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goaliewales14

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  1. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to Muckinfiddle in Precision PRO NX10   
    I really love that MGS gets these opportunities to share with our golfing community. Thank you for your hard work on this great forum.
    About me and my golf:
    I play golf in the Northeast which means I get about 6 months of consistent golf but I fit in some winter rounds if the weather is right. I always say, “I’ll play in the wind, cold or rain but none of them at the same time.”
    I have been seriously golfing since 2011. I started at age 15 and played almost every day of the summer that year and then stopped and only played a handful of times in the 25 years after. Now I play about 4 times a week and try to practice frequently but I play more than practice often.
    I’m fairly analytical and have always strived for proper mechanics and good ball striking; Self taught??? with help from books, forums and youtube videos. I am pretty athletic with good body awareness so I have been able to generate decent speed in the past but father time is slowing me down a little. Usually if I am having swing problems I can get a "youtube lesson" and see what I am doing and correct it.
     
    Review objectives:
    I will be testing the Precision Pro NX10 against my current Bushnell V4 and the phone gps. 
    I use a Bushnell V4 and Golfshot GPS app for yardages. 98% of the time I use V4 for my yardages. GPS for layups, blind shots and overhead view of unfamiliar courses. I will compare the speed of picking up the flag and differences in distances between the NX10 and V4. Also whether or not the slope is better than my guess work on club selection. I’m also very interested in the optical quality and stability when lasering flags.
    I will keep the NX10 in the bag if it is quick and easy to use and provides a better user experience. The slope will probably win me over though. The V4 is fairly generic and straight forward unit and could easily be bested.
    I am hope this unit has some interesting surprises in functionality
     
    First Impressions:
    The packaging appears attractive, well thought out and with nice graphics. The box was easy to open and protected the device more than adequately with foam. The unit feels lighter than the current Bushnell V4 I use  Carrying case is very stout and would easily protect the device if the bag was handled roughly NX10 Review:
    Out of the gate the NX10 was a joy to use. It seemed a little light in the hands initially when I got it out of the box but after weighing it compared to my V4, it was actually heavier. My consensus was that I was used to using a rangefinder that had a silicone sleeve on it which gave it a different feel. One of the things I noticed right away was how fast it locked on to targets. I would barely pull it out of the sleeve and it was vibrating while locking on to whatever it was pointed at in your hands. This was really nice but the one caveat is the acquisition button. The button was very touchy and engaged very easily which really wasn't a big deal with the performance, just the aesthetics of the button. I would have liked to have a little more positive feel on the button but that's my preference. One of the more appreciated abilities of the NX10 was that it was very sensitive to what you were shooting at. Much more sensitive than my V4.  The targets were easily to see, and the laser  locked onto just about everything you pointed at. Switching to tournament mode was a slide of a button quick and easy and yards and meters are of course available.
     
    The magnetic cart holder built-in to the unit was surprisingly strong. I didn't get to use it in action but tried it on a cart that was available. Also, the ability to change the skins will be nice for people who want to personalize the unit. Changing the skins is easy, just two Allen head screws (wrench was also provided) and the side is attached via magnets. I wasn't too interested in the offerings for skins but you can make your own personal skin on the website if you are into that. I would have liked a silicone skin option for more grip.
     
    Another nice quality of the NX10 was the battery door. The battery door on my V4 screws and unscrews with precision threads which at times are very difficult to line up. This precision may be able to keep more water out of the unit but I prefer the slide off cover like the NX10. An added benefit with the NX10 are free lifetime batteries and by the looks of it so far you won't need to use that very often.
     
    The website touts high definition optics and I believe that they deliver. Much better than my current unit. I have used it to look ahead at golfers in front of me to see what's going on and it was very clear, this clarity is very nice. I really appreciate that part of it. This is one of the features that makes this unit a keeper. I did however find it slightly awkward to look at the slope yardages with my eye against the unit. The display of the slope was at the upper right hand side of the optics and strained my eye to look at it. You would think that the optic is small enough that it would be unlikely but it is a small thing that I noticed. Normal yardage, battery indicator and target acquisition circle was very clear and easy to see.
     

    20220821_154520.mp4   Very difficult to record through the optics through a phone.
     
    Overall, the unit met or exceeded all expectations. I look forward to putting it in play on a regular basis. As far as a laser rangefinder this unit had no cons, just minor issues like the slope display location in the optics and the, for lack of a better term, cheapish feeling button. The NX10 performed flawlessly in all the normal duties of a rangefinder and excelled in some like target acquisition and optics.
     
    Looks & Feel (out of 10 points) : 8
    Setup (out of 15 points) : 10
    Accuracy (out of 15 points) : 15
    On-Course ( out of 30 points) : 28
    Play it or Trade it? (out of 20 points): 19
     
     


  2. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to ChitownM2 in Precision PRO NX10   
    Precision Pro NX10 - Official MGS Forum Review by ChitownM2
    Intro
    First off I wanted to say thank you to MGS and Precision Pro for giving me the opportunity to review the new NX10 Rangefinder.  This will be my third review for MGS as I was lucky enough to be selected to review the Hogan VKTR+ hybrid in fall of 2020 and the Maxfli Tour balls in fall of 2021.  I was excited to be chosen for this test since my rangefinder is by far the oldest thing in my bag.  
    As a 20 handicap golfer, my game is definitely a work in progress.  I’m 42 years old and have been golfing since my teens but never really took it seriously until the last couple years. I'm fortunate enough to be able to play a round most weekends and play in a 9 hole league on Monday nights which ended a couple weeks ago.   Since I have a pretty limited amount of time for golf, I end up treating my rounds as a sort of competitive practice for myself.  It’s good in that I'm getting out enough I see glimmers of my potential, but I know that without actual dedication to a routine practice schedule I'll never achieve the scores I'd like to shoot.  

    On the course I use a variety of different devices for getting my distances.  The primary one I use is my Bushnell Tour V2 which I've had since it was new back in 2008 or 2009.  It's the "standard" model with no slope capabilities.  I use it on all par 3s and every approach shot where I have an expectation of hitting to the green.  I also have a Garmin S40 watch that I use when I don't have a direct line of sight to the flag (say in the trees or the next fairway over 😉) or on par 5 holes where I'm trying to decide what club to use for my 2nd shot based on what it will leave me to the green.  Finally, I'm an Arccos user and will often use their app on my phone if I want to know what it will take to carry some water or a particular trap from wherever I may be.  
    Going into the review I was targeting two items to evaluate.  The first being how much easier/faster a 15 year newer rangefinder locks onto pins and secondly, how helpful the slope function really is. 
     
    First Impressions (5 of 5)
    I received the rangefinder and was immediately impressed.  The packaging is very solid and visually appealing.  It is exactly what you've come to expect from other high end electronic devices like cell phones.   

    Precision Pro was generous enough to offer each of the testers their choice of 2 custom skins for the rangefinder which I think is a great touch because it allows us to customize the device to our tastes.  The devices shipped to us with one of our choices pre-installed in lieu of the standard skin and the second shipped in the retail package.  In addition to the rangefinder, the NX10 comes with a handy carrying case and a paper copy of the instruction manual which is something I really appreciate in 2022 since inserting a piece of paper telling you to go download it somewhere seems to be the norm.  Also included is a 10% off coupon for a future purchase as well as some stickers and a microfiber for cleaning the lenses.  Overall, I think they've included everything you could need so you aren't stuck spending more money to buy additional accessories.  

    Right out of the box I felt like the NX10 has just the right amount of heft to make it easy to keep stable in your hand without being heavy.  It also picks up the flags extremely quickly and provides some haptic feedback to let you know you've hit the flag.  Distances to objects shot from my yard were spot on and within 1 yard of my older Bushnell.
    Aesthetics (5 of 5)
    As already mentioned, I’m a big fan of the interchangeable skins for this rangefinder.  This is probably one of the few and most fun customization options being offered by anyone in the accessory space that I’m aware of.  The side skin fits securely to the device and is held in place by magnets so it can be easily swapped,but I never had any issues with the skin inadvertently coming loose during my time using the device.  The front skin (around the lens & laser) is held in place by two hex screws and the tool to remove them is included in the package which is a nice touch.  I had no trouble swapping either of the skins; the side can be done in seconds, while the front takes less than 5 minutes from start to finish.

    As for the other attributes of the rangefinder, it’s standard in every other way and that is a good thing.  It fits comfortably in my hand and feels solid while using it.  Build quality is top notch and I’m sure that if treated properly, I’ll get a decade of use out of this just like my previous Bushnell. 

