iPING Putter App Review

Quick, name the club in your bag that helps your scoring the most? Ok, now name the club that changes the most in your bag. Is it the same one? If you answered ‘my putter’ then you haven’t found a flat stick that you want to marry have you? You continue to date other putters and secretly cheat on your current flat stick don’t you? Well if you struggle with the putter, there’s an app for that. PING now has an app that is specifically designed to help you with your putting game. I just had to do some THP testing on this app because I like to look for alternative ways to help my game beyond the required range time and putting practice and this certainly got my interest level up. So does the traditionally classic company have an edgy product that can help your putting game? Check it out.

Did You Know?

IPING was developed by PING’s engineers for all skill levels, not just the PING Tour pros?

From the Company

The iPING app includes a fitting component that helps club fitters select a putter model that best matches a golfer’s stroke type. Our “Fit for Stroke” concept of putter fitting makes choosing a putter easier by matching the model to the player’s stroke type. Every putter will have a color-coded shaft label: blue for straight stroke, green for slight arc, and red for strong arc. The primary function of the putter-fitting feature is to identify one of three stroke types for the golfer. Based on that result, the app offers a current list of PING putters matching the stroke type determined in the session. With this instant feedback about a player’s putting stroke, fitters can help golfers make informed purchase decisions on which putter model will improve their consistency on the greens. For more-detailed putter fitting sessions, the “Advanced Fit” feature offers recommendations for length, loft and lie.

Key Features

• Calculates and tracks your Putting Handicap (Phcp) to help improve your putting
• Wireless so it can be used anywhere
• Analyzes your impact angle to improve putting mechanics
• Classifies your stroke rotation to help match you to the proper putter model for more consistency
• Measures the tempo of your stroke to improve control
• Compares your stroke to Tour pros and friends

Initial Thoughts

I’m excited to test any portable technology aimed at making a golfer’s game better. Today’s society is very right now/instant gratification oriented and I’m no exception so the potential of the app definitely had me intrigued when I initially heard about it. After downloading it I began to dig into the app a bit and I first thought that it would make me a victim of ‘paralysis by analysis.’ Reason being is that there is a ton of info to digest and analyze however PING does a great job of structuring it in a way that makes it useful and not just a bunch of statistics and useless information.

After the app is downloaded you can then begin to put it to good use. Take the iPING cradle (sold separately) and attach it to your putter right below the grip. Now take your iPhone or iPod Touch and slide it into the cradle and voila, you’re in business! All you have to do now is tell iPING if you’re using a left handed or right handed putter or a long putter and then you can begin hitting 10′ putts. This distance allows for a nice mix of touch as well as power which lets the app determine all of the measurements needed to compile the data needed to tell you whether you’re a good putter or need to work on a specific aspect of your game.

Before I go on, let’s look at what the iPING app is looking for while you’re putting. It’ll be easier to define what it’s looking for rather than explain what it’s looking for. That way I can summarize at the end what I learned and you’ll hopefully remember what those terms were. So here’s your iPING glossary:

Stoke type- the amount of closing angle (face rotation from the start of the forward swing to impact). Less than 3.5* is straight, more than 7.5* is a strong arc, and between those 2 values is a slight arc.

Impact Angle- the face angle at impact, relative to address. For right handed golfers, closed/negative is left of address.

Tempo- ratio of back-swing time to forward swing time (to impact). This is generally about a 2:1 ratio – twice as long back-swing to forward swing.

Measure Session- set of five 10′ putts that are analyzed for consistency in stroke type, impact angle, and tempo. Green indicates very good. Yellow is good, and Red is not very consistent.

Consistency- calculated score for each session. Scores are on a scale similar to a golf handicap where + numbers are very good, low numbers good, and high numbers are not good.

Putting Handicap- the average of several consistency scores.

Testing/Usage

Truth be told, I couldn’t wait to start testing the iPING app out. In fact I started playing around with it the same day I got the iPING cradle. I mean who wouldn’t want to get instant feedback on their putting stroke without ever having to leave the house or your basement? So after attaching my iPhone to the iPING cradle, which I then connected to my putter, I began to set up the app to what I wanted to know. Fortunately the default option is almost everything but it’s good to know that you can only focus on a few things or one specific thing if you like. For instance, the 3 main things that are measured are stroke type, impact angle, and tempo. The default setting is to calculate all tree items but if you only want to focus on say, tempo, you can turn off the other two options if you like.

