figure it out.

Using a device that isn't as advanced as a Trackman usually means you're relying on other factors.   Personally, I look at things like:

  • Ball flight
  • Sound at impact
  • Where on the club face impact is made (using stickers)

To get my data.  The thing is, it works.  

I also supplement it with data from my TrajectoWare software.  If you haven't seen what that looks like:

alternatives to Trackman- TrajectoWare

You might be thinking "Why?  What does this do?".  Those are fair questions, to be honest.

Why I use this is because it's modeling software.  You can plug in the values you know and can determine if you're on the right track.  If you're getting the most out of not just your swing, but your clubs, too.

Take this example golfer in the picture above.  With their given swing speed, they're maxing out their carry distance and accuracy.  But if they don't have enough ball speed, they aren't going to.  Their smash factor is an impressive 1.47!

Let's say the golfer's swinging about 114mph but is only seeing 240 yards of carry, and a slight fade.  Doing a fitting with a device not as advanced as a Trackman shows that they're only getting 150mph ball speed.  The smash factor at that ball speed is a paltry 1.32.

That's just inefficient ball-to-face contact; there's no way they're going to max out their drives!

The Trackman-less solution

Digging a little deeper, using the face tape, you can see the golfer's hitting the ball more towards the heel.

There's no way they're going to maximize their ball speed, or smash factor for that matter.  It also explains the balls that leak to the right.

A simple look at their length might show them they're using a driver too long for their swing, which can help get them back on  track and closer to those ideal numbers.

The other reason for not owning a Trackman

The other reason for not owning a Trackman is, well, they're expensive.

No shit Sherlock, right?

The thing is, I'm an independent club fitter.  I don't belong to an organization.  I'm also not from one of those big fitting chains that've been popping up the last few years.

Frankly, I can't justify investing that much into one fraction of my business.  Not without REALLY taking it out on you, which I'm not really inclined to do.

Look, I think I do a pretty good job of having decent prices for my services.  I'm out to make a profit, sure, but not to gouge the everyday golfer (my target market).

I'm also supplementing that with different revenue streams.  I'm sure by now you've seen some of the ads on this post, and there's some below.  I also have affiliates that I pitch (though not without at least trying something from them, like my Refrigiwear post) and a store that I'm trying to run.

Is there a future for GLG and Trackman?

I'm not one of those "never say never" types, because that tends to bite me in the ass at some point.  So yeah, there's a possible future for Green Lantern Golf that has a Trackman involved.

But who knows?  In a few years, maybe that technology becomes even more accessible?  The Flightscope Mevo was pretty close for being a $500 device, so maybe it's possible.

About the Author

Justin Blair is the founder of Green Lantern Golf. When he isn't bringing his 10+ years of excellent craftsmanship experience to golf club fitting, building, and repair, he's geeking out about Star Wars (he's watched them all about 8,437 times!) and things like the MCU and LOTR, he's drinking mead and craft brews. If you wanna know more, check out my About Page!

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