The training aid market has boomed because of the nonstop desire for self-improvement. What better way to improve than to be able to analyze your own swing without having to track down a facility with a launch monitor? This is the current step in technological evolution we are at in the game of golf. Only recently have devices that aim to be the ultimate feedback training aids come along, and with them there has been an ever increasing amount of competition in the market. Enter the SwingTIP by Mobiplex, one of the most recent entries into the personal golf swing analysis category.
FROM THE COMPANY:
A Golfers Mobile Swing Coach
SwingTip shows you what happened, why it happened, and how to fix it.
The ultimate interactive learning experience:
- Performance stats
- Video-like swing animations
- Instruction tips, videos, comparison swings, score-cards, and MySwingTIP.com
Improve Your Skills, Anywhere, Anytime
Can’t play golf on winter?
Tied up on the Weekends?
Back from the office after dark?
SwingTIP lets you perfect your swing at home, on the range, or on the course with your favorite clubs.
Featherweight size, heavyweight performance
SwingTIP weighs an ounce, next to nothing. Even top PGA pros can’t tell any difference in their swing.
SwingTIP’s two-clamp design keeps it in place swing-after-swing. And the sight tool makes it easy to align the SwingTIP onto the club.
Review key performance metrics
Alongside your swing animation SwingTIP accurately reports on key performance metrics: club head speed, swing path, club face angle, impact zone, and tempo.
Instant feedback pinpoints areas of strength, as well as those for improvement.
INITIAL THOUGHTS AND INFORMATION:
I’ve always been big on “owning my own swing” rather than forcing myself into a cookie cutter swing. So when I got word that I would be reviewing the SwingTIP I was excited about how the feedback that it claimed to produce could aid me in achieving my goals. Upon opening, I was immediately impressed with the overall package/look that it delivered. This is a well thought out device in my opinion. It’s clean and simple on the outside and this is important for the target audience.
The SwingTIP communicates with an iPhone, iPad, or Android device via Bluetooth connectivity with an app for the user’s preferred device. In addition, the device actually charges via a USB cable that connects with one end of the device under a moveable cover to prevent dirt from getting into it during use. It also has a light on the other side that will change to indicate when it is charged. The most noticeable difference in- hand from some other devices is the two piece design where the attachment clamp installs onto the club and then the SwingTIP slides and locks into the clamp when you are ready to record your swings.
With a device like the SwingTIP that measures things like face angle, installation is a key aspect. Not only does it need to be secure, it also needs to be simple. The device itself actually slides and locks into a two clamp bracket that is placed ¼-inch from the base of the chosen club’s grip. The bracket itself is, simply put, the best design I have seen from any of the related devices on the market when it comes to stability and quality. The bracket even has a pair of visual aids to help installation, one is a painted golf club design (head goes down like the club in your hands) as well as a pop-out “sight tool” to help make sure the device will be aligned to the face. After the bracket is attached, simply slide the SwingTIP down until it locks.
With something like this, words only help so much so I am including an installation video that I filmed:
EASE OF USE:
When it comes to any training aid, no matter how simple or complex, it must be easy to use. The SwingTIP essentially claims to allow the user to install, open the app, and go. If you leave your Bluetooth on all the time, it actually is that simple. Just install the SwingTIP to the club of choice, press the button on the end so that the charging/communication light flashes, and start your app. The SwingTIP syncs up seamlessly unless you always turn your Bluetooth off when not using to conserve battery life. In my time spent with the device in the living room, the yard, on the range, or on the course, connectivity was never an issue.
The app itself is also very well done and certainly has a more polished look to it than I have seen in some of the similar devices. Once you open the app, it notifies you it is attempting to connect as well as when it is connected, letting you know it is ready for you to swing. Also, openly displayed on the screen is the battery life remaining indicator. In addition, the main illustration of the screen actually has a generic golfer that you can view from behind, top, or down the line in order to get different angles on your recorded swings. SwingTIP also offers the ability to email swing information and sync with MySwingTIP.com where you can link your device and upload swing sessions with the press of a finger from the app.
