With all the gadgets available to help the golfer improve their game, we ask the question, hype or help?
Mike Stock puts the Zepp Golf System to the test to see which bracket it falls into.
I don’t profess to be a good golfer, in fact some friends have pointed out that I should include protective headgear in my golf bag, not for me, but for my fellow players! That and the odd joke about perhaps including a machete to cut my way through the undergrowth while searching for yet another lost ball just wash over me. So when Zepp invited me to a product demonstration day at Wentworth, I was not particularly enamoured. Surely this will be just another piece of technology that is only going point out my flaws and cramp my unique style
I made my way down to the driving range where the Zepp guys (I shall henceforth refer to them as Zeppsters) had set up several of the systems for us journalists to try. Now I am not a technical golfer, give me too much information and I will probably go into thermal meltdown, so it was with trepidation that I allowed myself to be lured into one of the bays. The Zeppsters, took me through the workings of the system, which turned out to my great joy, to be surprisingly straightforward. A small sensor is attached to your glove which then links up with an App that you download onto your phone or tablet. The App is free but totally useless without the sensor. Initial setting up of the system involves inputting your data such as whether you are left or right handed, your golfing ability, type of golf clubs and so on.
Now I have to say, it takes a lot to impress me, but when the guys showed me how I could replay my swings to bring up both visual and technical data relative to my performance, I was, to put it mildly, blown away. You cannot argue with the stark truth presented to you in full colour on this system, and more importantly you don’t need a degree in mathematics to understand it. You can watch a replay in several modes, club, hand and plane. You can swivel the view around so that you can see your swing from multiple positions, for example from above, behind or from the front.Once set up, you have a computer generated image of a golfer, your own personal avatar. You then select which club you are about to use from a list at the bottom of the screen. OK, it’s time to take a swing. No pressure, I’m just surrounded by the Zeppsters and fellow journalists, all who seem to be rather better than myself.
Once you have visually seen your swing, you can click through to the stats screen that gives you your readings, but it gets better. From there you can click through to videos that shows you how to correct your mistakes. Hell, you can even record yourself for real and compare you swing to well-known professionals, not that any would have a swing remotely like my frenzied attack on the poor hapless golf ball! Ah, I see a light at the end of the tunnel of slice!
The Zepp never lies
The most obvious piece of information the system picked up, and that I could not dispute as there was incriminating evidence of me doing it, was the fact that I swing the club in and then out rather than out and then in. So, I click through to my stats that inform me of the severity this error. For this part of your technique to be correct, your club plane needs to be close to zero or minus, mine was none of the above, quite the opposite actually. I then click through to a selection of videos with professionals who tell me what I am doing wrong and how to correct it. It’s like having your very own coach whenever you want and wherever you go.
I now have my own Zepp Golf System and I have to say that my shots have improved drastically. Yes I will still hit the odd curve ball, but they are in the minority. The ball goes straighter and further and I have now moved on to other areas of my swing that need adjusting. But the great thing for me is that I have made progress, and more importantly I have not spent a small fortune on lessons in doing so.
My Zepp system regularly accompanies me to the driving range now. Whenever a problem arises or I feel that there is something I can improve on, it’s there for me. Whether practicing in the garden or at the driving range.
OK, this may not solve every conceivable problem that you could encounter, but it will solve an awful lot. Maybe some questions need to go unanswered, so that we can keep some mystery to this frustrating but enjoyable game. But for me, gone are the days of the incurable slice, and more importantly the comments about helmets and machetes.
With all the gadgets available to help the golfer improve their game, we ask the question, hype or help? Mike Stock puts the Zepp Golf System to the test to see which bracket it falls into.
Good to know
Where to Buy;
You can now purchase your Zepp Golf System at Great Golf ProShop - The Only Golf Travel & Lifestyle store.