    The Numbers (5 of 5)
    I ended up playing 6 rounds with the rangefinder along with a range session and used it extensively during those times.  Not once did it ever return a number that made me second guess it.  Every distance it produced was within 1 yard of the number my old Bushnell Tour V2 gave and consistent with what my S40 watch & Arccos were telling me.  I will say my local range should pick one up and use it to update the distances they have posted in each hitting bay 🤣.  

    Living in Illinois I don’t get to play any courses with big elevation changes but for the few holes where it mattered, the slope function did prove useful.  There were a few occasions where I thought the hole was further up-hill than it really was and probably would have clubbed up unnecessarily if the slope reading hadn’t told me that it was only adding 4 or 5 yards.
    On-Course (5 of 5)
    As a player that is accustomed to using a laser rangefinder, the transition to using the NX10 was instantaneous.  My pre-shot routine was exactly the same and I was able to keep the device in the same location in my bag since the size was very similar to my old unit.
    The overall button layout is intuitive and I was able to find the “ON” button without fumbling or looking.

    The Good, the bad, the in between (3 of 5)
    There is a lot to love with this rangefinder.  It’s easy to use, feels great in your hand, provides accurate readings and is a fantastic value at $280.  With that said, it is not perfect.  The built in magnets are powerful as advertised, but perhaps not as strong as I’d like them to be.  Late last season I bought a case for my Bushnell that includes two magnets as I was envious of that feature on newer models, but after 2 rounds I found that the magnets on the strap were not powerful enough and had the rangefinder fall off the cart twice after driving over some large bumps at speed.  Those magnets are probably twice as powerful as the ones on the NX10 so I don’t have a ton of confidence that it would never fall off and get damaged.   

    I also have two other minor gripes with the NX10.  The first is the lack of indication on whether you have hit the pin.  My old bushnell used to display a ring around the pin when you had hit the flag rather than a tree or other object in the background.  
     
    The second item is the lack of a loop or other option to tether the device that my Bushnell had. It seems trivial, but I’ve had a long strap connected to it since the beginning and it makes it easier to grab out of a bag and/or catch it when it starts sliding off the passenger seat while riding in the cart.


    Finally, while it doesn’t affect me personally, if you play competitively in events where the slope function is not permitted, it can be turned off, but it is not as apparent to other players that it has been disabled as it is on devices from other manufacturers.  

    Play it or Trade it? (5 of 5)
    For me, the Precision Pro NX10 will definitely be going in my bag.  It does everything that the device it is replacing does and then some.  The few negatives I have are really just nit-picks or a non-issue for me and are far outweighed by the positives and the style it brings to my bag.
    Conclusion
    The Precision Pro NX10 is a great rangefinder for the cost and offers dozens of options for customization. It works as expected and is very accurate and although it isn’t perfect, I couldn’t imagine paying double for a bigger name brand device that does the same thing.
    Final Score (28 of 30)
     
  3. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to 2puttbogey in Precision PRO NX10   
    Precision Pro NX10 Official Review 
    By 2puttbogey
    Intro
    i am a 48 year old male that lives in Hawaii on the island of Maui. I am able to play 2 times a week all year, so I get in about 100 rounds a year. I play off a 11-13 handicap with a goal of getting to single digit. 
    I currently use the Caddytec rangefinder from Costco. So I will be testing how the NX10 compares to a rangefinder half the price. 

    First Impression 5/5
    The fist thing that I noticed was the quality of the packaging. The box is very grim and sturdy. The rangefinder is secured in a foam to avoid any damage during shipping. Incudes is a case, stickers , and information on how to register the device and request a replacement battery, a Precision Pro perk.




    Aesthetics 5/5
    The Precision Pro NX10 is a classic looking rangefinder. What separates this from the rest is the customization. There are ”shells” that can be easily swapped. From some popular YouTube/podcasts to college football are some of the options.

    FullSizeRender.MOV The Numbers 5/5
    The numbers were spot on. I seen only a couple yards give or take compared to the other rangefinder I was using, and what I would have expected from where I was on the course in relation to the pin or hazard I was measuring to.
    On The Course 4/5
    The Precision Pro worked well on the course, but not perfect. The magnet on the side made it very convenient to access, but it did fall off the cart a couple times going over bumps. Also it did miss the pin sometimes and would give the distance to something behind. Not a huge issue as it was pretty obvious and just had to remeasure, but it did happen enough to take note of.
    The Good, Bad, and In Between 4/5
    Good: It is accurate and very easy to use. Built with quality and the option to change the skin is gun. The scope is well zoomed in, and the button to measure is easy to press which makes it easy to use.
    Bad: Not really a anything that I would consider bad.
    In Between: The magnet makes it convenient, but need to be aware that it can fall off the cart. The slope adjusted yardage is on the top and the non adjusted is on the bottom and bigger so need to pay attention to the readings. Vibrates on all yardage readings not only when locking on the pin.

    Keep or Trade 5/5
    The Precision Pro NX10 is definitely a keeper. From the first impression to using the device I was impressed. I felt I was using a top quality device, and although not perfect it did deliver a quality experience.
    Conclusion
    The Precision Pro NX10 is a quality device that delivers in performance as well. The option to customize the skin makes it unique in a rangefinder market that is pretty much all the same. With a mid range price you can get all the performance and options as the big names give you. Plus free batteries!
     
    Final Score 28/30
  4. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to GaDawg in Precision PRO NX10   
    Initial Post
    THANKS TO PRECISION PRO AND MGS for this opportunity! Somehow my name was selected out of over 5,500 entries for this test. I am super excited to provide some excellent feedback to everyone.

    I’ve been active on MyGolfSpy since January 2020 and this forum has been a great place for me to communicate and listen to others into all aspects of golf. I am a golf ho and am always buying, selling and trying new clubs and accessories. It’s nice to be able to share my opinions and thoughts here, the communication between all members is great.
    I’m 64 and have been playing golf just over 42 years.  I played my first 9 holes at a local course that was worse than a cow pasture with some guys that I worked with using borrowed clubs. I was immediately hooked even though I think I shot in the 90's on 9 holes. Went out and purchased a set of Walter Hagen (The Haig) clubs within a couple of weeks. I began playing the same 9 hole track about once a week and loved the fact that it was me against the course. I finally saved up enough money to take a couple of lessons, which helped a lot. As my working career progressed, I was able to search out and find better quality golf courses to play. By this time we have a foursome that played almost every Friday, we were all fairly new so learned the game together.
    Currently my handicap is a 5.5 playing at 6400 yards. This is the lowest my handicap has ever been and it's mostly due to being retired and having more time available. My wife and I will be celebrating our 45th anniversary next month, we have 3 adult kids and 3 grand kids. The kids were never interested in golf, but it looks like the grand kids may be different.
    I am a member of a private club, that has held Nationwide, Korn Ferry and Ga State events. It is a Bob Cupp design courses that requires you to use every club in your bag.
    Below are the grad kids and a group of golfers.
     


    IMG_1516.MOV IMG_1616.MOV
    Final Review
    First Impressions 5/5
    I was very impressed with the packaging of the Precision Pro NX10, the instructions were very easy to follow. They provided decals and other materials in the shipping package. See photos below:






    Aesthetics 5/5
     
    ·         The Precision Pro fits in your hand excellent when holding it. It’s not oversize at all, fits right in your palm area nicely.
    ·         Precision Pro has over 50 skins available so your rangefinder can be customized. Changing these skins is a very easy and quick process.
    ·         The Precision Pro NX10 is a high quality, very durable range finder. It appears that it would hold up under any condition. The built-in magnet will hold the range finder on any metal if you decide to not keep it in the case.
    ·         The Precision Pro NX10 comes with a very nice carrying case that clips to your bag. You can use a zipper to hold it in the case or it has a band that can be pulled around the case for a quick closure.
    The Numbers 5/5
     
    ·         The Precision Pro NX10 was very accurate on yardages to the pin. I have two other Bushnell range finders and the NX10 was as accurate or better.
    ·         The Precision Pro NX10 picked up my targets quicker than the other range finders I currently have or have used in the past.
    ·         The Precision Pro NX10 slope function worked very well and was very accurate.
    ·         The Precision Pro NX10 picked up any target that I attempted to get a yardage on.
    ·         The instructions that were provided were easy to understand and follow.
    ·         All Precision Pro products come with free replacement of batteries for the lifetime.
    ON-COURSE 5/5
    ·         The Precision Pro NX10 was very easy to use, it does not have an on or off button/switch. It is very easy to operate.
    ·         The range finder made playing golf quicker and gave you more confidence knowing you had the correct yardage.
    ·         Compared to my Bushnell Tour V5 w/slope that I was using prior to this test, the Precision Pro NX10 yardages are basically the same +/- 1 yd. The thing that I like different is the NX10 from Precision Pro locks into the target easier and quicker.
    ·         Since I was already using a range finder, my scores have improved very little. I am scoring some better, but mostly because I am playing more lately.
     
