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SHOOT OUT! – High Tech Swing Trainers

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High Tech Swing Trainer Review

:: Launch Monitors For Anyone & Everyone!

(Written By: GolfSpy Matt) One of the most exciting new product categories that emerged from the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show was “high tech swing trainers.”  It’s also one of the most requested products for us to review.  These swing trainers have gotten more requests than the RocketBallz…ok that was a little bit of an embellishment but it’s pretty damn close.  Why? Well…

These little gadgets promised to be the “launch monitor” for the common man: small, easy to use, and highly affordable.  The potential for what these can do for golfers and golf instruction is immense: imagine taking a lesson, having a pro tell you what you should be trying to accomplish, and then having an objective, measurable way to know whether or not you’re improving.  Take that a step further: how much better would your next lesson be if your pro could know exactly what you’d been doing since he saw you?

We have been working on this review for a long time, but we wanted to make this as comprehensive, fair, and thorough as possible.  All three devices that you see here have been tested against FlightScope.  They have also been tested by Golfspy Dave, Golfspy Tim, and me so that you will know how each device might suit different types of players.  So if you’re ready to cut through the hype and find out which of these devices is worthy of your hard earned cash, read on.

:: Features Offered (vs) How We Graded Them

One last word about this review: for this head-to-head review, we’ve had to break the mold from our normal review format.  The biggest problem is that these devices all offer different features so it’s hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison.

What we’ve done instead is to create two charts for you to compare (features offered (vs) feature grades:

:: The first chart outlines the features that each product claims to have

:: The second chart shows how well we feel they deliver on each feature (grades A through F)

The overall grade is not an average, but rather a summary of the usefulness and value of the device.

 

PRODUCT #1 Golf Sense

Here’s the bottom line with Golf Sense: the features are limited, but what they give you is good information.  I’ve talked to the CEO of Golf Sense extensively, and their philosophy is (I’m paraphrasing), “We could give you a bunch of numbers, but they wouldn’t be as accurate as they should be.  We will give the user only what we can accurately measure.”  This makes a lot of sense to me, and I have a lot of respect for that philosophy.

Now, does that make this a great device?  In its current state, probably not.  The tempo and club head speed are good, and I can appreciate the value of those.  The 3D image is good, but doesn’t currently include a “Bird’s Eye” view, so you can’t really see the horizontal club path – a KEY element, in my opinion.

They recently released a number of new features: swing plane comparison, wrist rotation speed, and hand and club speed graphs.  All of these are great and work well, but I’m not sure how the average golfer would use them to improve.  Even for me, the wrist rotation speed is meaningless because I have no context for what it means.

The hip turn feature is cool and unique, but the honest truth is that all of these devices are a bit of a pain to begin with (set it up, swing, go look at phone, repeat).  When you add “put phone in pocket, take phone out of pocket” to that process it becomes really laborious.

The biggest thing that Golf Sense has going for it is that the sensor is attached to the glove which makes it very easy to use.  I think that as the Golf Sense team continues to add features and improve the app, it might become a stronger contender.  As it stands today, it gets a B-.

GRADE: B-

PRODUCT #2Swing Byte

Swing Byte…well…it bites.  It promises the most but delivers the least on the promise.  It all boils down to two fundamental problems:

1) Sensor and method of attachment: I can forgive the chunkiness of the Swing Byte sensor, and I can even overlook the fact that it’s clearly visible when the club is in a playing position.  What I cannot accept is that the sensor moves significantly on virtually every swing.   It forces you to re-align the device after every swing.  Oh, and if you really want accurate numbers, you should re-calibrate it, too.  So as if “swing-turn around-look at phone” wasn’t bad enough, now you can add “re-align sensor, re-calibrate sensor.”  You might finish hitting that large bucket sometime next Tuesday.  Also, it adds a weird rattling sensation to your impact.

2) The key numbers (swing path, face angle, and angle of attack) bear no resemblance to the numbers you will see on FlightScope or Trackman.  As such, they are unrelated to any of the ball flight laws that you (hopefully) understand.  Swing Byte’s company line is, “We measure things differently than they do, so our numbers aren’t the same, but at least they’re consistent.”  I would argue that: A) the numbers are only consistent when I re-align and re-calibrate the device after every swing, and B) the fact that they’re not remotely close to the numbers I get from real, high end launch monitors is a major problem.  Let me give you a sample of how far askew they are: my typical driver numbers on FlightScope are a horizontal swing plane of 3* right (3* inside-out, if you’d prefer) with an angle of attack of 1* or 2* (1-2* up).  Swing Byte puts my path at 11* or more to the right with a -7* angle of attack (7* down).  That’s a HUGE difference, and it doesn’t even address the face-to-path problems that come with it.

Now, Swing Byte makes the argument that they just measure differently, and one way of measuring isn’t inherently better than another.  And philosophically, they’re right.  However, in reality, FlightScope and Trackman are the gold standard around which ball flight laws have been created.  Their numbers are the currency of the realm.  If you’re going to create a device that talks their language – club path, angle of attack, etc – then you need to make your numbers match.  Period.

I have some other complaints about it (as you might guess from the chart), but they rank far behind these two fundamental flaws.

In fairness, Swing Byte does a number of things well.  Swing speed is generally good, if a touch high.  The app is good looking, very deep, and customizable, though it’s not the easiest to use.  The 3D image is satisfactory, but there’s too much freedom to move it around which can make it a hassle to use.

GRADE: D

Swing Byte

PRODUCT #3Swing Smart

You can see pretty clearly from the chart that the Swing Smart was far and away the best of the lot, so in lieu of rehashing that chart point by point, I’ll try to just hit the major highs and lows.

Good

Speed & Ease of Use – By the time you’re finished swinging, your numbers are up.  This sounds silly, but it’s not: Swing Smart is noticeably faster at loading the data than the other devices.  The app is also the easiest to use.

3D Picture – Swing Smart has the best combination of freedom to view the picture from multiple angles and ease of use.

Best On-Club Sensor -  The sensor doesn’t move while swinging, and it can be taken off of the adapter plate.  This means you can have adapters on every club (they’re only $5 each) and just bounce the sensor from one club to the next.  Also, it’s much smaller and more discretely placed than the Swing Byte.

Compare Swings – A brilliant feature that is executed wonderfully.  You can see the differences between a swing that produced a good shot and a swing that produced a fugly one.

Training Mode – Another unique feature that lets you get swing data without hitting a ball, perfect for the backyard lawn destroyers.  Some of the numbers get funny because it doesn’t know where impact is (something which is being improved), but the 3D image is still spot on.

Bad

“Angle of Attack” – What Swing Smart calls “Angle of Attack” is not angle of attack, but rather shaft lean at impact.  This is still a useful number, and it’s very accurate, it’s just mislabeled.  They know this and hopefully it will change.

Face Angle to Path – The face angle to path is accurate for what it is.  It’s calculated relative to the horizontal swing plane, NOT the resultant or true path (meaning I can get a “Face to Path” reading of 2* open but hit draws).  I think this might confuse people more than help them.

GRADE: A-

Swing Smart

:: Golfspy Dave’s Opinion:

One of the first comments, from both Dave and Tim, was that all of these devices might be of limited use without a good instructor.  While it may be obvious, I think it’s an important point to make: none of these devices will fix your game, they only offer data to help you, or an instructor, do so.  If you don’t know what to do with the data, having it doesn’t really help you.

Dave felt that the Swing Smart hit the sweet spot between too many numbers (Swing Byte) and not enough (Golf Sense).  He said that it was just the right amount of data, and it related to things he knew that he could work on and improve.  Golf Sense’s on-glove sensor was his favorite of the group because it was so convenient, but Dave didn’t feel that the Golf Sense provided enough actionable information.

:: Golfspy Tim’s Opinion:

Poor Tim had so many struggles with these devices that he told me, “I’m so frustrated that I would not let a close friend buy any of these.”  The strap on the Swing Byte broke, Golf Sense didn’t hold a charge, and apparently he got a lemon unit from Swing Smart.  Bad luck across the board.

The testing that he was able to accomplish led Tim to say that he liked the Golf Sense sensor the best (we all did), but he felt like the lack of numbers was a severe problem.  Tim felt that he got some good things from the Swing Byte, but, by his own admission, he has limited experience with Flightscope or Trackman.  He was not able to get much of a feel for Swing Smart due to the problem with the sensor, but he did say that the way that it attached to the shaft was an upgrade over the Swing Byte.

WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU BUY?

If I can draw on the shootout metaphor a bit to summarize the results: Swing Byte brought a pocket knife to this gun fight, Golf Sense brought a .22, but Swing Smart brought a .44 magnum (enjoy the vintage Clint.  You know, before the whole “talking to empty chairs” thing).

If you’re going to buy a high tech swing trainer this year, it should be the Swing Smart: the data is the best, the app is easy to use, and it offers an unparalleled feature with the swing comparison.

I think that this product category has immense potential, and we will only see these devices improve in the coming years.  And as these new devices roll out, you know you can always count on MyGolfSpy.com to let you know which ones are the s*** and which ones should just get flushed.

ASK QUESTIONS:

I honestly could have written another 2,000 words about these devices.  If you have any questions about specific features, grades, or anything else, post them here and I will do my best to answer them.

{ 189 comments… read them below or add one }

Eoghan Kennedy October 10, 2012 at 6:36 am

Very interesting and timely review of these products as I was about to pull the trigger on one of these. I was seriously considering golfsense but will now have a good look at swingsmart. I think you missed one key issue when reviewing the 3 products – the price.

Can you say that for $120 more the additional features that swingsmart provides makes it a better purchase? It is almost double the price of golf ense and I have to wonder if shaft lean at impact and face angle to path, which as you confirm would just confuse people is of benefit to the vast majority of golfers, who won’t know what to do with this data. I agree that the compare swings function is a very important inclusion.

Finally, did you hear of 3Bays GSA pro, which has a very clever golf sense which sits on the top of the grip: http://www.3bayslife.com/sc_zen/index.php?main_page=page&id=20&chapter=1&gsa=1

Well done again on a superb review.

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GolfSpy Matt October 10, 2012 at 7:03 am

The price is listed in both charts and was considered in the overall grade, though, honestly, I think it’s irrelevant. Without trying to make this any kind of financial/economic argument, my feeling is that if you have the money to spend on one of these things, the extra $100-120 doesn’t matter nearly as much as the quality of the device. The Swing Smart is a better device, period. You get more useful information from it. Golf Sense tells you nothing about the club face which is the single most important thing when it comes to ball flight.

Another way to look at it: If you spend $120 on a device but don’t use it, and I spend $250 but do use it, who was the one who wasted their money?

Also, the putting functionality is HUGE. I had to limit myself in the article, but it’s one of the best things about the Swing Smart. You get a real path reading and a real club face reading, plus tempo. It’s very very helpful.

Regarding 3Bays, I have contacted them but have not heard back.

Thanks for your comments and questions.

Best,

Matt

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H Trey July 12, 2013 at 12:16 am

It seems the technology age is going full steam ahead. Bottom line if we do not have time to practice our games will just stay the same or get worse. That being said I love all the data overload stuff, I am a stats guy. I play fantasy sports which proves my love for stats. Before I got married and had kids I was getting really good and could correct my flaws. My handicap was at a 10.2 and dropping like a rock before I had to live up to my responsibilities. My question is have you tried out sky pro? I am very leery of that company because they lied to the consumer about smart tags. There has been a bunch of promise and they have not delivered. I do like the sky caddie, but disappointed with other aspects of that company. I am asking because I want to see if what they advertise is real. Today though Swing smart is my choice.

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John K October 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

Having tested all three of these devices side by side with TrackMan, I can assure you they are all highly inaccurate and a waste of money.

This assumes of course that you believe TrackMan numbers are correct – and I do with the USGA, R&A, PGA Tour, and many OEM’s backing their product.

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GolfSpy Matt October 10, 2012 at 7:13 am

Appreciate you adding your thoughts.

What did you find from Golf Sense that was “highly inaccurate”? There are hardly any numbers except speed and estimated distance, so I’m curious how you deem it “highly inaccurate.”

I would ask the same thing regarding Swing Smart – which measurements did you have problems with? Was it the same issue I mentioned: true path (Trackman) vs. horizontal swing plane (Swing Smart) or was it something else?

Best,

Matt

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Christian Furu October 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

Great review :D

I´ve had GS for a few weeks and bought SB a few days ago. GS does the job. Simple device but it works.

Using these devices can be too much for the average golfer. My hope is that they will raise the level of knowledge, that golfers want to learn more about the golf swing.

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tanker10a February 21, 2013 at 9:12 am

“…Using these devices can be too much for the average golfer…”
I cannot understand why folks like always pretend that “the average golfer” might be overwhelmed by all this information… Then what is the point in reading these product comparisons? Who do you think is reading these reviews? And since when the English language has become so complicated given the fact that it’s written at such a “dummy-down” level so that “your average golfer” can read it. And what does that make You? A PGA Pro? And yet here you are reading product reviews for the average golf amateurs. I am an average golfer and yet I have a very clear understanding on what GolfSpy Matt has to say about all the aforementioned products. Oh yeah, I have purchased GolfSense last December…

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Gordocooper June 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I agree with you.. In essence, Golf and hence the golf swing, is a complex experience as soon as you dive into it.

