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Trackman vs hig speed cameras

custom fitting

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#1 alwaysatrueswinger

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:34 PM

Hi guys!

I want to adress a question to all you experts out there. I dont write much on this forum, but i read a lot a learn a hell of a lot. golfwrx has really been a kind of university for me. So thank you all!!

A friend of mine went to an indoor center here in Norway and they told him that the simulator they used in combination with high speed cameras was a much better tool in custom fitting indoors than Trackman. They told him that Trackman only worked fully when testing outdoors on a driving range where you could see the proper ballflight.

I would be very grateful for your expert opinions on this topic since I am thinking to test out some new clubs during the winter (unfortunately all of us cant play golf the year around :))!!!


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#2 JJHoin

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

This is probably fairly accurate.  Indoors trackman does the same thing that all the other systems do, tracks the ball for a certain amount of feet and then uses equations to figure out the rest of the ball flight.  High Speed cameras in my eyes would do a better job at reading the ball flight in those crucial first couple of feet and doing the equations when all Trackman has to do on is radar and that one metalic sticker.  My 2cents, who knows.

#3 superman912

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:42 PM

High speed camera >> trackman

You can actually calculate EXACT ball speed and launch angle and such.

#4 alwaysatrueswinger

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:50 PM

Thank you very much for answers!

So high speed cameras can be a really good tool in custom fitting? What would you do, wait for be custom fitted with a trackman outside on a range or testing indoors with high speed cameras.

#5 JJHoin

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:23 PM

After being fit indoors 4 times so far in my life I would much rather be able to see the ball flight.  When you see the ball flight you will actually be able to tell the guy fitting you if that's the shot you usually make.  More feel = more consistency I believe when it comes to a fitting.  If you can hit perfect shots into a net without seeing the ball flight then it shouldn't matter one bit, from now on I am getting fit outside though.


#6 TomWishon

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:12 AM

View Postalwaysatrueswinger, on 10 October 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:

A friend of mine went to an indoor center here in Norway and they told him that the simulator they used in combination with high speed cameras was a much better tool in custom fitting indoors than Trackman. They told him that Trackman only worked fully when testing outdoors on a driving range where you could see the proper ballflight.


Since 2005 our company has had a close relationship with Dr. Fredrik Tuxen, the engineer who created the Doppler Radar telemetry for the TrackMan launch monitor.  During that time Fredrik has been to our company and we've been to his as we continue to share information from both of our companies' research.

What makes TrackMan so good and so far ahead of any other unit are two things - One, Doppler Radar is so far ahead of any other sensor systems used in launch monitors or golf simulators in being able to accurately and repeatedly read the flight of the golf ball.  Sensor systems for other units range from camera to laser to ultrasonic to infrared and none of them can read the ball nearly as accurately in flight as Doppler Radar.

Two, Fredrik's experience with being able to program Doppler Radar to accurately read the ball in flight is by far more advanced than anyone who has tried to apply this technology to objects in flight.  before joining TrackMan, Fredrik was one of the world's top engineers in creating Doppler Radar systems to read the flight characteristics of bullets and missiles for companies that manufactured the ordnance used in military weapons systems.  Quite simply if Fredrik was one of the best in being able to track a supersonic projectile in flight, applying that to a golf ball is probably considered "child's play" to someone of his intellect and experience.

The reason Fredrik left his position to join TrackMan was, as he told me, because he wanted to apply his expertise to something other than products designed to wage war.

Yes, TrackMan indoors is not exactly like TrackMan outdoors.  Trackman outdoors actually reads the flight of the ball all the way from launch to landing.  Trackman indoors reads the ball for 8 feet, then makes calculations based on what it has seen in that 8 feet.  compare that to all the other non Doppler Radar units which regardless of being used indoors or outdoors, only reads the ball for a few INCHES and then makes calculations.

We've used TrackMan both in and outdoors with our robot.  In hitting the same golf club with the same shot set up parameters with the robot, the results we see indoors vs outdoors only vary a little in the angle of descent.  Even the projected carry distance is uncannily accurate between in and outdoors.  Valuable fitting parameters such as launch angle, spin, ball speed, horizontal dispersion, path, face angle, angle of attack do not vary indoors vs outdoors because these things are ordained within 8 feet of launch.

Bottom line?  the person at this place you visited quite simply does not know what he is talking about.  Period.

TOM

#7 SamW

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:02 AM

The main issue with doppler systems is the level of investment needed to get one, it's changed the picture of club fitting and it's priced nearly every average club professional right out of the club fitting market. This is a shame because these are the guys who actually know the games (and the golf swings) of their members the best.

