Have you ever wished that you could strap a launch monitor on your back or find some way to take it with you for an entire round of golf? Sure you can play simulated golf in order to get stats on your game, but is that ever really the same as playing on the course? If you are like me than you often wonder what your stats are as you are going through your round. I am by no means a long hitter but I have my moments and during those times when I just rip a drive 200+ yards (hey I’m a girl, 200+ has me dancing at the tee box!) I often wish I knew just how fast my swing speed was to get the ball to travel that far. So when we were presented with a device called the Shotwatch that looks just like a watch and can provide me the stats I desire during a round, you can imagine, I was more then thrilled for the opportunity to give it a test run.
The Shotwatch is exactly as the name describes; it’s a watch that tracks the stats of your shot. To be exact, it gathers information about your swing speed, grip pressure and tempo. As we progress in our golf game we often forget to focus on the fundamentals. We get so concerned with shaping shots and adding distance and control that the simple things like grip can sometimes get overlooked. Yet, anytime you go for a golf lesson the first thing the instructor seems to always do is go back and focus on grip, stance and ball position. The Shotwatch can’t help you with your stance or ball position but it can help you have a consistent grip pressure every time. THP did an interview a while back with Tom Watson and he adamantly stressed that the perfect swing starts with the fundamentals.
Myself and a group of golfers used the Shotwatch for several range sessions as well as numerous rounds so we could put this device to the test. These golfers ranged in age, skill level and represented both genders. For me personally, I was excited to test the swing speed accuracy, because this is a part of my game I feel has been improving over the past 6 months to a year. Most everyone else was interested in the tempo measurement, while others were curious about grip pressure. The one aspect that was a unanimous ‘must know’ was comfort. It seems a lot of people do not care to wear a watch when they golf so finding out if this device was comfortable to wear was at the top of our list.
As a woman with fairly small wrists I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fully cinch the Shotwatch but I can happily say that wasn’t an issue at all. A concern for the men was how the rubber wristband would hold up to extreme heat and sweaty conditions as well as whether or not it would pull on their arm hair. Again, I can report that these concerns went right out the window after the first use. Even in the 80+ degree weather we have had here in Florida there were no problems with the watch slipping and sliding on our sweaty wrists and I can safely report that no arm hairs were lost or damaged during our testing. Now once we knew we could comfortably wear the Shotwatch our next concern was how uncomfortable or cumbersome would this feel during play. I want to first note that this is not worn like a regular wrist watch. The face of the watch is not on the top part of your wrist but rather on the underneath so it is on the same side as the palm of your hand. There were certainly moments where we found the Shotwatch to be a bit intrusive while swinging but nothing that didn’t go away quickly. So I feel it is safe to say that in the comfort department this device passed our testing.
Our next concern was how easy is would be to operate the Shotwatch. If you can use a stop watch then you can use this, it really is that easy. Rather than two pages giving step by step instructions on how to operate this device you can get step by step instructions from the video below. After watching this video you will see that it really is just that simple to use. As someone who is not technologically inclined (I just recently learned how to use the DVD player) even I found this extremely easy to use so I promise if I can do it you can definitely do it too.
Once we figured out how to wear and use it the time had come to test the accuracy of the Shotwatch. We are fortunate to have a launch monitor here at THP so we were able to compare some numbers. Overall, we were extremely impressed. There were a few times where we saw some minor discrepancies with the swing speed but nothing that made us question the validity of the Shotwatch. I would also not say it is as accurate as the launch monitor that we use here at THP to test things, but I don’t think anybody expected it to be. It was really quite exciting to see how the numbers can change from swing to swing and club to club. It’s amazing how quickly we can correct a problem if we have real time responses showing us what we are doing wrong.
After extensive testing we all walked away with the same conclusion, the Shotwatch is the real deal. Not only does it provide pertinent information for our game but it gives it to us immediately. On top of that it’s portable so it can be used at the range and on the course. This was a huge bonus for many of the golfers. I don’t know about you but my range game and my course game are often not the same so it was pretty remarkable to be able to see the changes I was making once I was actually out playing versus hitting a bucket of balls. For someone like myself, who isn’t a huge fan of practicing, I found the that the Shotwatch actually got me excited to hit the range more often. Being able to not only see the different in my shots but read the stats as well really made practicing more enjoyable. The Shotwatch retails for $199 and I know that number might seem high to some people but it’s significantly less than purchasing a launch monitor. For more information and to see the video with the instructions on how to use the Shotwatch you can visit their website at www.shotwatch.com.