Over the last few weeks I've been using the SwingTalk Golf Swing Analyzer to help work on my golf swing. I've used it at the driving range, my back garden and on the golf course on a range of devices (iPad, iPhone, Samsung Moto G).
I wanted to share my experience to help people looking for a golf swing analyzer to decide if it's the right device/app for them. If you're not interested installation and set up and my experiences using the app, skip straight to the verdict at the end of the article.
In The Post:
Installation & Set Up
I chose to install the Golfzon SwingTalk app on to a iPad to allow for easier analysis of my golf swing first.
The SwingTalk communicates with the app via Bluetooth so having charged the SwingTalk Golf Swing Analyzer, the first step was to pair the devices. I have had problems in the past pairing devices so I thought this might pose the first challenge. I was pleased to find that they paired quickly and easily.
However, I did have problems securing and lining up the device at the top of the shafts of my golf clubs. On some of my clubs I had to use a screwdriver to clean out and open up the hole enough for the device to fit, but not so much that is slipped out. Make sure you do this on all your clubs before heading out to your local driving range or golf course. Also, using a screwing action to fully secure the device so it sits flush with the top of your golf club grip.
The blue light on the SwingTalk Golf Swing Analyzer needs to be aligned with your golf club head to work effectively.
SwingTalk Aligned Too Far Right and Too Far Left
Here are examples of the SwingTalk out of line with the club face.
SwingTalk Aligned To Club Head Face
And this is what it looks like when the SwingTalk Golf Swing Analyzer is correctly lined up with the club face.
With the app installed, the devices paired and the device fitting snugly in my golf clubs, I was ready for the first trial. It was a sunny day so I took advantage of the weather by playing a round of golf and using the Golfzon SwingTalk to analyse my swing on the course.
Golf Course Trial
Using at GolfZon SwingTalk during a round of golf as a one ball on a quiet golf course was great. With the app mounted on my trolley I was able to review my swing when required.
I wouldn't recommend using the app when playing golf with friends or when the golf course is busy. It took significantly more time to get round the golf course and my progress was very stop/start. But there's little value in knowing what you've got wrong, without having and taking the opportunity to play a few practice shots to put it right.
Don't be put off if the app knocks you out of your rhythm on first use. It will take a few outings for you to figure out how you can best use it to help you improve.
Golf Course Pros
- Get instant feedback on bad shots
- Collect swing data and club choice over a round
- Benchmark data for comparions with future rounds
Golf Course Cons
- Too time consuming to analyse every swing during the round
- Slows down play and can knock you off your rhythmn
- 3G or 4G required. I tethered the iPad to my mobile phone
Driving Range Trial
Using the Golfzon SwingTalk for the first time at the driving range was a real eye opener. I've always considered myself quite good at figuring out what I've done wrong and how to fix it. What I was oblivious too was all the bad habits that had slipped into my swing.
It had been a long time since I'd had the opportunity to take an objective look at my swing and there were number of issues. I was still hitting the ball straight so I hadn't noticed them creep into my swing. But I had lost distance and the trajectory of shots were too low with my one-wood, three-wood and five-wood and low irons, and too high with my high irons.
I had a lot to work on. I needed to work on my club head speed, resolve issues with my stance and the angle of my swing into the ball.
I spent another 75 shots + practice swings working on these areas before fatigue set in and my golf swing had started to get worse.
Driving Range Pros
- Focus on specific issues and work to resolve them. Track progress and impact on club head speed and tempo.
- Work on specific golf clubs that tend not to work well for you on the course. Identify issues, resolve and improve confidence ready for your next round of golf.
- Compare golf swing to a pro's golf swing, validate progress and identify other areas of improvement.
- Collect a wide range of data to analyse at home.
Driving Range Cons
- Golf is hard. It was a reminder of how complicated working on your golf swing can be. As a result, your swing can get worse before it gets better, which is frustrating.
- It's too easy to focus on club head speed at the expense of a consistent and smooth golf swing. A mistake I made which resulted in developing a nasty hook.
- On one occasion I hit the mat before the ball and the device came out of the club and landed in the driving range landing area.
- I had to regularly check the alignment of the blue light on the SwingTalk Golf Swing Analyzer with the blue light when making too much contact with the mat.
- The app would sometimes start the swing analysis in error, before I had taken the shot. But the app was quick to recognise it wasn't a golf swing and prepare for my next shot.
Golf Swing Analysis
I love data analysis, so I was really excited about reviewing the golf swing data collated at the driving range and on the golf course. Unfortunately, I had used 3 different devices unaware that data is stored locally and was fragmented between the devices I'd used. The feature I'd most like to see added to the app is data synchronization between devices.
I made use of the explanation of each data point denoted by the “i” icon to get a clearer picture of the data available. And started exploring the app and comparing my golf swing data for each club. I don't make a habit of taking advantage of user guides and prefer to get to grips with apps by using them.
I was delighted to find that I was able to playback my golf swing compared to a professional golfer's swing. It was really interesting to see how I compared on both my irons and woods. Here's a screen recorded video of the golf swing playback feature and the pro golf swing comparison feature:
And here's a video showing the swing data collected by the app and how it's presented in the user interface:
As you can see, there's a lot of data to take analyse and compare. Another reason why it's important to focus on specific areas instead of overhauling your swing.
I really enjoyed using the SwingTalk Golf Swing Analyzer, it had been a long time since I'd worked on my golf swing and there was plenty of room for improvement. Using the data from the app I was able to improve my swing tempo, the club face angle when addressing the ball through the swing and number of aspects of my swing plane.
As well as helping me cut out some bad habits from my swing, the app help give me confidence in what I was doing right. Being able to directly compare your swing with a golf pro's swing provides a lot of validation and assurance that the progress your making is on the right track.
It's important to find a balance between swing analysis and adjustments with consistency and rhythm. By focusing on one specific issue at a time, I was able to make progress without derailing what I was doing right in my golf swing.