    The Good, the Bad, the in between 4/5
     
    The Precision Pro NX10 is as good of a rangefinder as I have used. My comparison during this test was against the Bushnell Tour V5, but I have had two other range finders in the past. The most impressive thing about the NX10 is it picks the target up so quickly even if your hand is not completely still. I have not found anything bad to report regarding the NX10.
    One between thing is the base color is white, over time it may change and discolor after long usage.
     
    Keep it or Trade it? 5/5
    Keep It!
    Playing the Precision Pro NX10, it picks up any target quicker than any range finder that I have used in the past. I love the availability to change out the skins and modify the looks of it. 
    Conclusion
     
    If you are looking for an excellent range finder, the Precision Pro NX10 will fit the ticket. You can customize it by choosing a skin to personalize it. At this time, they have over 50 skins to choose from. Additionally, you can change out the ring around the lens for more customization. The NX10 is built with quality, it is very accurate and locks into the target very easy. It comes with a very nice carry case; the range finder also has a magnet so you can stick it to metal on the golf cart for easy accessibility.
     
    Final Score 29/30
     
     
  5. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to xOldBenKenobiX in Edel SMS Wedges   
    Edel SMS Wedges – Official MGS Forum Review by xOldBenKenobiX
    Introduction – May 31, 2022
    First and foremost a huge thank you to Edel and MyGolfSpy for another awesome testing opportunity.

    My name is Elson, and I am golf addict, I have been playing golf for about 12 years now, born and raised in Brazil, I honestly don’t play and practice as much as I would like to. I have been calling Southeast Michigan home for the past 15 years, and really enjoy the many courses that our area and the Northwest Ohio area have to offer. My wife has accepted that she loses me for a few months during the summer. I am a high handicapper, and my numbers will vary from the high teens to the mid-20s depending on how often I can play.

    I will be testing the Edel SMS wedges, my specs are as it follows:
    Ø  48, 54 and 60 degrees
    Ø  Standard Loft/Lie + ¼ inch length
    Ø  T Grind
    Ø  Standard 2g weights on the edges and 8g on the center
    Ø  Shafted with a KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 - R 115g with a standard size Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip
    Currently I do not have a suitable testing area at home for wedge practice and testing, nor I own a Sim/Shot tracer equipment, however I do have a few golf courses nearby with good range/short game are to practice at. Also, there is a new X Golf location down the street from me to where I can go and test with a full Sim and test spin rates.
    Overall, I want to test these wedges with my regular game, and see how they perform, or how can I make them perform.
    The main measure of testing here is if they can help me save strokes, more greens in regulation and such. As any new clubs I expect these to be different than what I am used to play with and to see some good differences with the spin rates and shot shapes. Edel is one of the companies to which I have never held one of their clubs before, just saw pictures and videos and I think it will be awesome to play with it.
    I am very excited for this testing as my wedges are the oldest clubs in my bag right now and were never fit for my game. My short game is also a weak part of my game and one that I would love to see improve. With that being said, I cannot express how excited I am about testing these wedges.
    Final Review - July 25, 2022
    First Impressions  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    My first impression of those was that they are very well made, from the clubs I tested during my fitting to the clubs I receive, the craftsmanship on those is simply great, I love the looks of the clubs.

    I love the looks at address and really enjoyed the overall looks of the clubs.

    The head looks very compact at address, and with a very nice look at address. The full-face grooves are great, allowing for mishits to still be struck within the groves, hence the mishits were not so punishing to me.
    Edel claims that this wedge can be up to 44% more accurate, I can say that personally I did see an improvement with my shots, not up to 44%, but I was able to keep more balls in the green, and get it closer to the flag overall, despite not experimenting with moving the weight around I do still think that the moveable weights are a great advantage for better players who can shape the ball flight one way or another, and who want to have that set as a default shot shape with the weights.

     
    Unfortunately, at my current skill level, I do not shape the call at demand and honestly prefer to have my ball flight as straight as possible.
    Aesthetics  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    I was fit for the T grind across the board, the tripe sole design allows for some versatility when using the wedge. These feature the traditional pear shape from address.
    The logo is not too distracting when looking at the bottom of the club as well the T grind information, I think if wanted the bottom of the club would be a prefect canvas to add some lovely personal touches, I did not get these wedges customized, but I can see a lot of potential with the available customization.

    As I mentioned before, I do like the overall looks of this wedge, I think the overall package was well put together, these are not flashy, but very noticeable when sitting in the bag.

    Comparing these with other wedges of similar price, I think that these wedges are spot on with their looks, maybe not as a such refined looks as a Vokey, but they do look good on their own way.
    These wedges sound good, they are not too loud and give a feeling of softness when they are hit, when swinging through the rough and grass in general, these sounded soft and not distracting, very pleasing, even swinging from the sand did not yield any loud or displeasing sound.
    My mishits still ended up with some good overall results, knowing my game, other clubs where I know the mishits would generate a very bad result, severe miss, and such, with these, the misses where not as bad, and in general I got the ball closer to my intended target.
    My worse hit with this clubs was a bad chunked toe hit, that pretty much caused the ball to go sideways, however this one was on my swing not the club, as for the best, I did get a lovely high shot over the trees into the green after putting my tee shot on the rough in front of the next tee box, this shot went exactly how I had pictured in my mind, and it felt really good to be able to hit that shot with the confidence that I would pull it off, especially because I know that I hit a lot more bad shots than good ones.
    As for the normal mishits, hitting it thin would get me a longer shot than I wished for, but nonetheless close to my intended line.
    With my chunky shots, I did experience the normal last of distance, but still following my intended line.
    With the mishits and non-square to the face shots, I did see some side traction, but not as bad as my old wedges.
    The Numbers⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    I did not had a chance to take these wedges to a sim and test out the numbers, however as for real life play, I did notice that my shot dispersion was a little better, I did notice that on the shorter shots 100 yards and less, where I usually struggle a lot, I did indeed have better results and have hit more greens or with the misses, I got it closer to the green.
    As for my distances if hitting the wedges with a full shot these are the numbers I have averaged.
    For my 48 degrees, I was hitting between 95 to 105 yards.
    For the 54 degrees, I was hitting between 75 and 85 yards.
    As for the 60 degrees, I was hitting between 55 and 65 yards.
    The trajectory of my shots was a mid to high flight.
    As I previously mentioned the mishits were not as punishing as my older wedges, especially as these ones had been fitted to my game.
    Dead center hits were very pleasant and yield good shots, with the toe and heel shots, indeed the shots would go right and left of the target, not as far offline as I would hit with my old wedges, I noticed that when I try to recreate the same shots with both the old and new wedges, the Edel wedges gave me a much closer proximity to the the hole as well as to the green.
    Shooting similar wedges on the range I took 10 shots with each wedge and its comparable old wedge that I had in the bag, the shots were post warm up, and I was feeling loose enough for all of them.
    Wedge
    Shot distance
    Hole average Distance
    Edel 48
    30 Yards Chip shots
    32 feet
    Vokey 48
    30 Yards Chip shots
    41 feet
    Edel 54
    20 Yards Chip shots
    25 feet
    Vokey 52
    20 Yards Chip shots
    29 feet
    Edel 60
    15 Yards Chip shots
    12 feet
    Vokey 58
    15 Yards Chip shots
    21 feet
    That is quite a noticeable difference with the distance, especially with the shorter shots, I had a couple of the 15 Yard chips where I nearly holed them out.
    As for the full shots on the range, unfortunately I had to do more of a visual evaluation as I could not walk down the range and measure each individual shot from its landing spot compared to the target line.
    Due to having a steep angle of attack, I naturally hit shots to the right.
    Mind you, most of my misses are to the right, and once again after warming up and with a good rest break between sets, I hit 10 balls with each wedge.
    Again, this was the hardest part to estimate during the test.
    Wedge
    Shot Distance
    Estimated deviation to the target line
    Edel 48
    100 Yards full shot
    15 Yards
    Vokey 48
    100 Yards full shot
    30 Yards
    Edel 54
    75 Yards full shot
    10 Yards
    Vokey 52
    75 Yards full shot
    25 Yards
    Edel 60
    60 Yards full shot
    10 Yards
    Vokey 58
    60 Yards full shot
    15 Yards
    I wish I have had the chance to take these to a Sim and gotten numbers that way, but between the bad knees, sprained wrists and ankles, the past few weeks have made my outings much harder.
    I did prefer to spend the limited time I had in real golf conditions, and oh boy did they deliver during that play.
    On the Course⭐⭐⭐⭐
    I have noticed that on my course play, I have used the 60 degrees wedge a lot more than the 48 and 54, as for my last round, I found myself trying to fit usage of the wedges, maybe a little too much, looking at the opportunities had and the distances I knew I could hit the wedges comfortably, I hit some shots that I knew I did not have the distance with a wedge, so on the next shot I would have a chance to hit a different wedge.
    If I was approaching a green and the distance left was between 110 and 125 yards, I would still hit the 48 degrees wedge, so I would have a chance to hit the 60 degrees for my next shot, that is because I wanted to hit as many shots as I could with these, and I honestly contemplated, yet I did not, play the shorter par 4s with wedges only, I might do that in a future round as my home course of Taylor Meadows, have a lovely stretch from the 8th to the 10th hole that are shorter yet challenging with water in play on all 3 holes.
    8 playing downhill 309 yards
    9 playing downhill with water to the right the entire way 281 yards
    And the 10 with a new Pond guarding the front left of the green is the shortest at only 256 yards.
    The only area that I truly had an issue was with Sand traps, both during my range sessions and the actual course play, I had a real hard time getting out of them, but I cannot fault the wedge, that is my game and the flaws I have with it.
    I hoped that the new wedges would be a magic bullet, but that was not realistic.
    Where I play most of the bunkers are of heavy compact sand with a very low sand dept, these are the type of bunkers that only really have 3 inches of sand than it is the hard soil below.
    I noticed that despite missing the green from the sand, either long or very short, the wedge glided through the sand with no issues, despite most of the times me taking a steep swing that really dug into the sand.
    I felt confident every time I had the wedges on my hands and that is one of the best characteristic of these.