To some extent HSC systems help to get around this problem. Outdoor is still better and I don't care what anybody says, I would rather have an out-door fitting on actual grass with no launch monitor at all than an indoor fitting on a mat with a Trackman, my AoA is different on grass to a mat therefore everything else is different too.

#8 Ri_Redneck

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

The one thing Trackman can not do is tell you WHY your club path, AoA or clubhead speed is what it is. A high speed camera used in conjunction with the Trackman would be the best, IMHO.

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#9 Stretch

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:51 AM

The problem with outdoor fittings, on actual grass, with doppler radar systems is that the radar doesn't always know which flying objects are part of your divot spray and which is your actual ball. Drivers, fine. Irons can be an issue unless you're a picker.

Indoors, bad setups with either TrackMan or FlightScope will result in bad data. You need to have enough space both between the hitting area and the net, and between the radar unit and the hitting area, to get good readings. People tend to try and cheat one or both of these indoors if they don't have the square footage required -- with unpredictable results.

When top-class camera systems (Foresight GC2 etc.) are tested against the top class doppler systems (TrackMan, FlightScope X2) under proper conditions, the ball data is very consistent. I've been to the EDH (makers of FlightScope) engineering facility and they have a very trick HS camera rig that they use in testing. How else would you know, during development, if your product was accurately representing reality?

#10 SamW

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:26 PM

View PostStretch, on 11 October 2012 - 10:51 AM, said:

The problem with outdoor fittings, on actual grass, with doppler radar systems is that the radar doesn't always know which flying objects are part of your divot spray and which is your actual ball. Drivers, fine. Irons can be an issue unless you're a picker.

That's true but they do usually get the ball and you can tell the numbers between the ball and a divot Trackman is pretty smart and its looking for a round spinny thing rather than a flat hunk of grass :)

For a driver sure no problem, for irons its a different thing, I don't have side by side comparable numbers from my own swing, I can see from the ball flight and feel from my own swing the difference between a mat and turf. Somebody must have done the testing... whenever you see tour pro's having clubs fitted on videos its always from turf with trackman.


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#11 joey3108

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:29 PM

I've used both system for years.

IMO Doppler radar is far more consistent result and less problem than camera base.

A perfect set up indoor will be better than a bad set up out door facility including a less perfect weather day (ie: windy), especially considering the person behind it is a well experience one.

To my knowledge and experiences, Flightscope perform just perfectly fine considering a more visible pricing point. They have more choices to choose from for all level of use.

I do agree on certain type of swing....all these system will not reads correctly if we are hitting of the mat...in fact NONE of them. This is why an experience fitter needed to analyze and diagnose it correctly. This is the prove of good human brain always behind a good machine. You can't get a good fitting base on NUMBERS only. Sadly, that is what mostly are out there. A good fitter has to understand a swing mechanic, thus they can judge it correctly.

For us who are in the business, less problem (reliability), more consistent reading are the #1 key of smooth operation.

The only plus side that i can think of using camera base is that you need less sq ft room to set it up, but yet most of us have no issue on room size if we are in a serious business.

IMO combining a FLIGHTSCOPE with good teaching software camera base is the best thing to have.

my 2 cents!

Joe

note: I would love to compare my machine with what they call the BEST out there side by side, So I can learn more which one is really the best.

#12 Stretch

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:32 PM

It's not the hunk that's the issue, it's the spray -- as in the lower left here.

Posted Image

How do you jam a radar in a military application? You drop chaff, lots of little reflective pieces to swamp the radar return.

The software is getting much better at screening this out -- but it is still a consideration in practice.

#13 alwaysatrueswinger

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:41 PM

Thank you all so very much for this information! This has really helped me. Its good to know about this things when you go to a fitting and then invest a lot of money in equipment. Since Tom answered my question, I would like to thank you for the book "The right sticks" and "In search of a perfect golf club!

#14 dsn252001

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:35 AM

View PostStretch, on 11 October 2012 - 10:51 AM, said:

The problem with outdoor fittings, on actual grass, with doppler radar systems is that the radar doesn't always know which flying objects are part of your divot spray and which is your actual ball. Drivers, fine. Irons can be an issue unless you're a picker.

Indoors, bad setups with either TrackMan or FlightScope will result in bad data. You need to have enough space both between the hitting area and the net, and between the radar unit and the hitting area, to get good readings. People tend to try and cheat one or both of these indoors if they don't have the square footage required -- with unpredictable results.