As for the actual recording of swing data, I came away quite impressed with how easy it was. Once it is loaded and connected, it tells you it is ready for your swing. All you have to do is first select on the pop up menu whether you are hitting driver, fairway, or iron. After each swing it took the SwingTIP no more than 10 seconds to communicate the swing back to my iPhone. As soon as it did, the app went directly into animation displaying the swing path as well as all pertinent data on that particular swing. I particularly like that you can easily “star” certain swings for later reference and email or sync them with the press of a finger. Another nice feature is that you can actually touch any of the additional swing information at the bottom of the screen and the app will take you to a page with advice/videos about how to improve what you are seeing in that particular category.
The SwingTIP itself focuses on two main categories of information: the recording of the swing path and what it calls “key performance metrics”. These metrics consist of club head speed, swing path, club head face angle, impact zone, and tempo. All of that sounds great, but it all comes down to the actual feedback and accuracy. To the point, did the SwingTIP provide accurate and immediate feedback of my golf swing? Yes and no.
First let’s focus on the swing path. In my time with the SwingTIP I can honestly safely say that I came away impressed with the swing path illustrations. Not only is it instant feedback you can view from different angles, but putting “different” swings on the ball always showed in the device, even when you catch one fat. Another part of this feature that I really liked was the ability to add a reference “prototype” swing path to the screen and compare it to mine. However, I did see a few times where the swing path almost “jumped” during either the backswing or the downswing leaving a very peculiar illustration. This didn’t happen a lot, but it did occur a few times.
I can safely say that I paid a lot of attention to the “key performance metrics” the SwingTIP provides feedback on. During my testing I made note again and again that the swing path, impact zone, and tempo were dead on, even on toe and heel shots were accurate. As far as club head speed and face angle go, I saw some issues. With the face angle more than anything, accuracy depends on fitting the device/bracket onto the club properly. If it was off, the reading would be off as well. With club head speed, the SwingTIP claims that it is within 2-3 MPH of FlightScope or TrackMan. I actually went and got on a monitor to see my current numbers for comparison. I saw that the SwingTIP was actually about 5-6 MPH lower with drivers and woods but right on the 2-3 MPH claim with irons on about 90% of my recorded swings.
All of the mid-session instant feedback is a tremendous tool, but I actually found the most impressive thing to be viewing all of the information after each use. In the email format you get a swing versus swing comparison for the favorite swings based on club selection and it includes all recorded info in an easy to read layout. Alternatively, uploading the information to your MySwingTIP.com account is nothing short of incredible. If you are a numbers person, this is your place. Here you have the ability to view swings by varied criteria like date, club selection, and much more. On the website there is access to charts on everything you have recorded with the SwingTIP. One issue I do not care for is the lack of an easy way to clearly delete past swings and data. This causes some shortcomings with moving through the information on the website as well as the app.
Like anything else out there, the SwingTIP had its ups and downs as far as claims and what I actually saw in my use of the device. Yes, there was an issue with club head speed being a bit off, but to me this was not a huge issue because it is a mobile device after all. I know that a device like the SwingTIP cannot be completely perfect. That said, coming in I was more focused on having instant access to all of the swing path data and I really did like what I saw in all aspects there. I do feel like the overall design of the SwingTIP is superior to what I have seen so far in this corner of the market. Not only does it have the best bracketing system I have seen so far in this type of device, but the amount of information it processes and provides borders on mind boggling.
In the end, I honestly believe that in the hands of a visual type person this is a particularly effective device. Though there may be a few small hiccups here and there, the SwingTIP does what it sets out to do. The benefit to it being on a mobile platform like this is that updates and tweaks are certainly possible down the road. The SwingTIP certainly appears to have the support behind it in Mobiplex to continue to not only improve itself, but stand out from the crowd of similar devices.
MSRP for the SwingTIP is $129.99 and can be purchased directly from the company or via other retailers. Please visit www.swingtip.com for more information on the SwingTIP.