I remember watching golf last year and they were talking about Tiger’s comeback. Now I don’t know what you might think of Tiger because folks tend to either love him or hate him. One thing that did strike me about the conversation was when they mentioned the angle of descent and launch angle and how those numbers had changed over the last few years for Tiger. According to the announcers, those numbers told the story of how Tiger’s game started to deteriorate. They continued on and said the reason why Tiger was having a very good year in 2012 was because the swing plane and launch angle were coming back to the same numbers that he had when he practically ruled week in and week out. So I decided to do a little research on my own to see how launch angle and how using a golf launch monitor might improve my golf game.
When you turn watch golf on TV, you are bound to see the new commercials which now promote drivers, 3 woods, and such where you can change the launch angle. The pro hits a ball some 270 yards with his 3 wood (fairway metal) and the guy using the launch monitor tells him that he had a certain clubhead speed, ball speed, and launch angle. Then he walks over and with a minor click or adjustment the 3 wood now has a different setup. The pro hits the ball again and he has now hit it 280 yards. Makes for a great commercial and you and I say to ourselves, “where can I buy one of those clubs”?
Tip: Before going any further let me state one thing. If you go to a golf store and want to try out some clubs, make sure that you also try a couple of competing brands. If you are not aware, some unscrupulous stores will ramp up the golf simulator. What this means is that if you typically hit a 6 iron 150 yards, you might all of a sudden be hitting this new club 165 yards on the simulator. Do yourself a favor and either bring in your current clubs or test the clubs that you are looking to buy with competing brands at the same time on that same golf simulator. That way your 160 yard Taylormade 6 iron can be compared with a Callaway, Ping, Titleist, etc… The other thing to note is that not all clubs are created equal. So your current 6 iron might have a 33 degree loft while the new club that you are trying out on the simulator has a loft angle of 30 degrees. All things being equal otherwise, you are more likely to hit that 30 degree club further than the 33 degree club.
Lets quickly look at a couple of affordable golf launch monitors.
What I like about the Swingbyte is the opportunity to couple it up with your smartphone or tablet. As a new tablet owner, it is a definite plus. The Swingbyte Golf Training Device hooks up similarly to the Medicus Power Meter, just below the grip on your golf club. So I can watch the swing plane and path right on my tablet. How am I doing with that new Moe Norman swing I’m trying out
- Club Head Speed
- Swing Tempo
- Club Face
- Club Path
- Lie Angle
- Club Loft
In general users like this launch monitor. The main negative seems to be with slippage of the device but if necessary you can tape up the Swingbyte and it should not have this issue. All for a price of about $150 retail but you can usually find it for somewhere around $130 on sale here.
Similarly priced is the SwingTIP Wireless Golf Swing Analyzer Package
At a retail price of around $130, SwingTIP has received relatively good reviews and it is very similar to the Swingbyte above. Download the app, hook it up to your driver, woods, or irons just below the grip, swing away, and then look at the data on your android or iOS 5.1 device. All of this in virtually real time. Why is the ball flying to the left? Look at the data.
If you’ve got the time, this is a good interview regarding the SwingTIP Wireless Golf Swing Analyzer. Close to 10 minutes long and not a video but worth listening to.
I have not had the opportunity to try either of these devices as of yet but I am leaning towards the SwingTIP. This is my thought. If you are struggling with your golf game or just want to see feedback on how your swing looks and the numbers that go with your swing, check out one of these golf launch monitors.