Bravo.

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wdgolf October 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

Thanks for the review guys, very well done and informative. I think I’ve made no secret that this is the one review I’ve waited for with the most anticipation. I’m a bit disappointed about the SwingByte since I had such high hopes, but c’est la vie.

Question: do you think the SwingSmart provides enough information to be a poor man’s Trackman? Obviously you won’t get distance or ball flight, but can it be used to properly fit someone to a full set of clubs or is the technology not there yet?

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GolfSpy Matt October 10, 2012 at 7:50 am

Answer: no, not by a long shot. But, in fairness, it doesn’t claim to be. It’s a swing trainer, not a club fitter. No device that clamps on to the club and ignores the ball is going to be a good choice for club fitting.

Could you use Swing Smart in conjunction with something like Foresight for club fitting? Sure, if the fitter has adequate knowledge about the swing to make use of the information. Using it with a Trackman or FlightScope would be redundant because both of those devices provide more information than Swing Smart about both the ball and the club.

Best,

Matt

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lamma.mike October 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm

How do FlightScope or Trackman provide more information on the club? They measure what the ball does with doppler radar and work backwards to calculate clubhead speed and other measurements. Foresight GC2 says they will give you info on what the club is doing if you buy their extra HMT and will give you path. But none of these measures swing plane.

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GolfSpy Matt October 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

lamma.mike,

Thanks for the comment. A couple things:

1) While I’m open to being mistaken, I do believe that Trackman and Flightscope use radar to track the club through impact. They both back into face angle based on what they measure from the ball and the club path, but, to the best of my knowledge, they do measure the club head.

2) What do you mean by “swing plane”? Are you talking about the line that Peter Kostis draws on the screen when he does his swing analysis? Are you talking about the horizontal swing plane? Or are you talking about the true, 3D path (resultant path) of the club head through impact?

The diagonal line that people draw on a 2D video image doesn’t really mean much since the golf swing occurs in 3 dimensions. If you’re talking about HSP or resultant path, Trackman and Flightscope both give you both of those numbers.

Best,

Matt

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Matt October 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

Thank you gentlemen for the review. I was surprised and pleased that I didn’t pull the trigger on the Swing Byte. Hopefully, as noted above, you’ll be able to test the 3Bays at some stage.

My only complaint to some of the manufacturers, is their lack of support for Android devices on initial release. It’s certainly a disservice when there are vastly more of that platform in the market place than the others. You can have the greatest “widget” in the world, but if it only works for 30% or so of the market, what value is it?

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GolfSense Jason October 10, 2012 at 8:19 am

Thank you GolfSpy for the thorough review. We appreciate the time you spent on this. It’s great to read that everyone sees such potential for GolfSense and enjoyed that it was on the glove. We’ll be adding many of the “numbers” you mentioned in the review soon and will of course let you know when we do.

Couple comments:
- GolfSense does offer a swing comparison engine that allows you to compare any two of your swings in the application. We’ve included some reference swings from a “PGA Pro” that can be used as a baseline for comparison, but you can also compare any two of your swings. Over time, we will be adding more reference swings and creating a “swing library” within GolfSense.

- We view each of the “Analysis” screens in GolfSense as drills that you can practice at the range (or in your backyard, office, etc.). The idea being that you can work on a single aspect of your swing easily and avoid having to review so much data. To do this simply go into settings and turn on the feature you want to use for the day and turn off the others (note GolfSense still capture the data for the turned off features, it just doesn’t show them on the screen).

- Cloud Sync: GolfSense allows you to easily sync all of your swings to the cloud and to any of your mobile devices. This sync functionality is FREE!

Please feel free to contact us with ANY questions: [email protected]

Thank you!

-Jason

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manbearpig October 10, 2012 at 9:53 am

Kudos to a company that steps up and doesn’t try to fight a review, but rather build & grow from it. Add those feature and a Windows Phone app and I’m all over it.

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wdgolf October 10, 2012 at 10:52 am

Any ETA on the Android version? If I picked up one now, could I expect it to just work with Android or should I wait?

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GolfSense Jason October 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

@wdgolf we’re less than 30 days from releasing our Android version. Please send me an email at jason [at] golfsense.me and I will add you to our Android test team.

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Eoghan Kennedy October 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

+1 on the kudos comment. Congrats to golfsense for listening to comments on an unbiased review.

I have tried to analyse the various tech swing trainers on the market, such as the ones on this review, the 3bays GSA, and pocketpro, which hasn’t been released to the market yet. Could I make a suggestion? The apps for all 3 products are available for free but one cannot get a feel for the interface without the actual swing sensor. It would be nice to have a couple of already loaded sample swings to enable one to look at a swing and see and ‘feel’ the interface firsthand. I’m sure this is something you could offer relatively easily on your app?

As it currently stands, i’m swayed by this review to swingsmart but i’ve been impressed with the additional features you brought out in your latest software release and you have assured us MGS readers that you will be introducing more ‘numbers’ to rival that of swingsmart, so I might just wait to pull the trigger.

One final question – does being a leftie have any impact at all on being able to use these devices?

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GolfSense Jason October 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

@Eoghan Kennedy — Please download the GolfSense App and select “HISTORY”. Then choose any of the PGA Pro’s swings to see what it looks like. Lastly, select “ANALYSIS” at the top of the screen to see the data you can expect.

Lefties can certainly use the product. Just indicate your “handed-ness” (not sure that’s a word), in the set up.

We’re committed to delivering an incredibly helpful product. We understand that we’ll never be able to accurately tell you the 187 different things that go on in a golf swing, so our focus is on delivering meaningful data around a few key aspects. The cool thing is that we keep adding features, tuning our motion engine, etc. And these updates are all free. It’s a cool world we’re all living in now — one in which products actually get better over time.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, we do seriously consider user input. Again our goal is to provide a helpful product for the game we all love. We see our role as being a data collection and analysis device. The interpretation of that data is an area that we’d rather enable a series of professionals (and folks like you) with the right tools to use.

We like feedback. Actually we need and want it!

Thank you!

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RP Jacobs II October 11, 2012 at 6:54 am

Matt, excellent review! And Jason, Kudos for stepping up and handling this as a professional. Golf Sense obviously “gets it” and you are an excellent messanger, and I only mean that in the highest form, because you basically are the “face” of the company.

I’m a little(my ego prevents me from saying a lot..lol) IT challenged, however does this device work on an iPhone?

Again, great job guys!

Fairways & Greens 4ever

GolfSense Jason October 11, 2012 at 7:22 am

@RP Jacobs II – Thanks for the kind words. GolfSense absolutely works for iPhone and is available on the App Store today: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/golfsense-for-iphone/id476232500?mt=8

cdvillasenor October 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

I have a Golf Sense and I use it exclusively to let me know I’m going over the top. For that one feature, it has helped my range sessions immensely. I always get a lot of looks when I’m using it and people have a lot of questions. I tell them that if you don’t have someone to look at you and don’t want to mess with a camera, it’s a nice little device to have (we’re golfers, we burn money on much less useful golf items.) I don’t put a lot of stock into the numbers but it’s nice to have feedback on quality shots as well as the scruffy ones.

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Ice October 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

How can you get distance without spin? You can’t. I’m curious to know how accurate the “guess” that GS gives is.

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GolfSpy Matt October 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

The estimates are surprisingly good, though obviously not perfect. Hence, the “B” it received on the chart.

Best,

Matt

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Brett Theissen October 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

What about these guys? I hear they have been in hiding, however are expecting a huge launch in the next month. Anyone have any inside info?

http://www.pocketpro.org

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GolfSpy Matt October 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

No insider info. Lots of interesting promises. I’ll reach out to them.

Best,

Matt

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SwingSmart Angelo October 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

Thank you to Matt and the entire team at My GolfSpy for including the SwingSmart in your evaluation. Our team has worked very hard to make the SwingSmart easy to use and very helpful for the golfer.

We are big fans of the Android platform and we are currently in Beta testing of our version. Much like our iOS version, we are committed to bringing you a very rich and feature filled user interface. We expect the release in late November.

Eoghan Kennedy, to answer your question, the SwingSmart is designed for both righties and lefties with no additional input required. You can take a swing righty, switch to lefty , and you will see that our 3D SwingView avatar automatically switched to a lefty setup.

All the Best,

Angelo

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Eoghan Kennedy October 11, 2012 at 4:20 am

Thanks Angelo, much appreciate a reply to my query, also in relation to demo swings. I had a look this morning and am impressed. I would love to see a little more information in the overhead view such as the swing path from the top of the club and the butt of the club, as in the path that the head and the butt of the club would trace in the both backswing and through to impact. I do this with a golf tee in the butt of my club and aim to have it pointed at the ball through my backswing. Is this something that SwingSmart could add?

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SwingSmart Angelo October 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Sorry, I forgot to mention that we also include a couple of demo swings in the App. It gives you a chance to see our data screen and also to be able to experience our 3D SwingView.

Thanks,

Angelo

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Alex with Swingbyte October 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Mygolfspy crew,

Thank you for taking the time to review Swingbyte. We appreciate any and all feedback from Swingbyte users.

I’d like to add a few clarifying points for current and future Swingbyte users:

- Device slippage: Depending on the type of shaft, the sensor may twist at impact. This wont affect the data for the swing that caused the twisting, but the sensor does need to be realigned prior to the next swing. In September, we made available adhesive tabs that prevent twisting and ensure that Swingbyte is attached to your club the same way every session. If you are a current Swingbyte owner in the United States or Canada and would like to receive 4 complimentary tabs, please send an email with your mailing address to [email protected]. Tabs are now included in all new Swingbyte packaging.

- The numbers: We’ve released an app update earlier this week that brings many impact numbers closer to industry standards – including Attack Angle and Face to Path.

- Shaft Lean: Swingbyte has displayed Shaft Lean at address and impact since an app update in June.

- Price: Swingbyte is $149 and there is no required annual fee. The $49 annual fee that we’ve advertised has always been an optional service to access all historical swing data at my.swingbyte.com. Furthermore, the annual fee wasn’t set to begin until late-2013. In recent weeks, we’ve decided to eliminate the proposed fee for this service altogether. Swingbyte users will always have free access to all of their swing data, personal trends, and community leaderboards at my.swingbyte.com.

Thanks for all of your time and interest in Swingbyte. Please contact us anytime with questions and feedback here, or at [email protected].

Best regards,
Alex

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GolfSpy Matt October 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Alex,

Thanks for jumping on here with us. I’m pleased to hear that the $50 annual fee for the on-line service has been removed. We will update our chart to reflect that.

Regarding the tabs, are they reusable or one-time-use?

Best,

Matt

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Alex with Swingbyte October 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Matt,

The tabs are meant to stay on the club indefinitely (each weighs 1 gram), but come off cleanly. 4 are included with all new Swingbyte packages, and existing users can request a free set by contacting support.

There is more information about the tabs (along with pictures) here:
http://blog.swingbyte.com/post/32004986622/swingbyte-adhesive-mounting-tabs-now-available

Thanks,
Alex.

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Yohanan October 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Wow – I always love a good shoot out. On or off the course and here at MGS.

Kudos to all three reps who have stepped up. It very rare to see this. Especially in the technology business. I know i am in it.

Anyway I too want to get one as I am a golfer, a gadget guy and want to understand more of what i am doing both right and wrong. Getting better knowledge of the numbers and how they relate to the mechanics of the golf swing. Find an instructor that understands. And then apply all of that to get the proper fit and be the best i can be.

Straight android. No snapple. So i too will be waiting for the droid apps.

Maybe an updated shoot out in 60 days would be appropriate?

So we can see which of the developers is on their game.

Cheers

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BK in Wisconsin October 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

“Maybe an updated shoot out in 60 days would be appropriate?

So we can see which of the developers is on their game.”

Sounds like that might not be a bad idea.

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Golfspy Matt October 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Don’t know that I’ve ever said this to a reader suggestion before, but: not happening, sorry, not on that time frame. This review took months to put together. Hours of testing and hours of writing and trying to stuff 50 pounds of info into a 5 pound bag. To do it again in 60 days…nope…there are just too many other projects I want to take on.

This is a constantly evolving product category which made pulling the trigger on the review very hard. Every couple weeks there was an update or a new feature that could change the game. Eventually we just had to go with what we had.

Now, will we revisit this idea next year? Hell yes. With all of the new devices coming out, and these devices evolving, I see another shootout happening next year for sure. Next year might be a 5 device shootout, maybe 10, who knows, but you can bank on it happening. But an update this year? No.

I do strongly encourage the manufacturers to use the comments section here as a way to promote new updates and features until that time.

Best,

Matt

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Golf Tours Ireland October 11, 2012 at 12:18 am

These devices can be beneficial for a golfer. These can help him in identifying the skills and would definitely help in the healthy competition between the golfers.