When top-class camera systems (Foresight GC2 etc.) are tested against the top class doppler systems (TrackMan, FlightScope X2) under proper conditions, the ball data is very consistent. I've been to the EDH (makers of FlightScope) engineering facility and they have a very trick HS camera rig that they use in testing. How else would you know, during development, if your product was accurately representing reality?

FlightScope validates its data with cameras running at 40 000 fps and higher. These cameras will set you back 5 figures. On FlightScope's Facebook page they have a clip of a +7 AoA at 40 000 fps, interesting.

#15 OKCGolf

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:49 PM

Any updates on this subject? Seems like GC2 is better for indoor use and Flightscope/Trackman better for outdoor... Thoughts?


#16 JDorfler

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:52 PM

Whatever happened to going to the range,hitting actual balls, and watching the flight of the ball?

#17 Howard Jones

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

Old tread but still interesting....

The latest Trackman Newsletter #9 is out, and the debate of using high speed camera for the job is among a lot of stuff they write about.  http://www.trackman.dk/download/newsletter/newsletter9.pdf

#18 riot1013

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

Coming from a military weapons background I tend to trust radar measurements before a camera.  Too many things can happen to the visual image at and after impact.  The computer is trying to track a shape through space and compare images to determine measurements.

For example: How do they compensate for ball compression?  If the computer is trying to track images and compare them for data the image at impact will be slightly different than a fraction of a second later after the ball rebounds.

Even a cheap microwave radar like the swing speed radar will be more accurate at measuring ball speed than a highspeed camera(even though it doesn't have the software to figure out all of the other variables).

#19 TomWishon

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

View Postalwaysatrueswinger, on 10 October 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:

Hi guys!

I want to adress a question to all you experts out there. I dont write much on this forum, but i read a lot a learn a hell of a lot. golfwrx has really been a kind of university for me. So thank you all!!

A friend of mine went to an indoor center here in Norway and they told him that the simulator they used in combination with high speed cameras was a much better tool in custom fitting indoors than Trackman. They told him that Trackman only worked fully when testing outdoors on a driving range where you could see the proper ballflight.

I would be very grateful for your expert opinions on this topic since I am thinking to test out some new clubs during the winter (unfortunately all of us cant play golf the year around :))!!!

Sorry to disagree with the other posters, but if the proper TrackMan indoor operation software is being used, TrackMan's indoor capability is more accurate than ANY other indoor launch monitor or ball flight simulator unit.  TrackMan has created a special software so their same units can be used indoors.  It does also require that there be a minumum of 3 meters distance from the TrackMan unit to the ball so the Doppler Radar of the TrackMan has enough distance to get its readings.  Of course if a person using TrackMan does not have their indoor operation software, then no, it won't read properly.

If you are in the south of Sweden, and if you are really interested in this stuff, I strongly urge you to contact TrackMan in Copenhagen and go down there for a tour.  You'd be absolutely amazed and when you would leave there, you would know without question that these guys at TrackMan are VERY, VERY smart and know precisely what they are doing.  There is no comparison in the golf industry for the technical brainpower and experience in Doppler Radar applications of these engineers at TrackMan.  I've been there twice and they've been to my company once for technical exchanges and they continue to amaze me at how smart they are in this field.

TrackMan's chief engineer, Fredrik Tuxen, came to TrackMan after a long career developing Doppler Radar technology to track all the flight characteristics of Cruise Missiles.  As he tells people these days, he is much happier applying his knowledge and experience to tracking golf balls and baseballs than missiles!  (yes they to make units for USA Major League Baseball teams who use them to track how their pitchers throw their different baseball pitches to batters.  Incredibly fascinating company they are.

TOM

#20 jaskanski

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Agree that Trackman is the industry leader - no question. Flightscope runs a close second and uses the same doppler radar technology. High speed cameras have their uses, but not if used as a replacement for doppler radar technology - they cannot compare.
However, as pointed out by JK, cameras have good uses for swing and clubhead analysis - great for comparing with the LM data. The two work in harmony for separate reasons. Trackman is primarily a ballflight analysis solution - cameras are a swing analysis solution. On the one hand you have a technology to accurately show ball flight characteristics, while the camera shows why it did it! Indoor fitting never seemed so good.
However - I'm still a big believer in the Mk 1 human eyeball. If you can see what the ball is doing down range too, you can get feedback from the LM results. For example, when you hit a shot and you like it (ie how it looks down range) you can compare it to the particular Trackman reading in order to see what figures can produce what ball flight. The camera confirms how you achieved it. If fine tuning is needed, the three components combined makes it easier to pinpoint the right set up.


