If your golf swing isn’t getting you the low scores you’d like to see, you’ve probably got some swing faults that need to be corrected. While a coach is one of the best ways to improve, they’re still very expensive per hour and you’d have to spend thousands to have your instructor giving you feedback every time you play or practice.
So what can you do?
You can either try to diagnose your own swing faults by recording your own swings, but it’s hard to see what you’re doing wrong unless you’re a trained professional with a 60 frame-per-second camera plus software. But even if you go this route, chances are you’re going to suck at it unless you’re a PGA pro or played high-level competitive golf. No good!
Fortunately there’s a new breed of technology that gives you real-time analysis of your golf swing: Golf Swing Analyzers. These devices attach to your club or hand and collect tons of data on your swing. From swing path to face angle, angle of attack to smash factor, these gadgets give you all the data you need to get your swing pure and lower those handicaps.
Let’s dive in.
The Buyer Guide
So what is a swing analzyer?
A swing analzyer is a device that uses something called an accelerometer and a gyroscope to measure what happens in your golf swing. Accelerometers are extremely sensitive measuring tools that can sense precise movement, so it knows exactly how far inside or outside you take the club when you start your backswing. It can measure a bunch of different swing factors at once.
Once the data is collected from the device, it is sent to the app to process and analyze. The app uses the data to check different aspects of your golf swing against the ideal golf swing to tell you how you compare.
Most apps will also show a 3D model of your swing so you can replay it like a video along with the relevant measurements of your swing factors and analyzing your swing at certain checkpoints. This helps you actually see what the club is doing in your swing. (It’s easy to *feel* like you’re exaggerating a movement, like dropping the club way inside on your downswing, but the video shows virtually no change in your swing.)
Now we’ll dig into the major features and how to find the best golf swing analzyer.
Device – Club vs Hand
Consumer golf swing analyzers come in two types – one group that attaches to your club and another that attaches to a golf glove. The club-based devices have a clamp that attaches to your club shaft or are installed into the end of the club (like stat trackers). Early versions of some analyzers had problems staying on clubs. The early version of the SwingByte, for example, had several issues that caused the company to release a new version with a built-in clamp instead of the rubber strap.
Swing Factors Analyzed
Typical swing factors are: shaft lean, speed, tempo, downswing, lag, club path and angle of attack
- Shaft Lean at Address
- Shaft Lean at Impact
- Clubhead Speed
- Swing Tempo
- Shaft Angle
- Face angle at half-back
- Takeaway angle at half-back
- Backswing Length
- Face angle at top
- Shaft direction at top
- Face angle at half down
- Return angle at half down
- Attack angle at impact
- Shaft angle at impact
- Shaft lean at impact
Which are the essentials? Well, because we know that 80% of your ball flight is determined by club path and face angle, we’ll definitely make those must-have. Angle of attack and clubhead speed are two other factors that explain a good chunk of the remaining 20%. Tempo and
Accuracy: Bad data is worse than no data
The last thing you want to do is make changes to your swing based on faulty data. Grooving a swing change is hard enough as it is, so you want to be sure that you’re making the *right* changes, and not just changes for change sake.
Apps: Are they well-designed and easy to use?
The app should be aesthetically pleasing and intuitive to use while giving you the information you need to learn about your swing and how to improve. A laggy or clunky app can ruin your experience with a good product, so it’s essential that companies put as much effort into their app as they do with the product itself.
Actionable: Can you take action immediately based on the data?
Even if the device collects every possible piece of data on your swing, there’s really no point unless it gives you actionable recommendations to improve. Most of us aren’t PGA Professionals, so if your swing trainer tells you that your path is inside-out by 4 degrees, how so you know if that’s good or bad? The best golf swing trainers show your metric against a normal range of swing data from professionals.
It’s also important that the swing analyzer doesn’t try to force you into a ‘model’ golf swing. Even PGA Tour players have very different swings from each other, so it would be ridiculous for the training device to make you emulate one swing. Biomechanics just vary too much for everyone to swing the same way. It’s much better to aggregate a bunch of professional golfer swing data and identify a ‘normal’ range.