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Gus October 11, 2012 at 4:00 am
SwingSmart Angelo October 11, 2012 at 5:30 am

Hi Eoghan,

Thank you for downloading the App and looking at the demo swings. We have really only scratched the surface of the capabilities of our 3D SwingView. We are currently working on more “camera” views and information that users would like to see added to the App for both the full swing and putting. I know when I play, it is everything for me to keep the “swing thought pop up bubbles” at bay before I swing so we will make sure that we will continue to provide an informative, easy to navigate App that never overwhelms the golfer.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the development of the SwingSmart has been talking with golf enthusiasts, like you, on the internet and in person at demos. It is really cool when a golfer starts using it, likes it, and becomes part of the creative process by giving us input on how we can give them the information that they want to see. Their input always opens your eyes to see how differently each of us approaches our swing training and teaching, and how varied our responses are to the the importance of the information we see. I think that is what makes trying to get better at golf so challenging, yet so much fun.

I did want to give out our contact info too.

[email protected]

Best,

Angelo

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NOJO October 11, 2012 at 11:59 am

Where was this review a week ago – before my Swingbyte was delivered?! Your critique is the most exhaustive I’ve seen (and I looked before I plunked down my money!), and my experience with my new gadget puts your review of it in the ‘spot on’ category. We, the impetuous, salute your excellent work – though we decry your tardiness (Kidding – a little)!

Thanks. Keep up your relentless search for golf BS.

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Golfspy Matt October 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm

NOJO,

Quality investigative work takes time! :)
Thanks for your kind words.

Best,

Matt

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dave baehr October 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Buying a swingbyte was an error on my part… would have been better to invest in range balls

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Niall McGill October 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I’m just back from the UK Golf Show, and Sky Caddie have a similar product going to be launched at Orlando. I have just received a Swingbyte early this week and have tested against Flightscope. My findings very similar to yours, path around 6/7 degrees more from inside, attack angle 4/5 degrees steeper, and face showing very closed to path.

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Alex with Swingbyte October 12, 2012 at 6:30 am

Niall,

One thing to keep in mind when doing a comparison with a stationary system is that they all give numbers relative to their target line. The only way to get an apples to apples comparison is to make sure that the target line they’re set on is the same target line your club is set on with Swingbyte.

When we were testing Swingbyte, we would use a swing robot (like the Iron Byron) and spend hours making sure it was calibrated properly to the launch monitor we were using. Otherwise the numbers aren’t a useful comparison. The big issue is that 7 degrees sounds like a lot, and it is when it comes to a 250yd shot, but 7 degrees is just over 1 minute on an analog clock face. That means that even if I think I’m lining up the same way as my launch monitor, there’s a very good chance I’m not.

Thanks,
Alex.

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Jerry Foley October 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Bingo. My company EvolSwing is developing a device and this question is one we encountered early on, i.e. “what happens when you don’t align properly”. The obvious answer is the one you gave. That is why you must use a stationary bench standard like an Iron Byron along with a FlightScope/TrackMan. In testing we found that data might say one thing but actual results could vary with test subjects and they would question why. This is why we recommend using chalk lines, or any mechanical alignment aids when setting up and practicing. Funny thing is that alignment is one of the most overlooked and simplest things in golf. One wonders how many times Old Tom Morris blamed his hickory shafts or featheries for a missed aligned shot!

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Tweety October 12, 2012 at 1:07 am

Great review,

Though I just ordered a SwingByte from golfsmith they are currently sold out so I’m on backorder, that means I technically could still change my mind.

I want to let you guys know why I chose the SwingByte over SwingSmart before I read this review.
The online presence of Swingbyte is much greater. They are on most of the golf forums (hackers paradise wrx and etc) answering questions and continually listening to their customers, and adding new features. Because of this openness I chose SwingByte. The biggest issue I have heard about SwingByte is what is mentioned in the review which is that the item slides/move after you hit a golf shot. They claim to have solved this with those little tabs you put on the club, to make it stop sliding.
So I guess I am very confused now which unit to get. Software wise I think SwingByte looks the best and has a lot of features, but if what is being said in the review is true than all the numbers are rubbish and you are getting incorrect information. For me those most important features are, swing speed, club face, tempo, and the swing plane. If the swingbyte is installed correctly does it not provide that data accurately? Or is the SwingSmart just a much better hardware?
What you guys think?

Tweety

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GolfSpy Matt October 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

Swing Byte launched much earlier than Swing Smart, which is a large part of why they’ve been more visible on the forums, etc.

I would agree that the Swing Byte software looks better and it offers more numbers. Ultimately, I think a lot of those numbers are flawed (or at least, as explained in the review, divergent from the industry standards of FlightScope and Trackman), so having them doesn’t really add much to the golfer’s experience.

Swing Smart may offer fewer numbers, but they’re more consistent and they’re all actionable.

My conclusion should be pretty obvious: buy the Swing Smart.

Best,

Matt

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Gkatshoots69 October 12, 2012 at 6:13 am

Great review!!
When it comes down to it, I don’t want to spend $250 and I don’t want anything attached to my glove so that leaves me with Swingbyte. Oh and I don’t have an iPhone so I need something compatible with android os. Overall though I agree with Tweety, Swingbyte has such an online presence that I wasn’t even aware of these other swing analyzers. I think with these types of products being so new that a few kinks still need to be worked out and the version 2 of all of them will be much greater. I will probably wait until next fall and see if a new version comes out and in the mean time just keep working with my local golf pro.
Thanks again for the good work MGS!!

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SwingSmart Angelo October 12, 2012 at 7:02 am

Tweety,

Thank you for your comments. Our presence in all forms of media will continue to grow quickly now that we have launched. We never wanted to impose on a Forum without somone else starting the discussion about our product. The operators of the golf forums have spent so much of their time and money to build their user base and we just never thought it was fair to make it a venue for advertising our product. We look forward to being able to talk with golf fans, like you, about any questions and comments you might have about the SwingSmart.

Best,

Angelo

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Arky October 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

I just bought my swing byte 2 weeks ago and I love it. I’ve compaired it on the course and in the basement wih a Sports tech 3pro system and it’s compairable. I’m an Android guy and I don’t wear a glove soooo…….! Thanks for the info but I’m happy with the Swing byte.
David

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rocketmonkey October 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

How accurate are these devices on club head speed compared to a trackman and flight scope

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Niall McGill October 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Thanks Alex,

What I’m really looking for is a product that my students can work with in between coaching sessions. I coach with Flightscope, and would love to be able to give my students “home work” using a device like swingbyte, so that can learn from their practice. If I understand you correctly, you guys don’t measure path based on target, but rather based upon club orientation at address? Can I also ask about your AOA measurement? I’m getting quite steep numbers.

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Alex with Swingbyte October 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Niall,

That’s right – since we don’t know where the actual target is, we set the target line based on the club face at address. As far as AoA – that’s one of the numbers that we’ve adjusted in the latest app update to bring it closer to industry standards. If you have the latest app version, you should see much closer numbers.

The nice thing about the homework scenario you’re mentioning, is that you can review their swings through my.swingbyte.com if they’re away and have questions, or log into their account from your device and get all of their data on there.

Thanks,
Alex.

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Tweety October 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

By the way,

Why isent SwingSmart on Golfsmith – for us international people that is one of the main sources to get the latest products. I had to buy my SwingByte through GolfSmith.

Tweety

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SwingSmart Angelo October 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Hi Tweety,

Thanks for the note. We are in the early stages of our launch and we are working on moving the SwingSmart into many channels of distribution in the next month.

Best,

Angelo

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Tiger Iron October 15, 2012 at 1:20 am

Have a look at iTrainer (www.insight-sports.com). That device was there well before the other. (PGA 2011 at least). At the beginning, it was a comprehensive embedded system. Bulky, but self contained with audio feedback and small display. The PC App is OK too. The Android apps is not OK at all. iTrainer “2″ is a smaller device (it does no longer have a display) but requires either a PC or Android.
I would say that it was not easy to use (PC required) but it provides very accurate data, especially club head path and face angle, for which I used it most.
Unfortunately, the product (sensor or Android app) does not seems to move a lot lately.

Also, I’m pretty sure that it is possible to find, now or very soon, other contenders in this area.

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Stefan October 16, 2012 at 7:26 am

Looking at SwingSmart I noticed the 3D view. How do I see if I’m under the plane or coming over the top? I cannot draw lines in the app, can I? Am I supposed to create one, say, reference swing with my pro and later compare each swing with the reference swing? I know all the devices give more or less accurate figures and charts, but how do I use them to improve my swing?

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GolfSpy Matt October 16, 2012 at 7:37 am

Stefan,

No, you cannot draw lines on the 3D view with any of these devices. For what it’s worth, most forward-thinking instructors are coming to recognize that the “plane line” is, at best, a rough guideline for where you might want your swing to be. It is far from the be-all-end-all of swing diagnostics. Swing Smart does allow you to mark a “best” swing as a reference for all future swings.

The answer to the big question, “How do I use them to improve my swing” is up to you. What are you trying to fix? As Dave, Tim, and I all agree, these devices aren’t go to do much for the average golfer unless they’re paired with good instruction.

Best,

Matt

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Gene October 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Great review. With SwingSmart, when you move the sensor from club to club, do you have to change the setup?

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GolfSpy Matt October 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

All you have to do is go to your phone/ipad, tap “Select Club,” and then click the club that you are going to use. Literally 2 taps.

Best,

Matt

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Todd October 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

I see there’s another feedback devise out there … The SwingTIP. Any chance of a review on that?

Thanks

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Jmn October 21, 2012 at 12:28 am

So we have currently have at least 5 different devices to choose from and no way of choosing one until someone *cough* Matt *Cough* makes a comprehensove review that inclides all the devices.

Golf Sense $ 129,99
Swing Byte $ 149,99
Swing Smart $ 249,00
SwingTip $129,99
3Bays GSA Pro $199,99
Pocket Pro (coming soon?)

The SwingTip device looks awfully tempting due to the price and the attachment of the sensor looks rugged.

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BdnPaxton72 October 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

I’m having a hard time believing this review wasn’t a little biased ($$$)… :)
Just kidding. but not really…

I’ve had the chance to try a couple of these things. For starters… no device like this is going to replace hands on golf-pro instruction… they give you the data, but without knowing more about the body, you’re never gonna to find your perfect swing.

That being said… they do give some great insight into club data that has, until now, been extremely difficult to quantify.

Here are the Swing trainers I’ve had the pleasure of testing (FYI, I’m reviewing these as a huge gadget nerd, and a +3 handicap golfer):

GOLFSENSE:
I started off buying a Golfsense from the apple store… I figured if Apple was behind it, it was a good product. I was a little disappointed, however, as I found it to be more of a “gadget” than a training tool. The “3D swing” has an animated body+club. But it doesn’t follow the actual path of the swing you take… it seems like a waste of processing power… and really provided no benefit to me as a golfer. Get rid of the golfer, or make it an actual representation of the body through the swing (which is impossible from a sensor on the hand… so get rid of the golfer… its just confusing eye candy – hence, more of a gadget, less of a trainer). And, as the other swing trainer devices seem to have have discovered, you can’t get truly accurate readings of the club action from a sensor that’s not on the club. So… unless you’re buying this as a toy, and not a true swing trainer… I’d look elsewhere.

SWINGTIP:
I took one run-though of the Android app, and immediately gave up on this one :) A few of the same issues as the golfsense app. They have some old guy swing a club in conjuction with the animation of your swing path, but they in no way correspond. App LOOKS nice… but is pretty useless. They give some generic tips on how to fix your swing in the app… but unless you don’t know ANYTHING about golf… these aren’t really all that beneficial. Also… I tried contacting the company multiple times to get some more details regarding the product since I was looking to buy something else and never got a response… not a good sign.

3BAYS:
My friend bought one of these after I told him of my distain for the Golfsense device. The attachment Mechanism is pretty cool (so I thought), very small footprint… but I, having pretty big hands, typically have some overlap of my palm off the end of my club, and the device gets in the way, so this one just wasn’t for me. Also apparently my friend stepped on his a couple weeks ago and completely broke off the part that goes into the club grip.

SWING BYTE:
After deciding the 3Bays wasn’t the way to go, I ordered a Swingbyte from the Golfsmith website (Again, figuring if golfsmith carried it, must not be terrible). I was actually pleasantly surprised. After hearing some reviews about “slippage” I was a bit concerned, but I’ve yet to have big issues with that. I might have to adjust it slightly after swinging my driver (115mph avg) about 20 times… but that’s hardly a show stopper for me. Also… if you’re practicing that much with your driver, stop it. Pick up a 7 iron. :) I also found the numbers to be incredibly helpful, from what I’ve seen they give the most numbers. This could be confusing to some, but once you get the hang of it, they’re all incredibly helpful, and accurate. I usually just focus on 2 numbers at a time to make adjustments. The data screen is great, I just wish you could choose which 2 numbers are most prominent… but that should be easy. (app update?? fingers crossed). I also wish it had some sort of “sleep mode” that sensed inactivity and turned it off, I’ve accidentally left it on a couple times and drained the battery (right, I know, my fault… but still, sleep mode would be great).

