Lamkin Grips

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By now most of us have had an opportunity to hit balls on a launch monitor or maybe even had a chance to see some really cool computer animated analysis of their swing. The information you can gather from this type of technology is absolutely priceless. Everything your golf club is doing at any point in your swing is displayed right there on the computer screen. There is however one drawback to all of this, in order to get access to it you have to pay, and pay a pretty steep price most of the time. New in 2012 is a device called SwingByte, the SwingByte is a small device that is designed to get all of this valuable data but without having to pay expensive fees for instructors utilizing the technology. Let’s check it out.

About SwingByte:

Swingbyte was founded in 2010 by three University of Chicago Booth School of Business colleagues, Alex Pedenko, Brian Payne and Nathan Wojtkiewicz. Frustrated with the challenge of learning golf on his own, tech expert Alex sought a simple and affordable technology-based solution for this centuries old endeavor. After two years of work with former golf pro Brian and operations expert Nathan, Swingbyte was released this spring to widespread acclaim, including Golf Digest naming Swingbyte one of the “12 Coolest Items” at the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show.

Swingbyte is a patent-pending 3-D golf swing analyzer that helps golfers of all skill levels to improve their game in real-time, right on their smartphone or tablet. Swingbyte instantly captures key metrics from a golf swing and wirelessly transmits the information and a visual representation of the swing to a golfer’s Apple or Android mobile device.

THP Testing:

Before I get into the data I was able to obtain from the SwingByte let me start with talking about ease of use. Immediately after receiving the package I had the device powered on and the minute I enabled Bluetooth on my iPhone things were communicating and I was ready to start taking swings. I was happy with how quickly and easily the setup was, because I am not someone who likes to read instructions. I like it when things just work like I think they should and initial setup of the device is a breeze.

Ok so we’re setup and taking swings, just to let you know the type of data that is being displayed here let me list a few. At address you can find out the club loft, lie and face angles. Perhaps even more valuable, at impact the SwingByte will show you your club head speed, club loft, lie, face, angle of attack, club path and tempo. Throughout the swing you get data such as linear acceleration and plane angle. Basically anything you could imagine wanting to know about the position of your club is provided and all in easy to read layouts.

All of this data can be a bit of information overload but the way SwingByte displays the swing on your mobile device it’s actually all pretty easy to follow along and to understand what you’re looking at. As you swing the club with the SwingByte collecting data it keeps a swing history that is easy to access and view as you are working through some swings and tracking certain areas of the swing for improvements. The SwingByte App (free download on iOS or Andriod) comes setup with a standard golf bag of club specs, but I recommend going through the default settings and making sure everything you use is in there and the specs are accurate.

Initially I seemed to be on this trip to track swing speed and nothing but swing speed, and early on I did not think I saw the numbers I expected to see. This was fixed by properly inputting my driver specs into the app, once that was done the SwingByte seemed to be giving my swing speed numbers that were right in line with what I’ve seen on various launch monitors I’ve used. Another thing that I was set out to prove inaccurate was what the device told me about my swing in terms of the ball flight. Seems early on I kept seeing my shot shape displayed as a push slice or sometimes a pull slice. Once in a while I’d get it to say straight but not real often. So to the driving range I went armed with the SwingByte and my iPhone ready to prove this thing wrong.

Shot after shot I watched as the analysis from the SwingByte matched what I was seeing on the range. I will say that I tend to be a little more apt to call a ball straight than SwingByte is, but it really just spits out what my swing tells it and most of the time it was pretty well accurate. I will say that at first I thought having the device attached to the club might be a little distracting but you really don’t even notice that it’s there. I had absolutely no issues with my SwingByte moving or slipping at all. I have heard a couple of reports of devices moving on a couple of people on the THP forum but the company was quick to respond with a resolution.

