Launch Angle and Ball Speed Correlation.

Space Bandito

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I've been reading lots on data, and so much more in a new attempt to improve my game (as it seems to have really fallen off as of late.) I have a question for those of you who actually understand this stuff.

According to Trackman, increasing launch angle, while the club head speed remains constant, increases ball speed.

My question is: How?

Can someone please explain the physics to me? I can't seem to wrap my head around how the the angle at which the ball launches off of the down swing at a constant speed can cause it's speed to increase. Is it all in regards to spin?

Feel free to show your work. I'm scratching my head here.
 

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I'll be interested in what others say, as this only makes sense to me as a statistical tendency, not an absolute. Fundamentally, ball speed is related to swing speed and the efficiency of the transfer of energy from the club to the ball. What we usually refer to as hitting it on the sweet spot. If you hit the ball low on the face, then get it up to the sweet spot what you say Trackman is stating would be true. But if you started at the sweet spot, then hit it higher on the face launch angle would increase (because the face is crown shaped), but the ball speed should decrease. I realize there are many other variables at work, but this suggests that the statement they made would at least in some cases not be universally true.

Let's see what others have to say.
 

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positive angle of attack will increase dynamic loft (generally), decrease spin loft, result in a more square strike, increasing ballspeed

this is a generality though and specific instances may have different results

the most efficient strike is dead on 0°/90°

spin is energy going to rotation rather than straight out (this is before fluid dynamics of ballflight takes over)
 

BluesManDan

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Both of those responses sound right. Ball speed would only increase with launch angle only if the increase in launch angle were achieved by a more square impact with positive aoi (more dynamic loft) instead of say using a more lofted club. The more lofted club would be a more glancing blow.

But, I think you could produce identical ballspeed with lower launch, by keeping the same impact conditions relative to the arc center and irrespective of loft. Clubhead speed and face squareness relative to clubhead path are what matter.


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kevin81002

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I dunno. Me personally, I've always gotten higher ball speed from an 8.5* driver than the 10.5 I play with. I just can't get the 8.5 up in the air.

The only way I would think that increasing launch angle would increase ball speed would be the quality of the strike, not just adding loft. A positive AOA could produce lower spin which would increase ball speed on a center strike.

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It's not the launch angle, it's spin loft/spin. Spin is directly correlated to ball speed. All things being equal, lower spin results in both higher launch and ball speed while higher spin results in lower launch and lower ball speed. Also, all things being equal, the faster the club head speed the greater the spin.

https://blog.trackmangolf.com/spin-loft/

The spin rate of a shot is largely influenced by the spin loft. All else equal, a higher spin loft will result in a higher spin rate. Controlling spin loft is key to controlling spin rate. Also, a higher spin loft will create a lower smash factor all else equal. Because of this fact, some will refer to spin loft as “compression”. A lower spin loft creates greater “compression” (and a lower spin rate).
https://blog.trackmangolf.com/spin-rate/

More loft generally increases spin rate. All things being equal, more club speed will also increase spin rate.
https://blog.trackmangolf.com/launch-angle/

Launch angle is highly correlated to dynamic loft.
 

sposey013168

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Through testing on my monitor I have learned AOA is key for me. When I get my AOA at plus 4 to 6 that when I get my best ball speed and carry numbers.
I know that’s not the scientific answer but it is what I have seen


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We have a great video coming up with an expert. One of the reasons that we put in the teaser is loft and the ball climbing up the face.
 

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This is only partially true, and is dependent on two other factors.....face angle and swing path angle at impact. The closer these two angles are to each other....the greater the ball speed and resulting distance. When these angles get further apart (obtuse) ball speed goes down and spin goes up....and distance goes down. There is, however, a practical limitation. Theoretically you could swing your driver and hit the ball straight up to the sky. No amount of acute angles between your face and path is going to cause that ball to go further. It will only go up.
 

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Just think about hitting a pool ball. When you want the cue ball to stop after hitting the target ball you hit it with your cue to put backspin on it. A tee shot is more complex, but in pool the cue is going on a strait line on the table so to put backspin you hit it with your cue at a downward angle and to put top spin you put your cue at as upward of an angle as you can. The same thing is going on with your driver and golf ball. Hitting up on it is the equivalent of hitting it strait at your launch angle and thus will impart as little energy into spinning the ball as possible and the majority of the energy into launching the ball forward.
 

