By John Strege
Technology, now or in the future, won't replace the teaching professional, but it can narrow the gap, according to Vijay Nadkarni, founder, president an CEO of Mobiplex, a Silicon Valley concern that has developed a device it calls "a golfer's mobile swing coach."
"I think there's a big gap between what you currently understand about your swing and what a golf pro can tell you about your swing," Nadkarni said. "We think this device gets you a little closer to the middle of that gap."
The device is the SwingTIP, which uses a wireless 3D motion sensor that attaches to the golf shaft and provides swing data instantly via the free app to an iPhone or Android device.
The SwingTIP analyzes 900 samples of data from a single swing, including the impact location on the face (based on its ability to detect the direction of the vibration caused by off-center hits), clubhead speed, swing tempo, the path of the club and the orientation of the clubhead during the swing. From this information, it produces a 3D animation of the swing.
"I think golfers learn when they know what's happing in their swing," Ray Leach, a former PGA Tour player who assisted in the development of the SwingTIP. "Learning can't happen if you don't have a vision of your swing. What I think we're getting at is helping golfers understand the origin of why, why their shots aren't going where they want them to go."
The SwingTIP also comes with 14 video and written swing tips in its instruction library, with additional tips to be added over time.
The device has been tested against popular launch monitors, including FlightScope and TrackMan. "We have found that our swing speed is typically within 2-3 mph of FlightScope or TrackMan," Nadkarni wrote in an email, "and swing path is right in line with what TrackMan or FlightScope measure (ball needs to be placed right on the target line, and the golfer needs to be aiming at the target)."
A video description of the product, including commentary from Craig Stadler, can be viewed here.
The SwingTIP sells for $129.99.