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#21 SOONERMAGIC

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

View PostTomWishon, on 30 January 2013 - 02:45 PM, said:

View Postalwaysatrueswinger, on 10 October 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:

Hi guys!

I want to adress a question to all you experts out there. I dont write much on this forum, but i read a lot a learn a hell of a lot. golfwrx has really been a kind of university for me. So thank you all!!

A friend of mine went to an indoor center here in Norway and they told him that the simulator they used in combination with high speed cameras was a much better tool in custom fitting indoors than Trackman. They told him that Trackman only worked fully when testing outdoors on a driving range where you could see the proper ballflight.

I would be very grateful for your expert opinions on this topic since I am thinking to test out some new clubs during the winter (unfortunately all of us cant play golf the year around :))!!!

Sorry to disagree with the other posters, but if the proper TrackMan indoor operation software is being used, TrackMan's indoor capability is more accurate than ANY other indoor launch monitor or ball flight simulator unit.  TrackMan has created a special software so their same units can be used indoors.  It does also require that there be a minumum of 3 meters distance from the TrackMan unit to the ball so the Doppler Radar of the TrackMan has enough distance to get its readings.  Of course if a person using TrackMan does not have their indoor operation software, then no, it won't read properly.

If you are in the south of Sweden, and if you are really interested in this stuff, I strongly urge you to contact TrackMan in Copenhagen and go down there for a tour.  You'd be absolutely amazed and when you would leave there, you would know without question that these guys at TrackMan are VERY, VERY smart and know precisely what they are doing.  There is no comparison in the golf industry for the technical brainpower and experience in Doppler Radar applications of these engineers at TrackMan.  I've been there twice and they've been to my company once for technical exchanges and they continue to amaze me at how smart they are in this field.

TrackMan's chief engineer, Fredrik Tuxen, came to TrackMan after a long career developing Doppler Radar technology to track all the flight characteristics of Cruise Missiles.  As he tells people these days, he is much happier applying his knowledge and experience to tracking golf balls and baseballs than missiles!  (yes they to make units for USA Major League Baseball teams who use them to track how their pitchers throw their different baseball pitches to batters.  Incredibly fascinating company they are.

TOM

Book Closed..

Thanks Tom!

#22 jay65

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

View PostTomWishon, on 30 January 2013 - 02:45 PM, said:

View Postalwaysatrueswinger, on 10 October 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:

Hi guys!

I want to adress a question to all you experts out there. I dont write much on this forum, but i read a lot a learn a hell of a lot. golfwrx has really been a kind of university for me. So thank you all!!

A friend of mine went to an indoor center here in Norway and they told him that the simulator they used in combination with high speed cameras was a much better tool in custom fitting indoors than Trackman. They told him that Trackman only worked fully when testing outdoors on a driving range where you could see the proper ballflight.

I would be very grateful for your expert opinions on this topic since I am thinking to test out some new clubs during the winter (unfortunately all of us cant play golf the year around :))!!!

Sorry to disagree with the other posters, but if the proper TrackMan indoor operation software is being used, TrackMan's indoor capability is more accurate than ANY other indoor launch monitor or ball flight simulator unit.  TrackMan has created a special software so their same units can be used indoors.  It does also require that there be a minumum of 3 meters distance from the TrackMan unit to the ball so the Doppler Radar of the TrackMan has enough distance to get its readings.  Of course if a person using TrackMan does not have their indoor operation software, then no, it won't read properly.

If you are in the south of Sweden, and if you are really interested in this stuff, I strongly urge you to contact TrackMan in Copenhagen and go down there for a tour.  You'd be absolutely amazed and when you would leave there, you would know without question that these guys at TrackMan are VERY, VERY smart and know precisely what they are doing.  There is no comparison in the golf industry for the technical brainpower and experience in Doppler Radar applications of these engineers at TrackMan.  I've been there twice and they've been to my company once for technical exchanges and they continue to amaze me at how smart they are in this field.

TrackMan's chief engineer, Fredrik Tuxen, came to TrackMan after a long career developing Doppler Radar technology to track all the flight characteristics of Cruise Missiles.  As he tells people these days, he is much happier applying his knowledge and experience to tracking golf balls and baseballs than missiles!  (yes they to make units for USA Major League Baseball teams who use them to track how their pitchers throw their different baseball pitches to batters.  Incredibly fascinating company they are.

TOM

Massively interesting Tom.

