Launch Monitors: Not Just For Drivers from Plugged In Golf

Jason Tenzer - May 25, 2019

Game Changer

Launch monitors have changed golf.  Players are now able to dial in every piece of equipment, optimize their distances, create proper gaps between clubs, and practice with precise feedback.  But many golfers only utilize this wonderful technology with their driver.  In this lesson, I’ll explain why the launch monitor is important for almost every part of your game.

This Lesson Is For You If:

You want to better understand your long game

You’ve been fit for your driver but not your other clubs

You’ve never practiced with a launch monitor

Getting Fit

Using a launch monitor to get fit for a driver is a must, but it’s equally important to get fit for the rest of your clubs, too.  You wouldn’t trust your eye to distinguish between a good driver and one that’s fully optimized.  Similarly, you should leverage technology to show you the difference between an iron that’s decent from one that’s exceptional.

When we buy new clubs, we want our good shots to be better and our bad shots to be less bad.  Those are exactly the things that a launch monitor can show us clearly.  If one hybrid is longer on good swings and straighter on bad ones, that’s the one we want in our bag.

Understanding Your Game

Using technology to get fit is important, but it can do more.  When we practice with a launch monitor, we can gain insights into our game that we otherwise couldn’t attain.

This fact became clear to me when testing for a recent Golf Myths Unplugged.  I was watching different players hit dozens of wedge shots, and I was struck by the amount of variance.  Even for a 10 handicap – a very respectable player – a mishit wedge is not that uncommon.  And the results of a mishit are striking – less ball speed, unpredictable launch and spin, and wild dispersion.

If you have the chance to hit shots on a launch monitor, you can learn a variety of important things about your game.  How often do I mishit a shot?  How much ball speed and distance do I lose on an average mishit?  Which clubs am I most consistent with?  What’s the difference in ball flight between my best shots and my normal misses?

Mimic the Best

When it comes to the value of practicing with a launch monitor, you don’t need to believe me.  Ask Dustin Johnson.  Listen to the broadcast any week that he’s in contention, and you’ll invariably hear about how much he relies on his Trackman for his wedge work.  Some people point to his adoption of Trackman as the turning point in his career – when he went from a guy with a lot of talent to a world class golfer.

Whether you’re aspiring to the Tour or just a lower handicap, you can improve faster when you have better information.  Find time to get on a launch monitor – for club fitting or practice – and fast track your development.

Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com.  Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt’s work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He’s also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage’s Faculty of Experts.