If you have already done some research on golf simulators, it is possible that you did not understand many terms and that information was not bundled. After reading this article, you will know all about the different terms that these devices use. The terms are in English, and this was deliberately chosen because most golf simulators use the same terms, and unfortunately not everything can be translated into Dutch.

### Ball speed, club speed & smash factor

We start with the most important and most common terms (green): ** Ball Speed** . Ball speed is created by club speed and impact. A bad impact, such as shots on the toe or heel, will reduce potential ball speed. In addition, a draw or fade can also reduce ball speed.

While a golfer's club speed is key to potential distance, the ball speed created at impact is the biggest factor in how far the ball actually flies.

Increasing the ball speed by 1 mph (~1 km/h) can extend the length of your flight by up to 2m.

Next, most simulators report ** Club Speed** . Club speed is the speed at which the clubhead is traveling just prior to impact. More club speed equals more potential distance. Adding 1 mph to club speed can increase your distance with the Driver by up to 10 feet.

*Ball* and *Club Speed* form the basis for the ** Smash Factor** , this measures the amount of energy transferred from the club head to the golf ball. The higher the smash factor, the better the energy transfer. A good golfer hopes to achieve a smash factor of 1.5 with his Driver. This means that for a

*club speed*of 100 mph, the

*ball speed*should be 150 mph. The higher the loft of the club, the lower the smash factor will be. This means that 2 different players can both have a smash factor of 1.4, but one generates more club speed, while the other provides more ball speed.

### Carry, roll & total distance

After club and speed, you also have distance, namely ** Carry Distance** : the distance the ball travels through the air. It is important to know that in all golf simulators the landing area is at the same height as the ball is hit from. In addition, there is of course also a roll section:

**: the distance your ball still travels after its**

*Roll Distance**carry*. Usually you can see where the ball lands on a Driving Range, but not how far it continues to roll. The launch monitor calculates this based on a flat fairway. If you finally add this

*carry*and

*roll distance*together, you get the

**; also known as total distance.**

*Total Distance* Furthermore, the term ** Apex Height** is often used, which is nothing more than the maximum height of the golf ball measured relative to the height from which the golf ball was hit.

And finally the ** Flight Time / Hang Time** of a golf ball, which tells how long the ball is in the air. This statistic is especially important for the Driver. The longer the ball hangs in the air, the more distance your drive has.

### Spin numbers

The most obvious next topic is spin. ** Spin rate** is the amount of spin on the golf ball immediately after impact. Spin rate has a big influence on the

*carry*and

*roll distance*. Spin rate is one of the most difficult numbers, especially in windy conditions it is very difficult to determine, but it does have a huge influence on all the above terms. In addition, this is also the most difficult to measure for golf simulators, and metal stickers on the ball are recommended.

** Spin Axis** represents the amount of curvature of a golf shot. A negative spin axis represents a ball that curves to the left (draw), a positive spin axis represents a ball that curves to the right (fade), and a zero spin axis represents a shot with no curvature.

Spin Axis is determined at impact and will remain the same throughout the flight of the ball. Even though the wind may “push” the ball in different directions, the spin axis remains the same. Spin Axis is measured relative to the horizon. In general, a *Spin Axis* of between -2 and 2 is a straight ball. The higher the number, the more curve is visible.

### Clubhead directions

** Club Path** is the direction in which the clubhead moves (right or left) at the moment of impact.

Most golfers relate this to hitting the ball "inside-out" or "outside-in." A positive value means the club will travel to the right of the target at impact ("inside-out" for a right-handed golfer) and a negative value means the club will travel to the left of the target ("outside-in" for a right-handed golfer).

An "inside-out" club path is needed to hit a draw and an "outside-in" club path is needed to hit a fade. The optimal club path depends on the type of shot the golfer wants to play. A golfer may want to hit a 5 yard fade, a straight shot, or a 10 yard draw. Each of these shots has its own optimal club path.

** Angle of Attack** is the direction the club head moves (up or down) at the moment of impact. Shots that are hit from the ground should have a negative angle of attack to create 'ball first' contact. Golfers with slower club speeds will need to be careful not to hit too far down (negative angle of attack) with their irons. This will affect the golfer's potential distance. The angle of attack is especially important with the Driver, where the angle is very low, but it should be positive for optimum results. The loft of the driver should be chosen to complement the golfer's angle of attack.

** Face to Target** or

**is the difference between the straight line and the moment of impact.**

*Face Angle* ** Face to Path** is the difference between

*Face Angle*and

*Club Path*.

## Different angles

In addition to ball speed, club speed, distance and spin data, you will now encounter terms that are mainly measured by more expensive simulators.