Can I ask you a question? When you stated that you had tested both outdoor and indoor applications of Trackman with a robot and using the same club and otherwise identical equipment parameters. And you found the indoor results virtually identical to outdoor results. Can I ask you if you changed the software on the indoor test to the Indoor software you say is needed? And also, for your conclusion of them both to be perfectly accurate, what, can I ask, was you 'Control' experiment that led you to this conclusion?

Thank you

#23 TomWishon

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:25 PM

View Postjay65, on 30 January 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:


Can I ask you a question? When you stated that you had tested both outdoor and indoor applications of Trackman with a robot and using the same club and otherwise identical equipment parameters. And you found the indoor results virtually identical to outdoor results. Can I ask you if you changed the software on the indoor test to the Indoor software you say is needed? And also, for your conclusion of them both to be perfectly accurate, what, can I ask, was you 'Control' experiment that led you to this conclusion?


Two different experiences showed us this.

1.  When TrackMan developed the indoor software for their unit, they shared this data with us so we could see the differences between indoor and outdoor readings.  They did this with a few of the European PGA tour pros that they are close to, who frequently act as the "human robot" test hitters for their ongoing research.  Knowing the company as we do since they came on the scene in the mid 00's, they are not going to manipulate data.  They're pure engineers who see something like that as tantamount to a capital crime.  There were small variations which most definitely could be attributed to little swing to swing differences among the pros.  

2.  We did this ourselves at our R&D facility using same golfers who are in our hit test focus group we use for hit test projects.  In our case we saw a little more variation because these players in our test were not tour pro quality, but again, we just did not see differences that would lead us to believe it was from anything but swing to swing variations among the golfers.  

To "control" this as tightly as possible other than the same golfers using the same exact clubs with the same balls they play with, both us and TrackMan put little tiny dabs of a special reflective paint on the same dimples in one area of the ball.  This special paint allows the Doppler Radar to "see" the ball more clearly because the pulses of radar are more strongly reflected back to the receiver.  So the readings can be more consistent in raw data that way than if you do not use these little reflector enhancements on the ball.  

We did not do this with our robot because our robot is bolted to the floor and can't be moved.  In its position, there is not enough room in our R&D building to have the proper distances from TrackMan to the ball, and then from the ball to the net.   For the indoor golfer hitting, we have the indoor net set up in the building so that we can move the tee mat and TrackMan so we can get these required distances for indoor operation.

I will say that if you hit 100 shots with TM outdoors vs 100 shots indoors, yes, you will see a few more "reject shots" indoors than outdoors.  Indoors Trackman needs to see the ball for at least 8 feet after it takes off before it hits the net.  So if the net is 8 feet, 9 feet and not 15 feet away, sure, you can get a poor pickup here and there which you won't get outdoors when TM can see the ball for a longer distance.  But bottom line is that from all my experience in 20 yrs of launch monitor work both in and outdoors and with more than ten different units, TM indoors is better than any other launch monitor indoors by a long shot.

Hope this covers what you asked about
TOM

TOM

#24 jay65

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

View PostTomWishon, on 30 January 2013 - 04:25 PM, said:

View Postjay65, on 30 January 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

Can I ask you a question? When you stated that you had tested both outdoor and indoor applications of Trackman with a robot and using the same club and otherwise identical equipment parameters. And you found the indoor results virtually identical to outdoor results. Can I ask you if you changed the software on the indoor test to the Indoor software you say is needed? And also, for your conclusion of them both to be perfectly accurate, what, can I ask, was you 'Control' experiment that led you to this conclusion?


Two different experiences showed us this.

1.  When TrackMan developed the indoor software for their unit, they shared this data with us so we could see the differences between indoor and outdoor readings.  They did this with a few of the European PGA tour pros that they are close to, who frequently act as the "human robot" test hitters for their ongoing research.  Knowing the company as we do since they came on the scene in the mid 00's, they are not going to manipulate data.  They're pure engineers who see something like that as tantamount to a capital crime.  There were small variations which most definitely could be attributed to little swing to swing differences among the pros.  

2.  We did this ourselves at our R&D facility using same golfers who are in our hit test focus group we use for hit test projects.  In our case we saw a little more variation because these players in our test were not tour pro quality, but again, we just did not see differences that would lead us to believe it was from anything but swing to swing variations among the golfers.  

To "control" this as tightly as possible other than the same golfers using the same exact clubs with the same balls they play with, both us and TrackMan put little tiny dabs of a special reflective paint on the same dimples in one area of the ball.  This special paint allows the Doppler Radar to "see" the ball more clearly because the pulses of radar are more strongly reflected back to the receiver.  So the readings can be more consistent in raw data that way than if you do not use these little reflector enhancements on the ball.  

