Lag on the Launch Monitor

Today I spent putting together the first authorized complete set for a student including 3 beautiful 1950’s Mac 925W Tommy Armour Persimmons and a set of Wilson Staff Fluid Feel’s complete with a 1 iron right through PW with a vintage R20 SW and a new prototype ABS putter which some of you know are under development.

This led me to a golf retail store to pick up some fresh new taper tipped X100 DG steel driver shafts to be retro fitted into the classic heads, and a new box of lead tape to do any fine tuning tomorrow.

I watched a guy named Steve, a senior player making some nice swings and contact into the net and he was using the launch monitor so I learned a bit today about that.

The salesman escorted me to bay #2 and I told him I wanted to start by hitting persimmon to find out where my swing was at… he gave me a really odd look!!! :sunglasses:

Given I was just dressed in jeans and a sweater and hadn’t shaved for two days, he asked me if I knew what kind of shafts I played… and I said “X” shafts. :sunglasses:

He didn’t like that answer too much and said… “oh, those are way too stiff for you”. :sunglasses:
He of course hadn’t seen me hit a ball yet.

He showed me how I needed to just hit the reset button, and line up the line on the ball facing the camera on the ground.
I asked for a lower tee with my persimmon, because the tee on the mat was so high it was like hitting a trick shot.
He gave me another odd look then came back with a smaller rubber tee.

First swing clocked 108 mph with my 43 inch 14 ounce persimmon. He said… “let’s have you hit another one” I think he thought we had a bad reading :sunglasses:

Second swing 107 mph.

He said, "well that’s some pretty good swing speed there, but your launch angle is only 9.5… you need to get the ball up because you are losing distance!

So I said… how about this… and clocked one at 110, and at 15.3 launch angle. “that’s a heck of a strike with that old thing” he said.

Then came the sales pitch… we need to get you into some modern gear. We need to lower your spin rate, and increase your launch angle and all this other stuff. He showed me around some of the frying pans, and I suggested he pick one out.
He handed me a Taylor Made “something”.

Now back to the giant tee.

First swing 117 mph “but it’s going left” he said…

I asked him if that was because the toe was so far up in the air… another blank look.

Then he said… “can you swing a bit more upright, your almost hitting the pole behind you”. :sunglasses:
I told him I had read Hogan’s 5 lessons and Ben said to swing around your body.

Next swing 115.

He said… “well, that’s tour speed there”. The computer said the ball would have gone 290.

I told him I’m not sure I want to hit the ball that far… the course I play is only 6400. Another weird look…

I bought 5 shafts and two rolls of lead tape.

Lag, this is beyond gold…this is platinum and undoubtedly some of your best stuff. I can see a Candid Camera segment in there if you take a camera next time. I would love to have watched that exchange unfold…please, find another store, do it again but this time video the whole thing…

Yeah, I agree with Rod, that was pure gold!

Lag I presume you’ll be working on a module 12 to increase our launch angle? :smiling_imp:

And the other thing I love about this story is the golf store attendant is probably telling this same story to his mates from the other side…

I almost woke my wife up laughing. :laughing:

Great story. Super numbers. Yes, you gotta do another. Maybe take that Allen fellow to record the video and take a swing, I bet his numbers might surprise that salesman too.

Maybe grow a beard and look homeless, a la Count Yogi.

interesting story

Classic story and this is the problem today people aren’t educated on the golf swing or older gear and as a matter of fact modern gear.Good thing you didn’t stay any longer a crowd would have stopped behind you with amazement. So this is where the game of golf has gone its all about numbers according to these people. If a person gets the numbers the salesman wants low spin, high launch, high clubhead speed, high ball speed thats the club for everyone without questioning what he or she is doing in the swing? The PGA wonders why golf is slipping in numbers sure the economy has something to do with but here is a perfect ex. and should be addressed they want you to swing different, buy upright gear that costs $500 a club and all because of numbers. Like Lag said in a earlier post you cant take numbers.launh angles,stats to the golf course!
The PGA of America dosen’t get it a kid can player soccer for $50 but this salesman would have the kid buy $1000 worth of equipment to play golf. They want guys like us to promote the game which we do free jr clinics, long hrs, volunteer, etc etc and then you have salesman pushing this stuff to people the PGA should arrest these guys!
On a funny note Lag i remember my 1st PGA Golf tournament my dad took me to it was the Western Open at Butler National. We stood on the 1st tee and big Jim Dent came up and he put what looked like a small ball marker down and put his ball on it so it was teed up maybe a half a inch than he took his persimmon driver out and wallop 270. I remember in amazement how low it was teed and how far and good trajectory that hit was.
I would go home to the local range and look for broken tees and see how low i could tee it to hit my dads persimmon!

