All posts by Matt

Skytrak Golf Simulator Review | The Best Golf Simulator?

If you’re in the market for a golf launch monitor or golf simulator, you know the name SkyTrak.

SkyTrak was put on sale in 2014 for the first time, and was one of the first really accurate launch monitor on the market for less than $5,000 making it somewhat affordable to a lot of golfers.

In my SkyTrak review, I'll take a deeper look at this golf launch monitor. I'll show you how to set yours up, exactly what's in our setup and how it is used, plus how it measures ball and swing data, and show you the capabilities of the unit.

How does the SkyTrak perform? How does it compare to other launch monitors that are on the market today? Is it worth getting if you’re looking for a quality golf simulator?


SkyTrak Launch Monitor Review

skytrak launch monitor closeup

SkyTrak Initial Setup

The Skytrak is very easy to set up. Keep in mind, this is for new models. If you do purchase a used model, you may need to contact SkyTrak as it would have been registered with someone else. A new model will be an easy setup. 

  1. You create an account online, use that account to sign into your unit, then use the WiFi in your home to access the Skytrak from any device. I regularly use an iPad or my laptop PC depending on what I’m doing (simulator or just practicing on the range).
  2. As far as physically setting it up in the bay at home, the most important considerations were leveling the unit and keeping it even with the mat. My Skytrak has a hard protective case with leveling feet so that part was easy. Getting it aligned and leveled is the most important factor to achieve proper accuracy of the SkyTrak, but it is not difficult.
  3. It is also important that you have a brightly lit room. My garage has big LED lights on the ceiling as I installed those for working on my cars and motorcycles at night years ago and they work great for the Skytrak. It’s very bright in there.
  4. It's very important to line your Skytrak up correctly and while it takes a little bit of fiddling, once you have it, keep it there so it doesn't miss shots or mistake shots. This is very important.
  5. White shoes with the white balls gets lost by Skytrak sometimes and won't register from my observations. White pants can sometimes be an issue so wear darker colors contrasting the white golf ball all the time. The SkyTrak likes if you have more markings on the balls, like putting lines or logos or customized printed golf balls. 
skytrak driving range

Setting up the SkyTrak Simulator 

These are the most bare bone essential things you MUST have in order for the SkyTrak to work.

  1. SkyTrak unit and I suggest the protective case as it has adjustable legs and a level on it to make sure the unit is level (utmost importance).
  2. Hitting net or screen - the SkyTrak will track real golf balls not foam balls so you need to stop the golf balls with a solid net or hitting screen.
  3. Hitting mat - you need a hitting mat because of all the balls you will hit. A high quality hitting mat will last a long time.
  4. A computer or Apple product to run the software on the Skytrak. You will plug the SkyTrak into the computer which will display your statistics nd data. This is essential because there is no other way to see the results of the shots.
  5. A screen to see the results. This is either the computer screen, TV or Apple product.

Optional Extras: You can upgrade your setup with a hitting screen which will return balls to you. This screen can then be used to project the images from an overhead short-throw projector. By doing this, you can create an immersive experience - notice the pictures below between Jim and Phil. Jim has a very barebones setup while Phil has an immersive experience. 

The biggest difference in setup between fully immersive or bare bones is your needs. Do you want to have fun and enjoy the simulator experience or do you want to train and understand your numbers only? If you want only numbers and improvement then you can go barebones. if you want a video game like experience with something interactive, you can go all out with a projector and 16:9 screen. 


SkyTrak Home Setup Examples

Below are a couple of examples from Phil and Jim which explains their setup with pictures.

Jim's SkyTrak Minimal Setup

Jim Pecoraro, who is a Golf Sidekick subscriber sent in his setup and SkyTrak review to help us learn more. 

Jim: I needed something that was accurate indoors in my garage. I need practice features like driving range and club gapping; as well as statistics I was interested in, namely accurate spin numbers, ball speed and launch angle. 

jim and hoe skytrak setup
  1. I have the PowerNet - The nicer nets are 10x the price so that’s a consideration.
  2. I have the Quattro mat - I did tons of research on mats. There are many out there but this is the best IMO. It’s very durable  because it's designed for outside use and I have hit thousands of balls and there is literally no wear. It is heavy and will last a lifetime. It is also relatively soft to hit off of and is easy on my joints.
  3. I use my laptop PC plugged into a TV to “project” the golf courses and practice range.

I did NOT need club head data or putting. Those needs drove me past the “entry level,” doppler based units like SwingCaddie, Mevo+, Rapsodo, etc. 

In my experience and doing research, it seems doppler based units are not accurate indoors and don’t typically offer robust features like those I was interested in.

Even Trackman 4’s can have trouble in indoor settings without enough space to operate. So I knew I needed a camera-based unit. The second main factor was budget - at the time of my needs, the SkyTrak was the most affordable camera-based unit at roughly $2,000 USD and I would have considered purchasing one at that price if I hadn’t gotten it for free from my friend.

In recent years, several companies have come out with more “affordable” camera-based units. The Bushnell/Foresight GC3 ($3,000+) and Full Swing Kit to name a few. The biggest differentiator for those units is the addition of club head data (face, angle-of-attack, path, etc.) but those features come at significant extra cost, often thousands of dollars.

Skytrak was a nice middle ground that gets 90% of the practice features for 20% of the cost. Overall I love the set up I have. It could be better if I wanted to spend more money on a projector and impact screen, but I have limited time to set that up and this is great for my needs.


Phil's SkyTrak Setup - Immersive Experience

Phil Stoops is a big Skytrak fan and subscriber to Golf Sidekick and also reviewed the SkyTrak after years of usage. Below is his setup.

I have the Skytrak and my home sim setup which is around $8,000 to complete, consists of:

  1. SkyTrak
  2. Return net with the Ball Impact Screen
  3. Hitting Turf
  4. Optoma EH200ST Full 3D 1080p 3000 Lumen DLP Short Throw Projector 
  5. TV monitor
  6. Laptop mounted off to the side to run the SkyTrak software
phil home setup skytrak and screens

IMPORTANT: Phil says "I like the E6 driving range and games but I can't hit my driver because my ceiling is too low. You need at least 10 feet of space" - that's important to keep in mind.


Jason P's Home SkyTrak Setup - Luxury

  1. SkyTrak + Case
  2. Projector: Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw
  3. Premium Impact Screen
  4. Turf Surround
  5. Synlawn Precision Putt Pro hitting insert: Free sample from Synlawn, but only about $6/sq. ft
  6. Basic Dell desktop PC dedicated to just running ST and E6: ~$500 w/ upgraded NVidia GPU

Software:

- SkyTrak Game Improvement Package: $99/year

- E6 Connect Basic Subscription Package: $300/year

jason payne home skytrak

Pros

  • Solid performance and comparative accuracy compared to a $20k machine
  • Lots of features to choose from and a lot of great software for courses and games
  • Take it to the range it wirelessly connects to an iPad or iPhone
  • My friends and I use it to play accuracy games and to look at our actual distances while hitting range balls vs. into the net.
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • You need to adjust the ball so the logo faces the infrared dot
  • Mat shifting and misaligned aiming spot makes inaccurate results - make sure its aligned by using alignment sticks
  • White clothes or shoes confuse the machine

My Top Tips to Get More out of SkyTrak

  • The best tip I can give is to put it in a place that is easy for you to regularly use. If you have to drag out all your gear every time you want to practice (within reason), you won’t use it. Especially for those who don’t have thousands of dollars to spend or time to build a true permanent sim.
  • Use alignment sticks to make sure you are hitting the ball to where Skytrak wants you to aim. The unit prefers a shot direction into the net so it will pick up the correct information and be accurate. Sometimes the mat slips or you just forget where to hit. Use alignment sticks.
  • The SkyTrak does not lie so use the distances to understand your carry for each club and make better decisions out on the golf course. It's a powerful tool for simulation but also for understanding your game. 
  • Use the balls you play with too. Don't use cheap balls. Learn by using what you play with on course. 
  • Don't wear anything white at all when using the SkyTrak. It will confuse the machine because the golf balls are also white. 
  • Chris says "Wish I bought a 16x9 screen. My Homecourse screen is roll up projector style and although it's convenient it's 4:3  and the 16x9 is more realistic/immersive especially playing courses." So if you are looking for a great experience, try not to skimp and go for the effect you really want. 

Frequently Asked Questions - SkyTrak

How does a SkyTrak launch monitor work?

The SkyTrak launch monitor tracks your shots using cameras. On impact, the launch monitor will take super high-speed images. The images are quickly fed back to SkyTrak’s software, which then works out datasets which includes everything from clubhead speed to back spin and carry distance.

What Does Skytrak Measure?

Ball speed, launch angle, backspin, side spin and side angle are directly measured, and other data points such as carry and total distance are estimated.

  • Post shot ball speed and launch angle
  • Total distance
  • Carry, roll and offline distance
  • Side and back spin
  • Side angle
  • Flightpath and angle of descent
  • Clubhead speed

You can budget at least $2,000 for a high quality launch monitor like a SkyTrak launch monitor. For an extra $1,500 (total: $3,500) you can skip the hassle, and get a full SkyTrak golf simulator setup like this one.

what does the skytrak measure

Skytrak Accuracy - Is it accurate?

SkyTrak is going to offer the best on-screen shot analysis and accuracy (up to 98% as accurate as Trackman) for the money.

The SkyTrak is accurate. The carry distance especially is spot on. The shot shapes are almost always accurate as well. There are however, a few exceptions:

Occasionally, a driver shot will clearly be off on carry distance. Usually it’s a bit low. I am unsure why but this is the nature of indoor hitting with a fastr swing speed and happens with most units. 

99% of the time the shot shape is consistent with my feel, but sometimes shanks and tops often look weird on the display. Again, not a huge problem because I’m not concerned with what a shank would do on the course! 

SkyTrak Distance Issues?

Sometimes your mat can shift and your SkyTrak can have distance issues. It's always advisable to screw the mat down or secure it in a way that it will not slide. 

You can reset the unit also and make sure the firmware that is running is the latest edition. 

You can reset your Skytrak. You need a small paper clip. On the bottom of the Skytrak you see a tiny hole in the bottom of the middle screw hole. Push the paper clip and hold for 10 seconds. The Skytrak should be turned on when doing this. You should see the lights flashing and it will reset it. Now try again. 

Skytrak Software - What's available?

I did lots of research between WGT for Skytrak ($100 per year), E6 Basic ($300 per year), and The Golf Club 2019 ($1000+).

Overall, I think E6 is a nice middle-ground value. It doesn’t have as many courses (15) compared to The Golf Club 2019 (50K+) but has all the features you would want and the graphics and overall package are great.

WGT is more of a toy and not as sophisticated with graphics and camera angles as E6. It’s not perfect but for someone who plays indoors for 4-5 months a year, it’s a good solution.

I bought the “Basic” level plan for E6 through the Skytrak website. I wish it had more courses, but for the money it seems like good value.

Make sure your laptop has the processing power to run the software to avoid lag and to keep up with the software. You want to have a great experience so never skimp on the specs of your technology.

Skytrak Vs Trackman

The main difference here is the Skytrak is a photometric launch monitor while the Trackman uses Doppler radar (much more accurate).

The second huge difference is the price of the Trackman is 10 times that f the SkyTrak.

When I compare the two golf simulator units, the spin rate and the launch angles were similar.

