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GOLF GADGET REVIEW! – iPING Putter App

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iping ping putter app

NEXT PING INNOVATION...

In today's time where insignificant paint jobs on our drivers and irrelevant moveable weights get all the accolades for pushing the envelope of technology in the golf industry...there are still a few companies that actually take pride and are motivated to bring purposeful innovation to really help those of us that play this game.  And there is no better example of that then PING Golf.  It's easy to forget all the things they have revolutionized in the industry and even more amazing how long their innovations have lasted.  FOR A LIST OF PING INNOVATIONS (CLICK HERE).

Speaking of innovation...PING knows a thing or two when it comes to putter innovation...the Anser which was designed in 1966 has over 600 Tour wins...and still dominates the Tour more then 45 years later...very Brett Favre streak'esque!  So when a new gadget showed up in the mail from PING called the iPING Putter App...I thought I should spend a week getting familiar with it before reporting back my thoughts to all the "golf spy gadget gear heads".

About - The iPING Putter App

So what does this thing do?  Well for those of you who have ever been fitted with a Tomi, Zenio or SAMM putter fitting system you might be somewhat familiar with the features this app provides the golfer.  Although for the other 99% of golfers who have never tried one of those systems...here are the basics of what this app will tell you about your stroke:


iPING Putter App Measures

  • Stroke Type
  • Impact Angle
  • Tempo

Practice Mode - In Practice mode, the user can isolate one aspect of their putting that’s lacking in consistency – tempo, for example – for extra attention. Stroke type, impact angle, and tempo are displayed for individual putts.

Measure Mode - In Measure mode, the golfer hits 5 putts and their stroke type, impact angle and tempo are displayed for every putt in that session and stored. The iPING app calculates a consistency score, and then averages the scores over time to build a Putting Handicap (PHcp)...yes you will now have a putting handicap too. As the player improves their consistency, they’ll watch their PHcp come down.

Compare Mode - In Compare mode the player can compare their results with previous sessions or with those of their friends. They can even do side-by-side comparisons with several PING tour pros, whose results are pre-loaded into the iPING app.

REVIEWED! - iPING Putter App

INNOVATION

Is the iPING Putter App the first putter fitting product to hit the market of its kind?  Well yes and no.  No...it's not the first training aid built to measure your putting stroke and give you feedback regarding your stroke type, impact angle and tempo.  But it is the first to measure your stroke on a smartphone, it is also the first to do so for free.  And out of all the other devices I spoke about which I have tried it is also by far the most user-friendly and by leaps and bounds the most accessible.

But is it as good as the others.  Well a couple of the other devices measure a few additional putter stroke attributes but and this is a BIG but...the others are out of reach cost wise for the average golfer.  The other units run between $899-$2500...while the iPING Putter App is FREE.  Only cost is the plastic cradle that snaps the phone to the shaft which will only set you back $30.

And that is just as innovative if you think about it...by actually being accessible to such a large number of golfers compared to its competition...it makes it sort of like the modern day cell phone.  The original cell phone was super cool looking...only problem...only business owners could afford them.  You remember what I am talking about...those hard wired phones you saw in your dad's Jaguar.

Like we said 99% of golfers had never heard of those other putter fitting tools.  So it was brilliant for PING to bring out a similar technology and one that they will make available to any golfer at the touch of a button for FREE.  And as icing on the cake...if you wondered why they have so many new Anser models coming out in 2011 that we spotted on tour the other week.  Now you know why...because this tool will properly fit you into 1 of those 7 ever so slightly different models.  Might not seem like a big deal...but I would say 90% of golfers are using the wrong putter for their stroke type...so this could be big for them in regards to pumping even more life into the original PING Anser design.  And when I say pumping life I am not talking about hype tech...I am talking about technology that actually helps you improve your game.

SCORE: 19/20

EASE OF USE

Now you might not be thinking that ease of use is of that much importance...but think again.  The main reason the other systems aren't household names are first price and following right behind in second place because they lack in ease of use.  All the other systems require additional gear in order to test your stroke.  The iPING Putter App...all you need is a phone which is by far the most popular device used in the world. It is like they sat down at the round table and said what are the hurdles our competition creates for the end user and how can we knock all of those down.

When it comes to instructions and using the app...piece of cake.  The technical writing crew that created this app didn't miss a single step from what I can see.  Everything from graphics to layout to user-friendliness were all perfect.  Honestly I kind of expected that from PING even before first launching the application. Their engineers first and golfers second.

SCORE: 20/20

VALUE

Well they made it easy on me for this one.  Not much of a better value then $30 when your competition averages over $1,000 for similar technology.  Easy A+ grade for value on the iPING Putter App.

