Golfers use missile tracking radar to improve golf swing

By John Lawrence

Pull into Feather Sound Country Club and you’ll see a sign on the side of the elegant club house that reads: “Pure Science Golf.”

Science and golf may seem an odd pairing at first, until one learns that missile-tracking radar can also pick apart a faulty golf swing. John Reynaud, general manager of Feather Sound Country Club and owner of Pure Science Golf in the lower level of the elegant club house explains how radar can help fix a golfer’s game.

John Reynaud

“A lot of people are playing with clubs that are not suited for them,” Reynaud says. “Those players have to manufacture a swing to those clubs to hit that ball straight. Our system uses radar to collect data on a golfer’s form.”

The “science” behind Pure Science Golf comes from the Trackman 4, a combination radar-tracking system/computer/camera that collects more than 27 data points on a golfer’s action. The first radar system registers short-range movement – the golfer’s stance, swing, facing, foot movement, etc. The second radar collects long-range data – how the ball separates from the club, where it flies, how it spins, arcs, bounces and rolls, until it stops. Just a few of the results the system displays include club speed and ball speed in mph; launch angle and attack angle in degrees; as well as smash factor, spin rate, and carry, in yards.

“Using that data, we can custom fit 35,000 combinations of heads and shafts of all the top club manufacturers to your swing, your speed, your age, so we can maximize your swing to the right club,” Reynaud says.

PGA pros and coaches also use the systems to develop talent and practice for big dollar tournaments on demanding courses.

“We have two TrackMan 4s here, each has doppler radar systems that tell you everything you want to know about your swing and your relationship with a golf ball,” Reynaud says as he gives a tour of his facility. He has owned the company for five years and recently moved his store from Ulmerton Road to the country club.

As he points out the indoor green for trying out putters, a golfer in one of two swing bays hits his ball into a 3D screen that displays how it might fly on a real course. A Pure Science Golf coach suggests changes to his swing for better results. Golfers can book time for a club fitting or play on more than 60 virtual golf courses using the indoor bays.

The wall is lined with golf club shafts of different styles and colors as Reynaud points out the Pure Specs shaft alignment machine, which turns like a lathe to find align the shafts of golf clubs for more accurate swings.

Not everyone who walks through the door is ready for an analysis on the Trackman 4, Reynaud says, though he’s happy to let them give it a run.

“If there a handful of people who are not ready for this experience, we’ll know in the first 10 minutes,” he says. “We might suggest if you have a PGA pro, go take some lessons first. If you don’t have a PGA pro, we’ll help you get one. Before you go through the fitting process, let’s teach you at least how to get to a swing where you’re a little more consistent.”

Pure Science Golf is at 2201 Feather Sound Dr., in Clearwater. Call 727-573-5666 to make an appointment.



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