The Trackman offers many more features but the Skytrak is consistent and accurate enough and for the price is good value.


Skytrak Best features

The features on the Skytrak that I use the most are listed here in order from most to least used. These are on the Skytrak software itself, not E6:

Distance randomizer 

By far the most-used feature. When you are in the driving range, you can set a green (big, medium, small size greens) at random distances within a set range. I like to do 40 to 140 yards so I can practice my wedge game. Every time I practice I finish my practice by seeing how many greens in a row I can hit from that range. Most I’ve ever gotten is 22! It has totally transformed my distance control inside wedge distance. I also use this feature for other distance sets but most often use it for wedges.

Fairway finder

You can set easy, medium, and large fairway widths and practice “hitting fairways” with different clubs. They also do doglegs.

General driving range

This is the basic driving range but I use it a lot. I use it before a round of golf to see how far some standard clubs (6i, 7w) are carrying so I can adjust for the round that day. Stuff like that. Skytrak has many other features that I used a few times but rarely use any more. They include a bag mapping feature (I prefer to use the driving range), a wedge matrix (same thing although this one is pretty cool), a long drive contest (never used this).

Equipment improvement

Most of the following were done using just the driving range feature, but are things that are only really possible when you have access to a home simulator / launch monitor as they take too long or would cost too much to pay for a fitting each time

Club choice 

I am not a trained club fitter, but have gotten quite good at knowing my delivery characteristics and what types of launch numbers work well for me. An example is the decision between using a 2iron (Srixon Z u85) or a 7wood. I noticed you have made the switch as well. For me, it came down to the 2iron being a great club off the tee but very one-dimensional. Couldn’t hit it off the deck, out of the rough, or basically anywhere else. I was looking for something that flew roughly as far but spun more and launched higher. After testing both on the monitor, I knew I had found my new go-to club! See the picture below to compare the numbers.

Driver Fiddling

I was interested in what the adjustability on my Driver (Callaway Epic Max LS) would do to the ball flight. I tinkered mainly with loft settings and found it actually made quite the difference! See below. It was interesting to me that the loft settings (8°, 9° and 10°) did not really affect carry distance but had a big impact on dispersion. The 8° setting was by far the most accurate so it’s what I’ve gone with and I haven’t looked back!

Wedge Launch Angle

I have always struggled to hit full wedge shots. I tend to “flip” at the bottom and present too much loft so the ball just goes super high and not much distance. You can see from my numbers above that I have some speed, so I should be able to control wedges to score well. Well, I found after hitting my wedges a lot on the Skytrak that my launch angles were all way too high (35-40° depending on club). So, I worked to reduce the launch angle through trial and error as I find “YouTube” swing tips to be a tough go. You can see through the numbers that I have been able to fix this problem, or at least get better and it’s made a huge difference to my game.

None of these things would be what I call “typical” use of the machine for most players. But if you get into that sort of thing, having a launch monitor in a home-simulator-style setting is an absolute game changer for equipment and swing-related improvement.


Final Thoughts

Overall, depending on your budget I think the SkyTrak is just as good as any other launch monitor in the mid price range.

Decide between if you want to have the Skytrak for improvement in your game only or if you want it for hitting balls in the winter or in your free time, or finally, if you want a full sim experience. This will guide your buying decision regarding the full setup. I would personally love a ful all out setup over the barebones because I don't like working on my game, just having fun with friends. 

Of course, the Trackman and similar models more upscale launch monitors that will provide even more detail for pro level golf, but is that worth $20-$30k vs a couple thousand dollars? I think the data with SkyTrak is solid and it provides us with a total midrange solid practice set up to learn and more importantly enjoy hitting some golf balls while having some fun.

by Jim Pecoraro, Chris B and Phil Stoops (all Playas)

FlightScope Mevo Plus Review with Setup Tips

Launch monitor or home golf simulator reviews online are often written by people who know nothing about the product or how it works. Not this one. This review is thanks to three great subscribers of the Golf Sidekick Youtube channel.

We have three guys who all warn the same thing: You need more space than what FlightScope advertises.

Avid reviewers David, Eric and Brandon provide us with deep actual user insights in this FlightScope Mevo Plus review so you can decide if the Mevo+ meets your requirements and how it stacks up against other launch monitors. We'll take a look at how it works, how it's set up, whether the Mevo+ is accurate and how it compares to Skytrak and Trackman. We'll also look at some of the Mevo Plus problems and how to solve them.


First Impressions of the FlightScope Mevo Plus

Your purchase comes with:

  1. FlightScope Mevo Plus unit
  2. Power cord
  3. Adjustment tool
  4. Metallic dots for golf balls
  5. Very well constructed carry case.
flightscope mevo plus in the case

Eric mentions that the unit is very durable. It’s much harder material than similar priced products. Eric loves his Mevo Plus and says the company is great with updating the software and firmware. 

David felt the initial feeling when you look at the unit, is that you feel intimidation because it's a beautiful and high end piece of machinery but it's very easy to set up as long as you have enough space.

The following issue is easily fixed with enough space but Brandon adds something important: "My first impressions were not good. They advertise (still do) minimum space requirements that do not allow enough room to get accurate reads and I had maybe 6inches more room than the min. I had many issues with distance accuracy with faster ball speeds. It was really accurate when hitting shorter clubs (7i and down) but when I hit 5i or longer I could not hit any shot over 210yds. My driver carry is/was over 250yds."


FlightScope Mevo Plus Key Features

Multiple in-depth data points make the Mevo+ an attractive option for indoor simulation. Below is the list of every data point you can accurately capture.

A big benefit of using the FlightScope unit is that the company continues to update and upgrade the software so you always have improvements to the experience. This is a a big factor to consider so you have a long term usage of your hard earned money.

Mevo+ Data Darameters

Full Swing: Ball speed, club speed, smash factor, carry distance, launch angle, spin rate, apex height, flight time, angle of attack, spin loft, launch direction, spin axis, roll distance, total distance, lateral landing, shot dispersion, shot type

Chipping: Ball speed, club speed, smash factor, carry distance, launch angle, spin rate, height, flight time, angle of attack, spin loft, launch direction, spin axis, roll distance, total distance, lateral landing, shot dispersion

PuttingLaunch speed, total distance, ball direction

Mevo vs Mevo Plus

available data for flightscope mevo plus

Mevo vs Mevo Plus Similarities

  • Both units can be used indoors and outdoors. 
  • Both of the units has no subscription fees and can be used for free. 
  • The Mevo and Mevo Plus are portable and not heavy.

Mevo vs Mevo Plus Differences

  • The Mevo requires 4 to 7 feet of space behind the ball while the Mevo plus requires 8-9 feet minimum behind the ball. 
  • Data numbers are more accurate with the Mevo Plus and rival some of the big name expensive units.
  • The Mevo Plus is good for simulator use while the Mevo cannot be used with simulator software.
  • Battery life is longer int he Mevo because the Mevo Plus has many more features and simulation mode.
  • The Mevo Plus requires metallic stickers on the balls to read spin rates.

Mevo Cameras

Yes, Mevo+ has a built-in camera for sensor alignment and video capture. In the Awesome Golf coaching session the camera automatically records your swing. So we use it there to look at our swings. The new version of app allows you to have multiple cameras which really will help you if you have some swing changes to make.


FlightScope Mevo Plus Indoor Space Requirement

All 3 of our reviewers all said the same VERY IMPORTANT thing. 

You MUST have at least 18 feet of indoor space - 9 feet behind and 9 feet in front of the ball. 

All three reviewers agreed that at high ball speed, or with longer clubs, the date was less accurate. With only 16 feet of space, 5 iron is the longest club you could hit and get reliable information. 

Optimal Space Requirements for Mevo Plus 

For optimal results, you should have 9 feet between the sensor and the ball and ideally, you should have 13 feet of ball flight for a total of 22 feet especially if you intend to hit long irons through driver.

If you want to hit driver with the Mevo+ you need a minimum 10 feet high ceilings. Eric confirms that his ceilings are only 8 feet so he can hit up to 6 iron. This is vital information so that you are not disappointed. The width of the room should be enough to contain your swing, which will be unique to you, but 14 feet is enough. 

flightscope mevo distance requirements

What if you don't have 18 feet? Mevo Plus Driver Issues

Any less space than the minimum 18 feet and your Mevo plus will not provide accurate information particularly using a driver or with higher swing speeds. Your driver distances could be out by up to 40 yards.

Eric confirms that he tried the Mevo+ from 5, 6, and 7 feet behind his golf ball and it did not perform as well. Brandon actually did not have enough space and had to remodel the room despite having the exact minimum 16 feet that FlightScope recommends. He firmly recommends 18 feet minimum.


The FlightScope Mevo+ works well as a Simulator

Yes you can use the Mevo+ as a golf simulator. There are some limitations but overall, it's a reliable indoor simulator with many options for software and golf course options. The flight dynamics form the tee and fairway work very well and accurately.

E6 Connect, Awesome Golf, The Golf Club 2019 and GSPro simulation & training software are the most popular software to use in simulation. You can send the images to a computer, iPad Pro, iPad Pro and TV combo or to a computer and projector combo onto a hitting screen. 

mevo plus as a simulator

Awesome Golf

Awesome Golf is better for range practice and  swing work. David says 'I also play their courses because they have different tees and I’m not hitting a driver so I hit from shorter tees. I practiced the way of the playa when I played. When I was 220-185 our I hit an approach that got me to 100 yards.' I’m looking closely at GSPro for simulator work. I need a gaming PC for this and don’t have. Putting for me was a challenge, so I had set to autoputt.

GSPro

GSPro is the most popular among all of us and the three reviewers all agree that GSPro is the best for simulation. You do need a gaming PC for this though. 

E6 Connect

E6 Connect comes with the Mevo+ for free and there are 5 free courses to play already on the unit.

The courses included on the unit are:

  • Stone Canyon
  • Sanctuary
  • Wade Hampton
  • Aviara
  • The Belfry

These are free and you can upgrade your subscription to include many more golf courses. You will need either a high power PC for gaming or newer Apple device for this to work as intended and that means having the Apple Watch 5 or the iPhone 8 or later. It is some of the best software around though.

Limitations of the Mevo+ as a Simulator

The limitations are minor and are by no means deal breakers at all.

  • Some short chips are difficult to get it to read.
  • Everything is a flat lie, so your scores are in no way reflective in real life.
  • The flight dynamics off the tee and fairway work well.
  • If you’re in the rough, sand, and other playing areas, you're still hitting off the flat mat. 
  • The putting feature is basically useless. Putting cannot be replicated indoors. You can however set putting to autoputt. No one should really be buying a simulator for putting!

Top Secret Tips for Optimal Mevo+ Experience

  • Mevo+ uses your WiFi connection to communicate, so if you want connect to the internet to play games you need to find a way to establish ANOTHER WiFi connection. Brandon: I went the route of getting an adapter that I could plug into an iPad that allowed me to hardwire into the internet.
  • It helps if you turn on the Mevo+ in the right connection so you can change weather conditions. I was using it in winter and if FS Golf connects to WiFi first it will take the temperature in your area. I did not want a 5 degree temperature. To do it correctly you connect you unit to your iPad first and then connect to open FS Golf.

How accurate is the Mevo Plus?

We tested the Mevo Plus vs the GC Quad. Keep in mind the Mevo Plus is about 15% of the price of the GC Quad! The Mevo Plus an accurate machine.

