Though not a unique concept by any means, Swingsmart is an app that takes the power of modern mobile devices and harnesses this for the good of golfing-kind. Newspin Golf’s sublime app has seen many improvements of late including compatibility enhancements for iOS 8, but whether you have an Apple or Android device, this is an app that will allow you to record and input every one of your swings in order to quantify the many variables of your technique. This short review not only hopes to cover Swingsmart’s key features, interface, and general user experience but also the fact that competing apps (like the V1 Golf App) try and fail to come close to this technique-improving masterpiece.
An App with Purpose
The purpose of the SwingSmart app is quite clear from the outset: to be used as a handy interface between the SwingSmart hardware and you. By SwingSmart hardware, I mean the peripheral hardware that comprises the SwingSmart system, which can be found on the SwingSmart Gear website. If you were expecting the app to be an all-in-one solution, this fact may disappoint you but the aforementioned hardware is required in order to provide accurate outputs through the app. This hardware attaches to the golf club itself, after which you are required to demonstrate swings with different clubs so that the app can record and analyse the data.
A Front-End for Golfing Data
As a tool for collecting, analysing, and presenting data about your various swings, SwingSmart is extremely impressive, The “dashboard” is the main display node which will show you the various elements of your swing. This node is presented as a circle with different (and customisable) sections, including the tempo of your shot, shaft lean, max club speed, face angle data, club path, and your angle of attack. Because of the clean and empowering interface, you are able to choose which of these variables gets presented and in which section of the circle – in this sense it is a customisable experience that can be tailored to suit each individual golfer’s needs.
The app is a good tool for logging each of your swing sessions over time, with data stored chronologically so that you can track your progress through time and replay historical swings for you to compare and contrast with your most recent ones. The 3D swing view also plays back a dynamic representation of your swing on the screen, giving you the ability to remove the human figure from the screen in order to look at the different-coloured lines representing your backswing, downswing, and follow-through trajectories. Note that you can also select from a massive database of clubs, so you don’t have to worry about finding a matching one on which to build your swing data.
Tips from Kostis
There’s a few extra features included in the app to sweeten the deal as well. This specifically refers to video-based golfing tips that may teach some tips and tricks to beginners. These tips are from none other than pro Peter Kostis of the Kostis Golf Academy. You’ll find nine videos altogether, each explaining and giving tips about the various elements of your swing such as path and tempo, as well as branching out into other areas, such as adjusting the shape of the swing and learning to control distance on shorter shots.
Design, Usability, and Summary
The design of the app itself is simple yet displays a certain level of polish expected of an app designed to act as an interface for thousands of swing-improvers worldwide. The main menu displays all the sections of the app in a circular formation, requiring only a tap on each section to bring up the relevant parts. Selecting your golf club is also easy; you’ve got 3D representations of each club type, and a substantial menu of individual golf club models once you click on each of the clubs on the screen.
One drawback of the app is that it is reported to be quite buggy on occasion, and it has been found to slow down on certain Android devices. Some people may be disappointed that one cannot simply video-and-go as it were, instead of having to buy the entire SwingSmart hardware system in order to get the app functioning. There are other competitors on the market as well – Pocket Pro for instance – but SwingSmart holds its own due to its impressively powerful and functional app. It doesn’t half look bad on the screen, either.