By Alex Yeazel, PGA
TrackMan has become a staple for top-tier performance throughout the sports industry. Whether it is the spin rate data in MLB for pitchers or kicking data in the NFL, TrackMan is changing the way athletes work on their performance. This is seen at its greatest levels in the collegiate ranks here in the United States. As it stands today, every single Top 25 ranked program in NCAA Division 1 Men’s golf has at least 1 TrackMan Unit. This is a very powerful statement as these universities and countless others have put their trust in the TrackMan Technology.
“Knowing your numbers is powerful”CONRAD RAY, STANDFORD 2018 NATIONAL CHAMPION
As of late, the desire to have this same technology has trickled down to the high school ranks. The need for this technology is to address a chronic issue in junior golf; distance control. Coaches have identified that regardless of age, players were flat out unaware of how far they hit each club. Something so simple turned around the games of numerous programs and high school athletes. Though TrackMan can provide data parameters on the D-Plane and other technical topics, these coaches were hoping to give their players knowledge to create immediate impact.
In 2017, TrackMan rolled out a High School Program offering that has grown in numbers each year. We not only saw the prep schools and private institutions taking advantage of the offering but also small-town public high schools jump on board. The simplicity of “knowing your numbers,” and in this case carry, is appealing across the board. One of the early adopters were the Hiland Hawks of Berlin, Ohio. Coach Austin Kaufman pushed for the investment in a unit back in 2017 and this year they were able to deliver the first golf state title in school history. After this win, we asked Austin to look back at the past 3 seasons and what TrackMan was able to provide his players.
The Hiland Hawks use TrackMan daily after school. While they were evaluating options of adding technology to their practice, a major deciding piece was having a dedicated space to use the technology. The program really liked the idea of portability so they could not only get their swings in the winter but also take the unit to the golf course. After spending time with his local TrackMan Rep., he learned of the TrackMan 3e and it fits perfectly in their space & budget. Once they received the unit and training from their TrackMan Rep., they not only saw the potential for faster results with improved swing mechanics but also their ability to create internal-team competition. This was all made possible through use of the TrackMan Combine & Test Center.
The TrackMan Combine is a 60 shot standardized test. Commonly we hear it referred to as the ACT or SAT of Golf. The benefit of standardization is it gives players a way to compare themselves to other teammates but then also the rest of the world. The scoring system used here provides points based on proximity to hole for the yardage called. This same methodology is used in the Test Center. The TrackMan Test Center gives coaches and players the ability to improve specific areas of the game. Coaches are making tests for wedges, short irons, long irons, and even simulations of tournament courses. The complete customization empowers coaches to create whatever they see fit.
With these team-specific tests, a sense of competition is felt throughout the program. Players work to be the top scorer on each individual test and commonly leaderboards are used to push that competitive nature throughout the offseason.
“TrackMan’s Test Center and Combine apps are brilliant at keeping golfers engaged and productive in their practice sessions. It allows me to create a competitive atmosphere among my players which is extremely helpful in transferring practice skills to real on course performance.”HUGH MARR, EUROPEAN TOUR COACH
Hiland’s use of the many tools TrackMan provides led to measurable improvement with his student-athletes. Coach Kaufman kept track of scoring averages for his players after the integration of TrackMan and the results are outstanding. His two senior leaders were able to cut 8-9 strokes off tournament over these past three seasons and his younger players are improving at an even quicker rate. After only one season of use with the TrackMan, his #3 player took his tournament stroke average from 80.4 to 73.8 and his #4 player went from 79.1 to 77.
TrackMan data isn’t the only thing to look towards for why these players are improving BUT it is something that countless National and State Championship programs are turning towards. If you are interested in learning more about our High School Program please reach out to us today at email@example.com
Great Article, as a PGA teaching Professional and the Head Men’s Golf Coach at Kettering Fairmont HS our Boosters made the commitment to grow our golf program with the purchase of the TM 4 in 2017. It has put us at the forefront of Division I golf in Ohio.