I decided that for testing purposes I wanted my results to be based off a wide sample of strokes vs. just a handful so I decided to do 20 sessions (5 putts = 1 session) which totaled over 100 putts. I think that this would end up showing me consistent results where the best and worst putts would almost be thrown out automatically and the remaining putts would represent the true sample by which I could analyze my putting game.

Using the app and interpreting the data is simple enough. All you have to do is make a putting stroke with a standard golf ball (harder foam practice balls work as well but be wary of lighter foam ones as they don’t always register with the app). Once you make contact with the ball, the gyro meter of the iPhone or the iPod takes over and registers a change in momentum which translates to an ‘impact’ for the app. After that the app does its thing and records that data. You need to complete the other 4 putts though before you see what the results of your session are. Make a bad stroke or got distracted by the family dog? No problem, you can delete putts in mid-session so those don’t get counted against your putting summary.

After your results are collected, that’s when the fun begins. At least for me it did. I like to see data which allows me to better understand it verses verbal feedback, and this app certainly doesn’t disappoint. Not only can you compare your results with your friends via email, etc you can also see how your results stack up against PING Tour staff from the PGA Tour, European Tour, and the LPGA Tour. This I thought was really cool because in looking at the individual Tour statistics, I found that most of them had similar consistency numbers, as well as tempo, but everyone had their own individual putting stroke and impact angle. To me it validated the fact that there isn’t one best single way to putt and that while one putting stroke may work for one person, that same stroke may not work for another.

Also, the iPING app will also recommend a style putter (PING of course) for you based on your data which you can then further customize to your specs that you input (height, stance, type of greens played, etc). I found this really interesting in that if you have a particular stroke some putters may not be the best fit for that stroke. For instance, I use a mid-mallet putter but for my particular stroke the app recommended that I use more of a blade putter which is what I used before. It may not be the be all / end all for someone who is looking for help in picking a putter but it certainly bears some thought right?

So what were my results at the end of my 100 putt journey? Here you go:

Stroke Type- Slight Arc (green)
Impact Angle- 0.9* Closed
Tempo- 1.9/1 (green)
Consistency- +2.6
PHcp- +3.4

As you can see these numbers are pretty good when you compare them to the defined terms earlier in the review. So why is it that I only seem to be able to average 34 putts/round? Beyond the fact that my approach shots aren’t close enough to the pin I think it has to do with something beyond my putting technique and fundamentals. Seeing as though it appears that it’s not my technique, I think it would fall along the lines of reading greens and the pace of putts. The iPING app not only helped me verify some things for my game, it also made me realize what I need to work on beyond the fundamentals. Bonus!

Overall

I really think the iPING Putter app will be a fixture to my game improvement regimen. It’ll be a perfect way to see if my putting is off because of tempo issues, impact angles, or even if my stroke type is beginning to change. While the app is free the cradle retails for $30 which I think is a little steep for what it is but something has to fund the app development right? If it was at a $15 price point or even at $20 I would say this is a tremendous value but it’s not so it’s just ‘ok.’ What’s invaluable is the information you get from using this app. It feels more like a game vs. a training aid which makes practicing, dare I say, fun. The app is very addicting to use and the data that you can get out of it is equally addicting. How can you fix something that you have no idea is broke? This handy little app will allow you to do just that. It can do everything for you except make the putt, although I’m sure that they’re working on that app now, too.

T. Hanks

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44 Comments

  • Great review TH, I like all the detail you used to breakdown how you tested it. I hope Ping plans to launch a similar app for Android, but with so many different android phones it may be tough making a universal cradle. Does the app have any links or drills to help improve your numbers with drills? To be a truly great training aid, I’d expect to see some drill integration to help your weaker numbers.

  • Great write up! I was aware of the app but did not know about the color coding – that is very cool as “putter fitting” does not seem to be near as common as fittings for other clubs.

