With wearable technology breaking into so many facets of our lives, it was only a matter of time before technology found its way into golf. Heading off to the course to practice your swing has always been a great way to unwind. For some, the sport gives them a chance to temporarily remove themselves from the digital world.
Essential reading: Best golf GPS watches to hone your skills
Here is our roundup of the best golf swing analyzers and shot trackers.
Zepp is a motion-sensor training system that has been helping people analyze and improve their technique for a a number of yeasr now. The original Zepp Golf Swing Analyzer is a small sensor you attach to your glove in a mount. Download the companion app, pair up, and a bunch of fascinating swing data is sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The array of sensors uses an accelerometer to track hip movements, and notes everything from the speed of your hands to the tempo of your forward and backswing, before showing your data in the app which flashes up in less than a second after you’ve hit the ball.
The key change in Zepp 2 is in its design, going from a square to a slightly smaller and more rounded design. packs a bigger eight-hour-lasting battery, two gyroscopes instead of one, two accelerometers, and upgraded Bluetooth Low Energy for better connectivity and battery life. The addition of new sensors means that the second-generation Zepp is more accurate.
Another big change is the Smart Coach feature. Essentially, the new app will provide advice to help you improve your game. After a few swings the app will pinpoint specific areas of your game that you should focus on.
Elsewhere, the features look pretty much the same as the previous generation. You can review data, look at visual charts of your shots, and compare them to professional’s swings to see where you’re going wrong. Even if you don’t grasp all the stats at first, they’re presented as easy-to-understand visualisations. With the 3D view, you can watch and replay your swing from any angle.
SwingTalk is unlike any other swing analyzer product. With this gadget, you get real-time audio feedback so you don’t need to stop and look at your smartphone display.
SwingTalk thoroughly analyzes your swing technique and dishes out comprehensive analysis data. It shows you the tempo, club speed, club trajectory, as well as actual movement of the shaft, key point analysis – shaft angles throughout the shaft.
The little device weighs only 0.3oz and is simple to install on the end of the grip. You can fit it to all kinds of golf clubs including drivers, woods, irons, wedges and putters. Swingtalk also analyzes your putting – and provides a comprehensive iOS and Android app.
TruSwing is Garmin’s first golf club sensor accessory. The small, lightweight and easy-to-use sensor measures a mere 2.40 inches and weighs only 28 grams, making it portable enough for you to take to every golf session – especially since it hooks onto any club.
TruSwing churns out a variety of metrics including: swing tempo, speed, club-path measurements, critical club angles and more. Wwing metrics can be checked on your smartphone, or wrist using one of the compatible Approach watches such as the S4, S5, S6 and S20 as well as the Approach G7 and G8.
Additionally, TruSwing collects data to produce 3D swing animations through the Garmin Connect mobile app on a smartphone or tablet. With these animated diagrams, you can view side-by-side swing comparisons to analyse your data in real-time. Individual swings can be analysed, and two swings can be overlaid on top of each other to compare and contrast.
Analysis on Garmin Connect allows you to identify exactly where you can make changes. For example, just by altering the combination of clubface angle and clubhead-path angle, you can make significant improvements to your ball’s flight pattern. Each session is organised by date, so you can go back to see each individual swing, and how you’ve improved since then.
Blast Motion Golf is a tiny device that attaches to putters and drivers. The removable sensor, which houses a combination of accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, records a variety of metrics including swing speed for driving, loft and lie for putting, and more. The data can be viewed in real-time or stored for later use.
The app integrates with video captured from your phone or tablet and will overlay data so you can visually analyse your game. It is worth noting, when compared to some other sensor devices on the market, Blast lacks the three-dimensional rendering of the swing. Instead, the Blast app revolves around video.
The technology also allows you to identify trends through stats and graphs. These performance metrics can than be immediately uploaded to share with a coach or posted on a social network to compare with others.
What distinguishes Blast Golf from other devices on the market is its accuracy and consistency. Identical swings produce identical sensor readings which apparently made a big difference to the professional athletes the company collaborated with.
This is a golf tracker that is billed as one of smallest and lightest sensors on the market. PIQ provides you with real-time information on your game, and includes a range finder, a swing analyzer, and a shot-tracker.
The sensor fits on your glove and communicates with your smartphone to display your distance to the green in real time. What you essentially get is a a bright LED display on your glove that tells you at a glance just how far you have to go to a particular hole.
It doesn’t end here, as the device uses NFC tags attached to your clubs to track shots. This creates an interesting pre-shot ritual. Each time you take a shot, you tap the end of the club to your PIQ device to register which club you’re using. The app will keep score for you.
Next, there is the swing analysis. PIQ takes data from a 13-axis motion sensor to analyze your swing. You will need your smartphone though to access the information. PIQ automatically tracks your tempo, swing path and club head speed for every shot. At the same time, it’s recording the distance of every shot you hit and where you hit it from so that you can analyze your round later.
Once you’re back home or at the club house, you’ll get to relive each shot and observe your game strategy directly on your smartphone screen. Each shot – along with the club you’ve used and the yardage you’ve covered – is stored in the app and is displayed on the satellite imagery of the hole.
Game Golf Digital Live is a tracking system that keeps tabs on your whole round of golf from tee to green. Shot by shot, it records all your stats so you can visualize your game, whether you’re on your way to break 80 or just actively working on your game. The little device puts real stats at your fingertips, including fairway accuracy, GIR, putts per hole and more.
Originally funded through Indiegogo, the system consists of two parts – the Game Golf GPS tracking device you wear on your belt in waist height, and the tags you attach on the end of the clubs. During the round, you tap your club against the device before each shot and it does the rest, detecting what club you’re using, then translating your next shot into a bunch of useful stats.
With over 30,000 courses to choose from, the tracker allows you to: review your rounds and game stats quickly on your personal dashboard; benchmark your game stats against others in various scoring ranges to see strengths and weaknesses; see club performance data to know how far you really hit your clubs and eliminate distance gaps between clubs; see shot dispersion and tendencies, by club and by distance, off the tee and on approach; share posted rounds with friends, family and your instructor, coach or PGA Professional by email or social media tools; and compete in virtual challenges.
The second generation device also adds real-time shot tracking which makes it even more useful when you are on the course. All your performance data is instantaneously captured and visible on your phone.
The device is brimming with professional endorsements with Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and even Barack Obama all using it.
The Arccos Gold Performance Tracking System is another great golf tracking system that wants to take your game to a whole new level. With fourteen virtually weightless sensors attached to the end of each of your clubs, once paired with your smartphone, you are good to go.
Each shot is recorded live and instantly saved to the cloud. The information is then brought to life by bird’s-eye visuals overlaid on GPS hole imagery. The stats are available instantly on your iPhone or after your round on a computer. Information tracked includes: GPS Distances to Front, Center and Back of Green, Club Distances and Averages, Fairways Hit or Missed, Greens in Regulations, Putting Statistics and more. Armed with detailed data, you can then uncover your strengths and trends and make better decisions on the course.
The system is also compatible with Apple Watch for added ease of accessing your data.
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