We did not do this with our robot because our robot is bolted to the floor and can't be moved.  In its position, there is not enough room in our R&D building to have the proper distances from TrackMan to the ball, and then from the ball to the net.   For the indoor golfer hitting, we have the indoor net set up in the building so that we can move the tee mat and TrackMan so we can get these required distances for indoor operation.

I will say that if you hit 100 shots with TM outdoors vs 100 shots indoors, yes, you will see a few more "reject shots" indoors than outdoors.  Indoors Trackman needs to see the ball for at least 8 feet after it takes off before it hits the net.  So if the net is 8 feet, 9 feet and not 15 feet away, sure, you can get a poor pickup here and there which you won't get outdoors when TM can see the ball for a longer distance.  But bottom line is that from all my experience in 20 yrs of launch monitor work both in and outdoors and with more than ten different units, TM indoors is better than any other launch monitor indoors by a long shot.

Hope this covers what you asked about
TOM

TOM

Ah I see. Thank you for that Tom. I was just curious. Apologies for my question. I was just trying to understand the processes involved.

So what you are saying is that the 'control' experiment in this case was simply that the indoor results were simply measured by the outdoor results by means of the software and the silver paint on the dimples. And that all results were simply as a comparison between indoor and outdoor readings and assumes accuracy in the machines in the first place.

Thank you for that Tom, that clears things up for me from a Scientific point of view. Much obliged to you.

#25 1simen1

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:27 PM

View PostTomWishon, on 11 October 2012 - 09:12 AM, said:

View Postalwaysatrueswinger, on 10 October 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:

A friend of mine went to an indoor center here in Norway and they told him that the simulator they used in combination with high speed cameras was a much better tool in custom fitting indoors than Trackman. They told him that Trackman only worked fully when testing outdoors on a driving range where you could see the proper ballflight.


Since 2005 our company has had a close relationship with Dr. Fredrik Tuxen, the engineer who created the Doppler Radar telemetry for the TrackMan launch monitor.  During that time Fredrik has been to our company and we've been to his as we continue to share information from both of our companies' research.

What makes TrackMan so good and so far ahead of any other unit are two things - One, Doppler Radar is so far ahead of any other sensor systems used in launch monitors or golf simulators in being able to accurately and repeatedly read the flight of the golf ball.  Sensor systems for other units range from camera to laser to ultrasonic to infrared and none of them can read the ball nearly as accurately in flight as Doppler Radar.

Two, Fredrik's experience with being able to program Doppler Radar to accurately read the ball in flight is by far more advanced than anyone who has tried to apply this technology to objects in flight.  before joining TrackMan, Fredrik was one of the world's top engineers in creating Doppler Radar systems to read the flight characteristics of bullets and missiles for companies that manufactured the ordnance used in military weapons systems.  Quite simply if Fredrik was one of the best in being able to track a supersonic projectile in flight, applying that to a golf ball is probably considered "child's play" to someone of his intellect and experience.

The reason Fredrik left his position to join TrackMan was, as he told me, because he wanted to apply his expertise to something other than products designed to wage war.

Yes, TrackMan indoors is not exactly like TrackMan outdoors.  Trackman outdoors actually reads the flight of the ball all the way from launch to landing.  Trackman indoors reads the ball for 8 feet, then makes calculations based on what it has seen in that 8 feet.  compare that to all the other non Doppler Radar units which regardless of being used indoors or outdoors, only reads the ball for a few INCHES and then makes calculations.

We've used TrackMan both in and outdoors with our robot.  In hitting the same golf club with the same shot set up parameters with the robot, the results we see indoors vs outdoors only vary a little in the angle of descent.  Even the projected carry distance is uncannily accurate between in and outdoors.  Valuable fitting parameters such as launch angle, spin, ball speed, horizontal dispersion, path, face angle, angle of attack do not vary indoors vs outdoors because these things are ordained within 8 feet of launch.

Bottom line?  the person at this place you visited quite simply does not know what he is talking about.  Period.

TOM

Hi Tom.

The person that don't know what he is talking about migth actually be me.
I work at an indoor golfcenter in Oslo Norway, and what the OP is telling you, seems to be something i have said.

However he left something out. We are not just using high speed cams at our center, we use the PGA Tour Simulators from AboutGolf.
As you probably are aware of, these simulators are exctremly accurate.

That is if you use the balls that come with the system with the special print. We use the Callaway Tour (iz). These balls have a special printing on them that is the reference points for the high speed cams.
The cams measure how fast these printed lines move as the ball spin, and as a result you get physical measurement of ball spin. Both back spin and side spin down to the individual rpm.
The result is amazing. You can hit cut slice, push hook, draws, fades, slices, hooks and any other combination of shot types.