SWING SMART:
My friend who broke his 3Bays didn’t like it enough to get another one (told him to try to get a replacement… but he likes wasting money on gadgets), so he got a swingsmart. It’s comparable to Swingbyte in attachment mechanism, similar rubber strap. It’s nice that you get numbers immediately. I have to wait about .5 seconds for my swing to register on my swingbyte… but I actually kind of like that. I have a tendency to practice too quickly… that .5 seconds forces me to give a good tempo to my range sessions. The 3D screens leave a lot to be desired. Numbers seem decently accurate, not quite as good as my swingbyte. The app overall is just ugly… would’ve been cool about 10 years ago, but looks really dated, and just really isn’t very pleasant to use. I joke with my buddy that he bought a more expensive ($100 more!) cheap knockoff of my Swingbyte… and he begrudgingly agrees. They threw in a bunch of extra crap in the box too… I guess to make you think your $100 extra dollars went towards something… He stopped bringing it to the range and just mooches off my swingbyte now :)

SO… If you haven’t guessed. I love my SWINGBYTE, and it’s probably the only one in this group that I’d actually recommend to a friend who was truly interested in becoming a better golfer. ALSO… customer service over there is awesome… I’ve contacted them twice regarding some extras they came out with and got a response from Sharon (pretty sure she said Sharon) right away both times… that’s huge. Swingsmart would be comparable if the app wasn’t terrible… and it didn’t cost $100 more (I think the $100 went into the refrigerator-box sized packaging… sorry trees!).

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GolfSpy Matt October 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

Bdn,

Classy way to start your first post here, I really appreciate that.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on all these devices, particularly the ones that weren’t submitted for our review.

When you say that the Swingbyte is “accurate,” what exactly is that based on? Testing against FlightScope? Trackman? Foresight with HTM?

If the Swingbyte is your high water mark for accuracy, than the SwingSmart is definitely going to seem “inaccurate.” If accuracy is based on matching up with radar-based launch monitors, however, SwingSmart is far superior.

-Matt

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BdnPaxton72 October 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

Hey Matt!

Sorry about the intro… trying to be funny… didn’t go over well. Sorry about that (really).

I actually did hit the swingbyte with a launch monitor they had set up at a Golfsmith near me (about 2 weeks ago). I forget the model… I can find out, I’ll stop by and check. And when the target lines were aligned & consistent (took some doing), I found the Swingbyte numbers to be pretty accurate. Granted, I haven’t tried the SwingSmart with a launch monitor (maybe I’ll test that out with my buddy’s SS this weekend), but with the small deviation in numbers between that launch monitor and my swingbyte, I’d be surprised if they were THAT much better.

More importantly (for me anyway), my accuracy statements were also based on extensive time spent at the range, and making adjustments based on the actionable data, and seeing clear improvements in my swing, and consistency. I’ve been golfing for over 30 years and I’m pretty familiar with my swing… so making subtle changes and seeing improvement is important for me… and the Swingbyte has helped me do that. Also… being a gadget guy, I can appreciate when something is clean & easy to use… and I just found the SB app more to my liking.

I’m sure the SwingSmart is a good product, but I’m not sure the extra $100 is justifiable? Especially when the output numbers are simply a function of translation + math, and not huge differences in hardware (I have a hardware background). Is there $100 worth of extra hardware in the SwingSmart? (Honestly wondering… I haven’t taken them apart or anything).

I only commented on the other devices just because they’re in the space, and they influenced my eventual purchase. Didn’t mean to get off topic by introducing those! Sorry. Some other people were asking about them in the posts… so I commented on them.

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GolfSpy Matt October 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Bdn,

My thanks about bringing up the other devices was quite sincere. Other people have asked about them and I haven’t had a chance to try them yet. Seems they both have a ways to go.

I’ll be curious to know what launch monitor Golfsmith was using that it gave you any numbers to compare against the SwingByte or SwingSmart. To the best of my knowledge, Golfsmith uses Foresight exclusively and without the HTM piece, Foresight can’t tell you anything about what the club is doing.

Ultimately, any of these devices can give you information that could help you improve your game. and I’m glad you’ve found that with SwingByte. At the risk of repeating what I said above, my issue with SwingByte is that it claims to give certain numbers (path, AoA) that are not in line with the industry-standard numbers that you get from FlightScope or Trackman.

I have no idea about the hardware question – the technology is out of my range of knowledge. All I know is that, to me, the accuracy of the SwingSmart, the lack of twisting, and the smaller, better placed sensor make it worth the extra money. That and it doesn’t give you any information that is out of line with what I expect from high end, radar based launch monitors.

Sincerely, thanks for sharing your experiences, and no hard feelings whatsoever on my end. The problem with all this typing is that it doesn’t carry tone and things can be misconstrued. Hope to hear more from you here and in the forum.

Best,

Matt

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BdnPaxton72 October 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Thanks Matt,

I think all of that is fair! Just wanted to share my preference & experience with them. I’m sure all of these products are constantly improving, and all are helpful in one way or another. It’ll certainly be an interesting race!

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SDGolfer October 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm

When you say swingbytes numbers don’t correlate to trackman or flight scope numbers,
that really doesn’t mean much to me.
For example Ping measures their bounce numbers than the “industry standard”, does that make them inferior to other OEM’s?
If the swingbytes numbers are accurate swing to swing, then that’s great.

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GolfSpy Matt October 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

SD,

Thank you for your comment, it makes me realize that I haven’t been clear about something.

(Note: capitalization is not me yelling at anyone, it’s just my only means of emphasis).

I have been too loose, or perhaps not specific enough, with my terms when I say that Trackman and FlightScope are the “industry standard.” The numbers that they provide are not industry standards like bounce measurements or length measurements – i.e. one way of measuring that is arbitrarily chosen. They are the industry standard because they measure exactly what they claim to measure, and (good) instruction and ball flight laws are built around that. Flightscope and Trackman measure the CLUB PATH AT IMPACT. The established BALL FLIGHT LAWS are based on the CLUB PATH AT IMPACT.

SwingByte admits that they do not measure AT IMPACT. That’s why their numbers don’t match up with FlightScope or Trackman which is why their numbers don’t work with the accepted Ball Flight Laws. That doesn’t mean their numbers can’t be useful. Clearly some people find the numbers from SwingByte useful, and that’s fantastic.

With regard to consistency from swing to swing, SwingByte is fine as long as the device doesn’t spin. My experience was that it spun a lot. Others have had different experiences.

Best,

Matt

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Alex with Swingbyte October 25, 2012 at 11:49 am

First off – I wanted to thank the Swingbyte users jumping in and sharing their experiences. We’re lucky to have such engaged, happy users.

Second – “IMPACT.” We’ve always admitted to using the point of impact, and the millisecond before it to do our calculations for path and angle of attack (it takes two points to draw a line). High speed cameras show that for a good driver swing, the ball compresses, and stays in contact with the club face for about 1 millisecond. We consider the beginning of that millisecond to be the point of impact, as it gives club information unadulterated by interaction with the ball.

Thanks,
Alex.

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Jon H October 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

I’ve read all of this with interest and would welcome an assessment of these devices against Trackman. Obviously, we can’t walk to the range with a Trackman and can’t afford it, so we cannot hope to have something that is that accurate. So what do we need a device like this for?

For me, I would welcome information about clubhead speed, the degree of openness/close at impact, the path to impact (inside/more usually over the top) etc. I would guess it doesn’t have to be perfect and marry up to Trackman data, but it needs to be accurate enough to know how you are doing against your goals.

I’ve had a couple of devices that measure swingspeed that you attach to the shaft of a club and they were a pain in the rear. For this reason, I am very interested in the 3Bays GSA and, based on the information here, for me, it is a three way consideration between the 3Bays GSA, SwingByte and SwingSmart (none of which are available in Europe yet by the way). Is there any way, you could update your review and put them up against a Trackman on accuracy. That would be much appreciated.

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Golfspy Matt October 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm

All of the devices were tested against Flightscope. I have been on Flightscope and Trackman many times and have not found any difference worth noting.

As I have said already in this comment section, this review will not be “updated,” “re-tested,” “re-worked,” or otherwise done again this year. This review took months to put together and it is comprehensive. It is done. We will revisit this category with another shoot out next year, hopefully with more contenders.

Best,

Matt

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Mike October 27, 2012 at 6:04 am

Hi Matt,
Is there anyway to publish a summary chart with average numbers instead of letter ranking? For example for swing path device x was 5* off on avg. comparing a B to a C is a bit too arbitrary for me.

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Mike October 27, 2012 at 6:27 am

Also I don’t see anyway to get a number for swing path in the swing smart
I’d be hitting into a net most the winter.
This would be a deal killer.
You’d either have the review the 3d animation for each swing or compare your face angle vs address and path to figure out your path

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GolfSpy Matt October 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Mike,

To your first question, sorry that you feel it’s “arbitrary,” but, no, we’re not writing another chart. The numbers from SwingByte were extreme: it claimed that I hit the driver with a very negative AoA instead of a slightly positive one, and it had my path in the double digits (never seen anything more than 5* on radar). Swing Smart’s path number was better, but it reflects horizontal swing path, not resultant path.

You are correct about Swing Smart. You can back into the path in the way you described, or you can look at the animation, but they don’t offer a path number by itself.

FWIW, path is not as variable swing to swing as most people think. If you’re looking to dial in your path to 1*, none of these devices will make you happy. If you’re looking to make a big change in your path, Swing Smart should serve you just fine.

Best,

Matt

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Jerry Foley October 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

As an interested industry observer (my company EvolSwing will enter soon) I love this discourse. I am seeing some feedback from actual users and commentary from company spokespeople and unbiased reviews from GolfSpy. This is great stuff.

A little background……EvolSwing began 6 years ago and we spent more time on the “how do we learn” side than the hardware side because as we see with even a giant like Apple you can’t prevent copycat companies from duplicating your (hardware) ideas. The early pioneers in golf sensors took a linear path to solving swing problems, i.e. improving on the technology with smaller and faster devices. While all good the issue of how do we best learn still wasn’t answered. As GolfSpy Matt has stated several times you still need a good instructor. This is because, quite simply, if we could teach ourselves we would have by now. We can over time as most older golfers will affirm. But learning in the short term is still difficult.

Without revealing our approach technically EvolSwing looks at learning to swing better as “knowledge transfer”. How do I get my knowledge to the student? What works, what doesn’t? How do we modify behavior best? The standard methodology has always been the road of “automaticity” or similar to learning multiplication tables in your youth. This is called “rout learning”, doing the same thing over and over until it becomes “automatic” (this is confused with “muscle memory” which doesn’t exist). To become proficient in golf is akin to driving in a different city. The first time you went you might have needed a GPS or just drove around until you found your destination. If your trips there were infrequent you might get lost each time. But with repeated visits you eventually can drive through that city without even thinking about where you are going. You are processing thinking as a “background” function. As a youth I recall hearing Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus all saying how many balls they hit every day and made the connection that to be good at golf I too needed to hit 300 balls a day plus play at least 9 holes each day and then play competitive golf under pressure to hone my skills. This is the traditional way to learn.

Are there short-cuts to learning the golf swing? The swing devices we blog about here are certainly attempting to do just that. They claim to work through the influence of learner’s focus of attention, induced by “instruction” to modify behavior of motor-skill learning. This technically is called an “internal” focus of attention. In other words trying to modify behavior by controlling one’s body movement through swing data given by the device. Imagine having an instructor standing behind you and after hitting your drive with a slice into the woods telling you “you cut across that”. You probably already know you did but continue to listen and try to modify your swing behavior by adapting mechanical swing changes he recommends. Does this work? I’ll leave that to the individual to answer.

Another issue discussed here is the accuracy of these devices. Accuracy is somewhat deceiving since we are all after an end result and not just which device is most accurate. Accuracy is in the eye of the tester and is relevant only if the device were to give “inconsistent” data. My point is the golfer could theoretically think he is aiming at his target yet miss it right by 10 yards with the device indicating a perfect swing (path/clubface). As some have said they can’t tell where the target is but will measure your swing they are correct. But proper aim is always one of the golfer’s biggest mistakes. What should concern a buyer of a device is the ability to repeat swing data consistently or you cannot rely on what your eyes are telling you. All devices use “gyro’s” that indicate their position is space (actually “change” in 3 dimensional space). But gyro’s have an anomaly called “drift” that is typically overcome by “strapping” more than one (usually 3) together and taking an average running through an algorithm in software that is relatively accurate to some measurable tolerance and factored into the output data you see on their screens. Some devices may operate with a single gyro but may require a “reset” as the gyro becomes confused but the end game is whichever design they use is it durable, small, inconspicuous, easy to use, and does it deliver results.

