November 2015 | Helen
If you are serious about your golf you’ll know that feeling you get after a great drive shot or putt – the one where you want to double fist pump regardless of how tragic you’ll look. It’s also the one that you then spend the next six months trying – and failing – to reproduce. So the idea of getting some golf gadgets that can help you improve your game may well get your pulse racing.
The problem is, there are loads out there, most of which claim to have you playing like Tiger Woods in no time at all, but which are worth splashing the cash on? We’ve delved into the market to find the best so that you don’t have to…
Why we bought Game Golf:
✓ Offers all the stats a golfer needs to improve your game
✓ Subtle, slick design and easy to wear
✓ Great companion apps
✓ Positive reviews from users
✓ For us there is no other choice for The Wifi Pad
✓ Price at time of writing – £120 (Amazon)
Why did Game Golf tick our boxes?
Funded through Indiegogo, Game Golf has brought golfing into the 21st century, recording statistics such as drive distance, number of putts, and so on.
Game Golf streamlines the golfing experience, allowing the golfer to focus more time on perfecting their swing and technique, instead of having to stop between each shot and jot down different details or figure out whether or not their metrics are spot on. The system displays thorough analysis and a myriad of statistics while being simple to use, making it a great teaching aid for golfers. Plus, if it’s good enough for the Pres of the USA, it’s good enough for us!
Functionality – what can it do? Does it cover the basics well and give you any notable extras?Game Golf consists of a digital tracking device that clips to the user’s belt, along with 18 near field communication (NFC) tags (plenty more than needed in case one gets lost) that fits in the hole in the grip. The app enables the golfer to sync information to their profile, and provides extensive overviews of their performance, including driver distance, putts per round, scoring average, FIRs, and much more.
After installing the NFC tags (conveniently labelled for each club) and setting up a user profile at the Game Golf website, the golfer simply tags the NFC tag against the main unit before taking each swing. Each shot is then recorded. When the round is over, the golfer simply plugs in the device to their computer, and the data can be uploaded to their profile, which is then sharable with other golfers for comparison and competition, or buried deep down for all eternity…depending on what sort of round you had.
Connectivity - is it compatible with Apple and Android? Does it use a wifi or Bluetooth connection? How reliable is the connection?The companion app for Game Golf is free and available on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store. The device kit relies on near field communication and GPS technology to relay information to the device and to a computer through a USB plug.
If the device’s GPS is ever wrong, you can easily correct it after the round through a computer by dragging the pin to the correct location on the map, though if the error is in your favour, feel free to keep it to yourself.
Usefulness of app(s) - how useful is the associated app and can you sync data with other apps?There are two ways to look at statistics: through a computer, or through the companion app. A computer gives a full in-depth look into a myriad of advanced statistics for the round, provided the golfer uploads the data via USB.
The app on iOS and Android can also provide a comprehensive look at statistics and data as well, so you can analyse your game from the 19th hole.
Does it look good? - this is most definitely wearable tech, so does Game Golf look the part, or will you be a laughing stock on the course for reasons OTHER than your swing?The device looks pretty slick, however it’s size maybe a little off putting to some. It is still some way from the super streamlined activity trackers that are currently on the market – but it’s not designed to be worn permanently like activity trackers so this might not be an issue. Some might see the device as tech-savvy and intriguing; others might see it as geeky overkill (just don’t use it at Crazy Golf) – we suspect the difference will depend on how much you love your golf.
Value for money – is this product a positive steal or a purchase to make your eyes water?There are different price points, the cheaper option being the Android-exclusive tags-only set, whereby the Android mobile phone serves as the main device to tag the club against before each shot. The more expensive one, of course, is the ‘classic’ version, which includes the main device along with the tags.
Less advanced golf players, notably ones who are only concerned with average score and putts per hole have cheaper options.
It should be noted that the recently released, second generation Game Golf is significantly more expensive than it’s predecessor (twice the price of the first gen model at present).
The home foot spa test – Is this a genuinely useful product, or one that you will only use once before relegating them to the back of the cupboard?As golf gadgets go, the Game Golf tracking system is extremely useful, especially for golfers who are looking to improve their skills on the course. Perhaps some might be put off by the fact that the system has a learning curve and is reliant on the fact that the golfer needs to remember to tag the NFC tag against the main unit before each swing. It might take a few tries with the device before fully developing the habit. Of course, if the golfer forgets to tag the club, he can always add the shots later.
Whether or not the golfer will continue to use it will largely depend on how serious they are about golfing (e.g.: do they play on a regular basis, or a few rounds a season), and whether or not they are willing to put in the time and effort to get acquainted with the habit of touching the tags to the main device before each shot. If you are, then we think you’ll get a lot out of this device.
What do others have to say about Game Golf?
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Videos about Game Golf
Game Golf official video
Game Golf shot performance analysis
Which other golf gadgets did we check out?
A light sensor in the form of a 3 cm cube that attaches to the golfer’s golf club and utilises Bluetooth connectivity to analyse everything you could ever want to know about your swing. It is fairly minimalistic, light, and barely noticeable once attached. Statistics limited to swing measurements only.
Lightweight GPS golf watch that comes with an odometer. Minimal setup and has a plug-and-play approach, but the recharging clip is finicky, needing to align with multiple contact points. This gadget keeps your score, tracks shots and records distances as you play.
Tiger Woods My Swing App
When it comes to golf gadgets, the cheapest option by far for those of you that are less serious about your golf. The app records a video of golfer’s swing and identifies positioning errors. Can also compare with other golfers and even Tiger Woods himself. Unfortunately, not as feature-rich as the other options can only be used on iOS.