On tour, PGA Tour players get to test equipment and practice with a trackman setup that gives them their launch conditions like club head speed, angle of attack, ballspeed etc. Imagine being able to practice like a tour pro at your local range. That and more is the promise of Trackman: The Game.
I feel that calling it Trackman: The Game, is a bit of a misnomer. It is simply a great practice tool, although one of its best applications is the multiplayer games. Above you can see my actual stats, ball flight and score for one short session of Trackman: The Game. Click on each thumbnail to open a larger image.
How it works
The way it works is that you sign up for an account, typically at the driving range that has it. In my case I went to the Tappan Golf Center in Tappan, NY. You pay for a certain number of credits and that gives you an amount of time on the unit itself. A touch screen at the driving range bay allows you to log in and start your session. This screen provides all the vital information that you need as you begin using it and practicing.
The driving range has a number of trackman targets set up. These are physical targets out on the range. They were numbered 1-5 and were setup at various distances, typically in between club distances. Target 1 was setup at 66 yards, target 2 at 94, target 3 at 115 etc. This allows you to practice in a similar way to being on the golf course. After all if you hit your 9 iron 135, how often will you have a shot that is exactly 135? Probably not all that often. Partial irons are where you can really lower your scores.
The best thing about that Trackman: The Game is focused practice at actual targets where you get actual distances to the pin. Because you are hitting at actual targets and there is something on the line, even if it’s just your pride against a buddy, it gets you to focus in a similar way to being on the course. Practicing this way I think can really lead to serious improvement.
You have a number of games that you can play.
18/18 – 18 holes in 18 minutes is the main game. Players hit 3 shots to each of the 5 TrackMan approach targets and finish up with 3 drives between the driving poles – now that’s a time efficient game of golf, not to mention a real test of skill!
18/18 Quick-Play allows players to randomly choose their shot sequence and targets. Players hit 18 shots at any of the five approach targets or any combination thereof – not including the driving zone. The game concludes once 18 shots have been played.
The 9 Shot Challenges focus players on a specific TrackMan target. Players hit 9 shots to a chosen target and their shot results are scored based on performance.
The 9 Drives Challenge is based on an imaginary fairway between the two white TrackMan driving poles. While the objective here is straight and long drives, being straight is rewarded more than being long!
Shot analysis and club comparison
In Single player mode you have the shot analysis and compare clubs options. You can use this to get your launch statistics in order to get your distances with each club, figure out your gaps, and optimize your launch conditions. I would imagine taking a demo driver and hitting it in comparison with my current driver to see the differences. Although should not replace a true fitting session, it can provide a basis for comparison.
Once you have completed your session you can go anywhere you have an internet connection and log into mytrackman.com. There you can see the results of the games, club comparison and shot analysis, and take a detailed look at each and every shot. This makes tracking your statistics a cinch. The online component is phenomenal and for anyone who really wants to take a close look at their game, it is invaluable. Your online account saves all of your sessions, so that you can see your improvement over time, or the effect that new clubs are having.
Trackman: The Game is the future of practice. It makes the time spent at the driving range more focused and productive. If you really want to improve your golf game, go and check it out.