What is really interesting is the cost of this technology. When we began 6 years ago we estimated our device might cost almost $1000 and couldn’t see how more than a few thousand might be sold. This is perhaps what Trackman and Flightscope saw years ago and developed their products for the teaching marketspace since who else could afford their large cost. Now we see these new consumer devices coming in at the price of a decent wristwatch. So the next frontier or hurdle will be how to make these products have staying power. I believe the winners will be the ones who figure out two things; what delivers better swing “learning”, and what is the best marketing channel for long term success. If we “listen” to what our customers want and bring new disruptive ideas to market golf will thrive and we all know golf needs that. Apple built a “walled garden” which is anathema to the Droid faithful but Apple makes 80% of the profit so you decide if they did it right or not. The end goal is will my product make my customer loyal and “want” to buy the “next new thing” I bring to market not just because it’s cool but because it integrates into everything I do with golf.

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Jmn October 29, 2012 at 8:41 am

This is getting more fascinating every day! Jerry, if you don’t mind could you give us an estimate when your product will be available?

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Stu October 30, 2012 at 7:25 am

Matt,

Great review.next one please include Swingtip;( http://www.swingtip.com). Looks good on website.
Would like to see how performs. Thanks.

stu

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GolfSpy Matt October 30, 2012 at 8:21 am

Stu,

Thanks. We’ve been in contact with them, and they should be involved next year.

Best,

Matt

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Stu November 1, 2012 at 1:53 am

Matt,

Found another interesting looking device called the Pocket Pro (www.pocketpro.org). Not yet released
but if it performs as well as advertised on website should definitely be considered for evaluation.

Want to pull the trigger now on the Swing Smart but there are so many “potentially” great and affordable swing analyzer
products coming soon! This new technology application is developing so much faster than clubs, shafts, balls, etc. Your review(s) are going to have a significant impact on these companies success and ultimately benefit the golfers.

Keep up the great work.

Stu

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GolfSense Jason November 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Wanted to let everyone know that GolfSense is now available for Android users! As a special thank you to all of the GolfSpy readers, you may use the promo code: “android25″ for a 25% discount on our website (www.golfsense.me) this month.

Google Play link:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zepp.golfsense&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS56ZXBwLmdvbGZzZW5zZSJd

Also, starting tomorrow GolfSense will be available in all Verizon stores around the country.

Thank you!

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Keval November 23, 2012 at 3:46 am

Very interesting discussion. I am very pleased I did not buy the Swingbyte a few months back. But then again it is tough to make a purchase these days with the promise of better technology in the weeks and months ahead.

I was wondering if Golfspy and or the manufacturers could shed some light on the following questions:

1. Could we get a little more information on the comparison of the putting functionality. As we all know putting is 50% of the game and if a piece of technology can help in improving that as well as the long game, there is value to be gained.

2. Most of the manufactures have stated that they are introducing new data and better data constantly in updates. Does that not mean a firmware update on the actual hardware. Most of the updates spoken of seem to be software related and to me that really does not improve the feedback/functionality of the product.

3. Optishot is not a lot more expensive than some of these units. Do you feel that it maybe a better buy in terms if better feedback/data to make changes to a swing than any of the reviewed devices?

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GolfSpy Matt November 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

Keval,

Thanks for the great questions. Here’s what I know:

1) The things that both Swing Smart and Swing Byte give you for putting are: face angle at impact (relative to address), tempo, shaft lean, and a visual of the path. Swing Byte also gives you a number for path, but, as I mentioned above, I’m not in love with it. I think the common elements are good in both: you can see if you have a tendency to hit putts with an open/closed face, and you can get an idea what you path looks like. Tempo is also highly underrated; you can see my Tour Tempo review for more info on that.

2. I’m not nearly technical enough to be able to speak to this point. Hopefully one of the manufacturers will chime in.

3. Optishot is a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t put a ton of stock in it being precise. If, however, you think you’ll get value out of the “game” aspect of Optishot, and you want something to give you a rough idea about your swing, it’s a really nice pick up. I have a review of Optishot on here as well from a couple years back.

Hope that helps.

Best,

Matt

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GolfSense Jason November 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

Regarding firmware vs. application software there are enormous amounts of changes that can be made without needing firmware updates assuming the “right” firmware was initially put on the device. I can’t speak to the other products, but am guessing that most of us are in the same boat when it comes to this. Firmware on these devices largely controls bluetooth antenna functionality, sensor output (data streams), battery usage, and other functions such as buttons for on/off. I’m generalizing to keep things simple. Since most of the devices in this discussion have very little storage “on board”, and use bluetooth to stream the data to a mobile device for actual processing and storage, little computation takes place in the device.

So… the feature enhancements were all talking about are taking place in the mobile application where the real processing is done. Essentially, there is a large data stream coming from the device that is being interpreted by software.

I’ll use an example for GolfSense (not meant to be a positioning statement at all):
With the release of GolfSense 2.8.3 we added about 12 new features including swing plane comparison, hand speed, and others. All of these new features were instantly available on all your previous swings that were saved in the app. Again, we had all the swing data from the 4 sensors in the device stored. The new software simply showed more info using this data. We call them “features” our engineering teams might refer to them as “data views”.

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SwingSmart Angelo November 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hi Keval,

Thank you for the following the shootout and participating in the comment section. I hope our answers will be helpful.

1. In the putting feature on our App, we give you the information that Matt wrote about and additionally, you can zoom in and out to see your clubface and path in great detail. Also, we give you a 3D graphic look at the whole putter throughout the stroke from a “full body view”. It would be like having a camera that would allow you to see yourself 360 degrees, so you can see if you have any forward presses,hitches, pauses, or any type of hitting motion in your putting stroke that is leading to inconsistencies.

2.This is an excellent question, and GolfSense Jason explained the general situation very nicely. The SwingSmart makes use of the module hardware and associated software that lives in the module (i.e. “firmware”) to acquire the swing data, manage the user’s interactions with the button, lights, and battery, as well as transport the data via the on-board Bluetooth radio. In many ways, it behaves like your Cellular Bluetooth headset, except, instead of your voice being sent to your phone/tablet, it sends data about your golf swing. All of the “heavy thinking” that’s conducted to turn that data into the swing information and 3D SwingView is done inside our Physics Engine in the App. Anytime we make a refinement in our Physics Engine, that change becomes part of the next free App download from the App store. So, again like your Bluetooth headset, the hardware and its firmware remain the same, even as the overall product improves. We put in a lot of planning and thorough testing of our SwingSmart firmware to ensure that all of the improvements we continue to make are able to be fully realized through our App software updates.

I hope this helps.

All the Best,

Angelo

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Jmn November 27, 2012 at 4:29 am

Pocket Pro seems be out of the game. The website is no longer active. (www.pocketpro.org)

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Brett Theissen November 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

Seems like the site is back up. I contacted them directly and they had some very exciting/promising news. Time will tell if they are correct. They asked me not to divulge it, however I would encourage you to contact them if you are interested.
- B

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Ren December 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Hi trying to buy a present for my hubbie who is handicap 26 maybe a little bit better, to be fair im not sure but he is obsessed with the game and it’s our wedding anniversary so want to surprise him.
Which one do I get? I was going to go with the apple golf sense pro one, because of cost/the backing from apple, but then came across this review which is very detailed.
Sorry for being ignorant but if someone is a handicap of 26 and they want to improve their golf swing, which one would I go for? Would you recommend spending the extra £100 for the swing smart? Also does anyone know a retailer in uk that has it , I’m googling and it’s saying it’s been released but can anyone post a link to somewhere that stocks it please.
Thank you for your help in advance

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Golfspy Matt December 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Ren,

My recommendation would be the Swing Smart, regardless of his handicap. As I wrote above, all of these devices work best with some instruction, so I would recommend that it be used in conjunction with some lessons. Whether with or without lessons, I feel like the Swing Smart provides the most accurate and most actionable data of the three that were tested.

As for where to buy it, I believe that Swing Smart can be purchased through Golfsmith, but I don’t know if Golfsmith ships internationally. Hopefully Angelo will chime in with more info on that.

Best,

Matt

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SwingSmart Angelo December 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Hi Ren,

Congratulations on your Anniversary and thank you for considering the SwingSmart for your husband’s gift. I see that you have also contacted us at [email protected] so I have contacted you personally with the details for purchasing the SwingSmart. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.

Best Regards,

Angelo

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Ryan Tetrault December 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

It is interesting that you mention the fact that when the Swing Smart gives you a face angle of 2 degrees open and you say you hit a draw when the reading must be wrong, but the attached article shows that you club must be open to hit a draw (assuming you hit it online with your target). It is only confusing if you think that your club face must be closed to your swing path to hit a draw. This article does a great job of explaining how to hit the draw and does give face angle to path numbers to get the draw that most golfers desire.

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/2012-12/sean-foley-law-of-the-draw

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Paul December 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Swingsmart, Swingbyte, 3Bays GSA Pro, SwingTIP – choices, choices, choices!

Mygolfspy has done a great job at providing a detailed overview on some of the devices that are now available on the market. I have used all of the devices and thought I would provide some brief comments on my own experiences. First of all everybody should recognize these are not super expensive Trackman devices but as long as the data they provide is consistent they will provide a baseline for the user to measure their improvement.

Swingsmart:

Unfortunately the unit I received had a faulty sensor and had difficulty recording all swings or accurate information. This appears to be same type of problem Mygolfspy Tim experienced and does speak well for a premium priced product. However I was able to review the app and other characteristics of the unit.
The app gets an A+ for it’s design which includes flexible multiple views in addition to a zoom capability. The unit installs on the shaft just below the grip using an adapter plate that is moulded round and a strap both of which sufficient contact to eliminate slippage. However I found it difficult time trying to align the plate to the club face.The app provides limited swing data – Face angle (to address or path the latter probably more important), Tempo and MPH..

3Bays GSA Prp

THis unit is the easiest to install as it inserts into the hole on the butt end of the grip. This makes it very easy to move from club to club. The durability of the tip remains to be seen.
It is also easy to align the sensor to the face angle using the marks on the sensor to the installed grip. Provides both plane views (target and face) but not a path or overhead view.
Provides more swing data than Swingsmart but some information may be more interesting than useful. Also face angle to path or address is not defined.

Swingbyte

I know Mygolfspy did not give this product a good recommendation and the biggest issue was slippage of the sensor on the shaft. I agree this is a problem which Swingbyte has recognized and have made available an impoved strap and an adaptor that can be installed between the sensor and the shaft. Solve this problem and I would rate this product better than all the rest and is priced far more reasonably than Swingsmart.

The app itself is well designed and provides far more data than the others. Some of it can be overwhelming but the user can choose what information they want to see. The graphics are great especially on an iPad in landscape view. It also provides reference lines for projected ball flight and club position from all angles that can be useful in analyzing the swing. However it does not have the ability to notate the ball flight for each swing which would useful to compare to the swing data.Swing tempo results are provided but the numbers I recorded seemed high but could be a misunderstanding of when the sensor is determining the start of the backswing.

SwingTIP

Like the Swingsmart this unit also attaches to the grip using an adapter plate. This unit is the most secure of all the units as it uses a clamping device and also provides an adaptor for smaller shafts if required.However it is cumbersome to move the plate from one club to another.

The unit provides very little swing data in comparison to other products. Only graphical information is provided for swing path, contact on clubface and club face angle.The club face angle to address or swing path is not clear. The swing path graphical results are suspect as try as hard as i could I could not achieve anything other than an outside in path result in 109 trys.Swing speed and tempo numbers are provided but I do not believe the swing speed numbers. The app only knows if you are using a driver, wood or iron without knowing the different shaft lengths. The other apps require setting up club details to compute some of the swing data results.

Tip

All of these units communicate between the sensor and the IOS device using Bluetooth which can be problematic especially if you have multiple IOS devices. My recommendation is that after each session with the app that you “forget this device” in the Bluetooth settings. This requires pairing the unit each time you use it in the future but eliminates problems that can occur with Bluetooth in the future which can be frustrating.

Bottom Line

As a consumer you have to decide if this technology is cost effective in providing useful golf swing information that you can use to change your swing or is just a toy that you will use for short time then relegate to the basement to collect dust when the novelty wears off. I would suggest that the best use is in conjunction with a teaching professional that can review the swing data with the actual ball flight and suggest changes for the next swing.

If you just go the driving range and hit/record a hundred of so swings you may be overwhelmed with all the data results unless you are prepared to spend the time to review this information.

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Rob December 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thank you very much for all of the comments, GS Matt great review of the products. I was going to purchase the Swing Smart but Paul’s review was very helpful. I think the putting thing is being overlooked! The gentleman earlier made a great point to that and that will go into my decision for sure. This discussion has been so very helpful and want to thank all, I’ve never commented on a forum like this and was so impressed that I wanted to be part of it as it moves forward. Christmas is coming and the in laws want to get me something and these are on the short list, now I just need to tell them which one, thanks Paul and Matt…Matt you do/did great work, THANKS!

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Alex with Swingbyte December 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

Rob,

Thanks for joining the conversation. You’re quite right that putting is a very important part of the product offering, and that’s why Swingbyte focused on having it be part of the app from day one.

Please let me know if I can answer any questions.

Thanks,
Alex.

