GOLF DRIVE LAUNCH ANGLES AND VELOCITY: 3D ANALYSIS VERSUS A COMMERCIAL LAUNCH MONITOR

  • M. Sweeney
  • J. Alderson
  • P. Mills
  • B. Elliott
Keywords: golf, ball velocity, kinematics

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare initial ball direction and velocity for a golf drive collected using a commercially available launch monitor and 3D data, collected using a retro-reflective motion analysis system. Six golfers (handicap: 2-20) completed 10 drives each, with data simultaneously recorded by both a 12 camera Vicon MX system (400Hz) and a Vector Pro launch monitor. Both systems produced outputs for launch angle, side angle and ball velocity. The launch monitor data were compared against the ‘benchmark’ 3D results and showed a high correlation (0.93 – 0.96). Mean errors (launch angle 0.5º, side angle 1.1º, ball velocity 1.1m/s) were also relatively small. The results of the study suggest that if a high speed 3D system is not available or practical, a launch monitor such as the one tested, should provide accurate measurements of golf ball launch data.