FlightScope App can suit your needs

The FlightScope app is perfect for taking the unit to the range and it now has a swing speed session option. It keeps and displays all data in many different arrangements. FS Golf also keeps data on each session.

David adds that "I really like the app. I thinks it's accurate and you can also set parameters you want to work on. It even has a chipping area for indoor. I used this to get my chipping to improve. I have distances for each club with a 10 and 20 yard carry."

Eric thinks "this app works well for my needs. It has four parts; Full swing, Chipping, Putting, and Swing Training. I only use the full swing because the other three seem less valuable to me.  Also, its fun to play the five free courses provided with the E6 Connect app. No membership required!"


Mevo+ Indoors

As long as the unit has enough space to pick up the ball indoors, it is very accurate and can help you with your shot distance estimation and function as a fun and accurate simulator. Here is a chart showing the comparison over 5 shots between the GC Quad and the Mevo+.

gc quad vs mevo plus

The FlightScope Mevo+ is within less than 3 yards of a machine 6 times its price. The difference in readings between this $2,000 unit and a $15,000 machine is minimal. It is a Doppler unit so excessive metal, lighting, or ceiling fans can mess of the readings but more on that below.

Metallic Stickers or Titleist RCT for Indoors

Metallic stickers are needed in an indoor environment in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin. 

A great tip from Brandon is that you can use Titleist RCT Pro V1 golf balls which are made to be picked up by radar. RCT stands for Radio Capture Technology and it's a game changer so you can have great quality reliable golf balls indoors while you play your favorite course. 

How the Mevo Plus Works

You should take care to cover reflective surfaces and avoid excessive lighting to get optimal use of your unit.

According to the FlightScope website

"Mevo+ is a low power Doppler radar using phased antenna array technology to detect and track golf ball launch and flight.

It measures the speed of the ball, as well as the position of the ball as it progresses along its flight path. 

Sophisticated mathematical estimators are used to track the ball even under adverse conditions, using the physics of ball flight to overcome random noise and fading conditions experienced in the real world. 

The phased array technology also picks up tiny variations in the Doppler signals caused by the spinning motion of the ball, enabling direct measurement of the ball spin rate."

metallic stickers mevo plus

The Mevo Plus requires either metallic stickers or the Titleist Pro V1 RCT golf balls to detect the balls indoors. 


FlightScope Mevo+ Outdoors

Eric and David report that the Mevo Plus works flawlessly outside on the driving range and is highly accurate. There's even a setting to account for using limited flight range balls. You just set up the unit behind you and select the 'outdoor' setting and start hitting. 

You do not need the silver dots outdoors. You need them for indoor use only. 

"As far as I am concerned, outdoors, there is no difference between the Trackman and the Mevo+ because they are both doppler technology - the Trackman is just bigger and more expensive" is what Eric tells me and after experimenting with the two units, I find this is true. The difference is minimal and who knows which is actually the more 'accurate' one? 

Eric also suggest that if you’re only planning on using this outdoors then this is where this unit shines. Photo units like in Skytrak are affected by excessive sunlight. This Mevo Plus unit doesn’t have that issue because it’s Doppler based. 

Because there is unlimited space to track the ball, the data is actually more accurate than indoors. You have unlimited space so you can definitely put the unit the recommended 8-9 feet behind the golf ball. Just be sure no one stands on it! 

FlightScope Mevo Plus Battery Life

Brandon says "Playing on the range (away from a power source) I can spend about 2hrs before it starts getting low." 


How to Set Up a Mevo+ to Use as a Simulator

The Mevo+ is a bit more involved than the Skytrak. You will need to play around with angles, distances and settings until you get the thing dialed. This is part of the fun though.  is a must. Your environment that you will be using the unit in is unique so while the setups below can help you get an idea of how to set up your unit, you MUST optimize it yourself.

That is a very simple process as the unit is easy to manoeuvre. As mentioned multiple times, just be sure to have enough space behind and in front of the ball. 

  • Mevo+ uses your WiFi connection to communicate, so if you want connect to the internet to play games you need to find a way to establish another WiFi connection. I went the route of getting an adaper that I could plug into my IPAD that allowed me to hardwire into the internet
  • It helps if you turn on the Mevo+ in the right connection so you can change weather conditions. I was using in winter and if FS Golf connects to WiFi first it will take the temperature in your area. I did not want a 5 degree temperature. To do it correctly you connect you unit to your IPAD first and then open FS Gol

Example Mevo Plus Setups

Mevo Plus Man Cave Setup - Brandon

Brandon chose to create the ultimate Mevo plus setup in his home where he can watch the ball on screen like he is on a golf course. This will require some computing power and a projector to send the picture onto the screen.

hitting screen projector mevo plus

Mevo Plus and Hitting Screen

  1. Monitor to tee and 10ft from tee to screen
  2. Indoor golf screen (10x10)
  3. Gaming CPU Computer
  4. Hitting mat
  5. Custom platform I built myself
  6. I also bought the Titleist Pro V1 RCT balls

These allow you to not have to worry about the metallic stickers and works great!

flightscope mevo plus brandon

Mevo Plus Barn Setup - Eric

Eric uses a hitting mat and basic net with a FlightScope Mevo Plus. This is a simple set up that will not require intense Gaming CPU for the simulator projector. You use the iPad Pro.

If you would like the full projector experience, you will need a high spec CPU gaming computer and a projector onto a specifically designed hitting screen. 

flightscope mevo plus on a mat
simple mevo plus and net hitting mat setup

You can use an iPad like in this picture to send the information from the Mevo Plus to the iPad. You need an adaptor  and then plug the iPad into a larger television, like you see in the golf fitting stores. 

mevo plus with ipad pro and television setup

Mevo+ with iPad Pro E6 Connect and Awesome Golf Setup - David

  1. iPad Pro
  2. E6 Connect and Awesome Golf for simulator and games
  3. Hitting mat
  4. Sporina net

David says about his hitting net, "I’m changing the Sporina because if I want to putt the Sporina net has a floor on it so I can’t putt far enough."

mevo plus with sporina net and putting mat

Bob's Perfect Mevo Plus Simulator Build

Bob put about $9,000 into this setup but tells me you could do this for a lot less. He just enjoyed the process. 

He highly recommends more than the 9.5 feet he has to the ceilings. 10 feet or higher is the best for the simulator to allow for a driver to not hit the ceiling. 

Bob: I’m a lefty so the Mevo + made sense because it sits in behind the tee rather than to one side. I needed 8ft for radar to the tee and at least 9ft tee to screen

mevo plus example build indoor

How to make a perfect Mevo+ Setup

Projector - $500 up to $4k for high end 4k picture.  Mine is a $1k short throw ceiling mount capable of 4:3 aspect ratio.  The garage size dictated a 4:3 picture. I’m very happy with the picture.

Screen - Retractable screen is wireless with a remote and is rechargeable. Rolls out in about 30 seconds. Pricy at $2,200.  I could have gone on Amazon and got a manual retractable roller (kind of the ones for window blinds) and bought a much cheaper screen and did it DYI.

Computer - Gaming Windows laptop for $1,100.  A desktop pc would have better graphics.  With Mevo +, you can display on an Ipad Pro however some third party software only works with either Windows or IOS.

Hitting strips or mat - Get the best you can afford. Read the comments about some strips causing elbow pains and plan accordingly.

Basic Software - with Mevo + you get FlightScope FS software. It has about 27 golf courses with partner E6 and multiple practice ranges. You get all the data points you need. iOS and PC.

Third party software - Subjective and pricing is highly variable from outright purchase to annual subscriptions. I chose E6 and GSPro. GSPro has over 100 courses created by volunteer programmers. Courses are reproductions of actual courses. E6 and GSPro are under $300 annual subscription for each. I will drop E6 and keep GSPro when it comes time to renew. 

What I would redo - You can build a basic sim for under $4k easily.  Buy a Mevo +, hit into a good quality net, use the supplied software (FS) and project on an iPad Pro. Go even cheaper with used equipment. 

Experience - Playing a course with friends is great fun.  A foursome is my limit, strictly due to garage space for chairs.  There are online tournaments available and some software is family oriented with lots of fun games for young golfers.


FAQs

What Are Some FlightScope Mevo Plus Problems?

There are only a few problems we experienced with the Mevo Plus, some of them preventable from reading this review and some you can rectify with FlightScope.

Cons

  1. The minimum recommended space required is not 16 feet but rather 18 feet or more with the ideal being about 22 feet. 8-9 feet behind the ball will be optimal.
  2. If you put the Mevo Plus 7, 6 or 5 feet from the golf ball, it will not be able to pick up the higher speed clubs and drivers, miscalculating the distance by up to 40 yards. Make sure you use enough distance.
  3. Sometimes the unit has trouble picking up slower speed shots like chips but you can contact FlightScope who have great customer service.'
  4. The doppler radar tech can be problematic if there are reflective surfaces in your room you will use and also if the lighting is not correct. Dim artificial light is better indoors.
  5. You might find the unit has a tough time reading putts. I prefer to use it on autoputt, but if you do experience some trouble, FlightScope is very helpful if there are any issues in your satisfaction.

Mevo Plus iPad Requirements

For Apple iPad and iPhone, you need to have iOS 13 or later. Bluetooth LE 4.0 - supports UART/Serial Port Emulation service with RX and TX characteristics.

Mevo+  works with any iPad made after 2017.

Is there a yearly FlightScope subscription fee?

All FlightScope Mevo+ data measurements will forever be available for free with no subscription fee Myflightscope.com is the online cloud where you can view, keep, and review every practice session. You can store three videos per month with no charge. If you want to store more videos in a month, more storage can be bought for a fee.

Final Thoughts

Overall the Mevo Plus seems like a great deal for only $2000 but the thing that will define your experience will be your setup. If you're on a budget, do you want to hit into a net or into a screen?

If you choose a net, are you going to look at your iPad or a large TV screen? What is important to you? Do you want it to look really fancy in your mancave or do you just want it pure and simple as a training aid and way to keep up to date in the winter?

Playing into a screen will require more setup costs and more intricate planning. But it definitely will look very pretty.

In the end, identify WHY you want one, and then adjust your expectations accordingly. Two things are for sure though with the Mevo plus: It's ACCURATE and YOU NEED TO HAVE ENOUGH SPACE! 

Get that 18-23 feet ready!

Golf Club Distance Charts By Age, Gender And Skill Level

Congratulations on finding the most complete golf distance chart article on the internet.

Do you know how far your clubs travel? How do you compare to others? Its always good to understand that age, gender and skillset are the biggest differentiators. 

I did so much research on this article to bring you the most up to date information to help you quickly skim the tables and charts about golf distances. The charts are showing us golf club yardages and I go into more detail around age, gender and ability.  

Let's get you up to speed on golf club distance so you can learn where you an improve and where you might be ahead of the pack!

Golf Club Distance Charts: Key Factors

My golf distance charts show the the key elements that influence how far you can hit each golf club: 

  1. Swing speed
  2. Ball speed
  3. Smash factor
  4. Quality and optimization of equipment

Swing speed

Swing speed is the most important factor in determining the distance of the ball. Ball speed and smash factor both depend on swing speed. 

While the swing speed is important, it is not the only element. The quality of strike and correct technique is a big differentiating factor. A pro golfer swinging at the same speed as an amateur gets wildly different distance numbers. 