SCORE: 20/20

PERFORMANCE

When a gadget we review pretty much blows away its competition in every single category which the iPING Putter App has done...it makes it hard to not give that gadget a perfect score.   So you might be surprised when you see that I did not give this app perfect numbers regarding performance.  I had to take a few points off for the cradle snap-fit device.  I tested this app with 5 different putters having both stepless and stepped putter shafts.  And I did notice that after setting a laser to the unit before and after testing that the unit did show to close down a degree or two.  And after looking at the piece that snaps to the shaft you could see where the plastic was stressed from being put on and off 5 different putters.  But don't for one second let that keep you from downloading the iPING Putter app.

Improving your putting is all about consistency and this app WILL help you with that. No matter how good of a golfer you are it is very difficult for your eyes to see your putting stroke and be able to analyze it on top of that.  How close will your results be to what you think you are actually doing when you first try this app?  I bet you will be shocked by your first round results.  Although you will notice that this makes you aware of making a consistent stroke which is one of the keys to becoming a great putter...and your numbers will improve dramatically in little time at all.  When it comes to the top putters on tour and the tour players on the bottom of the rankings for putting the main difference is stroke consistency.  And this app was great at improving just that.

And this is only version 1 from what we have been told by a source at PING...with future updates already in the works...look forward to seeing what they add.  Also the iPING cradles have begun to ship out and can be found in these stores as of today; Uintas Golf, The World of Golf, Haggin Oaks and Carl's Golfland. If people are interested in ordering them through an online authorized PING retailer they can go to golfsmith.com, golfgalaxy.com, pgatoursuperstore.com, edwinwattsgolf.com, theworldofgolf.com or worldwidegolfshops.com. The rest of the cradles will make their way into most PING retailers within the first two weeks of July.

SCORE: 37/40

TOTAL SCORE: 96/100


Review Summary

A+
96.00

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

ninetails June 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

This app looks awesome. I recently tried V1 and it helped me realize lot of things wrong with my swing. Looking forward to trying this out.

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Braden Powers June 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

My cradle is already ordered! Cannot wait.

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Dave Nelson June 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm

This app is great. I used the iSwing™ app as well, its pretty awesome. Analyzes your golf swing. Now i have my putting and golf swing locked down! awesome stuff MGS!

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Golfer Burnz June 21, 2011 at 8:32 am

Wow, as one of the last holdouts, this gives me reason to breakdown and get myself a cell phone.

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mygolfspy June 21, 2011 at 8:36 am

Burnz – are you serious???!!!

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Joe June 22, 2011 at 5:06 am

Do you know if they have any plans to make an Android version?

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Philip June 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

Not currently as the Droid phones do not have the required sensors for the application.

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Snowman August 6, 2011 at 11:26 am

It seems the Android is… how do you say.. Inferior? ;p

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Michael June 22, 2011 at 10:32 am

Wondering if the app only runs on Iphone 4? I have a 3G?

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DrJ June 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I have the same problem. It doesnt run on 3G or 3GS… Only on iphone 4 or ipod touch 4th gen.

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Danny Haugen June 22, 2011 at 10:35 am

Lot of eye candy but it really only really tells you swing path and tempo. Face angle isn’t at impact isn’t correct because it has no starting point. I don’t like it because it doesn’t address setup alignment or, most importantly, where the putterface is aimed. Just another gadget to me.

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Jerry Foley June 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

My company is currently building a prototype device that looks at swing data much differently and delivers feedback during the swing rather than post-shot. The problem with post analysis is building reference data that allows comparisons. The better golfer will always find a use for post shot data since he can recognize his fault and knows how to correct it. This is why tour pro’s have coaches. The pro coach detects errors and “tells” the player his mistake. The better approach, however, is correcting the fault before it happens rather than “trial and error” which is the current state of technology, i.e. “we hit a shot, observe incorrect result, attempt to change swing, hit again and again until the desired result happens” (if it happens).

This new free App from Ping can be a useful tool assuming the added weight of an iPhone attached to the shaft isn’t distracting. I would say that anything that can get you to hit a 5 footer straight with consistency is a blessed gift. Having said that, the device our company is working on doesn’t require the golfer to analyze his stroke after the putt. It works in the practice swing and simply tells the golfer if his stroke is correct. We make the assumption the golfer is aligned correctly and when the putt is struck and our system says the stroke was perfect. The golfer can then check if the “readout” indicates a perfect swing in the event the putt misses the cup. If the readout shows a perfect swing but the putt missed (assuming a straight putt) the golfer must have misaligned. A check system can be made by dropping a chalk line so the golfer can get his alignment correct. Our device is more intended for the full swing of the other 13 clubs but again, alignment is the responsibility of the golfer.

