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Archive for September, 2013

Voice Caddie VC300

Voice Caddie builds on their existing line with the 2013 release of the Voice Caddie VC300. As with their prior voice GPS devices, the Voice Caddie VC300 speaks distances to center, front and back of the green at the push of a button. The device comes with 30,000 worldwide courses preloaded, and course updates can be downloaded (to Windows devices only…bummer) for free via their client software.

The device features, as you would expect, automatic course and hole recognition, shot distance measurement, and volume control. The device has a swing tempo function to get your rhythm going, and a clip for visor or belt. The rechargeable battery provides up to 8 hours of continuous use. The Voice Caddie VC300 is 1.8″ x 1.5″, weighs approximately 1 ounce, and comes in black and white. The packages ships with a USB cable (for charging and syncing courses), quick manual and ball marker.

Voice Caddie VC300

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Retail price: $169.00
Three year total cost: $169.00
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3BaysGSA PRO

3BaysGSA is a part of an increasingly competitive field of mobile golf swing analysis devices, and in effort to differentiate from the rest, bill themselves as the “World’s Lightest Golf Swing Analyzer”. At a weight of 9.8 grams we believe them, but will a 7-ounce difference from the competition be the deciding factor for customers?

The 3BaysGSA PRO, like the GolfSense, Swingbyte and SkyCaddie SkyPro, is a small device that communicates via Bluetooth with a free app on your mobile device (iOS or Android) to provide data on the location of the sensor in space. As with most of these golf swing analysis devices, with the exception of GolfSense which attaches to your glove, the 3BaysGSA PRO attaches to the club (though to the butt end of the club, while others to the shaft). The app calculates clubhead speed, face angle, swing path, tempo, backswing time, down swing time, impact force, ball speed, and carry distance, all in real-time.

As with other devices in this class of swing analysis tools, you should primarily focus on relative changes to the data over time, rather than focusing on if the device can really provide accurate club face or ball speed data. And when you are looking at data, such as face angle, remember that what you are looking at 3Bays comparison of where it believes the club face is at address to where the club face is at impact (so if these points are closed and square respectively, the face angle will show as open at impact) – the device has no knowledge of the exact position of the clubface and impact. And no, it doesn’t know what shaft you are using, so don’t dig too deep. And since you asked, you are correct – the 3BaysGSA PRO will return a ball speed even if you aren’t hitting balls, which provides some insight into what these devices can provide. But the benefit is you can feel free to swing away in your cubicle on those slow work days!

With the mobile app you’ll be able to watch an animated graphic of your swing from the front and side view, with the swing metrics mentioned above backing up the animation. With preloaded PGA and LPGA pro swings, you also can compare your swing to that of others and see how you stack up. All swing records are recorded and stored, tied to the selected club, so you can look at trends over time.

3BaysGSA PRO Golf Swing Analyzer

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The 3BaysGSA PRO unit is 29.3 x 18mm excluding the pin that screws into the grip, and 29.3 x 43mm including the pin. The device weighs 9.8 grams, has a charge of up to 5 hours, and has a micro USB for charging purposes (Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR for its wireless connection). It is compatible with iPhone 3GS and later, iPod touch 4th gen on, and all iPad and iPad minis (with iOS 5.1 and later). There is only one 3BaysGSA PRO unit included with purchase, so when you want to evaluate your performance with different clubs, you’ll need to remove the unit from one club and attach to another.

As with all mobile swing analysis tools, remember not to expect Trackman-like level of information. The Trackman runs over $10K, the 3BaysGSA PRO doesn’t. But what you do get is a fairly inexpensive swing analysis tool, and one that, unlike most other devices, is likely to remain in a fixed position through swing and impact. Whether it is best to have a swing analysis tool attached to the butt end of the grip versus the shaft versus attached to the club we’ll leave for someone else (who can compare all devices while using a Trackman), but we would rather have a device that stays put.

Keep in mind there are different 3BaysGSA PRO units for iOS (Apple devices) versus Android, so be sure to select the correct unit when purchasing. Retail pricing is the same for both, and why there are two different types of hardware based on operating system we aren’t sure. That sure doesn’t seem like a way to keep things simple in manufacturing.

Retail price: $199.99
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Separately, there is also the 3BaysGSA PUTT, designed for analysis of your putting stroke. The device is the same in size, weight and battery life as the 3BaysGSA PRO, and we are guessing that the hardware is the same between devices. The bummer is that most likely the device could have offered one device for both full swing and putting. Then again, they wouldn’t have been able to charge $199.99 for each, would they? Bummer for us.

Retail price: $199.99
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GolfSense

GolfSense is a system consisting of a wearable motion sensor plus free mobile app from Zepp Labs. The motion sensor attaches to any golf glove, allowing the player to analyze their golf swing through instant feedback on their iPhone, iPad or Android device. The sensor, like other competitors in this burgeoning category, captures 3D swing data and sends the information via Bluetooth to your device after each swing.

GolfSense provides swing metrics including plane and path (with the ability to view swings in 3D), hand and clubhead speed, tempo, backswing position, and hip rotation (obviously most all of this data is derived based on the position of the GolfSense motion sensor in space, as opposed to directly captured, so YMMV).

Marketed benefits of the GolfSense over other swing analysis devices are the ability to track your hand path (the only sensor available to do so), ease of attaching to any glove, avoidance of additional weight on the shaft of the club, and the ability to use across multiple clubs without the need to detach, reattach and align sensors.

GolfSense Mobile Golf Motion Sensor

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GolfSense also provides a “SwingScore”, which is calculated based on how closely you are achieving your entered swing goals, and a color-coded dashboard to highlight areas on which you should focus. There is also 3D analysis throughout the backswing, downswing and follow-though so you can evaluate your swing from different angles. Players can also review past practice periods by day or session, and evaluate for one period or over time, as well as overlay swings or compare data to a PGA Tour Coach or your own swings to each other.

The GolfSense motion sensor is 2.6″ x 1.5″ x 0.5″, weighs 0.6 oz, contains a 5-hour rechargeable lithium polymer battery and attaches via included USB cable. The sensor works for right and left-handed players, and attaches to any model golf glove. The sensor is available in black and white and has a 1-year warranty.

As with any of these mobile swing tools, just remember to keep your expectations in check if you are expecting Trackman-like information (a Trackman runs over $10K, this doesn’t).

We haven’t evaluated the GolfSense yet, but if you have – share your comments below!

Retail price: $129.99
Availability: Replaced by the Zepp Golf Kit
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