This may be the coolest iPhone golf app we’ve seen in a long time.
The innovators at PING recently launched the free iPING putting app, which can actually help improve your putting! You simply clip your iPhone to your putter, start the app and begin putting. After a series of 5 putts, the iPING app identifies your stroke type, analyses your impact angle and measures your tempo. It then establishes a Putting Handicap™, which gets lower as you improve your consistency. After a few sessions, you can begin to see which areas of your stroke need work, and you can then launch the “Practice” mode, which gives you instant feedback on any of the three areas you are working on. You can even compare your stroke to a number of PING Tour professionals. Way cool!
The iPING app is a free download from the iTunes® App Store™ for the iPhone® 4 and the iPod touch® (4th gen). The iPING app works in conjunction with a PING cradle (Available in retail packaging from some time in July), which holds the mobile device and clips onto the putter shaft just below the grip.
The app makes use of the iPhone 4 and iPod touch’s built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes. These allow iPING to measure and record data. The accelerometers measure linear acceleration, while the gyroscopes detect rotational speed.
“Innovation takes many forms,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “My father, Karsten Solheim, started PING with a single putter design. The engineering principles of that design and subsequent models ignited a revolution in golf club design and putter fitting. The Anser putter, which he designed in 1966, still dominates the Tours today more than 45 years later. The iPING app continues in our long tradition of innovation by allowing golfers to analyze their putting strokes more closely than ever. It works like a launch monitor for putters by measuring key aspects of your stroke. It will help every level of golfer see better results by adding more consistency on the putting green. Besides that, it’s a lot of fun to use and has several other features.”
Specifications (From PING website)
The iPING app analyzes and displays a golfer’s consistency onscreen using three criteria:
STROKE TYPE: Stroke type is the classification of a player’s closing angle, the amount of rotation of the putter face during the forward stroke. PING’s research found that golfers can be categorized as one of three stroke types: Straight, Slight Arc, or Strong Arc, measured in degrees of face rotation. (Straight has very little or no rotation; Strong Arc has the most.) The research shows that players tend to be most consistent with a balance of putter that matches their stroke type. Face-balanced putters work best for Straight strokes while toe-down putters are most effective for a Strong Arc.
IMPACT ANGLE: Impact angle is the putter’s face angle at impact, relative to address, measured in degrees. PING’s data shows that even the best players in the world do not necessarily have a 0 impact angle average, but all are highly consistent.
TEMPO: Tempo is a measure of the duration of the backswing relative to the forward swing and is expressed in a ratio: 2 to 1, for example. The average tempo will vary among players, but the best putters have extremely high consistency in tempo.
MEASURE MODE: In Measure mode, the golfer hits five 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). As the player improves their consistency, they’ll watch their PHcp come down.
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.
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.
Users can also share and compare their results through social media, Solheim said. “The social aspect and the ability to form a community around it is another exciting feature of iPING,” he said. “Golfers can share their results by emailing friends and posting sessions on Facebook® or Twitter®. We expect golfers to fully embrace these features as they develop fun and friendly competitions using iPING and their mobile devices.”
(Editor’s note: In the July issue of Inside Golf, we incorrectly referred to the RRP of the cradle as $30RRP. The correct price will be approximately $40, and will be available at select retailers in Australia in mid July. Watch this space for an announcement of when/where the cradles will be available)