Average swing speed by age chart

Age
Men
Women
10-16 years old
93 mph
83 mph
17-25 years old
113 mph
93 mph
26-40 years old
108 mph
90 mph
41-50 years old
103 mph
88 mph
51-60 years old
98 mph
73 mph
60+ years old
90 mph
70 mph


What is Smash Factor?

Smash Factor is ball speed divided by club speed. The number calculated gives a ratio to show how much energy is moved from the club head to the golf ball at impact. Low Swing factor numbers mean less energy is transferred, while higher Smash factor numbers means a more efficient movement of energy from the face to the golf ball.

The goal for excellent ball striking with the driver is a factor of 1.5.

For example: ball speed 150 mph with a swing speed of 100 mph, your Smash Factor  is 1.5.

Other smaller contributory factors also have an effect on distance:

The ball speed 

Ball speed will be affected by the type of golf ball you use as well as your quality of strike. A strike out the center of the club face, with the correct technique will go much further than the same golfer hitting the toe or toward the heel. You can measure ball speed on launch monitors like the Mevo Plus or camera operated simulators like the SkyTrak.

Equipment affects distance

The pros on tour have optimized equipment to their specific technique and skill level as well as body shape. The same swing speed in a PGA Tour pro will send the ball much further than an amateur golfer of higher handicap but similar swing speed.

The reason is of course, technique, but if you were to use the same technique, the pro would still win, because every aspect of their golf club has been designed around THEM. That is why a fitting can help to optimize your strengths for more distance.

Skill level affects distance

There are young, sporty beginner and even mid handicap golfers who might read this article or that you may know who think they are capable of smashing a driver as far as a pro or scratch golfer. The myth is that they CAN but if it is not staying in play or being used to an advantage, then it does not count. 

Key to the chart: Skill levels in golf. I created these categories from the article on how the handicap works and article I wrote. 

Beginner Golfer: New to the game - first 6-12 months.

Average Golfer: 15-24 handicap.

Good Golfer: 6-14 handicap.

Excellent Golfer: Below 6 handicap.

Here are the in-depth golf club distance charts curated by male, female and senior golfers.


Golf Club Distance Charts: Average For Male Golfers By Skill Level

The numbers are estimates and you can see in the beginner section that 2 iron to 4 iron is not a very impressive number. I would suggest that even a 2 iron and 3 iron in the Average column is ambitious. These are very difficult clubs to hit and often go very low distance due to technique and swing speed issues. Most beginner and high handicappers should avoid these clubs for a long time.

From 'Good Golfer' onward, the 2 iron down to 5 iron should improve as confidence and technique improves, thus bringing on more swing speed. 

golf distance chart by skill levels

Club

Beginner

Average

Good

Excellent

Driver

180 yds

220 yds

250 yds

280 yds

3 Wood

170 yds

210 yds

225 yds

235 yds

5 Wood

150 yds

195 yds

205 yds

220 yds

Hybrid

145 yds

180 yds

190 yds

210 yds

2 Iron

100 yds

180 yds

190 yds

215 yds

3 Iron

100 yds

170 yds

180 yds

205 yds

4 Iron

100 yds

160 yds

170 yds

195 yds

5 Iron

120 yds

155 yds

165 yds

185 yds

6 Iron

120 yds

145 yds

160 yds

175 yds

7 Iron

110 yds

140 yds

150 yds

165 yds

8 Iron

100 yds

130 yds

140 yds

155 yds

9 Iron

90 yds

115 yds

125 yds

145 yds

Pitching Wedge

80 yds

100 yds

110 yds

135 yds

Gap Wedge

60 yds

90 yds

100 yds

125 yds

Sand Wedge

55 yds

80 yds

95 yds

115 yds

Lob Wedge

40 yds

60 yds

80 yds

105 yds


Golf Club Distance Charts: Average For Lady Golfers By Skill Level

On average, ladies will hit it shorter than men. The advanced category may be a shorter distance than the advanced category in the mens. But when comparing similar distance in the good to average category in the men, the accuracy of the ladies is much higher than the men. 

golf distance charts ladies by skill


Club

Beginner

Average

Good

Excellent

Driver

150 yds

175 yds

200 yds

230 yds

3 Wood

125 yds

150 yds

180 yds

210 yds

5 Wood

110 yds

140 yds

175 yds

200 yds

Hybrid

105 yds

135 yds

170 yds

195 yds

2 Iron

105 yds

135 yds

170 yds

190 yds

3 Iron

100 yds

125 yds

160 yds

185 yds

4 Iron

90 yds

120 yds

150 yds

180 yds

5 Iron

80 yds

110 yds

140 yds

170 yds

6 Iron

70 yds

100 yds

130 yds

160 yds

7 Iron

65 yds

90 yds

120 yds

150 yds

8 Iron

60 yds

80 yds

110 yds

140 yds

9 Iron

55 yds

70 yds

95 yds

130 yds

Pitching Wedge

50 yds

60 yds

80 yds

115 yds

Gap Wedge

45 yds

55 yds

70 yds

95 yds

Sand Wedge

40 yds

50 yds

60 yds

85 yds

Lob Wedge

35 yds

45 yds

50 yds

70 yds


Golf Club Distance Charts: Average For Seniors and Pro Golfer Comparison

golf club distance chart for senior golfers

Club

Senior Average Distance

Senior PGA Tour Champions

Driver

196 yds

279 yds

3-wood

173 yds

240 yds

5-wood

164 yds

227 yds

Hybrid

160 yds

222 yds

2 Iron

156 yds

217 yds

3 Iron

151 yds

209 yds

4 Iron

145 yds

200 yds

5 Iron

138 yds

191 yds

6 Iron

130 yds

180 yds

7 Iron

123 yds

169 yds

8 Iron

114 yds

157 yds

9 Iron

105 yds

146 yds

Pitching Wedge

97 yds

136 yds

Gap Wedge

89 yds

122 yds

Sand Wedge

82 yds

108 yds

Lob Wedge

74 yds

97 yds


Golf Club Distance Chart by Swing Speed

As an amateur golfer, you can gain access to rented Trackman bays where you can hit all your clubs and actually get a print out, or soft file of your swing speed and many other data points. You can even use a Voice Caddie SC300 to do it privately at the range. 

Swing speed does determine the golf club distances and we'll take a look in the charts below.

NOTE: The swing speed use at the top of each column is driver swing speed. We use this as a general gauge to estimate the distance of each club thereafter. 

150 mph is the top range and only long drive competitors will be swinging toward this range. The average swing speed on the PGA Tour (the best golfers in the world) is around 114 mph. 

golf club distance by swing speed

Club

60 mph

70 mph

80 mph

90 mph

100 mph

110 mph

120 mph

130 mph

140 mph

150 mph

Driver (Total)

155

181

206

232

258

284

310

335

361

385

Driver (Carry)

146

170

195

219

243

268

292

316

340

365

3 Wood

130

150

175

195

215

238

259

283

303

318

5 Wood

125

145

165

185

205

225

245

265

285

305

Hybrid

120

140

160

180

200

220

240

260

280

300

2 Iron

118

135

155

176

194

213

233

252

271

292

3 Iron

115

130

150

172

188

207

226

245

265

284

4 Iron

110

126

145

165

180

190

208

226

245

264

5 Iron

105

120

138

155

170

185

198

215

228

247

6 Iron

100

115

130

145

165

175

185

195

208

219

7 Iron

95

105

120

135

155

165

175

185

195

210

8 Iron

85

100

115

130

145

155

165

175

190

202

9 Iron

80

90

105

120

130

145

160

175

186

197

Pitching Wedge

73

85

100

110

120

135

145

156

167

179

Ball Speed To Club Head Speed Chart for Driver

The driver club head speed is often used as the benchmark for swing speed and the higher the ball speed, generally the better the strike at that club head speed.

Ball Speed To Club Head Speed Chart for Driver

Ball Speed (mph)

110

120

130

140

150

160

170

180

190

200

Club Head Speed (mph)

77

84

91

98

104

111

118

125

132

138

Driver Carry

181

198

214

231

247

263

280

296

313

329

Driver Swing Speed Chart by Golf Skill Level

Confidence and skill make a big difference when hitting the driver efficiently and out the sweet spot. 

Skill Level

Driver Distance

Swing Speed

Beginner

190 yards

80 mph

Average

220 yards

94 mph

Good

240 yards

100 mph

Excellent

265 yards

110 mph

PGA Tour Average

275 yards

114 mph

Women’s Average

180 yards

77 mph

LPGA Tour Average

218 yards

94 mph

Golf Club Distance Charts Other Important Factors

Loft

Every club has a different loft and more loft goes less distance, while less loft goes longer distance in combination with longer golf shafts.

Driver usually goes furthest while the lob wedge around 60 degrees goes the shortest.

Clubs

Average Lofts 2022

Average Lofts 1990

Driver

8° – 13°

9° – 14°

3 Wood

13° – 15°

15° – 17°

5 Wood

20° – 23°

21° – 24°

2 Iron

18° – 20°

20° – 22°

3 Iron

21° – 24°

23° – 25°

4 iron

25° – 28°

28° – 30°

5 iron

28° – 31°

31° – 33°

6 iron

32° – 35°

35° – 37°

7 iron

36° – 38°

39° – 41°

8 iron

40° – 43°

43° – 47°

9 iron

45° – 48°

48° – 50°

Pitching Wedge

47° – 50°

51° – 54°


The golf clubs of today go a lot further since the manufacturers started creating cavity back golf clubs in combination with lower lofts for the same clubs. 

Every club is between 2 and 5 degrees lower in loft in current day, which automatically increases distance by up to 15 yards per iron. Driver lofts cannot get much lower as people will not be able to hit them. In order to hit a driver with a loft below 9 degrees, your swing speed needs to be incredibly fast. 

The club heads are bigger for all golf clubs in modern times with much larger sweet spots. With the addition of lighter shafts in both the irons and the woods, the ball speeds and swing speeds are higher as well. 


Golf Club Distance Charts of PGA Tour Golfers

Club

Average
Distance
Range (yards)

Bryson De Chambeau

Dustin
Johnson

Rory McIlroy

Tiger
Woods

Jack
Nicklaus

LPGA Tour Averages

Driver

275

325

312

360

297

250

255

3 Wood

243

295

282

325

265

235

230

5 Wood

230

275

267

300

245

220

215

3 Iron

212

227

210

197

4 Iron

203

255

236

272

215

195

186

5 Iron

194

235

225

256

200

180

175

6 Iron

183

220

212

235

186

167

164

7 Iron

172

205

200

222

170

155

153

8 Iron

160

190

186

200

157

145

142

9 Iron

148

175

172

188

148

130

130

Pitching Wedge

136

160

158

169

136

120

118

Why are modern golfers longer than prior generations?

Physical fitness

Most pros are in the gym every day currently while in prior generations like Palmer and Nicklaus, the guys were regular people who even used to enjoy a smoke and a drink on the course. 

Bryson Dechambeau is an example of someone who has beefed up in order to hit it further and it makes a big difference. Tiger Woods was one of the first modern day pros to begin working in the gym. His huge transformation to a big, strong guy inspired a whole new generation of golfer. 