I wonder if any of our resident numbers people could come up with some idea about the difference in Lag’s persimmon club speed (108 average) versus his frying pan club speed (116 average) and taking the mass of the clubs into affect- calculate the difference in real difference.

I would be interested to know just how much difference 8mph swing speed less but with more mass and weight behind the ball would make…or is that a far fetched question that has no logical answer because we don’t know exact wights of the clubs?..we could guess the persimmon is 15 overall weight and the metal is 12 overall weight just for reference sake.

Again I just don’t think today’s golf ball takes advantage of the persimmon because it doesn’t ‘squish’ as much so we would have to look at modern ball on both equations more than likely.

Hmm, a guy walks into a golf store and the sales assistant tries to sell him golf equipment :astonished: Someone get a news van over there fast!

Correct me if I’m wrong but the advice when signing onto ABS is that you immediately buy a vintage set of golf clubs and get them set up 6 degrees flat, regardless of your own height, build body shape etc.

Anyway, regardless of that, Hugo wanted to know about swing speed, according to a site I looked at, one mile per hour increase in speed equals about 2.5 yards of distance. I’m pretty sure Trackman will have numbers if anyone cares to look.

I wonder if the length of the modern driver is the reason why John was swinging fast with the modern driver.

What sort of launch monitor was it. Trackman is the acknowledged ‘daddy’ but at $30,000 a pop, not every store has one. In addition some of the units in some shops that are hooked up to a computer can be set to give the number plus x% to make it look as if the ‘pigeon’ has increased his distance just by hitting the damn thing!

It would be great to have lag do a more in depth comparison on a trackman launch monitor. For instance, I’d be interested to learn about the differences in smash factor between old and new gear with an ABS type of swing.

Apparently the ‘smash factor’ is the same… but because the swing speed is slightly lower then the distance is lower too…that’s what someone tried to tell me in Australia when myself and Ogilvy were on the range smacking my Hogan persimmon at Coolum late last year
I just think with more mass in the head the slightly slower swing speed could even out…however when you have plastic balls and trampoline metal wood faces there is no contest…unless you have your swing so finely tuned that the gear effect becomes irrelevant

I love you Styles but for someone who has only done Module 1 and then left the advanced ball striking course to pursue other avenues without showing any handicap improvement… and at greater expense based on new clubs, PST’s training and flying to England and your lessons I just don’t get your point in knocking the ABS stuff every chance you get…

there are students on Module 7 and even lower Modules who have greatly improved in all aspects of their game and who have benefited greatly from all the club specs information and tuition that Lag has brought to them. swinging a fly swat would not have been able to achieve half the swings that ABS has produced the past 2 years.
It’s all about the Indian not the arrow here…if you are good with the old gear then you will be even more advanced with the newer gear, if you choose to go that route…most don’t however because they enjoy the game as it was intended to be played… If I wasn’t a pro I would use persimmons and the old stuff all the way like Lag does. It’s just more personal and beneficial…and much less expensive

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If I understand smash factor correctly, a heavier head ‘plows’ through the ball more and should therefore theoretically make for a higher smash factor.
The lighter modern driver will have smash factor due to reduced mass moving through the ball but I suspect the trampoline effect makes up for it.

It would be nice to have some number guy (like you said before) comment on this.

That’s correct - one mile per hour increase in speed equals about 2.5 yards of distance. Also, each 1/2" increase in shaft length equals only about 2 yards of distance. For example, the incremental length of irons is 1/2" between clubs and loft differences of 4 degrees between clubs - shaft length accounting for about 2 yards and 4 degrees of loft difference accounting for 8 yards…or about 10 yards between irons.