Fun Factor: Does it make you want to keep using it?
Working on something is always easier when you’re enjoying it. The best analyzers help you improve by rewarding you through progress update, notifications, and/or games. The feeling of making progress after all that time on the range makes the effort worthwhile.
Quality: Will it last long enough to make it worth the money?
Technology is always getting cheaper, which is a good thing, but cheap technology can also mean cheap build quality. Any product that attaches to something else can break
Putting: If you plan to putt with it, double check the features.
Not all swing analyzers have the ability to check your putting stroke. While not everyone wants it, you should be sure whether it does or not.
Best Available Swing Analyzer: Skygolf Skypro Swing Analyzer
Of all the swing analzyers on the market, we think the Skypro is the best you can get. The device is lightweight, attaches securely to your club shaft and measures accurately. You won’t notice that it’s even on your club.
The Skypro gives you a very good set of swing factors to review, including checkpoints at several positions in the backswing. The app also give you a couple very cool views of your swing – one being the ‘panes of glass’ view from Hogan’s Five Lessons
and another that shows a ‘traced’ illustration based on the path of your clubhead.
- Compare mode – lets you visually see your good vs bad swings so you can easily see where you’re going wrong.
- Grooving session – work on specific moves from a list of
- Gamified – Earn badges as you improve
- Save swings
- Add notes
The Skypro golf swing analyzer comes with the analzyer sensor, a charging station and usb cable. The charging station is more like a watch case that feels a little like overdesign, but it looks cool anyway. Some other analyzers just charge directly via the mini USB. It only takes an hour or so to fully charge the unit.
Getting started is easy – just attach to your favorite practice club (7 Iron for me) and twist the clamp in place to keep it secure. Next, download the app for your phone (note: they didn’t have Android support but now they do) and open it up to calibrate the club.
Calibration is a little weird since you have to hold your phone to your clubface and swivel it around so the phone can identify how the device is positioned compared to the face of your club. This is better than asking the user to perfectly align the unit with the clubface manually.
Now you’re ready for the range!
With the unit calibrated and the app open, you can start swinging. The swing data is beamed via bluetooth instantly once it senses the club impact the ball. You can use the timeline button to move the 3d model of your swing to any point in the swing, replay it in realtime or slow-motion, zoom in, and get data directly from the 3d model at various checkpoints.
It was really useful for me to see how early I tended to open the clubface up in the backswing and fail to close it back to square in the downswing. By training myself to restrict the rotation on the backswing, I was able to straighten out shots without needing to force the face closed on the downswing. It’s a hell of a lot easier to make changes to the backswing at a few miles per hour compared to near impact where the clubhead is going 100mph!
The best feature of the Skypro is definitely the Groove Mode, which enables you to pick a specific swing area to work on and to calibrate a range of acceptability in the movement. For example, if you’re working on your takeaway path, you could select an ideal swing and use the buttons to set how much variance you’d like, starting from a wider range and building up to a narrow range. The ranges look like green slices of pie on the app and just like losing weight, you want those slices to get smaller.
Once you select the range, you get 10 swings to try and hit good shots while staying in the target range. This lets you batch your training in 10 swing increments and avoid having to check your phone after every swing. It can make noise and vibrate in your pocket to let you know when you’re inside or outside of the range – a very helpful usability touch.
• Easy to use and calibrate.
• Skypro goes easy on beginners with technical terms, increasing its readability.
• Attaches to any club and stays firmly in place.
• Provides a 3D view of your swing, at 60 fps.
• Plenty of features that help you track the swings, and individual components of swings, helping you improve it in Grooving Session.
• Conserves energy by slipping into sleep mode when not in use.
• The Android app seems to be missing the Plane Mode and Pro Tables features.
All in all, this is an absolutely stellar device. It has everything even an average and an expert golfer needs. It is fast and provides an abundance of information that helps you track every segment of your stroke. Truly, this is the ultimate swing analyzer.