Lofts of pro clubs

Lofts have changed how far the ball goes. Tiger Woods is only behind the modern guys in this chart because he uses 3-4 degrees more loft on every single club. He cares about precision and less about distance because he has plenty of power

Golf Ball

The golf ball when Tiger Woods first hit the tour and even more so when Nicklaus was in his prime, was much shorter than today's Pro V1 and equivalents. The balata golf ball is significantly shorter than the current urethane covered solid core golf balls they use today on the Tour. 

What Do These Golf Club Distance Charts Mean?

You can compare how you shape up against the average golfer, the senior golfer, the pro golfer and the advanced golfer. 

The key though is to understand YOUR own game and your distances so you can more effectively plan your game and piece together a good golf score. When you fully understand and accept your distances that you hit the golf ball, you will score better.

For the pros and the advanced players, the distance they hit each club is not a matter of ego. It's a matter of 'which club gets the job done?' and they use that.

You can too, whichever distance you hit it. Just be totally honest with yourself and leave the ego behind.

Shot Scope H4 GPS Review – Handheld Distance

by Matt (Golf Sidekick) and Jason Blevins (Playa)

Do you hate wearing a watch? I do. 

They make my wrist itch, the metal bands irritate me, the synthetic ones don’t breathe, and the cloth bands just get soaked with sweat. The last thing you need on a humid afternoon in the middle of summer is something else to provide another uncomfortable distraction out on the course.

Thank the golf gods for the Shot Scope H4. The designers at Shot Scope decided to throw all of the technology in their V3 series watch into a handheld device that provides a treasure chest crammed with usable statistics for game development as well as GPS data for the course. 

Full Review of the Shot Scope H4 in Detail

In the Shot Scope H4 box

When you first open the Shot Scope H4, you’ll find

  • a USB charger - it’s specifically made for the H4 so you’ll want to keep track of this and not lose it. I have the V3 watch as well and the cable is entirely different. 
  • a magnetic belt clip - provides a very secure magnetic connection if you prefer to wear it that way 
  • the GPS unit itself which is small
  • 16 screw-in 'club tags' - there are 16 because everyone's bag is different so there are some extras

Difference between Shot Scope H4 and Arccos

The prime differences in the tags for the H4 vs the Arccos is that the Shot Scope tags don’t use a battery, so you don’t have to worry about the sensors going dead after a couple of years.

The H4 is also a unit you need to tap onto the butt of the club where the sensor is. The unit D-ring fits through a slot on the belt clip if you opt to carry the unit clipped onto your bag so it's easy. 

I was also considering the Game Golf Live as well as the Arccos system. The Shot Scope H4 provides all the information and data tracking with comparisons WITHOUT subscription fees and that tipped the scales in favor of the H4. 

How the H4 Club Tags work

To get the clubs ready, just screw the tags into the grips of the corresponding clubs - you do not need to sync anything yet. 

Then download and start the mobile app, power on the H4, and the app will walk you through a simple pairing process via Bluetooth. The setup takes a couple minutes and then it will update the Firmware which takes about 3-4 minutes and you're ready to rock. 

Once at the course turn the unit on, acquire the GPS signal, and you’re off to the first tee. 

How to Use the Tags for SuperStroke Grips

The tag will not screw into a SuperStroke putter grip but that is no biggie. You just need to cut the screw off the bottom of the sensor. It's plastic so it's easy even with a pocket knife. Then you glue the sensor onto the top of your putter grip. Good to go.

How does the Shot Scope H4 work on the course?

On the course it’s a very accurate GPS unit with suggested layups, distances to hazards, front, middle, back, etc.

Unlike the V3 watch the H4 handheld does not automatically detect your swing. The H4 relies on the golfer to “tag” the club before each shot to register position. You hole the sensor to the H4 and it instantly vibrates to signal that it has the club. You can see the name of the club on the screen of the H4 after tagging. 

This may seem like a hassle, but as I read reviews of various watch based systems missing shots, I came to like the idea of having to tag it myself. I have worked it into my pre-shot routine and tagging the club serves as a trigger that I’ve moved into the “action zone”. So far I’ve logged two rounds and not a missed shot, which made post round editing in app or on PC a breeze.

What if you don't tag a shot?

Edit from Matt: I missed a few shots on the golf course because the process is so new to me. It made me worried that it would destroy the data. But you can edit the shots afterward on the app on your phone. You can click and drag the location and name the club you used. Just remember where you were and what club you used!

The trigger of moving into the 'action zone' of the shot has helped to get me more focused on my shot and is a mental game side-benefit I did not expect!

H4 Pin Collect

The H4 Pin Collect shows up when you reach the green. This is an important feature but if you forget to do it or don't know how to do it, like I did on the first round with the H4, you can edit it on the app.

The important part is to input how many putts you took and then stand at the hole and use the Pin Collect feature to tell the unit where the pin is on the green. This helps to make the putting stats more accurate for your record keeping. If you don't do this, it will have a hard time keeping accurate data for your game. 

Pros

  • Tagging your clubs makes this automatic without having to remember to select on a watch face
  • Very easy to set up - plug, download, install, sync
  • Stats tracking is a bonus that you can use to gauge your club distance and where you're leaking shots
  • No subscription fees for the full service
  • Includes the sensors at a very good price - unbeatable really
  • Can be magnetically attached to the Pro LX Rangefinder for the ultimate measuring device
  • Tags do not use batteries so they will not die

Cons

  • A small carry case should be included in the package to prevent scratching but is not
  • Does not automatically pick up your swing as it is not attached to your arm like a golf GPS watch
  • The sensors will not screw into a SuperStroke fat grip so you need to cut it and glue it on
  • I forgot to tag a lot of shots and had to play with the app for 15 minutes after the round

What data can the H4 give a golfer?

Now we get to the fun stuff… the data. The H4 gives you three different distances for your clubs;

Longest, Average, and P-Avg (Playing Average).

The first two are self explanatory, but the playing average removes outliers from tops, duffs, scoops, thinned shots, etc. This gives valuable real life distances that mean more to me than LM numbers. There is also Strokes Gained data for a quick comparison of your game to your handicap peers that is in an easily understood “at a glance” reference, or it can be as deep a dive as you like.

All in all I don’t think you could get more bang for the buck out of a shot tracker. While it may not have an A.I. caddy like it’s competition, it’s a more than capable unit for game development and it’s lack of subscription fees and lifetime updates to the firmware make it a great choice for the value minded golfer.

How big is the H4 Shot Scope?

The little device is similar to the size of a golf ball and flat enough to not bother you on your belt, in your pocket or hanging from your bag. 

Final Thoughts

If you don't like a watch, the Shot Scope H4 is a nice device to use for the exact same functions. But check out my review on the Pro LX as well because you can use it as a combination with the Rangefinder to have a super distance measuring device. The H4 clips onto the Pro LX!

The data that it tracks is useful to help you keep track of what you're hitting your clubs, how you're playing and how to improve. 

You get the sensors, you get the distance measurements and the stats to analyze your game at a great price - what's not to like? If you're interested in a launch monitor, check out the Mevo plus review and the Skytrak review.

Sand Wedge Bounce: 10 Or 14? How Much is Best?

Sand wedge bounce is one of those mystical topics everyone talks about and you even hear pros and other amateurs saying things like "use the bounce" when you're chipping or pitching. And you know what? No one knows what they are talking about.

So here's the real deal, no BS.

What is bounce in a golf wedge?

Bounce is the amount of sole on the bottom of the wedge there is to literally bounce off the ground when you hit the ball. It's that simple. When people tell you to use the bounce, there is no conscious notion of 'using the bounce'. To hit any golf shot, the club must bounce off the turf otherwise we just dig into the turf like a spade.

If you hit a chip, the club makes contact with the ground, bounces off the ground slightly and contacts the ball. The reason we need bounce in a club is so the turf interaction with the club is appropriate for the shot.

So if you play on soft ground, you want the higher bounce to be able to 'bounce more' when you hit the ball so the wedge does not get stuck in the soft ground. When you hit a wedge on firm ground, you do not want the golf wedge to bounce much off the hard surface. It will bounce, and then hit the ball in the equator, making you thin the ball into oblivion.

bounce explained in a picture

Is a Sand Wedge Bounce of 10 or 14 Better?

  • If your golf course has firmer ground and you clip the ball off the surface in fear of blading the ball, then you should get a wedge around 10 degrees of bounce. Usually your bunkers will also be firm so 10 degrees bounce in a sand wedge or less is best. 
  • If your course is softer and sometimes a bit moist, with soft lush grass, and you make divots after you hit the golf ball, use a sand wedge bounce of near 14 degrees. 

If you have the correct bounce angle on your wedges, you can hit more confident shots with your sand wedge. And as we know, the 56 degree sand wedge is a serious scoring club. 

Which is The Best Sand Wedge Bounce For Your Golf?

I've played golf in SE Asia, USA, South America and South Africa. That's kikuyu, bent, bluegrass, rye grass, paspalum, all strains of bermuda. With that, I've tried every wedge bounce and loft angle so I'd like to save you some time with this article to get the right wedge.

Deciding on the right sand wedge is a critical part of the game of golf. Golf courses are filled with hazards like deep rough and sand bunkers. The sand wedge generally has the largest bounce angle of all wedges as to help golfers get the ball out of sand bunkers and deep rough.

The sand wedge is there to get us out of these situations.

You can see my guide on how to get out of every bunker type as well as the video here.

You can check out my guide on how to chip and also the video series below. 

Most 56 degree sand wedges have a bounce of between 8 and 14 degrees. 

The best way to figure out the right bounce and degree angle of loft for your 56 degree, is to have a wedge fitting where you might be surprised by what they find!

Why Use a Sand Wedge With High Bounce (10 to 14 Degrees)?

Most golfers, by default, unless playing in the outback or some other hardpan golf course, should buy a wedge with higher bounce angle.

The wedge has been designed to 'bounce' off the ground to add forgiveness when hitting the golf ball. When you hit a hybrid, do you notice how much easier it is than a 4 iron? That's because of the wider sole and the 'bounce' that is also provides the hybrid golf club. It's a similar concept to the wedge. 

A sand wedge with high bounce is between 10-14 degrees of bounce.

You should use a sand wedge with the higher bounce if you 

  1. hit steep with your golf swing with deep divots
  2. Your wedge shots are often fat
  3. You golf course has soft ground, and soft fluffy bunkers
  4. Have more longer rough around the greens than tight short grass

Why Use a Sand Wedge With Low Bounce (6 to 10 Degrees)?

A low bounce sand wedge is for a golfer who plays on firmer conditions with much tighter lies than most course and a golfer who likes to see a more open club face at address. 

With a low bounce sand wedge, there is just a lot less sole in the bottom to bounce off the ground so a lot of the time, a golfer needs to catch the ball clean off the turf. This does not suit a high bounce wedge but more a low bounce wedge. When you have a low bounce wedge, you can change the face angle quite easily because there is less sole to pick the leading edge up off the ground. 

6 to 10 degrees of bounce is normal for a low bounce sand wedge. 

Lower bounce on a sand wedge is best for you it

  1. you have a shallow swing and your divots are minimal
  2. your course has firm ground and hard pan as well as firm sand in the bunkers
  3. you like to hit some spinny open-faced wedge shots like a wizard

What is the Best Bounce for a 56 Degree Wedge?

