NEXT PING INNOVATION...
In today's time where insignificant paint jobs on our drivers and irrelevant moveable weights get all the accolades for pushing the envelope of technology in the golf industry...there are still a few companies that actually take pride and are motivated to bring purposeful innovation to really help those of us that play this game. And there is no better example of that then PING Golf. It's easy to forget all the things they have revolutionized in the industry and even more amazing how long their innovations have lasted. FOR A LIST OF PING INNOVATIONS (CLICK HERE).
Speaking of innovation...PING knows a thing or two when it comes to putter innovation...the Anser which was designed in 1966 has over 600 Tour wins...and still dominates the Tour more then 45 years later...very Brett Favre streak'esque! So when a new gadget showed up in the mail from PING called the iPING Putter App...I thought I should spend a week getting familiar with it before reporting back my thoughts to all the "golf spy gadget gear heads".
About - The iPING Putter App
So what does this thing do? Well for those of you who have ever been fitted with a Tomi, Zenio or SAMM putter fitting system you might be somewhat familiar with the features this app provides the golfer. Although for the other 99% of golfers who have never tried one of those systems...here are the basics of what this app will tell you about your stroke:
iPING Putter App Measures
- Stroke Type
- Impact Angle
Practice Mode - In Practice mode, the user can isolate one aspect of their putting that’s lacking in consistency – tempo, for example – for extra attention. Stroke type, impact angle, and tempo are displayed for individual putts.
Measure Mode - In Measure mode, the golfer hits 5 putts and their stroke type, impact angle and tempo are displayed for every putt in that session and stored. The iPING app calculates a consistency score, and then averages the scores over time to build a Putting Handicap (PHcp)...yes you will now have a putting handicap too. As the player improves their consistency, they’ll watch their PHcp come down.
Compare Mode - In Compare mode the player can compare their results with previous sessions or with those of their friends. They can even do side-by-side comparisons with several PING tour pros, whose results are pre-loaded into the iPING app.
REVIEWED! - iPING Putter App
Is the iPING Putter App the first putter fitting product to hit the market of its kind? Well yes and no. No...it's not the first training aid built to measure your putting stroke and give you feedback regarding your stroke type, impact angle and tempo. But it is the first to measure your stroke on a smartphone, it is also the first to do so for free. And out of all the other devices I spoke about which I have tried it is also by far the most user-friendly and by leaps and bounds the most accessible.
But is it as good as the others. Well a couple of the other devices measure a few additional putter stroke attributes but and this is a BIG but...the others are out of reach cost wise for the average golfer. The other units run between $899-$2500...while the iPING Putter App is FREE. Only cost is the plastic cradle that snaps the phone to the shaft which will only set you back $30.
And that is just as innovative if you think about it...by actually being accessible to such a large number of golfers compared to its competition...it makes it sort of like the modern day cell phone. The original cell phone was super cool looking...only problem...only business owners could afford them. You remember what I am talking about...those hard wired phones you saw in your dad's Jaguar.
Like we said 99% of golfers had never heard of those other putter fitting tools. So it was brilliant for PING to bring out a similar technology and one that they will make available to any golfer at the touch of a button for FREE. And as icing on the cake...if you wondered why they have so many new Anser models coming out in 2011 that we spotted on tour the other week. Now you know why...because this tool will properly fit you into 1 of those 7 ever so slightly different models. Might not seem like a big deal...but I would say 90% of golfers are using the wrong putter for their stroke type...so this could be big for them in regards to pumping even more life into the original PING Anser design. And when I say pumping life I am not talking about hype tech...I am talking about technology that actually helps you improve your game.
EASE OF USE
Now you might not be thinking that ease of use is of that much importance...but think again. The main reason the other systems aren't household names are first price and following right behind in second place because they lack in ease of use. All the other systems require additional gear in order to test your stroke. The iPING Putter App...all you need is a phone which is by far the most popular device used in the world. It is like they sat down at the round table and said what are the hurdles our competition creates for the end user and how can we knock all of those down.
When it comes to instructions and using the app...piece of cake. The technical writing crew that created this app didn't miss a single step from what I can see. Everything from graphics to layout to user-friendliness were all perfect. Honestly I kind of expected that from PING even before first launching the application. Their engineers first and golfers second.
Well they made it easy on me for this one. Not much of a better value then $30 when your competition averages over $1,000 for similar technology. Easy A+ grade for value on the iPING Putter App.
When a gadget we review pretty much blows away its competition in every single category which the iPING Putter App has done...it makes it hard to not give that gadget a perfect score. So you might be surprised when you see that I did not give this app perfect numbers regarding performance. I had to take a few points off for the cradle snap-fit device. I tested this app with 5 different putters having both stepless and stepped putter shafts. And I did notice that after setting a laser to the unit before and after testing that the unit did show to close down a degree or two. And after looking at the piece that snaps to the shaft you could see where the plastic was stressed from being put on and off 5 different putters. But don't for one second let that keep you from downloading the iPING Putter app.
Improving your putting is all about consistency and this app WILL help you with that. No matter how good of a golfer you are it is very difficult for your eyes to see your putting stroke and be able to analyze it on top of that. How close will your results be to what you think you are actually doing when you first try this app? I bet you will be shocked by your first round results. Although you will notice that this makes you aware of making a consistent stroke which is one of the keys to becoming a great putter...and your numbers will improve dramatically in little time at all. When it comes to the top putters on tour and the tour players on the bottom of the rankings for putting the main difference is stroke consistency. And this app was great at improving just that.
And this is only version 1 from what we have been told by a source at PING...with future updates already in the works...look forward to seeing what they add. Also the iPING cradles have begun to ship out and can be found in these stores as of today; Uintas Golf, The World of Golf, Haggin Oaks and Carl's Golfland. If people are interested in ordering them through an online authorized PING retailer they can go to golfsmith.com, golfgalaxy.com, pgatoursuperstore.com, edwinwattsgolf.com, theworldofgolf.com or worldwidegolfshops.com. The rest of the cradles will make their way into most PING retailers within the first two weeks of July.