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Ball speed reduction proportional to launch angle

We've been aware for a number of years now that golf game software doesn't always calculate carry distances correctly over the spread of launch angles.

i.e. A user can set the system so that the game software calculates the correct distances for low launch angle shots but higher ones are then carrying too far.

And vice-versa, when the user sets the distance correctly for the high launch angle shots, the lower ones carry to short.

We'd like to point out that we don't make the game software where the trajectories are calculated (i.e. RedChain and E6 software).

We just make the camera systems and image processing software and all our tests show that we are consistent in what we are measuring.

Even though this may equally be consistently right or consistently wrong, it is always consistent.

The below test image examples explain:

The above is a ball trace of a lower launch angle showing a trace (or line) length of 187 pixels which equates to 124.49 mph with the scale factor of 0.3

Note that the length of the ball trace is directly proportional to the ball's speed

and providing the camera's exposure time (10 milli seconds here) and the pixel to cm scale (0.3 here) is constant - which it always is - this correlation is constant and consistent.

i.e. no matter what the launch angle is, the length of the ball trace will always be the same for a given ball speed and will always be directly proportional to the ball's speed .

The ball trace here is the same length as the previous low shot (actually 184 instead of 187 so where just 3 pixels off) and equates to 123.85 mph (only a 1.64 mph difference).

So effectively, the only thing that changed was the launch angle. So when this data is fed to the game software and the carry distance is correct for the low shot, you'd expect the carry distance for the high shot to also be correct.

Turns out, this is not the case though. You'll probably find that the higher the launch angle is, the further the ball will carry over the expected carry distance. There are two possible reasons for this: either the math used by the game programmers to calculate the trajectories is flawed or they are adding back spin in some way.

Either way, we had to come up with a solution to solve this issue.

Our solution is to proportionally decrease the ball speed with the launch angle. i.e. the higher the launch angle is, the more we reduce (or decrease) the measured ball speed.

We've made this option user programmable and in the above example, the user has set a maximum of 25 percent ball speed reduction to be spread over a range of 15 to 60 degrees.

i.e if the ball launch angle is lower than 15 degrees, there will be no speed reduction whereas at 60 degrees there will be the full 25 % speed reduction and if the launch angle is between 15 and 60 degrees (ie 37.5 degrees) then there will only be a 12.5 % ball speed reduction.

Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, you can set the amount of speed reduction and the reduction angle range.

E6 - Red Chain carry comparisons


Click above images to see our E6 / Red Chain carry comparisons