When custumers come to me and ask me if indoor fitting is accurate enough, i tell them that it depends on the system the fitter use to measure the golf ball.
When it comes to trackman i tell customers that it is very good for outdoor fitting, and ok for indoor fitting. If used inndoors you just can't trust the data 100%.
Outside it's a great system because it tracks the ball from the ball is hit until it lands, giving the fitter excellent data.
Outdoors i have used the trackman for fitting at PING's fitting center in Gainsborough England, learning about it from the dedicated staff there. I found the trackman system to be great for outdoor fitting.

Indoors though the doppler radar has it's limits. The two most known radars using this tech are the trackman and flightscope radars. Indoors they are quite simular, but outdoors the trackman is alot better. You can take it with you and use it where you want, while the flightscope is a lot more stationary, and only tracked the ball for 3 seconds when we used it. Trackman tracks the entire ball flight.
I have intimate knowlage of the flightscope radar (kudu) and it's bigger brother that was the heart of the radar based older generation simulators from AboutGolf (cheetah).
I have used both systems for customfitting, and even though they help getting the customer the right clubs, they can get you into trouble if you trust the data they give you 100%.
Push hooks or draws have a tendency to be read as pure push shots.
Pull slices have a tendency to be read as pure pulls.

Four years ago we upgraded 3 of our radarbased AboutGolf simulators to 3 track. This was the first high speed cam sim from Aboutgolf.
It was an eye opener to stand on the Pga simulator hitting shots, and then move to the doppler radar sim next to it hitting the same shots getting different results.
On the PGA sim, all shot types were recreated accurately, while on the radar they were not.
It was good fun in the beginning getting the pro's and the tournament players in on the PGA sims, having them shape some shots and see their reactions as the sim reproduced their expected shots.
They were suprised and very positive afterwards.

Last October we upgraded all 7 sims to the newest version of the PGA Tour Simulator from About Golf.

In my opinion after working with doppler radar systems and the PGA sim side by side for several years, is that there is no contest when accurasy is conserned.
The PGA sim is miles ahead.

If you use the "metallic" paint on the golfballs on trackman or flightscope, i'll take your word for it that it improves the radars readings, but does it manage to measure ball spinn, or does it still need to calculate it via software using angels and speeds of the club head and ball?

Most other systems estimate ballspinn. As long as you use the special ball with markings, to my knowlage, no other system measure ball spinn as accurately as the PGA simulator.
I trust the PGA Tour Simulator. I have a cut slice in my sving. The PGA sim reads it perfectly, the doppler radar reads it as a pull. That is the difference between a system that measures ball spinn and a system that estimates spinn.

So back to the OP's question. Do you have to get customfit outdoors?
In my opinon no you don't.

Indoor fitting is way better than no fitting if you are in the hands of a good custom fitter.
If the custom fitter use radar based systems he has to be a little carefull, not trusting the data 100 % or he might end up fitting a customer with a push hook with draw clubs.
That happend to an individual at another center in Norway after getting custom fitted indoors on trackman. Those clubs did not improve his game to put it mildy.
A push hook indoors will read as a push on radar systems. (Have not tried hitting push hooks with metallic paint balls, as you say, that might help)

If you can get custom fit on The PGA Tour Simualtor, spinn is measured not estimated, giveing the fitter excellent data.
There is also one aspect of inndoor fitting that helps the fitter. Especially if you are comparing clubs and shafts.
There is no wind indoors.
There is only the customer and the data. There is no interference by mother nature.
Outdoors wind will influence the data in regards to dispersion, both sideways and for carry distance.
If it's raining in addition to wind mother nature gives even more interference.
Both rain and wind can influence a coparison test between different clubs/shafts.

You can say that indoor fitting actually is better than outdoor fitting, even if you use a trackman outdoors, because of the "mother nature" interference issue.
That is if you use a system like the PGA Tour Simulator from AboutGolf.

I don't know Tom if you have any hands on experience with the the PGA simulator. But from your posts here it sounds like you havent tried it as of yet.
And if you ever get to try it, use the specially marked balls and be amazed by the way it replicates you golf shots.

Period:-)

Regards Simen Fulland Customgolf Oslo Norway

Edited by 1simen1, 04 February 2013 - 06:35 AM.


#26 TomWishon

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:28 AM

View Post1simen1, on 03 February 2013 - 05:27 PM, said:


The person that don't know what he is talking about migth actually be me.
I work at an indoor golfcenter in Oslo Norway, and what the OP is telling you, seems to be something i have said.