     

     
    I quite honestly really loved playing these wedges and cannot really say any bad things about it, maybe because these were such an improvement from my old mix and match set of vokeys.
    These have impacted my game in a positive way, these had bee
    n optimized to give me the best spin rate and flight.

    I had never had an Edel product on my hands, and I got to say, I am impressed with the over engineering of these clubs, the fact that you can move the weight around and adjust the ball flight is the type of thing that I would expect from a driver, not really from an wedge, but to have the option is one of those tools that is a great one to have on your bag.
    I would love to see more of the moveable weight technology, I love to see where Edel will take those and what it becomes of it, that technology being integrated to their new SMS irons shows Edel’s commitment to the technology.
    The Good, the Bad, the Inbetween⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    The good, these wedges are awesome, and the technology behind them is very impressive.
    The bad, and my bad on these, I feel that even though I am not a very tall person, the wedges feel short, the 35 inches for the 60 degree, the 35..25 for the 54 and 35.5 for the 48th, have me squatting down a little more than what I feel comfortable with, but that is something I can get addressed later and have an inch added to each one of them.
    Play it or Trade it? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    These are a play it for me, these wedges have improved my game, and indeed it has been a such short time and I think a few more rounds of play will help me get even more accustomed to these wedges, but I do like what I have experienced so far.
    The main measure of success for me with these wedges is confidence, I have gained confidence on hitting different shots around the green and know that I can pull of those shots.
    I think that everyday golfers like myself benefit from these wedges, as they show a great deal of forgiveness and playability.
    I think as I use these and get more comfortable with them, my short game will improve.
    Conclusion
    Edel has brought forward a great set of wedges, the technology behind these is impressive, the fact that one can customize your shot shapes with the moveable weights is a big plus.
    The exceptional forgiveness and workability of these jump out at you as an advantage with these.
    As my personal experience, again the word here is confidence, these felt very good on my hands and did improve me game, I have hit a lot more of good shots than I did bad shots with these wedges than my old ones.
    Final Score 29 out of 30 Stars
     

     
  6. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to edingc in Edel SMS Wedges   
    Edel SMS Wedges – Official MGS Forum Review by edingc
    Introduction - May 28, 2022
    A full introduction can be found in the comments section.

    A big thank you to Edel and MyGolfSpy for another outstanding testing opportunity.
    My name is Cody and, if you ask my wife, I am obsessed with golf. I practice or play almost every day when the weather permits. Living in West Michigan is a golfer’s dream with many beautiful courses and practice facilities. My handicap hovers in the upper-mid single digits with my distance being the strength of my game. My length means I hit a number of full and partial wedges throughout my rounds.
    I will be testing the Edel SMS wedges with the following specifications, per my fitting at Club Champion:
    50 degrees, 54 degrees, 58 degrees Standard Loft/Length/Lie V Grind Weight in Toe Nippon Modus3 Wedge 125 I have access to a short game area, a practice range and my indoor garage bay equipped with a FlightScope Mevo+ launch monitor and Titleist RCT golf balls. My plan is to put the Edels through their paces on course, on the practice area and in my garage bay. Specifically, a few areas I am most concerned about are turf interaction, ball flight/shape and wet weather performance. 
    Final Review - July 25, 2022
    Crazy how fast time flies when you're having fun! We received our clubs over a month ago (full unboxing post here), and I've had a blast with the Edels on both the course and practice range. I was able to get the wedges out for 10 18-hole rounds, eight 9-hole rounds, a scramble and at least 15 trips to the range/practice area. I even played an entire nine holes with nothing but the wedges and my putter.
    First Impressions - 4/5 Stars



    The quality of the Edel wedges is evident by the fit and finish of the packaging and the clubs themselves. From the securely-packed, suitcase-style shipping box to the hand-turned ferrules, the bespokeness of the SMS wedges is obvious.
    Edel promotes the weight system as a means to ensure the best possible fit for an individual’s swing type. The weight positions allow them to fit for any type of swing, shallow to steep. Edel claims a combined 44 percent increase in accuracy in distance and lateral dispersion.
    I am very impressed by the Edel experience. Chris Koske, Edel’s Chief Marketing Officer, helped schedule my fitting and took my order via email. That was a very nice touch. It made me feel like they cared about their customers more so than a larger OEM might.
    I’m removing a star from this area for two reasons:
    There were some differences in what each tester received inside their shipment. I received a card detailing how to self-fit the wedges but some of the other testers did not. I did not receive stickers. Some of the other testers did. It seems odd to me at this price point to not include a tool to change the weights alongside the self-fitting card. Aesthetics, Sound and Feel - 5/5 Stars


    This is a very subjective area of the review. To my eyes the SMS wedges are some of the most beautiful wedges available. While the milled sole is not unique to Edel, the combination of the sole, modern branding, custom ferrules and a chrome finish makes for a stunning golf club. 

    I prefer the look of the slightly rounded leading edge. It makes me confident I won’t lay sod over the ball if I catch it heavy. The matte face sets itself against the polished hosel and back. The squared off, almost full face grooves are unique and act as a nice alignment aid as well.
    The wedges are minimalist enough as to not draw attention. You really start to appreciate the whole package once the details like the sole milling and the diamond texture on the face reveal themselves.

    After an adjustment period, the Edel wedges feel great. As a Japanese 1025 carbon steel forging, they have a very soft feeling when hit on or around the sweet spot. There is still plenty of feedback, and I can readily tell my strike location, however.
    I play a firmer golf ball (Snell MTB-X), but impact with the SMS wedges produce a nice solid thwack sound. Only when moving to range rocks could I describe some shots as producing a harsh clicking sound and feel.
    The Numbers - 4/5 Stars


    The heaviest weight has been in the toe throughout my testing per my fitting. The weight placement has resulted in consistent impact and shots. I haven’t wanted to move it around.

    My left-to-right dispersion is predictable. I used to be capable of big left misses even with a wedge in my hand. My left miss has almost completely disappeared. I most often miss the ball to the right now, which is a much better miss in most circumstances.

