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From Tracking Missiles To Tracking Golf Balls. Meet The Man That (You Didn’t Realise) Changed Golf

From Tracking Missiles To Tracking Golf Balls. Meet The Man That (You Didn’t Realise) Changed Golf

Fredrik Tuxen, a former head of R&D at Danish company Weibel, responsible for tracking bullets and missiles for the global militaries, may well have influenced your own golf game more than you realise.

If you have ever had a lesson from a PGA Professional, Tuxen may very well have had a say on what you have been taught. Or, if you have purchased golf equipment post 2003, Fredrik Tuxen’s work will also likely have indirectly influenced the design of your purchase. How you might ask?

Well, in 2003, while still working at Weibel, Tuxen was approached by his now Trackman co-founders Klaus and Morten Eldrup-Jørgensen to see if the same technology that Tuxen was using to track missiles and bullets could be used to track golf balls. From this, Trackman was born.

Photo of Fredrick Tuxen being interviewed by Joe Ferguson

Fredrik Tuxen being interviewed by Golf Monthly’s Joe Ferguson

(Image credit: Future)

For those that don’t know, Trackman is a doppler radar powered launch monitor that provides countless parameters of ball and club data. Trackman is used by equipment manufacturers, coaches, custom fitters and players across the globe to provide accurate data pertaining to golf shots, from ball speed to club path and just about everything in between. If you have ever seen a small, bright orange box behind a tour professional on a driving range, that is Trackman.

Photo of a Trackman unit being used on the PGA Tour

Trackman in use on the PGA Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It didn’t take long for Trackman’s influence to be seen. One of the major early industry successes for the company was completely disproving previously held ideas around the causes of different ball flights and curvature. As Tuxen says, “We quickly realised that a lot of what was being taught at PGA training schools was not correct”. 

The PGA for example, up until this point had been working on the theory that the golf ball would always start along the line of the club path and would subsequently end up where the club face was pointing at impact. Tuxen and Trackman’s findings completely disproved this, establishing what we now know as the ball flight laws, with the face angle at impact being far more influential than previously thought. 

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