Most golfers only evaluate shots by where they end up, not how they got there. Distance and proximity to target are the most important outcomes in a shot, but statistics like center face contact (smash factor), swing speed and trajectory are a few of the key inputs which help determine the latter.
In the video above, Rapsodo Advisor Mike Malaska demonstrates how launch angle and speed influence distance and why it’s important to evaluate how a shot comes off the club, not just where it ends up. As Mike demonstrates, a shot with a 3° lower launch and 1 mph slower swing speed, carried 10 yards less (6.5%). On any course, that can be the difference between ending up in a water or bunker vs fairway or green.
Not only is the relationship between launch angle and carry distance a good concept to understand, experimenting with it on the range is an excellent exercise to improve your practice.
We just posted a blog about the qualities of effective practice. An easy way to elevate the quality of your practice is to introduce feedback and new parameters. Mike made adjusting launch angle look easy, but most golfers don’t have any feel for it. Working on controlling launch angle on the range will help develop better awareness and club control when you’re on the course. Additionally, attempting to manipulate how a shot flies is a more productive practice strategy than just focusing on where it ends up.
Every weekend we’ll bring you a video range session with one of our advisors! Stay tuned for more sessions with Mike Malaska.