    I hit the SMS wedges very consistent distances that fit my gapping. They have a nice high flight for me with a stock full swing. However, these wedges seem to love partial swings. I’ve made an effort to hit partial shots more often as a means to combat wind. On full swings into the breeze I’ve noticed I can get too much spin which results in a ballooning and short shot.
    The weight in the toe does make a noticeable difference. I can feel the face wanting to stay open longer through the swing. I have had some struggles with full swing wedges staying too open. This results in the right/short miss I mentioned above.
    Make no mistake, these wedges are still a solid forging and do punish balls that miss the center by too much.
    On Course - 5/5 Stars


    The Edels made an immediate impact on the golf course. I quickly felt comfortable with the wedges on partial shots around greens. The toe weight helped my short game because it became so effortless to hit high, soft shots. I never had that kind of short game shot in my repertoire before bagging the Edels.

    The V grind is the perfect choice for my swing and course conditions. I can tell there is a lot more trailing edge bounce on the V grind than on other wedges I’ve used in the past. It is a wonderful grind for the softer conditions I usually play on. On firmer lies, the trailing edge bounce glides along the ground giving me a ton of confidence.
    Wet weather performance has been more than adequate for my needs. I still seem to be getting plenty of spin even when the clubface and ball are both wet with morning dew.
    I am not as comfortable with full swings as I was with my previous wedges. That has required a small strategy change on course to hit more partial wedges. I'm still practicing at getting better in that area.

    ShotScope confirms an improvement in my short game since putting the Edels in the bag. Over the past 15 rounds I’ve gained 0.04 strokes in my short game over a scratch golfer. Those 15 rounds include a mix of rounds with the Edels and my previous wedges. Over my past 10 rounds with Edels only, I’ve gained 0.62 strokes in my short game over a scratch golfer. That’s a big improvement!
    The Good, The Bad, The In Between - 4/5 Stars


    Don’t overlook the endless grind/loft combinations. Edel offers all four grinds in every loft. Add on the weights and there is endless customization. For me, finding the right grind/weight combination made a big difference.
    I do think the Edels are not wedges you would want to buy off the rack without a good fitting. It is also concerning to me that each of our authorized fitters seemed to approach the fittings in different ways.
    Play it or Trade it? - 5/5 Stars


    The Edels are in the bag. Period. Combined with a lesson taken a day before receiving the clubs, I’ve played some of the best golf of my life this summer. As of this writing my unofficial handicap has dropped from around nine at the start of the testing to below six. My improved short game caused a lot of that improvement.

    While the Edels are priced above their major OEM competitors (and much more than some smaller brands), there is a lot of value in the fitting options. I have no doubt the multitude of loft, weight and grind combinations could fit every type of golfer.
    Conclusion

    Edel’s swing match weighting system is a unique feature not found on other wedges. The Edel SMS wedges lived up to the marketing hype during my review period. They have helped me drop two strokes from my handicap since putting them in the bag.
    The seemingly endless combinations of loft, weight location and grinds mean a golfer can expect to get a wedge tailored especially to their swing. I would consider the Edel SMS wedges to be a must try for anyone who is looking into a new set of wedges, especially if one can locate an authorized Edel fitter near them.
    Final Score - 27/30 Stars
  7. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to heavygolffeels in Edel SMS Wedges   
    Edel SMS Wedges – Official MGS Forum Review by scooterhd2
    Full introduction can be found in the comments section.
    Intro
    Hello MGS, my name is Kevin. I've only really gotten into golf in the last 3 years or so, but have worked my way down to a 5 handicap. I play 30 rounds a year and practice several times a week. I am a bit of an equipment and instruction junkie. My biggest weakness right now is inside 100 yards. My slightly OTT move leads to some thin strikes and partial shots have been a score killer for me. Around the greens my wedge game is functional but rarely great. I'm hoping a properly fit set of Edel SMS wedges can fine tune by game, provide some more consistency and ultimately give me more confidence. That's going to be a recipe for lower scores. 
     
    Results of my fitting at Club Champion:
    50: C Grind, 54: V Grind, 58: T Grind. Weights at 6h, 10c, 8t. 
     

     
    Final Review - July 25, 2022
     
    First Impressions - 4/5 Stars

    My order was quick to ship. Communication from Edel was great. The box the wedges come in is absolutely top notch. And the packaging and materials exceed my expectations. I do find it concerning that between our group the packaging was not consistent though. I seemed to receive all of the stickers and info cards, while others did not. I was also a bit disappointed that there was not a tool included. 3 wedges retail for over $600, so not to include a tool seems trivial to me. Especially when the marketing behind the club is that it has moveable weights. I also find it odd that there is no mention in the ordering process of paint fills. There appears to be a red model and a black model, and although the ferrule choice is given, there's no mention that the wedges may be painted differently based on that choice. Or perhaps that the paint fill for stamps would be applied everywhere. Regardless, that's an oversight in my opinion. It didn't affect me, as my wedges were exactly what I imagined, but I could see how others could run into a problem there. In all fairness, if I was ordering after a fitting and with no knowledge of other order, I'd give 5 stars, but consistency is key. 
     

     
    At the end of the day, you cant help but smile once you have these unboxed. The shafts labels are well aligned, the grips are straight, the weights are in the right spot, and my lengths were spot on. A great build that is just waiting to be put through the paces. 


     
    Aesthetics, Sound and Feel - 4/5 Stars

    I believe Edel has made massive strides in the aesthetics department from previous wedge releases. The SMS wedges are absolute quality. The shape is refined, sort of a mix between a classic Vokey/Cleveland type wedge and a Hi Toe which are all widely popular offerings. Full face grooves seem to be all the rage right now, but Edel has been at it for years and they do it properly by my judgment. Enough groove length for the benefit, while still trying to maintain a somewhat traditional look. The graphics are more subdued, with just the company name on the badge and other branding on the hosel. There may have been a time when the weight ports were an eye sore, and I can’t say that I am the biggest fan of the look, but its become common place with PXG and even Callaway having a similar appearance. And obviously these are integral to the technology and design of the wedge. I also appreciate the milled grind sole and the extra design element on the ferrule.If you believe in the performance and quality of your product enough to charge top dollar, then it has to look the part and Edel has certainly done an outstanding job here. 

    My one wish, is that Edel offered a raw finish (or black or brushed steel). I get why manufacturers don’t. Part of it is sales volume, the other is in making a specially weighted head to reach specs without the additional 4 or 6 grams of weight that nickel plating and chrome adds. But it seems you could make use of the weight ports to easily add back the weight. For me, and I admit that my eyes are sensitive and I am playing in the absolute extremes of sunlight in Arizona in July; but the finish, while incredibly durable and incredibly beautiful in hand, is so glaring behind the ball. 

    I’ll have to say I was probably most impressed with the sound and feel of the SMS wedges. The faces are forged with 1025 which is naturally a bit softer then then 8620 used by most wedge manufacturers. Full shots and the head feels heavy but delivers a soft blow. I use a hard ProV1x and out the middle it’s like a marshmallow. Dull sound. Very similar to my Srixon 785 PW (forged from 1020), which makes the transition to wedge very nice. That feeling is addicting when the strike feels like you hit a tennis ball and you know its a great shot just from the feel of impact.

     
    The Numbers - 5/5 Stars

    My fitting at Club Champion started with a light warm up with my 50* Cleveland RXT4 as my fitter looked over by bag, my swing, and launch conditions. After 20 shots, he asked my what I thought my yardage with that club was, and I said "113 yards." He brought up the averages and I was averaging 113 yards, which made me happy, but it was soon explained to me that these numbers were not optimal. 
    It didn't take long to get the Edel SMS weighted properly in the SW and moving back to the 50 degree GW, my final set ended up averaging 118 yards with a slightly slower swing speed. Extra 5 yards. I gained 4 yards with the 54 degree as well, with the same or more spin. 
    Gaining yards with my wedges were the last thing I was looking to do, but it was purely an outcome of finding the right weight that kept the club path consistent, and kept the face square. Instant increase in distance and better dispersion. And every swing felt like it was coming out of the middle. 
    This transferred to the range as well, and on the course, where I was consistently hitting wedges 5 yards further with ease, with the potential to hit 10 yard farther if attempting to hit a lower draw. 
    In a separate indoor Trackman session 1 week ago, I nearly replicated my fitting numbers. This time finding the Edels to be 6 or 7 yards longer with no real detriment to launch conditions or flight. 
     