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Rob Hansen December 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Thanks Alex, very kind of you to reply. I do have a few concerns and maybe you can help alleviate them; I do feel the SS has a better design from a construction standpoint yours does look a little bulky although I have not seen it in real life, the slipping problem that I have heard from a few users has kept me from purchase thus far but Paul mentioned earlier there was a slight change in the design and that he had no issues, can you provide some clarity on that. I like the price and I do like the app what little I have seen.

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Alex with Swingbyte December 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Rob,

Some users did experience a bit of twisting in the past, depending on the shaft type and the size of the divot taken. To address this, all new Swingbytes come with adhesive mounting tabs that prevent the unit from twisting. You can read more about them here:

http://blog.swingbyte.com/post/32004986622/swingbyte-adhesive-mounting-tabs-now-available

One added benefit is that once these are on, they ensure that you install your Swingbyte the same way on the same club, session to session.

Thanks and keep the questions coming,
Alex

Jerry Foley December 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

I would be very interested to hear from golfers who have purchased any of these swing analyzers on how they have actually helped your game. It would be good to see if there is a good cross-section of handicaps from scratch players to high handicappers to see if these devices provide the help each is looking for. It would be helpful also if purchasers related any operational problems and if this has diminished your original enthusiasm. Additional questions might be “do you use these in practice and/or in actual play”? “Do you come home and study the data”? “Have you emailed any swing data to a Pro for analysis”? “Have you used your device along with any other technology such as a TrackMan or in a hitting booth with analysis”? “Has your swing improved”? And lastly, “Are you happy with your purchase”?

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SwingSmart Angelo December 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Hi Rob,

Thank you for your feedback on the SwingSmart. When we designed the SwingSmart, we really focused on how golfers practiced and played, then we designed our technology to help them improve. As a golfer, if you look at how many putts we all take in any round as a percent of total strokes, it’s pretty easy to see why it’s so important to work on our putting.

With that in mind, we designed the SwingSmart App to give you the unique ability to examine your putts from any angle and to allow you to zoom in right to the face to see if you are adding a “hit” to your putts or any other extra motion that stops you from getting the consistent results we are all looking for.

Also, if you are working with another putting trainer that is a path guide, you can groove your putting stroke, save it as “your Best” then use the SwingSmart to do a side-by-side comparison when you are no longer using the guide. Thank you and please let me know if you have any more questions.

All the Best,

Angelo

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brian December 22, 2012 at 7:40 am

Nice reviews. Nice to red an ACTUAL review and not a puff piece that blurs the line between advertising and reviews like many other sites these days. Bravo!

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tstrike December 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Well this was quite insightful.

Based on what I read in terms of my pocketbook and feedback from the vendors, I am going to give SwingByte a shot.

Thanks for the comprensive review. It helped me out a lot.

I wonder if my Blackberry Playbook can run the Android app (Playbook has an Android runtime which allows for running Droid apps).

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RC December 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

What about Ernest Sports ES12 launch monitor? Have any plans to review? At the same price as the SwingSmart, I’d be interested to see how it compares in your tests.

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Paul Thornton December 27, 2012 at 6:31 am

A comparison of the Ernest Sports Launch monitor to SwingSmart, Swingbyte, etc is like comparing apples to oranges. The launch monitor calculates ball speed and distance or the results of the swing while swing analyzers are primarily showing the swing itself.

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RC December 27, 2012 at 11:23 am

From what I read, ES12 uses your smartphone to video the swing, as well. Each of these devices offer different features aimed at improving one’s swing. Other than the fact that the ES12 doesn’t mount to the club or the glove, the information gleaned will produce the same desired outcome…a better understanding of what our swing faults and remedies are. To that end, I’d have to say it’s apples to apples.

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Golfspy Matt December 31, 2012 at 7:24 am

We have contacted Ernest Sports multiple times about a review, to no avail. If they’re at the PGA Show, I will try to set something up with them there.

If we are able to get it in for review, it won’t be for a shootout like this. I agree with Paul, it’s an apples-to-oranges thing. We do have plans to expand this shootout to include more devices next year as this category continues to expand.

Best,

Matt

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Paul Thornton December 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

I stand somewhat corrected.

Although the ES12 can connect to smartphone to video a swing you would need 2 cameras to get both a face-on and down-the-line view to determine the swing path, club face angle and shot outcome.

However, the ES12 could be a useful device but after looking at the cost some of these device I wonder if an investment in professional lessons would be money better spent.

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Golfspy Matt December 31, 2012 at 7:27 am

Hopefully this isn’t seen as nitpicking, but:

I don’t care how many cameras you set up, you’re not going to accurately capture club path without doppler radar. I guess I might make an exception for really high end systems like Foresight’s HTM and the like, but golfers should not be under the impression that you can see path from a down-the-line video.

You point about lessons is well taken. I tried to make that point in the article: these devices are very helpful IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH. Most people, without instruction, have NO IDEA what they’re trying to do or why.

Best,

Matt

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jeff primm December 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Does it show WHY the golf shank comes into play ? Doesn’t show the swing fault ?

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RC December 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

You might be right, but since the SwingSmart is the same price, I was hoping our GolfSpy gurus would have a look and share their results. Of course, these things take time, so I’m just putting it out there, and maybe we’ll see something from them in the coming months.

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Watto December 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Good review on the trainingj aids. I,ve just recieve the golf sense for christmas and yet to use it. One observation of your review, the photl shows the yellow button away from the wrist while my instructions state that it should be toward the wrist. Has the fitting changed since or would this have affected the results?

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Golfspy Matt December 31, 2012 at 7:30 am

Watto,

Nice catch, I can’t believe no one else has picked up on that!

What happened here (and this is often the case), is that I shot the pictures as soon as the devices arrived. I do this so that A) the products are brand new and clean and B) I can throw away all the boxes and packaging. On occasion, this leads to a goofy picture like you see above.

Pictures aside, all testing was done in full compliance with the instructions.

That said, if you read the review, you’ll see that I have no issue with the accuracy of the readings from Golf Sense. My issue is with data it provides and how actionable it is for golfers.

Best,

Matt

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mark higgins January 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I am now stocking swingbyte in the UK, contact me if your interested in buying one

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mark higgins January 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

stay alert for developments swingbyte have paired up with flightscope

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Sky January 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Would any of these devices benefit from being paired up with P3ProSwing or the OptiShot… or would the information be redundant?

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GolfSpy Matt January 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Sky,

Great question. I’m not sure about redundancy, but I do think that unless the golfer really understood the strengths and weaknesses of each system, it would be confusing. Simple example: all of the devices reviewed here measure most things relative to the club’s starting position. The Optishot measures things relative to the lines of sensors on the mat. As a result, you could get wildly different face and path numbers from the two devices and end up wondering which one to trust.

Best,

Matt

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Sky January 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Thanks Matt, that’s kind of what I was thinking… Let’s say that we consider Swing Smart with a home budget device that gives accurate distance, launch angle, ball path, and AOA. (Maybe the P3ProSwing, which is reported to be more accurate than OptiShot and has a launch angle option). It may take some effort to get your setup to match, but it could be a valuable combination?

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GolfSpy Matt January 16, 2013 at 8:20 am

Sky,

Absolutely. In my opinion, the Swing Smart is very helpful by itself. If you can pair it up with a system that gives you a reasonably reliable look at ball flight, you would have a very nice system.

Best,

Matt

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Aron January 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I’d love to see these hooked up to a golf game so I could play a round in my garage.

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Jmn January 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Was anything new introduced at PGA show?

Swingbyte introduced a second gen. Version but I don’t know what they have changed.

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Alex with Swingbyte January 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Hi Jim,

You can learn about Swingbyte2 here:

http://swingbyte.com/sb2

Thanks,
Alex.

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dkit January 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Does that mean we wasted our money on swingbyte1?

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Alex with Swingbyte February 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

Not at all. The new app will work with SB1 the same as SB2, and there will be a loyalty discount for current SB users. That will be announced shortly.

Thanks,
Alex.

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dkit February 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm

HI Alex Swingbyte,

Thanks for letting me know, but I wonder in what respect you would be able to improve the software? The current tablet app is almost close to being at a scientific level. It even tells me where/when I start to accelerate the shaft, how I roll (rotate) my wrists. I didnt mean that sw1 users might not have access to the new app. As a matter of fact, I meant that you will probably stop supporting the current version, and not correct few bugs in it.

Sorry Matt, but I think you missed the most important point, the devices you reviewed are not just pistols, but GPS guided missiles that ought to be able to pinpoint a vessel in the middle of the ocean, and I totally disagree with you which one gets closer to its target.

Ed February 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

The SwingSmart I received was a dud.

Three problems with the meter itself:

1) Stopped working: The meter stopped working within 1 hour of my first driving range session. I could not get it to reconnect nor could I get it to turn back on. I charged it up the night before to 100%. I have tried it several times since and it never turned back on.

2) Incorrect swing speed: It incorrectly recorded my 8 iron ranging from 82-92 mph, with multiple readings at 92 mph. That’s too fast.

3) Incorrect swing plane: It incorrectly recorded a PGA professional coming “over the top” on multiple swings; even with an exaggerated inside-out swing plane, it showed him coming over the top; i was standing behind the pro and he was not coming over the top.

I am still waiting to hear back from SwingSmart (it has been almost 3 weeks) to send me a replacement. They told me they’ll FedEx me a new unit, but so far I’ve received nothing. Waiting patiently, but my patience is running out.

Based on my experience, save your money – I do not recommend purchasing the SwingSmart.

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Angelo February 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Hi Ed,

Sorry that you had an issue with your SwingSmart. We have sold thousands of SwingSmarts and are very dissapointed that you got a dud. We have a one year warranty on the module and we will not be satisfied until you are enjoying your SwingSmart. The wait for a replacement was a bit longer than we would have liked but I wanted to make sure that you got one of the latest modules with our new Panasonic switch. I thought you would like it better. We just received the new ones and they are going out this week via FedEx.

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Ed February 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

Angelo @ SwingSmart is top shelf. He’s true to his word and sent me a replacement module via FedEx. The only problem is, the replacement module was so small that my wife didn’t see the module wrapped in the paper and accidentally recycled it! So I returned my original SwingSmart set and plan on purchasing a new one in the future.

In summary, my experience with the SwingSmart was mixed – the product showed great promise but had a few bugs in it. The customer service and support from Angelo @ SwingSmart is excellent, and gives me the confidence to do business with his Company again. Due to a boneheaded move within my household – and at no fault to SwingSmart, I returned my SwingSmart. My plan is to purchase a new SwingSmart in the future.

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Jmn February 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

I’m ready to part with my money now. When can I buy a swingsmart Alex?

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Alex with Swingbyte February 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

Assuming you meant me, Swingbyte 1 is available for sale now, Swingbyte 2 will be available for pre-order shortly, and shipping in April..

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Jmn February 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

I did and thanks for the swift reply.

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DD February 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Hi Angelo,
I have just ordered my Swingsmart from amazon.ca
Is it going to be the one with your new Panasonic switch on it? Please confirm.
Thanks.
DD

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SwingSmart Angelo February 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm
dkit February 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Alex Swingbyte,

Thanks for letting me know, but I wonder in what respect you would be able to improve the software? The current tablet app is almost close to being at a scientific level. It even tells me where/when I start to accelerate the shaft, how I roll (rotate) my wrists. I didnt mean that sw1 users might not have access to the new app. As a matter of fact, I meant that you will probably stop supporting the current version, and not correct few bugs in it.

Sorry Matt, but I think you missed the most important point, the devices you reviewed are not just pistols, but GPS guided missiles that ought to be able to pinpoint a vessel in the middle of the ocean, and I totally disagree with you which one gets closer to its target.

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Alex with Swingbyte February 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm

dkit,

Thanks for your support!

There are a bunch of improvements in the SB2 app:

- synchronized, auto-trimmed video
- true ball target line
- side-by-side comparison
- improved ui and usability

The SB2 app will replace the SB1 app you use today, so you’ll always have app support for your device

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dkit February 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm

HI Alex,
I have just checked your page http://swingbyte.com/sb2.to see what is exactly your second
generation.
” Intelligent Target Line” !? . Hmmm.. That’s a good homework for us to work on. Are you going to figure out the target line using the initial back swing trajectory path, as projected on the ground? The graphics on the above web page indicate so. In that case though, when the golfer tries to hit a draw, or a fade, the club head does not take off along the target line, although he keeps the club face square at address. In any case, let us think about it a little more, maybe its something else.

It is to your credit that you decided to include a target line in your so far apps. No one else dared to do so. No other manufacturer gives a quantitative value for the angle between club path – target line (please correct me if I am wrong).

In the current app version, you figure out the target line from the orientation of the device, as it is mounted on the shaft,considering of course that the club face is perfectly squared at address . But do you think you were thoughtful enough to warn users what would be the consequences if they oriented the device, lets say, at one minute past 3 o’clock instead of at 3 o’clock exactly, or their club face was few degrees closed or open at address?. One minute corresponds to 6 degrees. In the first case, the sensors in the device would report to the software that the reference target line is at six degrees open to the actual target line, and then despite that the sensors are accurate and there are no bugs in the software, impact parameters are seemingly wrong, and of course the given grade in any review would be an F(ailure).

