Club Murcia met up with the new Roda Golf Academy Director, Nicky Lawrenson and enjoyed a sneak preview of the state-of the-art technology on offer at the PGA endorsed Academy.
The Academy at Roda is one of only a handful of facilities in Europe able to offer golfers the full suite of golf analysis and training using the latest technology. With the guidance of the PGA, the new Academy is fitted out to a similar specification seen only at the Belfry and Gleneagles.
Over the coming weeks Club Murcia will run a series of articles outlining the scope of the new training facility. At the end of the series, Club Murcia will be offering a prize at the Academy to one our readers. Remember to stay tuned for your chance to win with Club Murcia!
The focus this week is on the TrackMan system, which some of you may have seen used by the BBC during their coverage of The Open Championship last year. TrackMan is the latest golf ball and golf club measurement system based on Doppler radar technology. This combination is similar to the technology used by the military in its Missile Defence Installations. There's no need to track incoming Scud Missiles over Roda, but this version will track outgoing golf balls in the direction of San Javier!
TrackMan measures the exact 3 dimensional club movement and ball flight, and provides precise data on the ball launch, flight, carry and landing. TrackMan measures the full trajectory of any shot, ranging from short pitches to 400 yard drives, it also measures the actual spin rate of the ball and measures the landing position with pin point accuracy.
TrackMan replays the actual 3D trajectory to the user in real time (pictured below right), on a large screen in the Academy. This system is very user friendly and provides instant feedback.
Trackman is so accurate that it´s used by major equipment manufacturers in their product development and testing programmes. It is also used by the R&A and the PGA for monitoring equipment and player performance.
From the main menu, Nicky can select various programs for analysis. The "Find Your Distance" submenu not only tells you the average distance and variation of each club in the bag, but also the gaps between them. Knowing the average distance and variation of each club enables you to attack the course more strategically and with more confidence. Evaluating the gaps will allow players to choose the most effective club set up for their style of play and course conditions.
Within just 20 minutes on the TrackMan, Nicky was able to provide a range of useful stats not least club head speed which is important for some older players. Nicky also noticed that Club Murcia´s guinea pig, had his clubhead slightly closed through impact and an out to in swing plane.
The radar sent the tracking data from each swing back to a laptop computer and large wall-mounted LCD TV, which instantly rendered clear three-dimensional animations of the ball flight, superimposed on distance grids. Despite the complexity of the technology, Nicky was able to clearly replay and study the data and provide a visual description which was both fascinating and highly informative.
Golfers would agree that today, the vast choice of club features available to consumers is bewildering. For players taking up the game, this choice can be a little off putting. There are irons that look like fairway woods, shafts that "flex" at different points to alter shot trajectory and drivers with moveable weights. Some manufacturers now offer dozens of options in driver shafts alone. As a result, club selection has become increasingly personalised. These options are the result of the latest developments in manufacturing technology. However, with TrackMan, the technology is extended into the palm of your hands. The result, a greater appreciation of what is the right clubs without the guess work.
For most mid to high handicappers, club fitting shouldn't cause players to buy expensive Golf clubs. TrackMan enables players to find clubs which are better suited to their individual golf swing. The shafts should be neither too stiff, which would cost you distance, nor too whippy, which would cost you control.
Like all teaching and training aids, TrackMan will not turn a hacker into a pro, a source of great disappointment for our resident Guinea Pig, but it can definitely generate a greater understanding of how a player strikes the ball for each club in the bag and focus the training requirements for players of all standards. Not least, significantly improve the club fitting process.
The world's best players use TrackMan every week why not try it! Now available at Roda Golf Academy, to book please call: 968 173 093
Trackman Latest News: TrackMan was rated as the coolest thing during the PGA Show 2008.
PGA.com writer Jack Berry said of the TrackMan:
"The TrackMan launch monitor system has experienced rapid growth after being utilized at the 2007 British Open and then with a Nick Faldo demonstration on The Golf Channel during the PGA TOUR's Hawaiian swing.
Related Article: Force Plate - Now at the new Roda Golf Academy
Related Article: GASP - Now at the new Roda Golf Academy
Related Article: K-Vest - Now at the new Roda Golf Academy
Related Article: Roda Golf Course opens the PGA Golf Academy