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Tiger Woods' launch angle stats, compared to other pros who swing at the same speed

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

In case you missed it, Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo had a wonderfully wonky -- but slightly intense -- debate on Golf Channel Thursday night. The two analysts spent almost 10 minutes squabbling about the amount of shaft lean in Tiger Woods' golf swing.

Like I said: wonderfully wonky.


The swing stuff all gets pretty dense pretty quickly, so we'll leave that for the instructors.

One thing that did pop-out of the segment, though, was the conversation about Tiger's launch angle with his driver. Is it excessively high, as Chamblee suggests? To help put the debate in context, here's how Tiger's swing-speed and launch-angle numbers from 2013 and 2014 compares to every other player on the PGA Tour this year who swings the club at about the same speed (the list is sorted from highest to lowest launch angle, with the data provided by the tour via ShotLink).

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The data show that Tiger's ball flight is on the high end of the spectrum; players who swing 115 and 118 mph -- as Tiger has done in 2013 and 2014 -- have an average launch angles of 8.5 and 10.5 degrees. Tiger's launch angle is 11.86 and 11.2, respectively.

Driving distance probably isn't a fantastic indicator in this situation because Tiger tends to hit more 3-woods than most pros, but it's interesting to note that there are players with similar swing speeds who hit it longer and shorter than him on both ends of the spectrum. Either way, it doesn't seem the case that his launch angle is excessively high given his swing speed.

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