One such measurement is the *descent* ** angle** of the golf ball. This is determined by measuring the launch angle (angle of the golf ball immediately after impact) and spin rates (rate at which the ball spins, measured in revolutions per minute). The perfect combination of launch angle and spin will result in an ideal descent angle and greater overall distance.

To visualize this, imagine using a hose to shoot water as far as possible. If you aim too high, you will lose distance because the water will go down steeply. If you aim too low, it will fall short because of a shallow arc.

An optimal drop angle for the Driver will be between 35 and 40 degrees for players with a Driver swing speed between 85 and 110 mph. This will result in maximum *carry* and *roll distance* . The optimal angle will be lower for players with slower swing speeds and higher for players with faster swing speeds.

A term that is very similar in meaning to *descent angle* is ** Lateral Landing,** also known as

*land angle.*This is about the landing angle, not the

*descent angle*. This landing angle is greatly affected by ball flight, and has a great deal of influence on

*roll distance*. Assuming all else is equal, a lower (flatter) landing angle will create more bounce and extra roll. On "normal" fairways, 1 extra degree of landing angle will change bounce and roll by 1.5 to 2 meters.

It is important to consider the *land angle* when optimizing your shots. With the Driver, a lower land angle can reduce *carry* but increase overall distance. However, with a pitch, it is important to know how much bounce and roll occurs once the ball lands. A land angle of more than 45 degrees is recommended for all attack shots. Keep in mind that a land angle greater than 45 degrees will be very difficult to achieve with iron speeds under 75 mph (without losing potential *carry* ).

In addition to landing and descent angles, there are also so-called vertical and horizontal launch angles, but first I will have to explain a term for this: ** Dynamic Loft** .

This is the amount of loft on the clubface at impact. The golfer’s angle of attack, how the shaft bends, how the golfer releases the clubhead, whether the clubface is open or closed to the club path, and where the ball makes contact with the clubface can all affect dynamic loft. Creating the correct dynamic loft for the golfer’s club speed is important for creating the optimal ball flight and maximizing carry.

Too much dynamic loft can send the ball too high into the air and reduce *carry distance* .

Too little dynamic loft can send the ball too low, increasing the *roll distance* and making distance more complex to judge/control.

** Vertical Launch Angle** is highly correlated with dynamic loft. This is the angle at which the ball rises relative to the ground. Launch angle will always be slightly less than dynamic loft, but will be a similar value. Along with ball speed, launch angle is a primary component in determining the height and distance of a shot. Each golfer should be adjusted to achieve the optimal balance between launch angle and spin rate based on their club speed and ball speed.

There is also the ** Horizontal Launch Angle** , which is the angle at which the ball leaves relative to the goal line / straight ahead. Positive means to the right, negative means to the left.

### Other terms

Finally, I will briefly describe a number of terms that are in my opinion less relevant, but are used by the more expensive simulators.

Starting with ** Swing Plane Horizontal** , which tells you the direction of the swing relative to the target line. A positive value means the arc is to the right of the target, negative means it is to the left.

Simply put, the Horizontal Swing Plane is the direction the hula hoop (swing arc) is pointing. It is the direction of your swing as seen from a bird’s eye view.

** Swing Plane Vertical** is a measure of how vertical the swing is at the bottom of the swing. The higher the number, the more vertical or steep the swing. Lower numbers indicate a less vertical or flatter swing.

** Spin loft** is the difference between

*dynamic loft*and

*angle of attack*. Spin loft is related to the static loft of the club, but the shaft of the club, and the hands in front of or behind the clubhead also affect this ratio.

** Shot Dispersion** is the deviation in length that you have per club. Ultimately, your goal is to show as low a deviation as possible, which means that you will hit more consistently and can trust your data even more. Not every simulator will track this for you, but it is very useful.

### Flightscope are unique terms

*Club Speed Profile (flight scope)*

The velocity profile shows the speed of the clubhead before and after impact. The left side of this graph shows the clubhead speed in miles per hour (mph). The bottom of the graph shows the distance (ft) the club traveled before and after impact. The profile below shows the clubhead gaining speed towards impact approximately 3 feet before impact. Impact is labeled as “0” on the velocity profile. The most consistent ball strikers on tour have a very linear velocity profile prior to impact. This is a good indication of a clubhead gaining speed without spikes or drop. Inconsistency in this profile can affect overall clubhead speed.

*Acceleration Profile (flight scope)*

It shows the acceleration of the clubhead before and after impact, represented in g-forces. The graph below shows a very linear profile, which means a very stable clubhead. This would be a nice profile for a player looking for consistency in their stroke.

All in all, there have been a lot of golf terms used by launch monitors. One more important than the other, if you want to know what the exact differences are between the simulators that you find at Golf Backyard, read: "The differences between each Launch Monitor" .