    Thanks for sharing many of the “technical” details about how it actually works. I do not think it was mentioned but I believe the cradle only supports the iPhone 4 so maybe when I upgrade off of 3 I will give this a try – especially if they choose to eventually bring that cradle down to the $15 or $20 range.

  • As a new iPhone owner I am really excited about this app. I have always wanted to go through a putter fitting and I think this will be a great way to do it. Great review, thanks so much Hanks!

  • Great review Hanks. Your review has me happy I ordered this yesterday. .

  • Great job Hanks! I wish the cradle was a cheaper price too. I think this would be a great item to have for the winter months. It can be used indoors and keep your putting stroke inline and on tempo in the off season. Thanks again for a great review.

  • Incredibly interesting review Hanks, and something I was really looking forward to! I agree that the cost of the cradle seems a bit silly, but I guess they need to be able to profit to continue to provide more interesting methods of putter knowledge.

    Also excited that it’s an app for the iPhone. It might be enough to convince me to shell out the 30 bucks.

  • Excellent review! And I agree on the price point of the cradle, as that is what I believe held people back from purchasing. Give a $15 or $20 price in it, makes it instantly more attractive for a practice aid.

  • Very interesting, I had heard about this app and craddle but never gave it much thought. Nice summary sir…One questions, does the added weight of the phone effect your putting at all?

  • Very thorough review, Todd. I have to admit that the $30 price tag would probably scare me off, but it does look like it is a fun way to learn about your putting. Do you input the type of putter you are using? I would think that it would have some bearing on the face angle for example.

  • Nice write up man! Some great information there. I was worried about the paralysis by analysis with this thing as well, but it sounds like it is a great tool for fine tuning and stuff. Thanks for the awesome review Hanks!

  • Great review Hanks! Im interested in this as well.

  • Is it available available at most golf shops? I love the fact that it also gives recommendations on length, loft and lie angle.

  • Did you perform the 20 tests with the same putter? I wonder if you used a different putter (or even the Ping recommended type) if that would change the data and results at all.

  • Nice job on the write-up Hanks. Some pretty interesting things with this, but not doing me much good with my android phone. I do have to wonder if anyone with an iphone will take this to the golf shop when looking for a putter, lol. I certainly hope you bring this to the outing so I can check it out on my stroke, I;ll have to borrow your phone though, (if GG will let us get away with that, haha). I can see this as being a solid training aid in helping smooth the stroke and days where a person gets a little handsy and opens or closes their face angle. Good stuff.

  • Thanks for the review Hanks. My local shop loves the Ping equipment and they have this there to help with the putter selection process. I’m glad you offered your input, How many times did you perform the test on the same putter and distance. The gentlemen at the shop suggested at least 10-15 putts per club! What are you thoughts about his recommendation? Thanks again!

  • Great breakdown Hanks… if it’s possible I’m even more interested now. I wish they had something for my BlackBerry. I think PING is really onto something here and can help the putting game for all skill levels. And I love how it can also be a teaching aid…

  • Nice write up. I think it’s a valuable app to have to work on your putting stroke. 30 bucks seems a little steep for a cradle, but we’ve all spent that and more on training aids(see TM Speedsleeve).

  • Great insight on a neat product senor Hanks. I’ve tinkered with this in store, and equate it with the shaft optimizer in making fitting simpler for us, the consumer.

  • Awesome review. I think having that on my putter would be distracting. Only one way to find out hopefully they get an app for a Droid . Thanks hanks

  • Howzat- I know its available online and at most big box stores but I’m unsure of individual golf/pro shops

    ddelise- all of my putts were performed with the same putter (SeeMore Si-1)

    Duey- I’ll bring the cradle tot he Outing with me

  • Great review Todd! I’ll agree $30 is a bit steep for the craddle, never-the-less, I’ve thought once or twice about getting one. It would be interesting to see if you putting would improve if you made the switch to a blade putter after getting the recommendation from the app. See if the recommendation is accurate or not? Could be a fun supplementary article.

  • Excellent review. Since putting represents anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of your score, it makes sense to improve via any method you can. This app gives you feedback to help you. It would be nice if it were available for Andriod phone.

