What does a golf simulator measure?

by Wego Admin

High end golf simulators give golfers a plethora of data points. Here are a few key ones that are displayed on every shot with the GCQuad used by Wego Golf's Mobile Golf Simulator.

Ball Speed

This one is pretty straightforward and most everyone knows what we are talking about here. This is simply the speed of the ball as soon as it comes off of the club face. For a little perspective, the tour average ball speed with a driver is 167mph, and with a 6 iron, it is 127mph. For the longest hitters on tour, those go up to 180+ and 140+ respectively.

Backspin

This is the revolutions per minute of the golf ball after it leaves the club face. Backspin is key in creating lift and keeping the ball in the air. Too little backspin and the ball will look like it is almost accelerating downwards and really falls out of the sky. Too much spin with the longer clubs and the ball can start to "float" and you won't maximize your potential distance. For reference here, the tour average backspin with a driver is about 2700rpm and with a 6 iron it is 6200 rpm.

Launch angle

This is the angle that the ball launches off of the face of the club at impact. Your first thought might be that this would be a 1 to 1 with whatever the loft of the club is, but that's not normally the case. Because of the forces on the shaft in the downswing and the attack angle of the club at impact, the launch angle is typically less than that of the clubface on standard shots. The exception here can be the driver, where the club path is shallower and may even be upwards through the ball. The tour average launch angle is 10.9 degrees with a driver, 14.1 degrees with a 6 iron and 24.2 degrees with a pitching wedge. For reference, the loft of those clubs is about 10 degrees, 31 degrees, and 47 degrees respectively.

Azimuth

This can be thought of as the push or pull measurement. If your target line is the zero line, the azimuth is the number of degrees to the right (push for a right hander) or to the left (pull) that the ball starts on. If the ball had no side spin, it would end up the push/pull number of degrees off target line from impact.

Spin-Tilt Axis

This one is going to probably be easier with a couple of pictures. The Spin-Tilt Axis is the axis that the golf ball rotates around to create shot curvature and lift. When the spin-tilt axis is oriented to the left (looking down range), the ball’s trajectory will move from right to left.  (See example 1) When the spin-tilt axis is oriented to the right (looking down range), the ball’s trajectory will move from left to right.  (See example 2) 

These are the main data points that top end simulators use to calculate the flight of the golf ball. There are obviously more measurements that can be calculated and reviews than all that have been listed here, but it's safe to say that if you know your numbers above, you're going to be dialed in with your game.

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