By the way,in case it was unoticed by participants, SwingSmart offers a visual aid gadget to help users to square precisely the club at address (to ensure a correct measurement of face to address angle), while SwingTip goes one step farther and includes a sight lever in their holster! Well, in this high tech era a manufacturer should just incorporate in the device a laser diode with a cylidrical lens in front of it to facilitate precise orientation of the device to the actual target line.

Alex, thanks for letting us know about the new features, but my face is a very skeptical replica of that of the “not impressed” McKalea Maroney meme. Personally, I consider swingbyte and its current set of visual and numerical features, not just better than the other devices, but to be a complete set for a thorough analysis and diagnosis of the golf swing. Well, in order to be complete please just draw the club shaft length according to its actual length, which indeed is done by the software at your web page. It might be a very simple bug, as that the distance of the shaft lower tip from the sensors case is considered to be L (length of shaft) instead of L- 10.5″ (at least qualitatively seems to be one grip length longer). As it is in the app, all visual information about what the hands are doing are lost, especially near impact and in the follow through stage. Please, compare swings in the web page at in the tablet, its obvious by comparing the tracks of the shaft butt.

For the reason that your current set of data is the the min requirement for all sophisticated analysis, I was scared when I saw in the upcoming app solid color trajectory lines, no laser lines, club length to be still out of proportion, indication that data along the trajectory will be absent, introduction of video recording (the max nominal rate for a tablet cam is 30 Hz, while your sensors max nominal rate could be 800-1000 Hz with a resolution-how much is it really? microsecs range?, then what is the significance to compare a video to the swingbyte graphics that shows the position of the club shaft every 3-4 msecs? Of course, we all understand that it is absolutely necessary to make the device more appealing to the vast majority of golf gadget hunters, but at least leave in the android market two versions, one unspoiled scientific version for either “advanced users” or non empirical golf teachers (minority), and another for all golf addicts(vast majority). At some point, two-three pages tutorial should be written for them who have a desire to look carefully to their swing, instead for waiting the device to tell them how far they could hit the ball, why they do not look where it was landed in the first place?

Instead of comparing two swings, an advanced user would prefer to give him the 3D polar coordinates of the viewer’s eye, and an x,y,z set of axis with a scale on them instead of the annoying human figure inside the swing trajectory. Suppose that a golfer takes a pause before starting his downswing, then how to check his downswing time ? There is a time bar at the bottom of the graphics screen, you could put some ticks along it, or give us a timer at the bottom as there is in any video analysis software. Just few software lines are required.

What the 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 above the time bar stand for ?. Is it the moment the shaft is on a horizontal and vertical plane? Why the position of the club at those moments in web page differs from the position in the app?

The values phase to address,club path , and face to path have a certain functional relation, one of them can always be calculated from the others. Which one is directly acquired from the sensors? I would say the phase to address ( this may also be deduced from the inclusion of this value in the swingsmart’s set of data). Then, even in the case the sensor is not oriented correctly, one of these three value, and likely the phase to address, is still correct.

If anyone carelessly mounts the device, without exactly following the 3 o’clock rule, then he puts a blindfold driver in a Bugatti Venom sports car. No matter how high tech it is, it will be crashed on no time. Of course, personally I do not use the rubber strap at all, just two pieces of black electrical tape work fine, no slippage, use of double adhesive grip tape instead of the extra tab helps even more .
Cheers,

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SwingSmart Angelo February 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hi Ed,

So I guess we succeeded in making them very light!!

Please send me an email and I will get a new one out to you.

All the Best,

Angelo

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tanker10a February 21, 2013 at 9:28 am

This is great product comparison for these golf training aids. The upside to these products is that they are objective about what your golf Pro is saying about your golf swing. I have gotten a great deal on the GolfSense from Golf Galaxy. My Golf Pro told me about it and I have had it sense. The major deal maker for me about this device is that I can keep it attached to my glove’s Velcro, namely its portability. Because it’s very practical to take this device away from the driving range and onto the golf course so that you can see exactly how your golf swing compared to that of the perfect driving range’s environment.
The downside of this device is that the software cannot send share the entire movie. It literally sends a snapshot. I have shared with my email and that’s all that I have got. The golf bag can use some customization work as far knowing exactly how many clubs you swing from your bag because it retains 14 clubs versus 13 (no allowance for the putter). I like the calendar feature because it remembers the last you use through the History Feature. It would be great to have the capability to download and to store my numerical data onto a desktop (spreadsheet)…Anything like real numbers compiled to help with my Pro’s session.
That is a very good grade…Cheers!

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jason February 22, 2013 at 9:03 am

Face Angle to Path – The face angle to path is accurate for what it is. It’s calculated relative to the horizontal swing plane, NOT the resultant or true path (meaning I can get a “Face to Path” reading of 2* open but hit draws). I think this might confuse people more than help them.

If I am not mistaken isnt that the correct way to hit a draw? The ball will not overdraw across your target when the face is open to the path as long as path is in to out and the face is open half as much as the path but closed to the target ie into out path 4 deg and face open 2 degrees???

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GolfSpy Matt February 22, 2013 at 9:06 am

The ball will not draw if the face is open to the path.
The face can be open relative to the TARGET, but it cannot be open to the PATH for a draw.

-Matt

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Jerry Foley February 22, 2013 at 9:53 am

Well not to be a “fun-hater” but there are some “other” factors to consider relative to hitting a draw with an open face. There is a highly technical blog site out there that goes into very detailed discussion on these topics, i.e. “open face draws” for example. One discussion I read had to do with something called “closure rate” which means that although the face is open relative to path, if the face is in a closing mode the millisecond or so the ball is on the face will induce slight hook spin. I’m not making this stuff up. They also get into the “D” plane and how TrackMan has created the new terminology of “Angle of Attack”. Warning, if you dive into this stuff your head will hurt.

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GolfSpy Matt February 22, 2013 at 10:30 am

Jerry,

First, we have to recognize that “open” is a relative term, so it needs context. I think a lot of this “open faced draw” stuff is very confusing to some people, perhaps intentionally so.

The things that contribute to ball flight are: club face, club path (true or resultant path), impact location/gear effect, and rate of closure.

You actually have the last bit backwards: counterintuitively, the faster the rate of closure, the more “fade” spin the ball will have. Regardless, I think that the RoC piece is the least important of all the factors.

This stuff needn’t be complicated and there are dozens of good sites and videos that explain it. It boils down to hitting the ball on the center of the face with the right path and club face for the desired shot.

-Matt

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Jerry Foley February 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

The link below isn’t for those who bore easily. I attach it not to argue any theory but to show much research is needed. Radar units don’t actually see the club face but rely on modeling and math to reconstruct what just happened. Matt’s point is well put and frankly most all of us don’t have repeating swings anyway so you may conclude ‘what’s the point?’. The real issue is can you make your swing better through analysis? i.e. if you knew you were cutting across the ball causing you to continually slice, would seeing any of this data, whether high speed photography or radar or any other tech analysis change your present swing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzp4B-RyeBg

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GolfSpy Matt February 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Jerry,

You’ll get no argument from me that more research should be done, but it should be done by scientists. I’m not a scientist by a long shot, but the video you posted (which I’m familiar with) seems loaded with problems. Furthermore, if you’re up on your “internet golf instructor p***ing matches,” you know that there’s a lot of beef between the guy who posted that video and another instructor who is a big Trackman promoter which makes the video and his conclusions questionable due to bias and personal interest, in my opinion.

As for whether or not analysis makes people better, that’s a great question. I think the data is necessary: it tells you what’s happening and to what extent, and it eliminates the guessing. The real skill in golf instruction or in golfing is taking that information and knowing how to interpret it and how to change things to make the numbers better.

Best,

Matt

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Jerry Foley February 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Yes Matt you are right. And the first company that can effectively show before and after swing improvement will sell a boatload of devices.

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GolfSpy Matt February 25, 2013 at 7:49 am

That’s a very interesting idea for an ad or a test/review/article. The problem, of course, is all the confounding variables: outside information, practice time, etc, but it still presents a very interesting idea. I think the next generation of devices are going to do a lot more with training modes to help users make real changes to their swing. It will be very interesting to watch.

-Matt

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David Laf February 25, 2013 at 7:41 am

OK, after reading / re-reading and digesting your excellent review (and comments), I’m a prospective purchaser. As of now (25feb13), on a comparison basis, the Swing Smart has my “nod”. Before I make the purchase, I’m suspicious of measurement accuracy. A previous commenter (JohnK 4mos past I believe) raised the contention that this was an issue & using TrackMan in a side-by-side comparison proved such.

Was this a valid comment then? Have there been any accuracy test (with TrackMan) more recently? What is the accuracy assessment (SwingSmart) as of now (25feb13)?

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GolfSpy Matt February 25, 2013 at 7:47 am

David,

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the review.

First, just for clarity, we used, and continue to use, FlightScope, for our testing. We have not done any further testing since the review. We are planning to do a second shootout with the updates and new devices this spring/summer. We will start putting that together in March and *hope* that the review will be ready by June or July.

I stand by all of the comments that I made in the initial review, but it’s certainly possible that other people had different experiences. It’s a very new product type with lots of kinks to work out. Those kinks are being worked out at amazing speed and I think that as good as the devices are now, the ones we will see this year and next will be even better.

I hope that helps. If not, please feel free to send more questions my way.

Best,

Matt

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Raviv February 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Great review, very helpful. I understand that it takes a tremendous amount of time to review these products and I am thankful for everyone here who has pitched in. I understand your initial review and the stance you took was very clear about Swingbyte. While I respect your opinion, as I have not used any of these devices other than flightscope and trackman, I am curious why you continue to stand very firmly about your original opinion. It has been a long time since you initially reviewed these items, and it seems from this thread that multiple fixes and software updates have improved if not corrected these items. Is there a reason why you still feel so strongly since a lot has transpired since the intial test, i.e. you have used it since and those fixes didn’t really work, such as the tabs provided and more importantly the info that the Swingbyte rep posted here that changes had been made to the software to compare more consistently with flightscope? It seems that if those items were indeed fixed and if they indeed work well, it would be cause for at least a more impartial follow up.

I found your initial review to be very useful, and I appreciate your opinions. It is a fine line to walk between being impartial and giving good direction when you have a passionate opinion or piece of advice. In this case, we are dealing with an entirely new segment within the industry. While it is important to be impartial in the initial review, I find it equally if not more important to remain impartial as these companies continue to work through the faults you identified. In the end, if you identified issues that they have been responsive to, I think it would be helpful to know that, so we can understand why you still have such a strong opinion.

I understand the the new SB2 and new items will be released this summer, however my questions revolve around the fixes that have been applied to the original Swingbyte. Thanks for the great forum.

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Golfspy Matt February 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Raviv,

Thank you for the comment. I fear that I was, at best, imprecise with what I said in response to David. What I meant, and should have said, was that I stand by all of the POSITIVE remarks that I made in the original review. Specifically, my experience was that Swing Smart correlated reasonably well with FlightScope which contrasted with a reader’s comment. I apologize for the clumsiness of my comment.

I have no comments about any upgrades or fixes that have been made since the review. As I think I said earlier in the comment section, after completing this review, I had no enthusiasm to do anything more with these devices. My plate is already full with other projects and these devices are constantly improving; trying to keep a running review going would have been a disservice to the readers and to MyGolfSpy. There will not be any follow up to this review short of a full blown second shoot out that will happen this spring and summer.

-Matt

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Kent February 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Great info on the various device comparisons. I have a Golfsense. I like it regardless of what I’ve read here. I took Golfsense to a range this past weekend with my buddies; including our club champion. It was fun to use, easy to understand readouts, and it immediately improved all our ball striking. It goes without saying all these swing aid’s data output and graphics should be taken with a grain of salt regarding accuracy. But they can be a great tool if used as intended. I found this can be accomplished by capturing a swings data, evaluate the swing (on ipad for me), make an adjustment, then swing again; then do an immediate comparision from one swing to the next. Bam! improved swing. Golfsense does that in spades. So at $126 Golfsence made the most sense if you don’t expect the moon.

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Angelo March 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I received the GolfSense as a birthday present in Dec 2012. I can sync it to my Iphone, but it does not hold sync. So everytime I go up to the tee, or on the fairway ready for my next shot, I have to sync it again. I found it so frustrating it ruined my game. I have been back to GolfSense who released an update to the app to resolve the issue, but the problem still persists. So now, it just sits in the draw and gathers dust.

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GolfSense Jason March 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Hi Angelo,
Sorry to hear you had some problems with your GolfSense device. Sounds like there may be an issue with the bluetooth module. Please feel free to contact me directly — jason (at) golfsense.me and we’ll get you taken care of.

Thank you,
Jason
CEO – GolfSense, Inc.

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HARVEY NORRIS March 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Have you an opinion on the new Skypro from Skycaddie which is being launched at the end of March 2013. http://www.golfskypro.com/en-GB/features#True-3D-Playback
It looks a far superior product to the three you reviewed and has the bonus of the grove your swing addition.
Please let me know your initial thoughts?
Harvey

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GolfSpy Matt March 8, 2013 at 3:18 am

Harvey,

It definitely looks like it could be a great product. We are hoping to include it in our 2013 High Tech Swing Trainer Shootout.

