Review: SwingTip will help you look good on the golf course
At a Glance
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Only a few years ago, getting professional analysis of your golf swing was both pricey and complicated. It involved multiple cameras, perfect lighting and camera placement, and special software. But now you can get a professional analysis of your swing – and just about every swing—thanks to a little $130 device called the SwingTip.
Mobiplex’s SwingTip is an appcessory that works in tandem with a free mobile app. The SwingTip attaches to your golf club—near the grip, so it’s virtually unnoticeable—and tracks each swing you take. The device then ports that information to the app on your smartphone, so you can see your swing, metrics, and tips on how to improve in real time.
SwingTip is designed for anyone who can swing a golf club—which, really, is pretty much everyone. The device is small and fits easily onto the neck of the club, and the app and web service are fairly straight-forward and easy to use. In other words, the SwingTip doesn’t require any particular level of fitness or tech-savvy to use.
SwingTip is, somewhat obviously, designed for golfers but it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re a seasoned golf pro, SwingTip can help you. If you’re just starting out, SwingTip can give you tips on how to improve your swing, and if you’re a seasoned pro, SwingTip gives you a tool with which to track your performance and consistency.
Design and features
The SwingTip is an appcessory, a device that works in tandem with an app on your smartphone. SwingTip’s app, which is free, is currently available for both iOS and Android devices.
Getting started with the SwingTip appcessory is a simple process. In the box, you’ll find the SwingTip device, a holster for attaching the device to your golf club, a micro-USB cable for charging the unit, and two small pieces of rubbery material in case your club happens to be thinner than average. There’s also a getting-started guide that walks you through setting up the device and the app.
First, you’ll need to download the app on your smartphone. Once the app is downloaded, you’ll be able to create a SwingTip account, which will allow you to access SwingTip’s website where you’ll be able to see charts and performance data. Connecting your phone to the SwingTip device is easy. The app will turn your phone’s Bluetooth on, but to connect the SwingTip you’ll have to go into your phone’s Bluetooth settings. This is a one-time step, however, and in the future your phone will automatically recognize (and connect to) the SwingTip.
The SwingTip is a small device, a little larger than the size of a single AA battery. On one end there’s a power button, which, when pressed to turn the device on, flashes green and amber lights at you. The other end houses the micro-USB port, which is covered by a small rubber cap.
To attach the SwingTip to a golf club, you’ll first need to position a holster on the club’s neck. The flexible holster features two latches and a rubberized interior to help it stay in place on the golf club. In order to ensure the SwingTip doesn’t affect your swing, the holster is placed near the grip of the club. Placing the holster is simple – just place it on the neck of the club, near the grip, and latch it on. To make sure the SwingTip is properly positioned for accuracy, the holster has a slim sight that pops up and can be aligned with the lines on the club’s foot.
The holster easily snaps on and off of a club, so it’s not difficult to use the SwingTip with multiple clubs. However, if you’re feeling lazy, you can also purchase packs of two additional holsters for $19.99.
App and Performance
The app has four buttons on the main screen: Swing, Review, Tips by Ray Leach, and Settings. If you’re not quite ready to start swinging, you can tap on “Tips by Ray Leach” to see video tutorials on how to fix different problems—for example, you can watch a video on how to fix a toe shot (when you hit the ball with the end of the club face) or on how to increase your club speed. Once you’re ready to swing, you can tap “Swing” to let the app connect to the device.
The app takes just a few seconds to connect to your device, and then you can start practicing. The app does not register practice swings, so your swing will only be recorded when you hit a ball. On the swing screen, you can choose what type of club you’re using (iron, wood, or driver) for a more accurate reading.
When you hit a ball, the app will take about 10 seconds to process the hit. After 10 seconds, you’ll see your swing on your phone’s screen as an arc—blue for the backswing, and yellow for the forward swing. On the review screen there will be four small boxes at the bottom, which give you information on your swing: the swing path, the club face angle, the impact zone, and the tempo. If you tap on the first three boxes (swing path, club face angle, and impact zone), you’ll be directed to a screen that shows you what (if anything) you did wrong, and how to correct it with your next swing.
You can also see your swing speed, as well as watch an animated version of your swing from three different angles.
Though the app takes about 10 seconds to process each hit, all the hits from a session will eventually be processed, which means you can hit balls quickly and just check your data later. When you’re done hitting balls, you can end the swing session and sync your data from that session with the main website.
The bottom line
SwingTip is a pretty nifty little device if you’re bent on improving your golf swing. Not only is it small, light, and virtually invisible on your club, it’s one of those rare devices that spits back useful metrics and tips to help you. For most amateur golfers, highly technical swing analysis is useless unless they know what to do to improve, and SwingTip’s video tips by pro-golfer Ray Leach are definitely helpful.
SwingTip is useful for amateurs, but it’s perhaps most useful for golfers who have a golf instructor. Since the data can be exported—and then emailed directly to your instructor, it’s almost like having your instructor right there on the course with you.
“Just imagine—you could be at a golf course in Hawaii, and you could take a few swings and shoot me over the data and I’d be able to know exactly what you were doing wrong and how to work with you,” says Bill Wilson, a professional golf instructor at the San Jose Municipal Golf Course. “The technology is phenomenal and it will only help instructors better teach their students.”