     
    On Course - 5/5 Stars

    I love on course testing. Looks don't matter, brands don't matter, numbers don't matter. Everything is results based, and that's really where the Edel SMS wedges shined in my opinion. 
    I shot my first ever under par round over 18 holes, albeit on a executive course that I skipped around on tee boxes to ensure that I could tee off with a wedge in hand on every hole. I only carried the 3 Edel wedges and a putter. Average hole length come to 110 yards, and I was in the zone. This was the first time playing on a course with the new wedges, and it was beyond an amazing honeymoon period. It's hard to ignore instant success the first time the clubs are in the bag. There's definitely something here.

     
    The results did not really stop from there. My handicap has not moved much over the last few months, so there isn't any quantifiable evidence (my cap dropped from 4.8 to 4.6 while testing), but I just feel like I have much better control over full wedge shots. Distance and trajectory control is more predictable, and I feel the Edel SMS wedges are more workable then my Clevelands and especially my TM Hi Toes. It has really been beneficial to be able to add or take off 5 yards by changing the flight. It's tough to explain, but when the weighting feels right, there's a better feel for the clubhead and face, and for me that makes it much easier to hit high fades and lower flighted draws on command. I feel like I can slow the swing down and get more out of it.      

     
     
    Besides one really difficult course, I've been very happy with my scoring with the Edels in the bag. I'm usually a 78-82 player with a low anti-cap, and I've been comfortable within that margin every time out while shooting better on several rounds at executive courses. And for me, this is not peak season and conditions can be more difficult in the summer, so I am excited to see what the Fall and Winter will look like. 
    I can say that my putts per round has dropped 1.3 putts over the 8 rounds with Edels versus the 8 previous rounds. Could be coincidental. I also put a new putter in the bag. But I feel like I haven't even been putting that well, and that my hole proximity is better. 

     
    The Good, The Bad, The Inbetween - 4/5 Stars

     
    I find it a bit odd that Edel does not have a weight kit available. As is, the SMS wedges are going to be best for people looking to get professionally fit for them. That seems to play into the niche golfer that is already familiar with the brand and is going into a fitting already expecting a purchase but just dialing in specs. I’m not sure how big of a draw that is. I think they audience becomes a bit more limited, whereas the weight kit could open it up to the tinkerer that wants to experiment with over 100 combinations of head weights. I will say, the fitting component was extremely successful for me and I would highly recommend that route for anyone that is truly interested.
     
    Play it or Trade it? - 4/5 Stars

    This is a bit difficult to grade, but I have to give high marks because the 50c and 54v are staying in the bag. I’ve never felt so confident from 120-90 yards. There’s something to the weighting where the club just feels in position, and I finally feel like I am throwing darts and not just spraying balls. I feel like my approach play on fuller shots has been as good as it has ever been. The 54v has also been a revelation around the greens. Played off the back foot, this has quickly become a go to club for lower flighted pitches and chips. And in bunkers with adequate sand, it has performed admirably.  
    The same can be said about the 58t on full shots and in the bunker, but in all honesty there's just too much bounce on touch shots around the green for my liking. Again, I have a shallow attack angle, I play on firm tight lies, and I’m hitting onto fast greens, so I prefer being able to pick the ball with LW. Could a different grind fit me better? Possibly. Would bending a 60 degree stronger to lower the bounce help? Possibly. But right now I just have more confidence with a much lower bounce option than Edel provides. That being said, I’m definitely keeping the 58t. I could see it being useful depending on course conditions or on my travels. 


     
    Final Score -  26/30 Stars
    There's something to the Edel SMS wedges. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly. By Edel's own admission the moveable weights don't have much influence on the COG. So every change to the ball flight with different weight settings is purely brought on by the users feel. Snake oil? Marketing hype? I cycle through alot of clubs, especially wedges, and these just feel right. Above all, I feel in full control of the club. And naturally, when there's that connectedness and confidence, I've seen better dispersion and distance in my fitting, in subsequent monitor sessions, and on the course. 
    Again, there's something here, and there's not currently another wedge like it. I'd have to say, if you are in the market for new wedges and are planning to get fit, then I would recommend atleast considering the Edel SMS wedges. Get them in hand. There are really a unique product. If you get the grinds right, they are as good as anything out there. 
  8. Like
    goaliewales14 got a reaction from revkev in Spornia SPG8 XL Net   
    Introduction
    Full Intro Found Here
    Hello fellow spies!  Before I get into this introduction, I want to thank MGS and Spornia for this amazing testing opportunity!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike, or Goalie. 
     
    I do currently have a hitting net that I got as a gift a few years back so I will be doing a compare and contrast throughout this review while just focusing specifically on reviewing the SPG8.  Some of the main areas I want to focus on during my testing are:
    Speed of setup Portability Durability (Driver ball speeds around 165 mph) Ability to handle “bad shots” Ability to handle wedge shots (height) Weather testing (wind, rain, etc.)  
    First Impressions (4 of 5 Stars)
    When the SPG-8 XL first arrived, the first thing that shocked me was the size and weight of it.  I’m used to my 5 lbs. hitting net that rolls up into a little tent case.  When went to grab it off my porch, I did a double take!  When they said an XL net is coming, they meant XL.  The stated product weight of the SPG-8 XL is 30 lbs.  The height is actually one of the reasons I LOVED the net from the start.  The added height of it looked as if I could actually hit wedges into a practice net without them going over it!  The weight to me just meant there are solid materials holding this net together.

    The only downside I’ve had from the first impressions was that the width has always been a concern.  We all hit bad golf shots, and I worried from the start if this net could keep in one of those.  (Spoiler alert: the answer is no it cannot.)
    Aesthetics (4 out of 5 Stars)
    If you look across the Spornia line of nets, you’ll notice all of them are basically identically in style. Mostly all black with a white target line on the bottom and a white target and logo on the target sheet.  This is a great look and the branding is really well done so that everyone will know what brand you’re using without being a distraction to the hitter. 
    If you are wanting to use a projector with this hitting net, you can switch out that target sheet for an all-white one on their website ranging anywhere from $40 - $60 depending on which model you have at home. 
     
    The reason I’m only giving this category a 4-star review is because of the chipping net that comes with the net.  The chipping net just appears to be an after thought in the design and production. You have this very well constructed net and then “here throw this circle on there with these four Velcro straps anywhere you want.”  I would like to see it integrated more in the design like have a designed hook in for it.  That why the placement will be exactly where it can be shown off the best and adding to the overall effect rather than taking away.
    The Numbers (5 out of 5 stars)
     As I mentioned earlier on, I have been trying to get back into my groove where I was throwing darts at the end of the season.  To the point where a course forced me to alter my handicap even though every round that I’ve played had been accurately entered through the USGA.  I wanted to get that feeling back, which meant spending the time with my swing to find those feels again.  This net was easily able to do that for me!  A few weeks ago, I shot my lowest handicap index round in 2 years at an index of 15.7 and the week before that an index of 16.  In that round I started off -2 through 2!!
     
     
    The lowest index I have on record is a 10 for context. 
     
     
    As I’m now heading into the time of year that is very outing heavy for me, I feel confident that I’m trending in the right direction!  There are some things (putting) that this net can’t help me with that is still keeping my index above where it should be, but that is getting address and is separate from this review. 😊
    On The Course (4 out of 5 stars)
    Obviously, this isn’t a product that we will take on the course and use.  This section is going to be dedicated to the over use of the product.  The two major tests for me with this product were:
    Can I hit a full LW into it and not go over the net? Will it handle “bad shots?” The test with the LW went extremely well!  Typically, these types of nets are limited to 9 irons and up depending on your ball flight and other factors.  I started with my 9i and slowly worked my way down.  Hitting ½ and ¾ shots with each new club before I went for a full shot.  Once I was finally able to hit that LW, the target sheet was able to catch it with the overall height of the SPG-8 XL!  This is a HUGE plus for the usage of this product!  This meant I can fully practice any club in my bag without having to flight the ball down to ensure I didn’t send it over the net into the neighbor’s house.
     
