By Nate Adcock on Tue, 04/16/2013
With only your iPhone and an easy-to-use Bluetooth accessory, you can have your own swing analysis coach with you at all times. It will break down every swing for you to help you fix whatever you may be doing wrong.
Used by itself, the SwingTIP app includes a considerable amount of golf swing information and videos to help you tweak your swing. But admittedly, the app doesn't do much without the Bluetooth advanced motion sensor. Paired together, SwingTIP transforms your iPhone into a virtual and mobile 3D swing analyzer! See the stalwart PGA legend, Craig "The Walrus" Stadler demonstrate how it works in the video below.
Setting up the SwingTIP
The accessory kit comes with a charge cable and a special attachment to secure it under the grip on your club. It also comes with shims in case the attachment device won't stay secure. It's important to align the attachment device with the grooves on your club face to ensure the sensor gives you an accurate assessment.
The attachment piece has a foldout sight to help with the alignment. The concept works, but I had a few challenges keeping it perfectly positioned, particularly after continued use with my driver, but the shims should help with that (my driver has a graphite shaft).
The device worked perfectly on my irons. Once you secure and align the attachment, the sensor fully charged, you are ready to sync it with your iPhone/iPod touch, slide it into place, and start swinging. The app works on iPads as well, but is not optimized for them (displays in portrait mode, and must be magnified).
The main screen depicts a mini 3D virtual golfer. Once you pair it with Bluetooth, you simply start up the app and start swinging. I skipped the early sign-up page, but if you take a few minutes to register an email address with SwingTIP's online services, you can sync your swing stats to the cloud.
The sensor and app work perfectly once paired, but the power on/off features need some work. The device did completely drain on me at the range (I believe it somehow went back into pairing mode and stayed that way when I tossed it into my golf bag). It will turn itself off after a period of inactivity, but if left in pairing mode, it seemed to stay on until the battery ran out (note to designers). The activation button on the device doesn't seem to power it off, and the app doesn't have that capability either. Turning off Bluetooth seemed to put it back into pairing mode...?
The sensor automatically detects a swing and starts an analysis after you have affixed it to your club. You do have to select which type of club you are using (wood, iron, driver). After each swing, it calculates the telemetry sent back from the sensor, and the main screen will depict an animation of it, which you can replay from different views. It will smoothly show the arc that your club travels through back swing, and downswing. It indicates the key aspects of your swing, such as the plane the club face follows, and how square your club face is at impact. You can see a summary of your swing results tabulated below the animated character.
By selecting Analyze, SwingTIP will take apart your swing section by section, telling you about the mechanics of your swing. The amount of information the sensor picks up is astounding. As the app builds a database of your swings, you can compare and look for consistency as you improve. You also can take real-time video of your swings to help you see the result of your efforts and to pinpoint problem areas.
This is an ingenious appcessory, and should be extremely popular with golf enthusiasts. The app and accessory are both easy to understand, set up, and use. Other than glitches with the power (which was likely my fault), SwingTIP worked great. One other minor annoyance was the attachment piece, which could be a bit bothersome to align and take on and off each time you changed clubs. I recommend the vendor include three in each kit so you can attach them on multiple clubs for more convenience.
- Easy to use;
- Powerful swing sensor and app combo;
- Expert tips and information provided at each stage of analysis.
- Power can easily drain (no effective on/off control);
- Annoying to attach/detach to each club.