However he left something out. We are not just using high speed cams at our center, we use the PGA Tour Simulators from AboutGolf.
As you probably are aware of, these simulators are exctremly accurate.


When custumers come to me and ask me if indoor fitting is accurate enough, i tell them that it depends on the system the fitter use to measure the golf ball.
When it comes to trackman i tell customers that it is very good for outdoor fitting, and ok for indoor fitting. If used inndoors you just can't trust the data 100%.

Indoors though the doppler radar has it's limits.

I have used both systems for customfitting, and even though they help getting the customer the right clubs, they can get you into trouble if you trust the data they give you 100%.

It was an eye opener to stand on the Pga simulator hitting shots, and then move to the doppler radar sim next to it hitting the same shots getting different results.
On the PGA sim, all shot types were recreated accurately, while on the radar they were not.
It was good fun in the beginning getting the pro's and the tournament players in on the PGA sims, having them shape some shots and see their reactions as the sim reproduced their expected shots.
They were suprised and very positive afterwards.

Last October we upgraded all 7 sims to the newest version of the PGA Tour Simulator from About Golf.

In my opinion after working with doppler radar systems and the PGA sim side by side for several years, is that there is no contest when accurasy is conserned.
The PGA sim is miles ahead.

If you use the "metallic" paint on the golfballs on trackman or flightscope, i'll take your word for it that it improves the radars readings, but does it manage to measure ball spinn, or does it still need to calculate it via software using angels and speeds of the club head and ball?

Most other systems estimate ballspinn. As long as you use the special ball with markings, to my knowlage, no other system measure ball spinn as accurately as the PGA simulator.
I trust the PGA Tour Simulator. I have a cut slice in my sving. The PGA sim reads it perfectly, the doppler radar reads it as a pull. That is the difference between a system that measures ball spinn and a system that estimates spinn.

So back to the OP's question. Do you have to get customfit outdoors?
In my opinon no you don't.

Indoor fitting is way better than no fitting if you are in the hands of a good custom fitter.


Regards Simen Fulland Customgolf Oslo Norway

SIMEN:

I am glad that you took the time to explain not only that you have the About Golf simulator, but that you also took the time to talk about your experience so that I can know that you are most definitely far more experienced and more knowledgeable about this matter than the majority of people in this field.

My comments of course were based on the fact that the vast majority of retail golf stores do not use the About Golf simulator.   These other simulators are not that accurate for the specific fitting related parameters that TrackMan and FlightScope record.  Other simulators do not record some of the other important parameters in a shot or swing that can have a bearing on making good fitting decisions.

So since the OP did not say that you were using the About Golf simulator and since the OP did not provide any information to allow me to know that you personally have a great deal of experience in this area, I was led to believe that the situation the OP referred to was the same as it is in so many other retail golf shops which use deficient equipment operated by people who in no way have close to your experience.  

In my many years in clubfitting, I have continually seen that the vast majority of golf retail stores are very poor in terms of the knowledge, training and expertise of the people who sell the clubs to the golfers.  It is so predominant this way that I made the mistake of assuming that your operation was just like the others.  And so I am glad you responded to clearly prove you are  qualified and equipped to do a good job in fitting.  

I will still say that it is more possible for camera based units to get fooled into making less than accurate spin measurements than doppler radar units that have good software behind them.  However, I will also say that I do not personally know if or how the About Golf unit overcomes these potential problems associated with cameras only seeing a ball for a very short time after impact, as well as cameras typically only being able to see in 2D and not 3D when they read the ball after impact.   No matter how fast the camera, if it sees in 2D, which most do, it cannot see an azimuth change in the shot which then translates into a less than accurate calculation of the spin from the very short time the camera sees the ball.

On the other hand, spin is only one of the elements one looks at when doing a fitting analysis, so that's not as big of a deal as one might think.

One of the main reasons I could tell that you know what you are talking about and therefore why you distance yourself ahead of the majority of people is because you said you know that good fitting is more about the fitting knowledge and fitting experience and that you have to sometimes ignore what the telemetry equipment tells you in the analysis.   That skill to have the knowledge and the experience to know these things is far more valuable than any telemetry equipment, no matter who makes the equipment.  

I do sincerely thank you for posting so that I could know a lot more about your specific individual situation, both with the About Golf simulator but moreso that you showed that you do know what you are doing.  Among all the people who work in fitting situations it most definitely does sound like you are far more advanced in your knowledge and experience, so from that, I am sure that your fitting customers are in very good hands.  

TOM





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