I would welcome any off-line discussion under non-disclosure to interested parties. Tell me what devices you have tried and/or technologies from GolfTec, etc. Our prototype will be tested by a PGA testing organization but we want to hear from smart golfers to tell us what they are looking for and what they would buy and what they might spend. Our hope is to be open to criticism and questions and comparisons in order to avoid unforeseen problems downstream. I can be reached at: [email protected]

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Digital Texan June 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

Yeah, I got a email the other day about the scheduled release for the 20th of June. When I looked into it they said that the cradle would be available at my local Golf Galaxy, but when I went yesterday to go pick one up, they said that they had not come in yet…
I’ll be checking often for availability…
Finally, a hands-on, instant feedback tool to (HOPEFULLY) help out with the putting game.

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Laszlo June 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Got the app it looks and sounds great. But once again being in Canada we have to be NICE AND POLITE and wait for the iping cradle. Ready to go once the cradles arrive in Canada.

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waltband June 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

got the app — the cradle seems to be vaporware though — anybody found a cradle anywhere ???

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C.Evans June 25, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I’ve downloaded the app. And since I didn’t like the idea of having to take it out of my case (Otterbox), I’ve instead built my own holster. I haven’t brought my putter in at this point and tried it, but I have tried it on a shaft and a grip, but it seems as functional as the ping holster. The best part? It cost me nothing. I had a broken clip from my OtterBox (which they’ve replaced already). So since the broken clip was good for nothing, I modified it to attach to a shaft so I can simply snap the otter into it. It works great, functionally, now I only have to test it with a putter.

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DKings June 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

how exactly did you make your cradle? I’m a little OCD about taking my phone out of my otterbox and was trying to hook up my belt clip to my putter but it just slides down.Thanks.

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C. Evans June 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

The outside portion of the clip was broken off of it, so it really was of no use. I then went to work with my belt sander and removed all of the high spots off of the back inside portion of the clip (the part that swivels). Once that was off, I drilled a hole from the inside, dead center of the swivel (there’s a dot a little larger than a nickel inside there). Made a center mark with a pin punch and drilled with a pilot bit. I then drilled it to actual size. Once that was done, I took a countersink bit and countersunk it where the head of the screw would countersink (buttonhead phillips screw). I then had to work on the screw a tad, and again went to my belt sander and shaved the button head down some, checking periodically to see when it sat flush inside the case. Once that was done, I took a conduit clamp and put it on the bolt I’d ran through the case. Tightened it up and then have a bolt for the conduit clamp that tightens it up. It works, but I’m going to have to swap the conduit clamp out tomorrow with one that’s a tad smaller so that it locks onto the shaft more firmly. It’ll get a coating of rubberized paint so it doesn’t slip and it’ll be good to go.

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DKings July 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Thanks. I have an extra belt clip so i may try that. Great idea by the way.

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robbo43 June 29, 2011 at 1:31 am

What a fantastic innovation. I tried it oiut on a friend’s iTouch and was really impressed. I am hoping – as, I guess, so are many others – that a version for PDA’s and Android based devices is developed soon eh!!

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robbo43 June 29, 2011 at 1:37 am

Buy a cheap cover for your iPhone or iTouch and attach, via double sided tape, a 12-15mm plastic clip. Stick the clip to the cheap cover and attach to the putter shaft. Wrap a piece of protective tape around the shaft so you don’t scratch it!!

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Dan July 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Could not find a cradle yet either built one rubber shaft vise clamp 3 bucks Golfsmith 2 inches of heavy duty double face tape the 5 lb rated stuff and a 3 or 4 dollar ipod case the one that snaps around the ipod maybe 8 bucks total not sure if better then Ping cradle but it’s very tight that baby doesn’t move when using

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David July 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I just got this and it is GREAT. I also use GolfProRx which is a fantastic iPad app for my golf swing!!!

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Alex August 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm

iPING is a great product I use it to warm up my Putting before my 18 holes, in just 5 minutes it improves my CONSISTENCY and CONFIDENCE. Try see the video in you tube.
have fun, keep smiling, it’s just a game
Alex
abcgolfcoach.com

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fishy August 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Hi guys. I have been using the iPING app for a while now and I would just like to share my experiences with you lot. Like many golfers, I feel like putting is my biggest weakness and I use a PING Pal 1 putter. Yes, it’s a very old putter but one that I enjoy using and it fits my eye perfectly. This putter is also fairly unforgiving when not struck well.