Best,

Matt

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alfred aita June 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

Hello I just purchased one see my comments for 6/25/2013
Al

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Tom Miller March 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm

The swingbyte had its problems when it was released, but most of the ones you have pointed out have either been solved with a software updates or I just haven’t experienced the same issues.

#1 I don’t have the slippage you experienced. At most, sometimes it will slip 5 – 10 degrees and takes moments to realign. I only experience the vibration issue on poorly hit balls.
#2 Was hitting today and if felt like it took about 3 seconds to record the swing. Also as someone else mentioned, even with the older software, it made you slow down between shots, which is probably a good thing. What is annoying is the amount of time it takes to sink between changing clubs. I hope they fix that. I understand from their forums this is an “android” feature.
#3 The calibration issue was a bug in the software that has long since been fixed.
#4 I guess the online software could be too complicated for the average software user. I am an advanced user and love it. Along with the unlimited angles, there are 3 built in standard angles that would be easy for an average user to use. You can also drag the slider or click any place on the play bar (vs just using the play button) to see the swing at any point and see Plane Angel, Club Head Speed, and Face to Path.
#5 I see your point with the numbers for FlightScope and Trackman. But most outdoor training pros don’t use them, so giving it an “F” for that reason I think is a little harsh. Glad to see they updated their software for the few people that would affect.

Looking forward to next years review where swingbyte’s current fixes will already be in place.

Keep up the good work guys! I trust your reviews more then most.

Tom Miller

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Ian Dahl March 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Matt,

Great review. Do you have a more specific schedule for when the 2013 shootout will take place? Also, can you provide us any clues as to which products will be featured this year?

Best,

Ian

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GolfSpy Matt March 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm

We’re sending out “invites” for the next shootout today. The ambitious side of me says we could publish in early June, but it’s hard to say.

Right now the “guest list” includes:
Swing Smart
Swing Byte
Golf Sense
3Bays
Sky Pro
Swing Tip

If we’re missing someone, please let me know and we’ll add them to the list.

Best,

Matt

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Jmn March 13, 2013 at 1:03 am

PocketPro and EvolSwing? They both seem to be stuck on “coming soon mode” though.

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GolfSpy Matt March 13, 2013 at 7:15 am

I will reach out to both, but it appears that neither is ready for a shootout just yet.

Thanks,

Matt

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Sky March 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Have a comparision been done with PureContact Zelocity and ES-12?

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Golfspy Matt March 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Those are very different types of devices, but, to my knowledge, there is not a comparative review of the two. Minimally, we have not done one.

I spoke with the E-12 people at the PGA Show, and it seemed that a review was not something that they were looking for.

Best,

Matt

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Ray March 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

WOW! I just read an article in Golfweek about four of the products mentioned and it got me to looking around for more info. And I found this! As I said, WOW! I’m so glad I found this. The article says that SwingTip will have a new version out around the end of March. And then add that you are doing a “rematch” to include these and more is great. I just blew my knee out a week ago and will be sidelined for awhile, so I can ease back and continue to follow this thread and wait for your next reviews! Great Job everyone!

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Brian Richardson April 15, 2013 at 6:44 am

Great Review, thanks very much. I have a question..
GolfSense has updated their app multiples times since these reviews were conducted. Would the app providing more data or data similar to Swing Smart bring it on an even playing field with that device?

Thanks

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Golfspy Matt April 15, 2013 at 9:31 am

We are working on the 2013 Shootout right now to answer that question.

-Matt

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Newbie Lonnie April 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

WOW!!! Great review and even better comment section. Since SwingSmart hasn’t released their Android app, think I will wait for your 2013 review to hit the street. When do you think it will be finished.

Keep up the great reviews,
Lonnie

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Newbie Lonnie April 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Opps!!! I meant SwingSmart…

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Mike S April 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Thanks for the great review. Being a “visual” learner I’m much more interested in seeing the 3D views of the swing than numbers. And really if the number are internally consistent, than if they don’t measure up to Trackman and the rest I don’t see it as a huge deal. Most of us might get on a Trackman once a year at best more likely one time to get fitted if we ever get a chance. I agree that you need to couple this with professional instruction. (My pro and I recently calculated that I just finished paying for his son’s future undergrad degree and I’m now paying for his Master’s) Still I like the idea of being able to see what I’m doing both on the range and on the course when I’m not with my pro.

That being said I’m a droid user. I won’t ever own an Iphone, Ipad etc. I don’t like paying a premium for the apple logo and having to buy a new device every time an “upgrade ” comes out. While I understand that when developing an app it’s harder for the Android market because it is an “open architecture” So developers have to make it work on several different platforms. i.e. Samsung, HTC etc. Still Android passed Apple as the dominant platform (number of devices in use) last year and the gap is widening every month. So these developers are missing the boat by making Android users the “red-headed step children.”

I’ll probably wait until Swing Smart releases their Android version even though the release date keeps slipping, (Angelo says it’s almost here) but I know I won’t wait for SkyPro to get off their behinds and get a Droid version to market. By the way it’s my understanding that’s where PocketPro went, sold themselves to SkyGolf and became SkyPro..

Kudos also for the Developers jumping in here and contributing.

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Mayank May 1, 2013 at 1:30 am

What is the ETA on the review and comparison for this year?

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Robert S. Christensen May 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

What do you know and think about the Swing Tip swing analyzer? It just came out in an android app.
Thank you for your advice
Dr. Bob

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matt strube May 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Sorry, Swingbyte2 Too

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Mayank May 30, 2013 at 3:39 am

So many more devices. Im inclined towards the Swingbyte 2 but according to what Ive read in this review, their results are a little off. Hopefully they have resolved the slipping issue and made it more accurate. They wouldn’t just release a new device to resolve slipping issues. Also the app looks great. No sample pre-fed swings in it though. The Swingsmart may be the most reliable but do I really want to look at that interface 1 hour every day. It feels ancient and it isn’t optimised for the iPhone 5. I wrote them a mail and they said they’re going to get to it after the andriod app so an easy 2 months. Can you guys write this review again with all the new players.

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Jmn June 25, 2013 at 3:38 am

Swingbyte 2 does have pre-fed sample “pro” sample swings. Or the app has them to be more exact.

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Oscar Rydberg June 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Golfspy Matt, I second Mayanks question:

Any estimated date for the 2013 GSA shootout?

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AJ June 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Golfspy,

Great review – really comprehensive and in depth. However, a bit long in the tooth.. over 8 months old now. With a raft of new players and updates (SB2 being a point in case), please can you tell us the ETA for the next shoot out or maybe do an update on the existing players or a write-up on indications from early tests?

C’mon Golfspy!

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alfred aita June 22, 2013 at 8:12 am

Great reviews and comments guys.

One question. For me the most important is setup and ball position at address. Do any of these machines have a way of looking at this ?
Al

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Jmn June 25, 2013 at 3:36 am

Just got my Swingbyte 2 yesterday. Tried it for 2 baskets with a 7 iron. Seems to work great, but some of the data is kinda hard to interpret. Club head speed etc. are self explanatory, but many others are mysterious. I get consistent data, but I have no idea what to look for. The is
The device would greatly benefit from a proper manual explaining all the data.

Same goes for the 3D swing. I can see whats happening and I can bring a pro swing next it to compare things. To fully understand what I’m looking at I would like to have some examples of different swings explained.

The app is fantastic and I especially like how everything gets automatically uploaded to the net so I can log in at the office and view my swings and compare data.

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Mayank June 25, 2013 at 3:48 am

I got the swingbyte too. I initially didn’t align it properly so didn’t get any data. Once I aligned it at the 12 o clock position it started working properly. Doesn’t work well on the iPad. I have an iPad 2 . Just doesn’t register swings. Registers the first one then doesn’t. On the iPhone it works perfectly well. After the swing, it records with 3-4 seconds and beeps. The latch is still a problem. If you hit the mat very hard, it opens up. They have said on their website that they would send stronger ones to everyone who has already purchased. I don’t know how accurate it is. Only someone with access to trackman would be able to figure. The app is absolutely phenomenal. Too bad it doesn’t work with the iPad very well.

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Jmn June 25, 2013 at 7:39 am

I had no issues with iPad 3. Can’t imagine what could be the problem with iPad 2 though if it works with iPhone with no problems. Whatever it is, it’s probably there to stay if Swingbyte doesn’t come up with a software update.

I wonder if Alex from Swingbyte has any insight on your issue?

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alfred aita June 25, 2013 at 8:29 am

Just got skypro from sky cadie. Takes a little time to figure out how to use but i got over that hurdle. It reports possible swing faults as alerts with explanations of what they are. It seems to pick up on faults I know I have. I have been getting lessons from a pro so together they work well. One thing I like is the grove mode. If you make a particular swing you like, you can switch to grove mode; if violate a particular part of the swing mode an alarm will go off. In grove mode you can adjust the tolerance level.
Some things I don’t like are:
There is no reading for carry distance
In 3d there is no movement of the player (just the club)
The swing stops at Impact (no indication of follow thru or flight trajectory
I have a problem with chicken winging my shots so those things I mentioned would be helpful.
I have only made about 10 swings with it so far when I can I wil give it a good workout.
The sensor seems to be very stable.

Al

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Dave June 26, 2013 at 1:26 am

iswing ap slow motion video reveals what you have and may need to improve on for a couple bucks. Helped me tweak a few moves with corrective results.

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Mayank June 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

What the author of this article said is very right. This would not help you improve your game. I see the numbers but I don’t know how to better them. I recently took a golf lesson and I can see the numbers getting better. These devices can help you review improvement but not lead to it directly.

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Graham c July 2, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I’m seriously leaning towards the swingsmart – but will wait for the 20/3 review – any e.t.a?

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Regis August 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I’ve been using Golf Sense for about two weeks. Bought it in large part on this review and a great price on Amazon. I’m more than pleased with the app and user interface and just today they completely rebuilt the application so as to provide even more useful feedback. I’m a Senior golfer rebuilding my swing after a serious illness and the feedback the device brings me is great as far as giving me instantaneous information so as to make my practice sessions more productive.

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spinray October 14, 2013 at 7:09 am

Swing speed is easy to measure. Golf ball carry is another matter. Without radar it’s guess but… swing speed x 1.5 gives very accurate carry distance. Try it and see.

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spinray October 14, 2013 at 7:12 am

Sorry should have said ” with a driver”.

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KK October 19, 2013 at 10:39 am

I bought yesterday Oct.18,2013 Byteswing2 for $150 at Golfsmith. Device is not moving and I can swing all day long (until battery dies) because it has new clamp, so your comments about it from last year are resolved. Also tried Bays3 GSA but it was not accurate and lose Bluetooth connection every few swings so I returned it.

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spinray October 21, 2013 at 5:27 am

Thanks for posting guy’s. I am about to purchase SwingByte2 when I find a supplier here in the UK. (most are out of stock). I am a senior 5 handicap golfer (2 handicap was my lowest) and I agree with the comments about ‘understanding the numbers’. I don’t play much golf December and January but we are lucky enough to spend 2 months in Thailand (Feb and March). I always have 3 to 4 1 hr video lessons with my Pro in January. He sends me the videos and I take them with me to The Blue Canyon driving range (where I live for the duration of my stay, according to my wife). I video my self and try to match swings. Without Pro input the task would be well beyond me. I’ll take my Swingbyte with me for my lessons and ask the Pro point me in the right direction regarding the numbers. There are not many playing (non teacing) pro’s who would understand all the ‘numbers’ so amateurs have very little chance. My advice.. don’t drop the lessons use your aid in conjuction with your pro.

ps sorry for rambling, one last thing! I met and played (maybe helped him a little) with my Pro when he was 9 yrs old at Upton-by=Chester GC. He is now 40 yrs of age and teaches at Carden Park nr Chester.

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George McDowell October 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

Is the Swing Smart compatible with Androids and is it as easy to use.

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Rick November 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I like the evaluation//grading. And you were spot on at the time evaluated it. I use the golf sense and can tell you with the updates. I would wager you will be much more impressed. Especially in 3D visual. I think the only place it won’t show is the bottom. And being able to look at wrist vs club swing path is very helpful and they have vids now to help you understand what they mean. The hip movement is off if just I’m loose pocket but if tight pocket or under belt does very well

It may not have all the other things but I feel it gives just enough for most amateurs without causing confusion. Especially for the $ diff.

Just the experience of a long time user and amateur.

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Terry Oehrke May 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I’ve tried GolfSense and I agree with the reviewer that it’s the best one right now. I also like using an iPad golf video training app to view my swing with the GolfSense product. I’m having trouble finding a secure way to hold my iPad on the driving range. I’ve tried a couple of devices that broke right away. I’ve found a new device at http://www.nexstartraining.com but I don’t know much about it. Has anyone here used this?

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GolfSense Jason May 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm

We’ve been using the Next Star units at all our demos lately and they work very well.

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