One club that I was able to get some immediate assistance with after using the SwingByte on it was the putter. The data captured showed that I had been over exaggerating my strong arc putting stroke to the point that I was almost never getting the putter head squared back at impact. I was able to use the data from the SwingByte and immediately improve my putting on the course. I will say that on the iPhone the putter stroke is a little difficult to see which I believe is due to the shorter swing you take but the stroke is there and you can see what you’re doing pretty easily. I have seen videos of putting stroke data viewed on an iPad and it was much easier to see in more detail.

Overall:

I definitely see the SwingByte as a very useful device for a lot of people. The ability to see where your club is at during all points of the swing is something that can really take someone’s game to the next level. Using the SwingByte was both fun and very informative. I found myself almost becoming too fixed on what data came across the screen and not focusing on just hitting the golf ball. That can be a common problem for anyone whether or not the SwingByte or an instructor is giving you the information. There certainly is a lot of data packed in this device and if you’re not careful you can become a victim of “paralysis by analysis” but as with many pieces of technology out there if you use it for what you need and don’t try to dig too far into what you don’t you’ll be just fine.

The SwingByte is not a replacement for an instructor or for launch monitor fittings in my opinion but it is a great tool for some self-diagnosis of some of the flaws in your golf swing. I found the SwingByte to be quite accurate in terms of what it displayed my ball flight and what I saw on the course. I always liked to call my shot shape a baby fade, not so much a push slice but the SwingByte doesn’t care about my feelings, it just calls it like it sees it. The SwingByte is available by going to the company’s website www.swingbyte.com as well as at over 1300 AT&T stores across the country for $149.

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Category: Accessories, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Jason is a busy husband and father of 2 daughters who are both just starting to take up the game that he has loved for years. Golf is his passion, when Jason is not playing golf and testing equipment he's hanging out with all his friends on the THP forum discussing every aspect of this great game.

Comments (39)

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  1. FrankA says:

    Awesome review. I am definitely more likely to buy this thing now.

  2. Cookie says:

    Very thorough review there Jake and I like how questioned the results only to head to the range and have them confirmed. I was not aware that this also worked with the putting stroke, but that is definitely a great feature to have. For the golfer wanting to do self analyzation, this seems like a great asset although I doubt my swing is trackable – would probably just say “try again”. LOL

    Nice review man!

  3. Chunkylover77 says:

    Man I preordered this thing. Someone I trust said to cancel. Now after this review, I want it again! Good stuff Jake

  4. ddxu says:

    Awesome review Jake, I have been looking fwd to this review for a few months. I’m pondering.

  5. Brian says:

    Nice review, has me pondering… This could be a great tool in working and measuring progress with swing changes

  6. Ryan H says:

    Nice job covering all the bases, Jake! I don’t think this is for me, but it seems to have piqued the interest of many THP’rs out there. I’m sure they’ll really find your thoughts useful for research.

  7. War Eagle says:

    Awesome review, Jake! Being a gadget junkie, this definitely has my interest. I was pretty excited to see that it works with the Putter as well!

  8. Freddie kong says:

    Jake nice bro, very information filled recap. I like the feedback this device seems to give. It could be a great tool in the right hands. If I were still teaching full time i would use this in a heart beat. The information given in concrete and can really help to fix some big flaws in ones golf game.

  9. Howzat says:

    Another solid review Jake. This is something I would like to get my hands on to try before I buy. I could see myself geting paralysis ny analysis very easy.

  10. Bogey317 says:

    Great review, I am going to pick one of these up soon!

  11. Smallville says:

    Sounds like it works pretty much as advertised. Guess I’m going to have to puck up a Smart Phone pretty soon!

  12. yorkem says:

    Solid review buddy. This thing has definitely been on my radar, and I think anyone working on a change in their swing path could benefit greatly by having one.

  13. Canio says:

    Excellent review! I am actively looking for an affordable device to help my swing. This is definitely on my list.

  14. arydolphin says:

    Nice review Jake, I love to see launch monitor stats on my swing, and this thing will tell me a lot about my swing path, which will be good in terms of trying to improve it. I’ll definitely be looking into this device soon.

  15. INgolfer says:

    Interesting info, sounds like a useful technology for someone that doesn’t have access to a launch monitor regularly.