The reason John was able to swing the modern driver faster (clubhead speed) than the old heavy persimmon driver was a combination of things; ~ 2" longer shaft, a much lighter overall (static) club weight, a much lighter shaft weight, and likely a softer flex (lower cpm frequency) and livelier shaft tip kick. All this adds up to much higher clubhead speed with the modern driver. The main advantage to the increased clubhead speed was that the modern club was lighter. Then, when you throw in a higher clubface COR and decreased loft due to much better clubhead weight distribution in the modern driver you have much greater distance that can be achieved compared to the old stuff…not to mention being easier to hit. And this does not include the modern golf ball, with its lower spin rates and better aerodynamics.

no interest in a pissing match about ABS. I have respect for everyone who decides its right for them, same as I expect people to respect my decision not to go down the ABS route.

To clear up your misconception though, I’m using the same clubs (exact same through the bag) now that I was using on module 1, I never bought the Miura’s. If I were in Module 7 I would have spent more money than I have doing what I am doing. Again for clarification, my flights are paid using airmiles so no cash cost, I’m lucky to have a good friend (Alex Saary) who picks me up from and drops me off at the airport, so no taxi or train fares. I have relatives that let me stay with them in London or I can stay with Alex so again no hotel bills.

If I cared to or thought about it, I could give you a dollar figure on what I have spent on lessons the last couple of years. It wouldn’t take long as I have had 3 sessions total.

The zenolink is something else, it has blown me away and right now I consider it the biggest bargain ever. $250 which was about £160.

In fact I never knock the ABS course. I don’t agree with John’s and most ABSers on the state of the game, but then I kinda like that, I reckon its my job to keep you guys sane :laughing:

The ABS course though I have no problem with and don’t accept I knock it at every opportunity. I still read over emails I exchanged with John before this website took off.

If doing ABS works for someone then good luck to them, wasn’t for me and maybe down the line I’ll regret that decision but not at the moment.

Great story Lag…I especially like the part about “You need a higher launch angle”…and you respond with…“There… how does your machine like that one?” … r_embedded

Let’s blame Taylor Made for introducing the first metal wood (made of steel) played on tour. :smiling_imp:
Let’s blame Callaway for introducing the first metal wood (made of titanium) played on tour. :smiling_imp:
Let’s blame all the clubmakers for offering graphite shafts. :smiling_imp:

Damn that Gene Sarazan for inventing the sand wedge. He took the art out of playing from a green-side bunker with less lofted clubs and no sole bounce, and made it so anyone can do it. Stupid technology… :unamused:


You should come down to San Jose Muni for $75 you can get your swing on a real Trackman where you hit the ball on the range and not into a net. You can choose any ball you want. Trackman is much more accurate than what is found at your local Golfsmith.

I think you may even be able to do without the pushy salesman looking over you shoulder since for the $75 you rent the machine for an hour.

Styles- There is no sane in an insane world :sunglasses:

I don’t just hate the direction golf has taken but a the direction a majority of things have taken.
I can’t fix my car anymore because the engine is all enclosed inside a plastic shell :confused:
I can’t fix my refrigerator anymore because to alter a light or a filter I need a $300 panel that operates everything :angry:
I can’t avoid people I want to avoid because they find you somehow, someway on the internet :frowning:
I can’t go on a plane anymore and get a meal or put my actual luggage on without being surcharged :smiling_imp:

Lots of stuff going on in this world…all in the name of technology…
push button curtains…cars without actual keys…stomach stapling instead of dieting… :arrow_right: :arrow_right: :arrow_right:

Not saying some of it is not good, but look at the problems we all have the world over now that weren’t anywhere near as severe before all these ‘advancements’ came along


Hugo, I got bad news for you buddy, all those complaints come from the same malady - getting old!

Its all good mate maybe I argue too much for my own good but deep down I love all you guys and would enjoy a game of golf with any of you followed by a few beers, a nice steak and a bottle of red (or two)

Aguille could confirm that I don’t argue anywhere near as much in real life :laughing: The internet turns us all into keyboard warriors haha.