  • That was a really well done review. I saw this on the shelf the other day at my local course and I was waiting for a review to come out on THP. It think the idea is so fantastic! I love how it can even recommend types of putters that fit your stroke. I will be getting a new iPhone in a month or so and I will definitely be picking up the cradle when they come out with it for the new phone.

  • Good review, thanks. I recently bought the cradle and have not had a chance to use it a lot, but I think you are spot on saying it seems more like a game than a training aid (in a good way). My wife picked up on that and is pretty excited to play around with it and she will get some good reps in at the same time.

  • That is very cool, and a great review. Thanks for the info.

  • I’m rolling an Android device – I now have a reason to reconsider an iPhone when my contract is up!

  • Nice review Hanks, Ive had my eye on this ever since seeing it in GG but thats as far as its gotten. I agree that the price of the cradle is a bit steep. Its a $1 piece of plastic, come on PING.

  • Thanks for the review. $30 for what is essentially a training aide doesn’t seem bad to me at all. Most training aids are much more expensive. I also like how it suggests putter for you, a great place to start cutting down the dizzying amount of putters out there.
    I know Ping has an agreement with Apple but I would really love if this app would work on on select Andriods as well or if places like Golfsmith/Golftown/etc could have these as part of their Ping fitting cart.

  • Cool app. Now, if I only had an I-Phone or I-pod. Is this available for PC download?

  • Nice write up Hanks, I’ve played with the app some and I need to use it more during my home practice sessions.

  • Awesome App. great Review Hanks.

  • Great Review Hanks, for some odd reason I still havent bought the cradle. It is def something I think could help with the putting stroke especially over winter when you can only putt inside

  • Does the iPing work for chipping?

  • Awesome review Hanks!! I’ve been very interested in this app but I don’t think my Ipod Touch is compatible. Might have to get a newer one.

  • I almost bought the cradle then I read about how tight it gets if you have a protective sheild. The guy at Golfsmith opened one up for me, and I put it in about half way and already knew it was going to get stuck. They need to make it about an 8th inch wider.

  • No android no iPing for me. Would get it if android capable.

  • Great review. This is very interesting. I would like to try it but it sounds like the ipod touch won’t work. I might be able to borrow my daughters Iphone.
    t

  • Nice review Hanks, I don’t do iPhones so I find the app a little limiting for those of us that don’t use them, but I may have to track down a buddy who does have one and see how it works.

  • can anyone tell me if the iping works on android phones such as the galaxy s11

  • Just got mine for ipod. Like many could not wait to try.

    However on three ocassions the cradle moved or showed up a putt which I did not realise I could delete. What I have is three sessions distorting my figures. Is there anyway to delete these once total 5 session is set? Or do I have to restart my sessions?

    Very addictitive!! so dont mind startin all over. interesting I have gone back to my anser 2 becu. first love is often enduring!

  • I’m not totally sold. The app doesn’t always register. I have downloaded it twice with th sesame results

  • I just purchased and downloaded the app. I have a Samsung SIII and an Odyssey putter. I tried numerous times, but mine will not register the putter stroke. Pretty frustrating after paying $30+ for a 10 cent piece of plastic. Anybody have any suggestions to make this thing work before I toss it out?

  • Have worked with the app for 3 weeks now and been able to improve my numbers and my putting on the course. A Great Product!!

  • Great item and Great review. I had to borrow my daughter’s ipod4 , but app works great with it. No problems with cradle moving. I was able to test 3 different putters (ping anser2 35″, cameron newport 34″, ray cook mx1 35″) with 3 different types of strokes. (My standard stroke, a crosshanded stroke, and a Stricker like stroke) pretty shocking results. I love the putter handicap feature. As several reviews have stated, it is very addictive. Btw a 1 hour experiment for me at the clubs putting green, turned into a 5 hour (everyone had to use it ) session. The 30.00 is steep, but I spend 200.00 on putters and 400.00 on drivers, and most of those are seating in the closet. I have already gotten my 30.00 of entertainment out of this item, and each of my children have requested a session with it.
    RBW

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