6 December 2023
Seven of the best golf gadgets to improve your training
Measuring and much more: training aids and game-supporting technologies can work wonders when used correctly. We take a look at some visionary golf gadgets and show you how you can put them to good use.
The market for high-tech golf gadgets for measuring your round, improving your swing and analyzing your game has exploded over the past ten or fifteen years. You probably won't find a single flight without some form of measurement. Be it by watch, clip, laser, smartphone app, by means of a screen permanently installed in the cart or e-trolley, by digital voice announcement, on a wristband or integrated into a Bluetooth speaker. And there probably isn't a golf club where at least one pro doesn't use digital tools as a basis for their coaching sessions, using the data to give even more sophisticated and well-founded technique tips and follow training plans. Even if it is only for purposes such as to better document training progress and the swing improvement process. Or to build up training not just from the whim of the moment, but instead on a data basis that is more comprehensible and meaningful in the longer term. While golf gadgets used to be bulky and incredibly expensive, they are now in pocket format and more affordable for the average golfer. More and more golfers are taking their game into their own hands, investing a few euros and helping themselves to the technology that will improve their training.
The trend is clear, regardless of the type of measuring method and technology in question: handling is becoming easier and easier, most devices work on the plug-and-play principle. Battery life is getting longer, precision is becoming more accurate to the centimeter, displays are clearer and tidier, menu navigation is more intuitive, and the data resulting from the analysis is becoming easier to record and more meaningful.
Proof of confidence, training success, speeding up the game
Traditional golf-obsessed may still object as to whether the technical trend on the golf course is not going too far, citing the spirit of the game and demonizing all the high technology as witchcraft. However, in a study conducted by the National Golf Foundation, more than 80 percent of all participants claimed to have more confidence in their golf game thanks to supportive tools and measuring devices; well over half of them claim to have experienced a speeding up of their game through the sensible use of these types of aids and almost half of them even want to achieve a better score.
Data, results, training tips and plans immediately available, easily transferable to any other end device, shareable, understandable for everyone. The gadgets recognize the location, do almost everything by themselves and offer a lot of precise information based on the global positioning system (GPS), image and radar technology or pressure measurement sensors.
Below we present seven devices to illustrate the variety of possibilities: Each gadget in its own right can be of immeasurable value to golfers, even if most are in the price segment of a current branded driver.
Unfold the compact holder, open the app, clamp your cell phone into the device – done. The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor MLM2PRO is set up in seconds. Just quickly select the appropriate club (can also be scanned automatically) and you're ready to go. It doesn't matter whether you are practising at the net or on the driving range with a free flight path. The app provides basic ball data such as ball speed, carry length, launch angle and more. After the training session, a nicely presented summary of all shots is created, both graphically and in tabular form. There are also some entertaining games to choose from (e.g. closest to the pin). Another interesting feature is the tracing of the ball flight line, just like you are used to from the TV broadcast of the PGA Tour. MLM2PRO measures 13 important golf criteria, including spin rate and spin axis, and offers endless in-app simulations. Impact Vision and Shot Vision: An integrated high-speed camera captures 240 frames per second for a slow-motion view of your shot motion and contact point. The second integrated camera allows you to view swing videos complete with shot tracer to visualize the ball flight. Swings can be viewed in slow motion. Cool for the winter: In partnership with Callaway, RPT Chrome Soft X golf balls have been developed to allow indoor spin tracking for even more accurate spin measurements.
Great price-performance ratio with little data deviation from the high-end devices. // Price (RRP): 799 Euro (1 year Premium membership worth 199 Euro included with purchase). // Technology: Dual optical camera vision and radar processing. // Battery: up to eight hours. // rapsodo.com
The Flightscope Mevo+ is in the price range between the affordable devices and the high-end solutions. Practical: the device can be attached to the golf bag with a snap hook in the protective cover. The monitor works both outdoors and indoors - and offers a total of 17 ball and club parameters that are reliably recorded by the 3D dual radar technology. In the user interface, you can choose between different display formats (graphical with ball tracking or tabular). With the video function, swings can be recorded and analyzed using lines or angles. Simulation and enjoyment of the game are not neglected either: Mevo+ includes ownership of ten courses and 17 practice areas without an additional license fee. It is ideal for indoor training and is very close to the premium class in terms of ball data accuracy.
Very easy to use launch monitor with very accurate data acquisition. // Price (RRP): 2,617.04 Euro // Technology: 3D dual radar // Battery: up to two hours // www.flightscopemevo.eu
BAL.ON Smart Kit
Am I really in balance, or does it just feel like it? Was the timing right on the downswing? Do I have my body pressure in the impact where it best supports the shot? And where exactly would that be? If you want immediate feedback on your golf swing, BAL.ON, a training system consisting of two intelligent insoles combined with a golf coaching app, is the right choice. BAL.ON works with two types of data streams: visual data and pressure data. While players film their golf swings with their cell phones, the ultra-thin sensors in the insoles register the smallest changes in pressure during the movement. This is made possible by highly sensitive "Force Sensing Resistors" (FSR), which trigger a change in electrical resistance when pressure is applied to them. The app synchronizes the video sequences with the pressure data and compares both with thousands of data sets from other players, including many pros. Based on seven swing metrics and with the help of AI, BAL.ON recognizes where you have potential for optimization and suggests exactly the drill that will improve your technique.
