One cold, foggy morning recently, I found myself at the Presidio Golf Course driving range watching Ray Leach drive a golf ball into the wind over 250 yards from the tee.
The golf pro, a former player on the PGA Tour, was demonstrating a new technology called SwingTIP, which is a wireless 3D motion sensor device that helps golfers improve their swings.
The device weighs under an ounce and attaches just below the grip on your club. It syncs up with an app on your iOS or android smartphone.
It captures, analyzes, and wirelessly transmits an analysis of your swing in real-time to your phone.
What you see on the phone are three color-coded 3D views of the shape of your swing – from the side, from the back and from the front.
Leach, who has worked with many amateurs trying to improve their game, explains, “If they can visualize their swing, they have a pretty good chance to get better.
“SwingTIP shows them the consistency of their inconsistencies…most people have one consistent problem, and make the same mistake over and over.
“So problem-solving involves finding one origin, and helping people address that issue.”
The sensor is the first product from the peninsula-based startup, Mobiplex, whose founder and CEO, Vijay Nadkarni, says, “Our mission is to use motion analysis technology to help people improve their athletic performance and enjoy sports more.”
SwingTIP evaluates a number of metrics when replicating your swing shape, including club head speed, tempo (consistency of swing), impact zone (hitting the ball in the sweet spot), face angle (open, closed, or square to target), and swing path.
Golfers can email their personalized “scorecard” measuring these metrics over time to their inbox or that of their coach.
Nadkarni says it took the company about a year to build SwingTIP, which went into beta testing this past spring. About 250 people, from PGA pros to beginners to recreational golfers, helped test the product, which launched officially just last week.
It costs $129.99 and is available on Amazon for now, and soon through other retailers as well.