Sand wedges have 56-degrees of loft - usually denoted with an S on the sole of the club and there is sometimes even another number on the sole, indicating the bounce of the club. Usually the sand wedge that comes with the set of irons you buy is around 55 or 56 degrees without the bounce indicated. 

The best bounce for a 56 degree wedge for most golfer is about 12 degrees. This is a versatile number right in between the low end of 8 degrees and the high end of 14 degrees. You can play most courses with a 12 degree bounce sand wedge and enjoy your golf.

Which Bounce For Every Different Course Condition?

From my experience in all the conditions of the world I have seen, you can use a 12 degree bounce wedge for most, but some conditions really need a specific bounce on the 56 degree wedge. It's important to know when to use certain wedges

Soft Sand

Higher bounce is always the best choice in soft sand. The aim of bunker shots is to slide the club under the ball and skim that wedge to bounce up and let the ball out on a magic carpet ride. 12 to 14 degree bounce will work best.

How do you know if your sand is soft? When you hit the sand shot, does the sand fall back into itself and leave a very round divot in the bunker? That's soft. When you walk into the bunker, does it sometimes go up to your ankle? That's soft fluffy sand. 

Medium, Wet and Firm Sand

In firm sand, wet sand and medium sand, you need less bounce because the sand will not allow the fat sole to get in deep enough to allow enough space to bounce. You will blade the ball across the green a lot. 

I love to use wedges with 8 to 10 degree bounce angle for firm courses and firm sand, but 10-12 degrees of bounce for medium sand.

How do you know if your course is medium or firm? When you walk into the bunker, the sand will either not give way for firm sand, or will only dig your shoe in up to the rubber sole. Wet sand is pretty easy to identify. If it's wet, then the sand is wet. 

Deep Soft Grass Rough

From my time in the Eastern states of the USA, I found the wedge needed for soft long grass with soft conditions under the grass, a bounce of 10 to 14 degrees is preferable.

The soft under condition will need some extra bounce but the long grass can tangle the club face leading edge if there is not enough bounce. With more bounce, the club is heavy and thick soled, to glide through the grass.

Tight Lies in Fairways and Fringes Next to The Green

When you watch the Masters on TV, most of those pros will be using a variety of wedges but those tight lies will make your hair stand on end, thinking of blading it across the green in the hazards. 

A low bounce between 6°-10° will make you feel better about making crisp clean contact especially if you need to open the club face a little bit. When you use high bounce wedges on tight lies, the leading edge can often meet the ball in the equator and your score sky rockets. 

Best Wedge Company Sand Wedge Options

A lot of manufacturers are making great wedges and you can see a couple of my guides below:

Best wedge for mid handicappers if you play off handicap 9-16.

Best wedge for high handicappers if you play off handicap 17+.

Best sand wedge for bunkers if you have trouble getting out the sand.

Some of the best options on the market for different bounce and grind options:

  • Cleveland RTX 4 Sand Wedge (Many options: Full Bounce, Mid Bounce Low Bounce, X Low Bounce)
  • Cleveland Smart Sole 4  (Sand Wedge with huge bounce)
  • Titleist Vokey SM6 (5 different options and famous for wedge fittings)
  • Callaway PM Grind (Sand Wedge with big bounce)
  • Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (Sand Wedge 8-12 degrees of bounce)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the bounce of a gap wedge?

The usual bounce of a gap wedge is 8-10 degrees.

Can you use a sand wedge in the fairway?

Yes. You can hit a sand wedge from the fairway. Usually you will use it from between 10 and 80 yards depending on your preference for partial shots. It's a versatile club and can lower your scores with practice.

Can you use a 56-degree wedge in the sand?

56 degree wedges are called sand wedges and so most people will start golf playing this club out the sand. You can continue to do that or like me, you can start to use 58 degree wedges and for some golfers, even knowing when to use a 60 degree wedge is key. Whichever you choose, if you practice enough with it, you will get very efficient. 

What bounce wedges do the pros use?

When conditions were firmer and unfriendly in the old days, pros preferred low-bounce wedges, but current PGA Tour pros use wedges with between 12 or 13 degrees of bounce.

Final Thoughts

By now I hope you know enough about the bounce of a wedge to make an informed decision.

While your conditions and the way you strike the ball makes a big difference to the bounce you should use in your 56 degree, I highly recommend a wedge fitting. The pro will know your local conditions, your swing style and be able to set you up with a decent set of 2-3 wedges with the correct bounce and loft angle for you specifically.

Best Golf YouTube Channels [What the Data Tells Us]

Most articles you read about the Best Golf Youtube Channels will give you a list of the most vanilla, boring and cliché channels. The writers don't care what they write. The channel owners might even have paid for the listing. 

In this article, I give you both my opinion on the best channels to watch, and also the top channels by the data. I skipped the clichés and pulled information that everyone can see from the channels themselves. I plugged the data into a formula which I will reveal to you so I could create a list of Youtube channels based on four weighted criteria: 

  1. Subscriber numbers
  2. Average number of views per video
  3. What percentage of subscribers watch the average video
  4. Number of subscribers averaged per video

After that, I will give you the channels that offer the most value for you the viewer. The rankings only contain channels with over 100k subscribers. I will provide a list of must-watch Youtube channels as well. 

The Best Golf Youtube Channels according to the numbers

Golf Youtube channel top 10 power rankings (April 2022)

  1. Good Good Golf (big crew of golfers making Dude Perfect style videos)
  2. Micah Morris (excellent amateur looking to go pro - part of Good Good)
  3. GM Golf (trick shot master turned NCAA rejectee - head of Good Good)
  4. Golf Sidekick (Simple amateur with a camera based in Thailand)
  5. Stephen Castaneda (Part of Good Good)
  6. Rick Shiels (The big cheese of Youtube golf)
  7. Me and My Golf (Adidas/Taylormade marketing branch)
  8. No Laying Up (Golf travel and story telling)
  9. Fore Play Golf (Bar Stool Sports golf channel attracts big stars)
  10. Bubbie Golf (Personable guy also part of Good Good crew)

How the Youtube channels were ranked 

Mere subscriber numbers is not enough to assess the Youtube channels for golf. Total subscribers can include many dormant accounts, purchased subscribers and other fluffery. 

I wanted to see how many views the videos get on average and the number of subscribers in relation to the view average - how much do the views match subscriber numbers? Organic subscribers is hard to quantify but engagement is a decent metric to assess a channel.

Weighted scoring system

That is why the weighting of the scoring system is as follows with the weighting mentioned:

  • Subscriber count - 1
  • Subscribers per video released - 2
  • Average view count per video - 4
  • Subscriber numbers as a percentage of the average view count - 4

That gives us a total of 11.

I ranked the channel according to each of the above metric where the channel is 1st place receives 190 points, the channel in 19th place receives 10. To create a weighted score, I calculated the scores as follows:

The channels on this list are all around 100k subscribers or more. Here are the full power rankings and I will provide some charts of each of the major factors in ranking the channels.

My personal top choices of Golf Youtube channels

While the top ranking golf Youtube channels I mentioned above are the best in the game in terms of metric, we don't live our life on metrics. We watch golf to enjoy it. So here are my most enjoyable and best Youtube channels, regardless of subscriber numbers. These are the channels I watch and because I watch them so much, I have done collaborations with most of them. 

Golf Sidekick is clearly the obvious choice. The Golf Sidekick channel is full of guests, from pros shooting good scores, to Matt guiding people around the course to break 100, 90 and 80. This is the easily the best channel on Youtube, objectively. Golf Sidekick is based in Thailand and has created one of the top channels with just an iPhone and a willingness to help. 

Who is Genevieve Ling? Genevieve Ling is a Malaysian lady pro currently on the LET Tour. She has featured on Golf Sidekick videos on numerous occasions and her channel is about course management, understanding the game, and life on Tour. 

Not a Scratch Golfer follows Adam, a 7 to 8 handicapper who hits the ball average distances to show you how to play golf, how to score, and how to forget the nonsense of hitting further is always always always the best even if it goes offline. 

Michele Low is a great golf coach based in Malaysia. She has her own channel and goes through so many things people do not understand, in a way that is understandable and approachable. 

Micah Morris takes the game sincerely and is doing his best to become a pro or is a pro. I am unsure which. But he has a nice channel.

Mr Short Game, aka Matt, is a good guy with an honest, helpful channel with a variety of content so you can never be bored. 

mr short game channel

My rankings of the best channels in charts

Youtube Golf Power Rankings in a chart

Subscriber numbers

Rick Shiels is the leader of the pack by a long way. Random Golf Club Films and Mark Crossfield are the oldest channels both started in 2007. Rick Shiels and Peter Finch began their channels on the same day in 2011. The youngest channels are Fore Play and Good Good, along with Stephen Castaneda.

The breakdown of channels by the country they are located in looks like this:

  • United Kingdom: 7
  • United States: 10 (Good Good and crew makes up 6 out of those 10)
  • Thailand: 1
  • Canada: 1

Average number of subscribers obtained per video 

Creating a crew with their own individual channels and focusing on creating a large community is the key to Good Good Golf's sudden and meteoric rise. They have a great crew of editors, videographers and cast members that allow them to create plenty of unique content. 

Average views per video released

view count per video fo top golf youtube channels

What is the audience retention rate of golf Youtube channels?

retention rate of channels in golf

It's interesting to see channels subscriber numbers and number of views the channel gets per video on average. This can show you a retention rate, roughly speaking, of how many subscribers watch the videos. This is not entirely accurate but it's a good metric to see the reach of the channels and how engaged the audience is.

Conclusion

These were my favorite Youtube golf channels - I hope you will try them or discovered someone new. There are new channels all the time coming up and this list may change but as of April 2022, the Good Good crew are doing well and Golf Sidekick is up there with the big boys. That is amazing. 

What is a Mid Handicapper in Golf?

Mid handicappers make up the majority of golfers in the world. Nearly half of al the golfers who keep a handicap, fit into the mid handicap category. But what is a mid handicapper and are you in this category of golfer? 

In this article, we'll explore the handicap requirements to be a mid handicapper and what a mid handicappers game looks like in relation to higher and lower handicap ranges. 

What is a Mid Handicapper?

A mid handicapper in golf is a player who has a handicap between 9 and 18. 

Average golfer handicap

The average handicap in the USA for those who keep handicaps, is 14 .

What score does a mid handicapper shoot

What is a mid handicap score?

The average 14 handicap golfer will shoot an average score of 90. 

The lower mid handicapper will shoot scores between 84 and 85 as a 9 handicapper. A higher mid handicapper will average scores between 93 and 95. We can estimate the score of a mid handicapper is between 84 and 95.

Type of mid handicap

Low to Mid Handicap

Lower mid handicaps have handicaps between 9 to 12. What is considered lower mid handicap is a golfer who scores between 80 and 90. Sometimes the lower mid handicapper breaks 80, but 9 our of 10 scores will be above 80.

Mid Mid Handicap

Handicap 13 to 16 make up the mid mid handicap range. Average scores here are always above 80, sometimes below 90 with most scores around the 90 to 95 range.

Mid to High Handicap

What is considered a higher mid handicapper is a golfer who scores above 90. Rarely, this golfer will break 90. Average score in the higher mid handicap is between 92 and 100 and a handicap level of 17 to 18. 

Golf handicap divisions

If you play in competitions, the handicaps will be split into divisions. These are usually

  1. Division A: 0-8 handicap
  2. Division B: 9-18 handicap
  3. Division C: 19+ handicap

How does a mid handicapper play on the course?