  16. IceyShanks says:

    Excellent review, I want to pull the trigger on this so bad!!!

  17. Nate says:

    Very nice Jake. Been waiting to see what your thoughts were going to be. Another thing to note is the Swingbyte team sounds like they will be adding updates to the app to inhance the experience even more.

  18. Drew says:

    Nice review. I’m defintely intetested but don’t have a fancy phone or Ipad! :(

  19. runpuddrun says:

    Nice review, I really like mine and share a lot of the thoughts that you have.

  20. d_in_la says:

    This just about seals the deal for me. Great review.

  21. yonnr2000 says:

    I want tell everyone what a great experience I had with the customer support at swingbyte. I had been using my swingbyte device for a month before it stopped working. I emailed their customer support and got and immediate response, they shipped me a new device quickly and without any hassles. I love this thing!

  22. Penglynns says:

    Great review. Sounds like a great device. I love stats and would probably really fall into the “paralysis by analysis” realm with this thing, but it would be a fun trip!

  23. 10YardDraw says:

    Great review Jake! This is something I am very interested in but just was not sure if it would be accurate or not but after reading this I am sure I will pick one up before this golf season is over with. This could make range sessions even more fun as I love my electronic gadgets!

  24. Hanks says:

    Awesome review buddy! I really need to get this great device!

  25. Aaron says:

    This is interesting. I was very skeptical at how accurate it would be.

  26. Michael Radenheimer says:

    Well written, even if it did seem a bit like an iPhone commercial. I’ve been looking for some swing aids and this review certainly takes the gimmick out of this one. Thanks for the thorough review.

  27. TripleBogieTim says:

    Well, I have been in ponder mode about this device for a while now….guess you just pushed me over the edge. My bank account is not going to like that.

    Nice Review Jake…..btw, I hit a baby fade too…no matter what it says.

  28. Very interesting device. I’m glad it worked ou

  29. Drumdog says:

    Another great review Jake. I am now seriously considering a purchase.

  30. MSchad says:

    I have had mine for about a month now. I love it. Best training aid out there. You can see your swing w/o having to have a camera, front view, top view, down the line or 3D that you can rotate anyway you want. And there are even ‘training tips’ on each swing about the swing path and arc width. I agree it won’t replace the instructor, but sure helps to “see” what you are really doing.

  31. Nick says:

    Do you need a smartphone? Could I use a non-4G wifi Tablet or a laptop?

  32. Dave says:

    I pre-ordered mine when the first reviews came out in the spring. Unfortunately, I have not found the device to be all that beneficial so far. While the readings are exactly the type of information I am looking for, my experience is that the SwingByte moves on the shaft with every ball I hit and therefore I have to constantly move it back into position. I have tried strapping it with additional rubber bands but that has not worked. SwingByte has told me that they are working on this problem and will be mailing all of the current owners an adapter to help stabilize the device on the shaft, but so far it has not arrived. If this major problem can be fixed, then the device will be a worthwhile investment.

  33. Golf_8888 says:

    I got Swingbyte a months ago. I encountered the same problem as Dave did. The device turned around every time when i swing. Adjusting the device for every shot makes me mad…

    My fd in AZ got a similar concept product, named 3baysgsa. I tried and it just gets me into ponder mode again.

    It is even lighter, smaller than swingbyte. It is plugged into the butt end of grip ( a hole on it ). I can’t notice it, can’t feel its weight at all.

    It tells me pretty much the same as swingbyte does. Draw me the swing path, gives me club speed, tempo… I do like the way they present the data. The accuracy is pretty good.

    I posted on forum too. Google 3baysgsa .
    Its definitely on my wish list!

  34. larrybud says:

    Does the swing weight characteristics of the club change with this thing attached to the shaft? I have the Medicus SS meter that attaches at the same position and the club feels completely different when swinging it because of the added weight.

  35. larrybud says:

    As far as slipping, I might suggest you put a label around the shaft (like an address label) where you attach this thing. That should give it a little more resistance to slippage.

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