Clearly, the major question regarding the iPING app is whether the weight of the iPhone + the iPing cradle would alter your “actual” stroke. I would like to think not as it is difficult to determine if it can indeed alter your putting stroke but of course, you would definitely feel the difference between having them on there whilst you’re using the app as opposed to without them. However, what we all need to realize is that the sole focus of this app is in my view, “To determine your stroke pattern, impact angle and tempo on each putt you’ve struck (based on 10ft putts) and to promote consistency in every one of those aspects” at a very reasonable price or $0*will come back to this*. It works like a launch monitor for your putting stroke :D

This app has allowed me to practice whilst knowing what exactly took place after I’ve struck a putt. That for me, is very crucial as putting, like many great putters have said, should be ruled by feel. So for me personally, it is great to finally know categorically and in numerical value as well as having some kinda point of reference as to what a good or poor putt feels like. For instance, *note, i have a slight arc in my putting stroke* my tendencies are
1. I feel like I can get a bit too quick in my forward swing and would usually pull it into my stroke path which will cause my putts to pull off line as soon as it leaves the putter face
2. I feel like I’m not letting the putter head to release slightly which will cause my face angle to stray open at impact which would lead to putts pushed/non solid putts/side spins imparted on the ball; all of which are dependent on the forward swing path but equally detrimental in having a consistent, reliable putting stroke.
This app assists in confirming these “feels” that I have and project them in numerical value and categories; over time, if you’re a problematic putter like how I used to be, you will notice that these features of the iPing app will assist you in learning a little bit more about your putting stroke and determine some of the causes for a pulled/pushed putts, non solid putts and putts that strayed off line.

We all know that no one has a perfect putting stroke with a 0 deg of face impact angle every single time etc.etc. but what all great putters have in common is the ability to execute their putts with great consistency. The greatest putters have
1. a very tight and consistent stroke pattern, be it Straight back and through *eg.Steve Stricker*, Slight Arc *majority of and many great putters* or Strong Arc*not many I reckon
2. A consistent impact angle
3. A highly consistent tempo (the greatest contributor to speed).
Over time and with practice, I’ve noticed that my consistency with regards to all of the above have increased tremendously. I have always had a reasonably good tempo but I now have a tighter stroke pattern and a far more consistent impact angle with an iPing PHcp of 1.8 *down from 18.6 when I first started(lol).

So what happens when I detach the iPing and bring out my actual puttting stroke on the course? My verdict is that it has definitely improved my putting especially the percentage of putts that I’ve hit where I wanted it to start! I now have a far more consistent putting stroke than before and I’m able to commit to my lines better without having thoughts in my head about my stroke and so on. I am also striking my putts far more solid and in the center of the putter face with greater consistency. It has certainly put some worries away for now and hopefully, for good. On the weight of the iphone and cradle: I feel like it has worked a bit like a weighted club for my putting and it has done more good than harm, really. If anything, it was fairly useful in getting the big muscles to learn to know the swing path my putter needs to be on each time.

Just a point worth noting: remember to always keep your grip pressure light with or without the iPhone and iPING Cradle on. It is definitely the key. Bear in mind, good putting is also about having good alignment, having the ability to read putts and striking putts at the right speed. But, without a consistent putting stroke, a good alignment and great reads of putts are sure to be of no or little value. Under pressure, a good consistent putting stroke will also prove to be reliable.

On the $0 option, I have custom built a homemade iPing cradle using an old iPhone cover and some kinda old golf clubs holder *one where you put on your staff bag to hold your clubs in one place. I basically took a portion of it and glued the phone cover to it. If you’d like to see how it looks like, you can click on this link http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2351123697361&set=o.85008854180&type=1 . I think with a bit of creativity and imagination, you too could build one yourself. The 30 dollars iPing Cradle is also a very reasonable option imo.

I read that some call iPing a gimmick by PING. It certainly is NOT. It improved my putting stroke and what it can’t do is to worsen yours.

Regards.
fis

P/s: Am I a PING fanboy for using a PING Putter and now iPing? Certainly not as all of my other clubs aren’t by PING. :D

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Juno February 11, 2013 at 12:51 am

This app looks like it’s a TourTempo(tm) app for putting. Absolutely nothing wrong with that tho.
I don’t have a fancy apple device that I can use for this app, but I do think it’s a neat idea.

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van solomonian October 23, 2013 at 8:42 am

The app is great but PING forgot one thing: people use protective cases on their iPhones – who wants to take the phone out of the case (not easy) EVERY time you want to use the app? The cradle should accomodate cases, not just the phone.

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