A mid handicapper will usually hit 3-4 greens in regulation. In general, mid handicappers also swing slightly faster with more confidence than a high handicapper. As a mid handicap golfer gets more confident, their scores drop.

Areas of focus for a mid handicapper to lower their scores into the 70s:

  1. Practice the game inside 100 yards 3 times as much time as the long game
  2. Become very good at putting inside 5 feet
  3. Hit a tee ball into a position that allows a second shot without penalty - very often not the driver

What are the best clubs for mid handicappers?

Most mid handicap golfers will benefit most from game improvement clubs in the golf bag. 

Drivers

Mid handicappers should use a driver to stay in play as a top priority. Distance will come later. Any driver with a loft of between 10.5 and 12 degrees suits you this level for the most distance and forgiveness combination. 

Irons

Avoid blades as a mid handicap. Many golfers will tell you that it's the best way to learn to hit the golf ball but it's not. It's always better to start with confidence first and then move to more difficult to hit clubs. Confidence breeds good swings, which breeds good contact. 

Lower mid handicap golfers can start with some muscle back irons when they get confident enough around the 8 handicap range. The best irons for mid handicappers are irons that have forgiveness and consistency. 

Wedges

Cavity back wedges are always a good option for handicaps between 9 and 18. 

Balls

I always recommend that mid handicappers play golf balls that they do not mind losing. If you are worried about losing a golf ball, use cheaper golf balls or the balls you find in the woods.

If you do not care about lost balls, your best bet is to start with golf balls that have a surlyn cover. These are durable golf balls that can last up to 3 rounds long. I would avoid spending a lot of money on the expensive premium golf balls until you are confident you will not lose more than 1 per round.

My go-to ball has always been the Srixon Soft Feel or a WIlson Duo which I played until I was a 7 handicap.

How Do Mid Handicaps Perform?

mid handicap average score

Off the tee

Mid handicappers can be very good and very bad off the tee with the driver in hand. For the mid handicap golfer who loses shots from balls going out of bounds or in the water, I recommend scaling back to a fairway wood or a hybrid off the tee. Get the ball in play to allow for a stress-free second shot. 

Greens in Regulation

The hardest part for mid handicappers will be approach shots because the tee shot is often not long enough, or in the correct position to hit the greens in regulation. The approach shot distances are too long to allow for easy approach shots. Most often, mid handicap golfers will be hitting a 5 or 6 iron into the green and even a professional golfer only hits the green is 50% of the time with a 6 iron in hand. 

Up and Downs

Mid handicaps can slash their handicap by getting really good inside 100 yards. The average mid handicap player will spend hours hitting golf balls on the driving range with a driver but will never touch the short game area. The game is decided inside wedge range and if you want to drop your handicap into the single figures, the easiest and quickest way is to practice chipping and putting. 

Mental Game

Mid handicappers BIGGEST hurdle to better scoring is the mental game. Stop and think for 10 seconds before your shot. Don't auto pull the driver on every hole. Play back from the hole. Imagine where you want your next shot to come from and hit the ball there. Assess where the best place to be is on every shot. 

Mid handicap players will often hit the ball directly at the pin instead of the fat part of the green. Hit to the middle of the green and practice your putting. Watch my videos on Youtube and discover how to slash your golf score!.

mid handicap golfer

Conclusion

So what's considered mid handicap in golf?  Players with a handicap between 9 and 18, shoot between 84 and 95 but can have the ability to break 80 on a very good day.

You can learn more about breaking 80 here.

How to Hit a Hybrid Golf Club from Tee to Green

Most amateur golfers need one of these in their bag - the hybrid golf club

I added a Cobra hybrid to B-Dogs golf bag years ago and he loves it in replacement of some longer irons. It’s versatile because it's easy to hit the hybrid off the fairway and out of the rough. You can even chip with a hybrid around the greens and say good bye to terrible long iron shots. 

How to hit a hybrid golf club

The answer to how to hit a hybrid: you set-up with the golf ball 2 to 4 inches inside your front foot heel, and swing the same as when you hit a 7 iron (with a downward angle into the ball). You must not try to lift the golf ball up into the air, because the loft and design of a hybrid is created in a way that it does everything for you. Trust it.

Hybrid golf clubs are more difficult to shape shots compared to long irons but that's the only big disadvantage. Considering how versatile the hybrid is and how most handicap golfers do not need to shape the ball, they add confidence to the game of most mid-to-high handicappers struggling to hit more than a 7-iron.

Where to place hybrid golf clubs in your stance

You should place your hybrid in the same part of the stance as a 6 iron or any long iron.

You can place the ball between 2 and 4 inches inside your front foot heel. It will depend on you but you can test it out by hitting the ground on the driving range and identifying where your club bottoms out. You place the ball in front of the beginning of the divot you make. Yes you can make divots with the hybrid. 

How to hit a hybrid off a tee and off the ground

hybrid

There are minor differences between hitting a hybrid off a tee and hitting a hybrid off the ground (fairway and rough).

Whether you hit the hybrid off a tee or off the fairway, you should try to hit down on the ball. Sweeping action is better for the tee shot because the ball is elevated but be careful of that habit because on the fairway, you may top your shot. The key is tee height. 

Hybrid golf clubs are made to get the ball airborne from both the fairway and rough – so if you’re thinking about hitting your hybrid off a tee, try not to tee the ball up too high. Teeing the ball lower on the tee will encourage a consistent strike onto your hybrid so you can hit it from everywhere. 

If you tee it too high, the club can go right under the ball and the golf ball can hit the crown of the club, sending it very high into the air. 

I suggest getting yourself some very short tees, and teeing the ball up maybe half an inch maximum above the ground to ensure you promote a downward strike onto the ball everywhere on the golf course. 

How to hit a punch shot with a hybrid

You can play a punch shot with a hybrid in the rough because the clubhead glides through the grass unlike a long iron which gets tangled. 

Outside of the rough, a punch shot is easier to play with an iron - like a 3, 4 or 5 iron. It's easier to keep the ball low with a long iron, but a hybrid is designed to help increase the height of your shot. 

If you want to play punch shots with your hybrid try this:

  1. Ball must be back of the stance (behind center is your ball position)
  2. Put your hands ahead of the ball to help de-loft the club and promote a downward strike.
  3. Keep your glove badge moving TOWARD THE TARGET. This will help keep the shot low and not top the ball.
  4. Focus on that badge going to the hole and finish with the badge at worst, facing the sky. By focusing on that, you stop the flipping action which makes the ball pop up into the air. 


How to hit a hybrid out of the rough

Place the ball in the correct part of your stance for the best results:

If the ball is sitting down in the grass

Set-up with the ball behind center in your stance much like the punch shot above. Hit down on the ball and make sure you follow through because the club will definitely help you as long as you hit a decent swing. 

If the ball is teed up in the grass

Hit the ball like you would hit the hybrid off the tee - you got really lucky! The wide sole of the club will glide through the long blades and hit the ball instead of getting the grass stuck between the club and the ball. 

How to hit a hybrid straight

Hitting a straight shot with a hybrid is the same as your other golf clubs. It should be noted that hitting a straight shot is very difficult. But you can reduce the shape of the shot by following fundamentals in all golf shots. 

If your ball position is correct (2-4 inches inside your front heel) and you hit down on the ball like with a 6 iron, you will hit a straighter shot. The problems come when you try to add loft to the shot because you do not trust that the ball will fly into the air. 

The hybrid is probably the best designed club in the entire golf bag for hitting easier shots. They have made hybrids with the sole purpose of making it easy to hit longer irons without needing a longer iron. 

To hit a straighter shot, your swing needs to be on plane and your club face control needs to be created with a good setup - posture, stance, grip and takeaway. 

How to hit a 3 hybrid

The 3 hybrid golf club is the most popular choice for amateur handicap golfers. The way to hit the 3 hybrid is identical to any other hybrid.

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the easiest hybrid to hit?

The higher the loft, the easier it will be to hit. That is why when you learn how to hit a hybrid with your golf swing, longer shots become easy.

You can find the forgiving and best hybrids for high handicappers here.

A 6 iron hybrid will be easier to hit than a 2 or 3 hybrid. You can get hybrids all the way down to 6 or 7 iron if you have trouble hitting the iron version. 

Every manufacturer creates their hybrids with small deviations, so try them all out before you decide between Ping, Callaway, Taylormade or Cobra. 

Why do I keep topping my hybrid? 

If you keep topping your hybrid, it is because of a few reasons. These are the most common:

Early extension and poor impact position

If you stand up out of your posture before impact, and your left arm and golf club make a straight line before impact, it can be difficult to control the bottom part of your swing. This means you actually get to impact position FRACTIONALLY too early and so the wrists need to flip and if you don't then the bottom of the club collides with the top of the ball. Grip plays an important role in ball striking.

Your best bet is to see a swing coach to help recreate the only universal thing in golf: the impact position. You can see my lesson on impact position here:

Swaying off and ahead of the ball

Swaying was one of my worst problems in my golf swing because it can stopped me rotating back and through the ball. My head would move way back and then on the way to hit the ball, move in front of the ball. This is a guaranteed way to top and fat the golf ball.  Here's my first ever golf lesson where I learned about this. 

Misconception of how a hybrid works

If you’re topping the ball with your hybrid, it can often be due to mental errors, not only mechanical golf instruction.

Most handicap golfers think they need to flip and scoop the ball into the air instead of hitting down and allowing the loft and club design to get the ball airborne. The reason this leads to topped shots is because most mid handicapper or high handicappers will fall onto their back foot trying to create an upward angle of attack. This is surefire topping. 

When you hit your hybrid, hit down on it like a 6 or 7 iron through the ball and not UP into the ball. 

Can I use a hybrid as a chip and run club?

chipping with a hybrid

You can and should use your hybrid around the green. The hybrid is best used around the greens on tight lies when your wedge feels like you will thin it across the green. When you are against the collar next to the green, the hybrid is easier to brush through the long grass. 

To play this shot with a hybrid, grip down on the club, near the graphite shaft, stand closer to the ball and make the club sit very flat and square on the ground. You use a putting stroke to execute the shot and remember to use enough pace to get the ball rolling to the hole. 

Working on how to hit a hybrid around the greens means more up and down chipping for you. 

Should I carry a 5 wood or 3 hybrid?

5 wood vs 3 hybrid is a very common debate and they are indeed similar golf clubs in performance. They are played in the same place in the stance.

Both the 5 fairway wood and the 3 hybrid have similar lofts but the weight in the hybrid is near the face but the fairway wood has weight toward the back of the club head. 

The five wood in general will fly further and fly higher than the 3 hybrid which has a lower flight with less rollout. That is because the hybrid is in fact a replacement for a long iron. Overall distance is roughly similar. It just depends on what you prefer the look of and which you prefer to hit.

If you like the look of a fairway wood at address then the 5 wood is a good option.

If you like to look down at hybrids (with the smaller iron-shaped head), then you will like the 3 hybrid instead of a fairway wood.

Whatever you choose, you have to feel 100% confidence with to execute great golf shots.

Why should I carry a hybrid vs long iron?

The decision to carry a hybrid vs a long iron depends on how you like the look at address and if you have a fade or a draw. The other consideration is whether you can get a long iron airborne often enough or whether you prefer a 7 wood vs a 4 hybrid.