If you’d like to purchase Skypro, here is an Amazon link to the product:
Best High-End Analyzer: Epson M-Tracer MT500GII Golf Swing Analyzer
Our second best golf swing analyzer is the Epson M-Tracer MT500GII. This is a high-end device and a very similar to Skypro. In fact, the two devices are so similar that it is hard to pick out which is the superior one. But, we decided to put Epson second, as it is a little less readable for beginner and casual golfers, and carries a heftier price tag. Even so, this is a great device with as many features as Skypro and is a more than a valid opponent for it on the market.
Just like its counterpart, the Epson M-Tracer is very light and portable. It is easy to install and will latch firmly onto the club, at the base of the shaft, so as not to fall off. The small size of the product is very favorable to golfers as it does not interfere with your swing. The extremely light weight of the device will in no way affect your stroke, allowing for accurate measurements and natural feel of the stroke.
The analyzer is stocked with all the latest technology, and provides a full 3D view of your swing, enabling you to observe your stroke from all angles. Epson constantly adapts to your swings and makes minor adjustments to the parameters, effectively keeping a real-time record of your every movement.
Amongst other things, the device precisely measures angle of attack, club head speed, face angle, and club path. Just like Skypro, Epson dissolves the swing into its components, making it easier for to track your progress and make slight adjustments in your technique. This is a very good way of gradually improving your stroke, instead of having to change your technique altogether.
The analyzer sports features such as swing comparison that enables you to compare your strokes and figure out a way to improve them, speed and distance that measures lag, grip and head speeds and terminal velocity of the club and critical checkpoints that allows you to view your swing in a V-zone view in order to analyze your backswing and downswing, as well as your follow-through.
Finally, we must note that the device has recommendations from top golf coaches around the world. This, in turn, speaks volumes about this device’s efficiency and overall quality.
• Lightweight and portable, does not interfere with your stroke.
• Easily installed, grips the club firmly.
• 3D view of the swing.
• Keeps a real-time record of your swings.
• Allows you to compare your swings with each other, and with the swings of other people as well.
• Plenty of features that dissolve the swing, allowing for a step-by-step reconstruction.
• Recommended by notable coaches worldwide.
• This is an expert level device with many technical terms involved, lessening its readability.
• Higher price.
In all, Epson M-Tracer MT500GII is a wonderful device with many positive sides and very few negative ones. As one of the best golf swing analyzer devices, Epson provides with a great and comprehensive experience and provides substantial aid to your game.
Like we said somewhere in the intro, practice makes perfect. However, as human perception is flawed, we often resort to devices and gadgets to help us draw out our maximum potential. In the world of golf, that gadget is the swing analyzer. These devices are very perceptive and are made to be the ultimate training tool for any golfer. Their incredible ability to analyze a swing with amazing accuracy will give you all the edge you need to achieve the perfect possible stroke technique.
However, these devices come in many shapes and sizes that will make choosing the right one a difficult choice. But if you stick to our little guide that we’ve prepared for you, you will be just fine, and we’re sure you’ll choose a product made just for you.
In the end, be sure to enjoy the game you’re playing. Be you a pro or a newbie, golf is a sport like any other, and it is meant to be an enjoyable, stress releasing activity. Losing may be frustrating, but that’s what analyzers are for – to improve your game. Just remember to not give up and spend time on the course practicing with these great little gadgets, and you’ll see your game improving and that score dropping in no time.
You can rest assured that each of the listed items delivers a top band for the buck and is full worthy of your attention within the given price range. We hope you enjoyed this little journey, found out something new and maybe even found your perfect golf swing analyzer. Take it easy and enjoy the game, folks!
|Skygolf Skypro Swing Analyzer|
|Epson M-Tracer MT500GII Golf Swing Analyzer|
|Swingbyte 2 Golf Training Device||http://www.redferret.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Swingbite-and-App.jpg|
|Blast Golf 360 Swing and Stroke Analyzer||https://blastmotion.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/box-blast-golf-replay.jpg|
|Zepp Golf Swing Analyser||http://www.golfbagcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/best-golf-swing-analyzer.jpg|