Space Bandito

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Just think about hitting a pool ball. When you want the cue ball to stop after hitting the target ball you hit it with your cue to put backspin on it. A tee shot is more complex, but in pool the cue is going on a strait line on the table so to put backspin you hit it with your cue at a downward angle and to put top spin you put your cue at as upward of an angle as you can. The same thing is going on with your driver and golf ball. Hitting up on it is the equivalent of hitting it strait at your launch angle and thus will impart as little energy into spinning the ball as possible and the majority of the energy into launching the ball forward.
But that doesn't explain anything about speed. You're talking about stopping. My question has nothing to do with distance, but with the speed at which the ball leaves the face.
 

Space Bandito

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We have a great video coming up with an expert. One of the reasons that we put in the teaser is loft and the ball climbing up the face.
Looking forward to it. Will the physics/technicals be explained? I can understand that the data (and there's a lot of it) backs up the claim, but no one explains how it happens.
 

DataDude

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But that doesn't explain anything about speed. You're talking about stopping. My question has nothing to do with distance, but with the speed at which the ball leaves the face.
Sure it does. The about the difference in speed of the cue ball moving across the table at different angles of hitting it with the cue at the same speed. The more the club face angle matches the angle the ball is launching the more direct the transfer of energy. The spin is only there because you did not hit the energy of the direction of the club face does not match the direction the club face is launching the ball. Less spin means everything is more in line so the energy is being transferred directly from path of club face to the ball and speed is achieved. Anything other than that is on some spectrum of a glancing blow.
 

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Looking forward to it. Will the physics/technicals be explained? I can understand that the data (and there's a lot of it) backs up the claim, but no one explains how it happens.
The teaser out right now on the THP YouTube channel explains part already.
 

Space Bandito

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Sure it does. The about the difference in speed of the cue ball moving across the table at different angles of hitting it with the cue at the same speed. The more the club face angle matches the angle the ball is launching the more direct the transfer of energy. The spin is only there because you did not hit the energy of the direction of the club face does not match the direction the club face is launching the ball. Less spin means everything is more in line so the energy is being transferred directly from path of club face to the ball and speed is achieved. Anything other than that is on some spectrum of a glancing blow.
I'm sorry. I've read this aloud three times, and I cannot understand your wording. The gist of what I can follow is you're saying the ball speed is directly related to spin (like the question in my OP.) Less spin = more efficient energy transfer. Doesn't the energy transfer happen at the moment of impact, which in a split second, would be before the ball spins?
 

Space Bandito

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The teaser out right now on the THP YouTube channel explains part already.
What is the video entitled? I'm looking for it, but I'm unsure. There's a ball speed video, but it seems to have been up a while.
 

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physics in general is always interesting conversation to me and golf physics is no exception so good thread here.

My halfass scientific speculation?..…..and forgive my lessor educated use of terms here..as well as what could simply be wrong ...lol but something doesnt sound right and maybe misunderstood if its stated that increasing launch angle increases speed is anything set in stone. Imo this shouldn't be.

A ball of course is round so launching it at different angles would have no relevance to the speed its launched. Hitting it at 1 oclock, or 5, or 8 doesn't matter. The only thing that should matter is how squarely it is hit on the relevant equator to that clock position. Draw a line through center of the ball at any angle and if the delivered blow (which must include the lined up weight forces behind the blow or sweat spot) is to strike the ball in line with the given chosen equator line evenly then the most speed would be the result. As soon as the energy force approaches the given equator line at any angle other than dead on straight in line with it or if it misses the given equator line the result (either way) will be less speed and more spin.

Don't know if that painted the exact picture I was trying to paint. Imo the only way launching higher results in more speed is if the force of the strike is in line with that specific same line (of the clock position) through the ball.

Suppose the hypothetical desire is to hit the ball on the 4oclock position. If the driving force sweat spot and cog comes in the same angle and strikes that 4 position it would result in the most speed. If the driving force comes in with the sweat spot any higher or lower (a tad towards 3 or 5) therefore creating an angle of degree then the speed drops and spin goes up. This imo in a sense is what our higher lofted irons do. The sweat spot and cog of the club don't hit the same exact line on the ball in a same straight line as the given desired (in my example only) 4oclock equator. Its offset and creates an angle which creates more spin (than say driver or 3wood). If it was hit dead on the same line with no created angle we'd get little to no spin, low trajectory, and a higher speed yet much too long shot. Our PW would be basically useless. The same happens with longitude center line as well meaning if the sweat spot comes in left or right of center creating an angle of degree the speed drops and spin goes up (hence a slice or hook).

I just don't see any way it can be written in stone that higher launch is more speed. That notion I understand may apply to ones specific swing factors but shouldn't imo apply to hitting a round ball. One should be able to create the same exact speed whether a ball is hit vertical straight up in the air or parallel with the ground or anywhere in between. Its all just depends on how the forces line up.

Ok now im ready to have my theory chewed up..lol but none the less physics is interesting and fun to try to figure out and so I gave it a shot.
 

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