    With the “bad shots” test, I hit a few foam balls that I had laying around the house and just hit slight shanks.  I knew that they were going to exaggerate any strikes that I made due to their weight and overall product characteristics.  I didn’t feel like hitting a full swing with them would be representative of what an actual golf ball would do in that situation.  The SPG-8 did NOT keep in those foam balls.  Looking on Spornia’s website, you can purchase “extenders” that might be a good option for someone who extremely worries about this situation. 
    https://spornia.com/collections/golf-hitting-net/products/side-protector-panel?variant=39853368049769
    For $30, I believe this might help, but we all know it can never be a 100% fix.  There will always be that ONE shot that escapes the net that has us saying, “Don’t let me here glass!!”
    The Good, the bad, the in-between (3 out of 5 stars)
    The few main things that stick out to me in this miscellaneous category are:
    Not having to worry about hitting a support pole during my swing Instructions needing updated 2 stakes missing In most dome style hitting nets, like the one I currently had, the support poles run right on the outside.  This means if you’re standing too close to the hitting net in fear of hitting a ball out of it, there is a good chance on your follow through, you could hit, and damage, one of those support poles.  With the SPG-8 XL, those areas of your follow through are just netting.  If you did happen to hit them, the likelihood of causing permanent damage is a LOT lower.
    With the instructions I felt that there were a few items that weren’t really updated from the prior models, chipping net, white Velcro strips, and the stability strings.  As I mentioned earlier, the chipping net almost seemed like an after thought and the lack of instructions didn’t help the situation.  There were absolutely zero instructions mentioning anything about the chipping net.  It felt like it was a “here’s the net, you figure out where it goes.” 
    The instructions also left out the purpose of the white Velcro strips towards the bottom front of the ball returner.  This question was asked in our group chat, and no one could determine what they were actually indeed to do.  I would recommend that the instructions have a labelling section calling different items out in them to help determine their use.
    Lastly, the stability strings.  Upon setting up the SPG-8 for the first time, I noticed string tied in the eyelet of each side of the net.  Typically, with tents, those strings are used to help stabilize the structure and should be stretched out and staked into the ground.  When I went back into the bag, there were only 4 stakes in the bag and not 6.  I looked in the instructions and nothing in there mentioned those strings or even how many stakes you should have in the packaging.  I ended up ordering 2 additional stakes from Amazing to use for those strings.  I tried having them not staked in, but the net just didn’t feel as solid without them.
    Play it or Trade it? (4 out of 5 stars)
    I am 100% “playing” the SPG-8 XL!  I have actually already sold my old hitting net to a friend, so this is my one and only!  I will say that I do question the value of the product being $210 over that of the SPG-7 net.  The difference between the SPG-7 and SPG-8 XL is 1 cubic foot.  The SPG-7 is 7’x7’x7’ whereas the SPG-8 XL is 8’x8’x8’.  I know the extra height has allowed me to ensure I can hit my wedges, but is that really worth $210?  That is a question you will have to determine for yourself.
    Conclusion
    Overall, I think the SPG-8 XL is a great addition to the Spornia line-up!  While I do feel they need to update the instructions and packing materials, i.e. number of stakes, this net is amazing to hit into it.  I was able to hit everything from my LW up to my driver.  This is a net I could see pairing really well with a Skytrak system to create an in-home studio on a budget.  While the SPG-8 XL is a bit on the large and heavy side for portability, it still can be taken down and setup in mostly any place you have room to make a swing.
    Final Score (24 out of 30 stars)
     
  9. Like
    goaliewales14 got a reaction from JerBooth in Spornia SPG8 XL Net   
    Introduction
    Full Intro Found Here
    Hello fellow spies!  Before I get into this introduction, I want to thank MGS and Spornia for this amazing testing opportunity!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike, or Goalie. 
     
    I do currently have a hitting net that I got as a gift a few years back so I will be doing a compare and contrast throughout this review while just focusing specifically on reviewing the SPG8.  Some of the main areas I want to focus on during my testing are:
    Speed of setup Portability Durability (Driver ball speeds around 165 mph) Ability to handle “bad shots” Ability to handle wedge shots (height) Weather testing (wind, rain, etc.)  
    First Impressions (4 of 5 Stars)
    When the SPG-8 XL first arrived, the first thing that shocked me was the size and weight of it.  I’m used to my 5 lbs. hitting net that rolls up into a little tent case.  When went to grab it off my porch, I did a double take!  When they said an XL net is coming, they meant XL.  The stated product weight of the SPG-8 XL is 30 lbs.  The height is actually one of the reasons I LOVED the net from the start.  The added height of it looked as if I could actually hit wedges into a practice net without them going over it!  The weight to me just meant there are solid materials holding this net together.

    The only downside I’ve had from the first impressions was that the width has always been a concern.  We all hit bad golf shots, and I worried from the start if this net could keep in one of those.  (Spoiler alert: the answer is no it cannot.)
    Aesthetics (4 out of 5 Stars)
    If you look across the Spornia line of nets, you’ll notice all of them are basically identically in style. Mostly all black with a white target line on the bottom and a white target and logo on the target sheet.  This is a great look and the branding is really well done so that everyone will know what brand you’re using without being a distraction to the hitter. 
    If you are wanting to use a projector with this hitting net, you can switch out that target sheet for an all-white one on their website ranging anywhere from $40 - $60 depending on which model you have at home. 
     
    The reason I’m only giving this category a 4-star review is because of the chipping net that comes with the net.  The chipping net just appears to be an after thought in the design and production. You have this very well constructed net and then “here throw this circle on there with these four Velcro straps anywhere you want.”  I would like to see it integrated more in the design like have a designed hook in for it.  That why the placement will be exactly where it can be shown off the best and adding to the overall effect rather than taking away.
    The Numbers (5 out of 5 stars)
     As I mentioned earlier on, I have been trying to get back into my groove where I was throwing darts at the end of the season.  To the point where a course forced me to alter my handicap even though every round that I’ve played had been accurately entered through the USGA.  I wanted to get that feeling back, which meant spending the time with my swing to find those feels again.  This net was easily able to do that for me!  A few weeks ago, I shot my lowest handicap index round in 2 years at an index of 15.7 and the week before that an index of 16.  In that round I started off -2 through 2!!
     
     
    The lowest index I have on record is a 10 for context. 
     
     
    As I’m now heading into the time of year that is very outing heavy for me, I feel confident that I’m trending in the right direction!  There are some things (putting) that this net can’t help me with that is still keeping my index above where it should be, but that is getting address and is separate from this review. 😊
    On The Course (4 out of 5 stars)
    Obviously, this isn’t a product that we will take on the course and use.  This section is going to be dedicated to the over use of the product.  The two major tests for me with this product were:
    Can I hit a full LW into it and not go over the net? Will it handle “bad shots?” The test with the LW went extremely well!  Typically, these types of nets are limited to 9 irons and up depending on your ball flight and other factors.  I started with my 9i and slowly worked my way down.  Hitting ½ and ¾ shots with each new club before I went for a full shot.  Once I was finally able to hit that LW, the target sheet was able to catch it with the overall height of the SPG-8 XL!  This is a HUGE plus for the usage of this product!  This meant I can fully practice any club in my bag without having to flight the ball down to ensure I didn’t send it over the net into the neighbor’s house.
     
    With the “bad shots” test, I hit a few foam balls that I had laying around the house and just hit slight shanks.  I knew that they were going to exaggerate any strikes that I made due to their weight and overall product characteristics.  I didn’t feel like hitting a full swing with them would be representative of what an actual golf ball would do in that situation.  The SPG-8 did NOT keep in those foam balls.  Looking on Spornia’s website, you can purchase “extenders” that might be a good option for someone who extremely worries about this situation. 
    https://spornia.com/collections/golf-hitting-net/products/side-protector-panel?variant=39853368049769
    For $30, I believe this might help, but we all know it can never be a 100% fix.  There will always be that ONE shot that escapes the net that has us saying, “Don’t let me here glass!!”
    The Good, the bad, the in-between (3 out of 5 stars)
    The few main things that stick out to me in this miscellaneous category are:
    Not having to worry about hitting a support pole during my swing Instructions needing updated 2 stakes missing In most dome style hitting nets, like the one I currently had, the support poles run right on the outside.  This means if you’re standing too close to the hitting net in fear of hitting a ball out of it, there is a good chance on your follow through, you could hit, and damage, one of those support poles.  With the SPG-8 XL, those areas of your follow through are just netting.  If you did happen to hit them, the likelihood of causing permanent damage is a LOT lower.
    With the instructions I felt that there were a few items that weren’t really updated from the prior models, chipping net, white Velcro strips, and the stability strings.  As I mentioned earlier, the chipping net almost seemed like an after thought and the lack of instructions didn’t help the situation.  There were absolutely zero instructions mentioning anything about the chipping net.  It felt like it was a “here’s the net, you figure out where it goes.” 
    The instructions also left out the purpose of the white Velcro strips towards the bottom front of the ball returner.  This question was asked in our group chat, and no one could determine what they were actually indeed to do.  I would recommend that the instructions have a labelling section calling different items out in them to help determine their use.
    Lastly, the stability strings.  Upon setting up the SPG-8 for the first time, I noticed string tied in the eyelet of each side of the net.  Typically, with tents, those strings are used to help stabilize the structure and should be stretched out and staked into the ground.  When I went back into the bag, there were only 4 stakes in the bag and not 6.  I looked in the instructions and nothing in there mentioned those strings or even how many stakes you should have in the packaging.  I ended up ordering 2 additional stakes from Amazing to use for those strings.  I tried having them not staked in, but the net just didn’t feel as solid without them.
    Play it or Trade it? (4 out of 5 stars)
    I am 100% “playing” the SPG-8 XL!  I have actually already sold my old hitting net to a friend, so this is my one and only!  I will say that I do question the value of the product being $210 over that of the SPG-7 net.  The difference between the SPG-7 and SPG-8 XL is 1 cubic foot.  The SPG-7 is 7’x7’x7’ whereas the SPG-8 XL is 8’x8’x8’.  I know the extra height has allowed me to ensure I can hit my wedges, but is that really worth $210?  That is a question you will have to determine for yourself.
    Conclusion
    Overall, I think the SPG-8 XL is a great addition to the Spornia line-up!  While I do feel they need to update the instructions and packing materials, i.e. number of stakes, this net is amazing to hit into it.  I was able to hit everything from my LW up to my driver.  This is a net I could see pairing really well with a Skytrak system to create an in-home studio on a budget.  While the SPG-8 XL is a bit on the large and heavy side for portability, it still can be taken down and setup in mostly any place you have room to make a swing.
    Final Score (24 out of 30 stars)
     