I would suggest a long iron if you can hit it airborne often out the sweet spot, and hit a natural draw shape. The long iron will tend to fade.

If you cannot get a long iron airborne, then a hybrid is for you. If you tend to fade your long irons even if you can hit them, the hybrid tends to pull left.

Here are the pros and cons of each.

Hybrid

The hybrid is suited to the mid to higher handicapper and definitely can help you get the ball in the air.

Pros
  • Easier to hit in the air than long irons
  • Skims through rough easier than irons
  • Can be easier to hit off the fairway
  • Engineered to get the golf ball airborne easily even with slower swings
  • Versatile to use as a bump and run club around greens
  • Generally higher ball flight compared to long irons
Cons
  • Wide sole makes it less workable left and right (this is good if you are a higher handicapper)
  • Keeping the ball low is harder because it's designed to elevate the ball
  • Usually bought individually, not part of your iron set


Long irons

Long irons are still popular among lower handicappers and pros, but are slowly losing favor and are often excluded from iron sets, past the 5 iron. 

Pros
  • Easier to work the ball because of narrow sole and smaller club face
  • Irons are easier to keep low when you need to hit a punch
  • Usually part of a set unless you purchase from 6 iron down
  • Low handicap players prefer the long irons due to higher swing speed
Cons
  • More difficult for most mid handicappers and high handicappers to hit than a hybrid
  • Slow swing speed will find it hard to get the ball airborne and if they do, the ball won't go as far as their mid irons
  • Long grass in the rough tangles the club head easily because of the sharper edges
  • The slice is a common shot with long irons while hybrids tend to draw
  • Missing the sweet spot hurts your hands and arms unlike a hybrid


Closing thoughts

Hybrids are a game changing alternative for a lot of golfers struggling with long irons. You don't have to soldier through the long iron struggle, losing balls. I promise!

They are so easy to hit from the fairway and rough and are lovely around the green.

Forget about the workability of a hybrid. If you need to work the ball, you are probably too low of a handicapper for a hybrid. Hybrids are for hitting straight shots to make it easier for everyone and more fun!

Every mid handicapper and high handicapper should begin with a hybrid and even include some fairway woods.

How to Hit an 8 Iron – Six Simple Fixes

A lot of golfers think they must hit the green every time with an 8 iron. Some people might think you should hit the green at least 75% of the time from 8 iron distance! WRONG!

The truth is that even the professionals do not hit the green 75% of the time. According to the PGA Tour statistics, from 150-175 yards which is the 8 iron range of the pros, they hit the green 64% of the time on average with the 8 iron. Of course, we hit the ball shorter than the pros so let's compare. 

PGA Tour pros the best in the world!

Often double digit handicap golfers hit a good drive which leaves 130-160 yards approach to the green - which is often an 8 iron. They think they do not know how to hit an 8 iron. With an over expectation, the pressure thinking that you need to hit 3 out of 4 greens with your 8 iron, plus low confidence, many things can happen:

  • Chunk the shot
  • Pull the shot
  • Slice the shot
  • Thin the shot
  • Hit it short or long because you don't know the average distance of your 8 iron

Hitting the 8 iron is easier than you think. The six simple tips below will help you hit a solid shot that goes where you need it. You'll hit it the correct distance and with a consistent result on or near the green. If you miss the green, you can even chip with your 8 iron.


How To Hit An 8 Iron: 6 Easy Fixes

You're a good golfer already you just need to work on a few things:

  1. Taking a good divot

  2. Knowing your shot shape

  3. Selecting the best aiming spot in front of the ball 

  4. Knowing your 8 iron carry distance

  5. Trust the loft of your 8 iron 

  6. Chip with your 8 iron more


Guide To Hitting An 8 Iron: Six Quick Tips

golfer making a golf swing taking a divot with an 8 iron golf club

Fix 1: Take a good divot

It doesn't matter if it's the 8 iron, a 5 iron or a sand wedge, the first important tip is to be able to control where the iron contacts the ground and takes a divot. When you take a divot, you create solid contact and more consistent distances with your 8 iron. The difference between low and high handicap golfers comes down to pure iron strikes. 

The high handicap golfer struggles to take divots out of fear of messing up the fairway or fear of chunking the ball. You must banish the fear of hitting a fat shot and PRACTICE TAKING DIVOTS. 

How to hit a divot with your 8 iron

  • Find a piece of grass anywhere that you don't mind messing up 
  • Start by hitting the ground without a ball and take divots. You can swing and take a satisfying divot over and over as many times as necessary
  • Use a wiffle ball and hit shots with the wiffle ball, focusing on the front of the ball - the part of the golf ball closest to the target. Try start your divot on the target side of the ball. 
  • On the golf course: Take practice swings in the rough when no one is hitting. Before your shot, practice swings should take a shallow divot before your real shot. 

If you are can't control the low point where the divot starts, try put 60% of your weight on your front leg.  Keep that head from swaying and hit a divot. 


Fix 2: Know your shot shape or curve on the ball

Knowing the shape your ball makes in the air is so important but so overlooked by golfers. A lot of higher handicappers will aim for the phantom straight shot. This shot appears once per round and never when you want it.

fade, striagh draw , shot shapes with picture of golf ball

Instead, learn your shot shape over time. Perhaps you think you hit a two way miss. Write down which side you miss the most. Be honest with yourself and your golf shot shape. A lot of golfers fall into the trap of being embarrassed about hitting a fade. Do not be. Top pro's on the PGA Tour prefer a fade. 

The simplest way to understand your shot shape is to play practice rounds by yourself on a golf course. Hit multiple balls and note which way the ball flies with a fade or with a draw. A fade moves left to right while the draw moves right to left.

Whichever is your shot shape, accept it and play it. It will help you in Fix #3 where you must aim the club face correctly according to your shot shape. Without proper alignment suited to your shot shape, you cannot hit good iron shots. 


Fix 3: Aim your 8 iron club face and your body

After you know which shot shape you hit, you must aim your club to something on your TARGET line. You will learn your target line by taking into account your shot shape above. If you fade the ball 10 yards, aim 10 yards left. If you draw the ball 5 yard, aim 5 yards to the right of your target.

But the most important is to aim your club face to account for that.

  • Find something in front of your ball on the ground. It could be a leaf, or a divot or a piece of grass. 
  • Check that it is on your target line taking into account your shape so the ball curves to the target
  • The thing you align to must be 1-3 feet in front of the ball
  • Pick a target beyond the pin or the green. You can select a tree branch or something high up behind your target. This will clear your mind of the trouble in front of you. 
  • If you align your 8 iron club face to the spot in front of the ball and then just before hitting, you glance at your spot in the distance, you will hit better 8 iron shots

Through the gate alignment drill

  • Set up an alignment stick down your target line about 12-15 feet in front of you.
  • Put a second alignment stick 2-4 feet right of the first alignment stick.
  • Using your plastic or foam ball, try hit the ball through the gate.
  • If you have a driving range that lets you do this, use real golf balls.
  • If you have access to a golf studio with a hitting bay, try hit the bullseye they may paint on the white screen. Take that feeling to the course

Most low handicap golfers could do 15 out of 20 but if you are struggling, just work up from your number whatever it is.  You want to create a visual in your mind to take to the course and a feeling. Remember your process and thought when you do any drills so it converts to the golf course.


Fix 4: Know you carry distance

Here's a secret: All the distances you see people claiming in forums and Reddit are nonsense. The average PGA Tour pro hits a ball 295 yards. The average PGA Tour pro hits his 8 iron 160 to 180 yards. No amateur playing off a handicap over 10 can claim those distances with a straight face.

Why do I tell you this? Because it DOES NOT MATTER what distance others hit the ball. It only matters how far you hit your 8 iron. The distance is neither good nor bad. It is only that you KNOW for a fact YOUR distance with the 8 iron. 

Do not claim that 8 iron that you hit 178 yards as your average. Resist the ego driven distance bragging. You will be a great golfer if you know exactly your distance of the 8 iron and play to it. You will beat everyone who claims their max distance is their average. 

use gps watch to learn 8 iron distance

How to know your distances with the 8 iron?

You can use this information for your shots and know if you can carry the hazards, stay short of the hazards or hit the middle of the green. This is HUGE. The most important thing anyone can do when learning how to hit their irons is to KNOW their CARRY distance.


Fix 5: Trust the 8 iron loft

A lot of high handicap golfers and beginners think you need to help the ball into the air by adding loft or 'getting underneath' the golf ball when they hit short irons like 8 iron, 9 iron or PW. The truth is, you actually deloft the iron at impact. The backspin that you impart on the ball will create the lift that you need.

This is VERY KEY: TRUST THE LOFT OF THE GOLF CLUB - THE MANUFACTURERS KNOW MORE THAN YOU ABOUT BALL FLIGHT DYNAMICS

The easiest way to stop trying to lift the ball with this club is to consciously NOT fall back with your weight onto the back foot. You must keep 60% of your weight on the front foot 

When you hit DOWN on the golf ball, you compress it and that creates speed and spin. There is something very important you want to get right to be able to compress the ball. Impact position is critical.

Here is the impact position you want. Click the image or HERE for the Youtube video lesson on impact.

impact position for 8 iron

Fix 6 (bonus): Hit chips with your 8 iron

You can file this one under pro tips. When you find a chance to hit some chip shots, practice with your 8 iron. You can make small swings to practice club face control to understand hitting the sweet spot. You can learn how it feels to hit it solid by avoiding the full swing to practice impact position.

Stand about 2 yards off the green and chip the golf ball to a flag about 11-12 yards away from you. Try land the ball on a specific spot. Play the ball off your back foot to understand you don't need to help lift the ball in the air. Just imagine you are using your pitching wedge. 

You can learn more about how chipping works in golf. Just make decent contact with the golf ball and hit 100 balls if you can. You'll come away feeling much better.


8 iron technical information

What loft is an 8 iron?

An 8 iron loft is between 35 and 39 degrees. Newer golf clubs have lower loft while older clubs have higher loft. The higher the loft, the less distance you will get with the same swing. In modern irons like the TaylorMade STEALTH, the loft of the mid irons is now comparable to those that were traditionally long irons. It's always good to know the difference between lofts in your clubs from pitching wedge to nine iron to 8 iron.

What is the length of an 8 iron?

The length of the average 8 iron is between 36 and 37 inches. The length will depend on your height and your swing. If you are fitted for clubs, the club fitter will adjust the length, the lie and the loft according to your game. You can find some irons to help you lower your handicap with the right characteristics. 

8 iron swing speed chart

The average 8 iron distance depends on your swing speed, loft, golf ball and skill. For the average loft of 36 degrees, here are the averages for different golfers:

Player level

Swing speed

8 iron distance

PGA Tour professional

87 mph

160-200 yards

Scratch golfer

82-85 mph

155-190 yards

Low to mid handicappers

70-80 mph

140-165 yards

High handicappers and beginners

60-70 mph

120-150 yards

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to execute an 8 iron shot and perform better with this club, it's time to practice a lot. You can practice at the range, on the golf course, or into a net. Just get that feeling of making good contact.

I highly recommend a lesson but if not, just keep hitting balls. You will get it. One more BONUS tip is to LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. You are not on the PGA Tour, you are not Tiger Woods. You just need to relax and enjoy hitting the 8 iron at the driving range, on the practice green, and in your mind!

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