The combination of pressure and video data is the real highlight of BAL.ON – it makes something visible to the user that would otherwise remain invisible forever in the golf swing: the details of power generation, timing and rhythm. All of this can be easily addressed and improved, either on your own, with the help of AI coaching, or in collaboration with the coach, who can specify specific target values for displacement and pressure patterns. As a mobile and versatile system, BAL.ON opens up completely new time windows for individual training.
The system is affordable, easy to use, fun and gives new impetus to golf training. // Price (RRP): 549 Euro (from size S-XL, EU 36–47) // Technology: Force Sensing Resistors, Bluetooth // Battery: 20 hours // bal-on.golf
Bushnell Pro X3
Bushnell is one of the market leaders in the golf laser rangefinder category, and the Pro X3 is the evolution of a proven top product. The addition of "Slope with Elements" technology is an innovation that allows you to include elevation above sea level in your calculations. It is used to store the distances determined with the slope function at the altitude at which you normally golf. The "Locking Slope Switch" technology makes it possible to deactivate the slope mode easily and even more safely, as this measurement of height differences between the starting point and finish is prohibited in tournaments. Depending on lighting conditions or preference, the device offers two colors in the enhanced, ultra-bright backlit display - black or red. The rubberized, fully waterproof metal housing is ergonomically shaped to fit comfortably in the hand. And thanks to "Visual Jolt", vibration and visual indication ensure that you have reliably measured the distance to the flag. Further features: Bite magnet mount, seven-fold magnification, up to 540 meter measurement with plus/minus one meter accuracy, 373 grams light, Bluetooth connection to the Bushnell Golf app, high-quality case.
The Rolls-Royce among golf laser models. // Price (RRP): 599 Euro // Technology: Laser // Battery: 3-Volt Lithium (CR 2), no indication of run time // bushnellgolfglobal.com
The latest Arccos Smart Sensors (Gen3+) feature new technology for automatic shot tracking. Arccos hardware and software are moving even closer together so that golfers can analyze their shots even more accurately. The basis for this is machine learning. Combined with the Arccos Caddie App, the result is an extremely comprehensive data tracking and analysis system that gives you insights into every aspect of the game and information and recommendations for every club in your bag. The latest Gen3+ sensors come in a sustainably manufactured box. It includes 13 sensors in a sleek new design and a new P3 putter sensor that is more than 40 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than its predecessor. The putter sensor fits most standard grips and enables seamless shot tracking until the ball has disappeared into the hole. Interesting addition: Arcco's Caddie Link. A small shot tracking device that can be clipped to the player's waistband, belt or pocket and connects seamlessly to the sensors and app even without a cell phone. It automatically records stroke data and eliminates the need to carry a phone during the game.
Small but powerful. The fact that the PGA Tour and a number of club manufacturers maintain major cooperations with Arccos speaks for the quality. Some clubs are also supplied with grips in which Arccos sensors are integrated. // Price (RRP): 219 Euro (sensors); 159.99 Euro (link clip); 319.99 Euro (combined starter bundle) // Technology: GPS and Bluetooth // Battery: – // arccosgolf.com
"Hit longer, straighter and closer" is the slogan of DeWiz Golf. The company, headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, with investors such as Annika Sörenstam and Vijay Singh, offers a technology that provides swing data and feedback in real time, packaged in a wristband (44 grams, 45x40x16 mm, plastic/silicone/steel). The scientific approach is to break motor learning cycles and guide golfers to their perfect swing. Unlike other technologies that focus on output data with shot metrics and ball flight, deWiz accurately measures your backswing and downswing in 3D, providing an understanding of what is actually happening with each of your swings. deWiz Transition measures how far above or below plane the downswing is compared to the backswing. Quickly improve the swing plane to achieve a straighter ball flight path or learn to shape trajectories. The result: less guesswork and more consistency. To optimize training, deWiz has developed the patented learning stimuli, based on neuroscientific findings and several years of research. The watch emits a slight electrical impulse if you exceed your preset parameters, i.e. overshoot or leave a desired swing path.
High-quality development and workmanship, provides valuable information and practical application options. For normal golfers, not just for technology freaks. // Price (RRP): 683.95 Euro // Technology: Biofeedback with motion sensor chip, Bluetooth // Battery: up to seven hours // dewizgolf.com
Voice Caddie SC4 Launch Monitor
The Swing Caddie SC4 is a complete simulator and portable launch monitor (12.34x2.9x19.28 cm, 436 grams) that is extremely compact and of high quality on the ball, can be used both indoors and outdoors and delivers precise swing and ball flight metrics at an attractive price. In simulator mode, the SC4 connects to the included MySwingCaddie app, which provides a complete virtual display with metrics and statistics. To further enhance the simulator experience, the SC4 is fully compatible with E6 Connect / Optishot Orion and its suite of photorealistic courses (optional subscription). Outdoors, the SC4 can be used as a standalone device (no smartphone required) with a clear display showing carry distance, direction of hit, swing speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, apex and spin rate. The SC4 can also be connected directly to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, allowing you to save data, record swings and create swing overlays. The remote control, the voice output of the distance and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery ensure maximum functionality and user-friendliness.
Well made, practically packaged, easy and intuitive to use, data and results precise and reliable. // Price (RRP): 559.90 Euro // Technology: Doppler radar // Battery: ten hours and more // voicecaddie.com