Launch Direction is the initial direction the ball starts relative to the target line
A positive launch direction indicates a ball that starts right of the target and a negative launch direction indicates a ball that starts left of the target.
The larger the number, the more offline the ball has started (right or left). A zero launch direction means the ball started directly at the target.
Launch direction is reported in degrees and can be thought of in terms of push, pull, or straight. It is important to understand that launch direction does not describe the curvature of the shot, only its start direction.
For example, a ball with a launch direction of “-2.0 deg” will be 3.5 yards left of the target line at 100 yards and 7.0 yards left of the target line at 200 yards. Or a ball with a launch direction of -4.0 deg will be 7.0 yards left of the target line at 100 yards and 14.0 yards left of the target line at 200 yards. These examples simply use the launch direction to determine how far a ball would be offline at a certain distance. There is no curvature accounted for because curvature is not linked to launch direction.
Launch Direction – The horizontal angle relative to the target line of the golf ball’s center of gravity movement immediately after separation from the club face (post impact).
Launch Direction Examples
- -1 degree = 1.7 yards left
- -3 degree = 5.2 yards left
- 2 degree = 3.4 yards right
- 4 degree = 7.0 yards right
- -1 degree = 3.5 yards left
- -3 degree = 10.5 yards left
- 2 degree = 7.0 yards right
- 4 degree = 14.0 yards right
- -1 degree = 5.2 yards left
- -3 degree = 15.7 yards left
- 2 degree = 10.5 yards right
- 4 degree = 20.9 yards right
The standard assumption for launch direction is zero for all clubs. It is a standard assumption that the ball starts straight at the target.
Read what our TrackMan University Masters say about Launch Direction…
PGA International Golf Coach, UK
“One of my player’s used launch direction to signifcantly develop their game. Instead of trying to hit dead straight shots at the target, we actually worked on moving his launch direction away from zero so that he could “work” the ball towards the target line. In order to achieve this, we concentrated on starting the ball 4 degrees right of the target line. We focused on face angle at address and impact to attain this launch direction.”
Philadelphia Cricket Club, PA, US
“Launch direction is a very important number to look at because you have to have your ball start in a certain direction and have it curve a certain way to get it to finish on target. I like to think of it as a “window” that you have to hit it through to get your ball started in the correct direction. If you miss the “window”, it is hard to get your ball on target.”
Carl’s Golfland, MI, US
“Launch direction determines where the ball is starting in relation to your target. I like to have a player have a launch direction within +/- 2 degrees. If a player is forced to start the ball signficantly left or right to fade or draw the ball that can lead to a larger dispersion since spin axis now has to be a higher value to bring the ball back to the target line.”