  10. Like
    goaliewales14 got a reaction from cciciora13 in Spornia SPG8 XL Net   
    Introduction
    Full Intro Found Here
    Hello fellow spies!  Before I get into this introduction, I want to thank MGS and Spornia for this amazing testing opportunity!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike, or Goalie. 
     
    I do currently have a hitting net that I got as a gift a few years back so I will be doing a compare and contrast throughout this review while just focusing specifically on reviewing the SPG8.  Some of the main areas I want to focus on during my testing are:
    Speed of setup Portability Durability (Driver ball speeds around 165 mph) Ability to handle “bad shots” Ability to handle wedge shots (height) Weather testing (wind, rain, etc.)  
    First Impressions (4 of 5 Stars)
    When the SPG-8 XL first arrived, the first thing that shocked me was the size and weight of it.  I’m used to my 5 lbs. hitting net that rolls up into a little tent case.  When went to grab it off my porch, I did a double take!  When they said an XL net is coming, they meant XL.  The stated product weight of the SPG-8 XL is 30 lbs.  The height is actually one of the reasons I LOVED the net from the start.  The added height of it looked as if I could actually hit wedges into a practice net without them going over it!  The weight to me just meant there are solid materials holding this net together.

    The only downside I’ve had from the first impressions was that the width has always been a concern.  We all hit bad golf shots, and I worried from the start if this net could keep in one of those.  (Spoiler alert: the answer is no it cannot.)
    Aesthetics (4 out of 5 Stars)
    If you look across the Spornia line of nets, you’ll notice all of them are basically identically in style. Mostly all black with a white target line on the bottom and a white target and logo on the target sheet.  This is a great look and the branding is really well done so that everyone will know what brand you’re using without being a distraction to the hitter. 
    If you are wanting to use a projector with this hitting net, you can switch out that target sheet for an all-white one on their website ranging anywhere from $40 - $60 depending on which model you have at home. 
     
    The reason I’m only giving this category a 4-star review is because of the chipping net that comes with the net.  The chipping net just appears to be an after thought in the design and production. You have this very well constructed net and then “here throw this circle on there with these four Velcro straps anywhere you want.”  I would like to see it integrated more in the design like have a designed hook in for it.  That why the placement will be exactly where it can be shown off the best and adding to the overall effect rather than taking away.
    The Numbers (5 out of 5 stars)
     As I mentioned earlier on, I have been trying to get back into my groove where I was throwing darts at the end of the season.  To the point where a course forced me to alter my handicap even though every round that I’ve played had been accurately entered through the USGA.  I wanted to get that feeling back, which meant spending the time with my swing to find those feels again.  This net was easily able to do that for me!  A few weeks ago, I shot my lowest handicap index round in 2 years at an index of 15.7 and the week before that an index of 16.  In that round I started off -2 through 2!!
     
     
    The lowest index I have on record is a 10 for context. 
     
     
    As I’m now heading into the time of year that is very outing heavy for me, I feel confident that I’m trending in the right direction!  There are some things (putting) that this net can’t help me with that is still keeping my index above where it should be, but that is getting address and is separate from this review. 😊
    On The Course (4 out of 5 stars)
    Obviously, this isn’t a product that we will take on the course and use.  This section is going to be dedicated to the over use of the product.  The two major tests for me with this product were:
    Can I hit a full LW into it and not go over the net? Will it handle “bad shots?” The test with the LW went extremely well!  Typically, these types of nets are limited to 9 irons and up depending on your ball flight and other factors.  I started with my 9i and slowly worked my way down.  Hitting ½ and ¾ shots with each new club before I went for a full shot.  Once I was finally able to hit that LW, the target sheet was able to catch it with the overall height of the SPG-8 XL!  This is a HUGE plus for the usage of this product!  This meant I can fully practice any club in my bag without having to flight the ball down to ensure I didn’t send it over the net into the neighbor’s house.
     
    With the “bad shots” test, I hit a few foam balls that I had laying around the house and just hit slight shanks.  I knew that they were going to exaggerate any strikes that I made due to their weight and overall product characteristics.  I didn’t feel like hitting a full swing with them would be representative of what an actual golf ball would do in that situation.  The SPG-8 did NOT keep in those foam balls.  Looking on Spornia’s website, you can purchase “extenders” that might be a good option for someone who extremely worries about this situation. 
    https://spornia.com/collections/golf-hitting-net/products/side-protector-panel?variant=39853368049769
    For $30, I believe this might help, but we all know it can never be a 100% fix.  There will always be that ONE shot that escapes the net that has us saying, “Don’t let me here glass!!”
    The Good, the bad, the in-between (3 out of 5 stars)
    The few main things that stick out to me in this miscellaneous category are:
    Not having to worry about hitting a support pole during my swing Instructions needing updated 2 stakes missing In most dome style hitting nets, like the one I currently had, the support poles run right on the outside.  This means if you’re standing too close to the hitting net in fear of hitting a ball out of it, there is a good chance on your follow through, you could hit, and damage, one of those support poles.  With the SPG-8 XL, those areas of your follow through are just netting.  If you did happen to hit them, the likelihood of causing permanent damage is a LOT lower.
    With the instructions I felt that there were a few items that weren’t really updated from the prior models, chipping net, white Velcro strips, and the stability strings.  As I mentioned earlier, the chipping net almost seemed like an after thought and the lack of instructions didn’t help the situation.  There were absolutely zero instructions mentioning anything about the chipping net.  It felt like it was a “here’s the net, you figure out where it goes.” 
    The instructions also left out the purpose of the white Velcro strips towards the bottom front of the ball returner.  This question was asked in our group chat, and no one could determine what they were actually indeed to do.  I would recommend that the instructions have a labelling section calling different items out in them to help determine their use.
    Lastly, the stability strings.  Upon setting up the SPG-8 for the first time, I noticed string tied in the eyelet of each side of the net.  Typically, with tents, those strings are used to help stabilize the structure and should be stretched out and staked into the ground.  When I went back into the bag, there were only 4 stakes in the bag and not 6.  I looked in the instructions and nothing in there mentioned those strings or even how many stakes you should have in the packaging.  I ended up ordering 2 additional stakes from Amazing to use for those strings.  I tried having them not staked in, but the net just didn’t feel as solid without them.
    Play it or Trade it? (4 out of 5 stars)
    I am 100% “playing” the SPG-8 XL!  I have actually already sold my old hitting net to a friend, so this is my one and only!  I will say that I do question the value of the product being $210 over that of the SPG-7 net.  The difference between the SPG-7 and SPG-8 XL is 1 cubic foot.  The SPG-7 is 7’x7’x7’ whereas the SPG-8 XL is 8’x8’x8’.  I know the extra height has allowed me to ensure I can hit my wedges, but is that really worth $210?  That is a question you will have to determine for yourself.
    Conclusion
    Overall, I think the SPG-8 XL is a great addition to the Spornia line-up!  While I do feel they need to update the instructions and packing materials, i.e. number of stakes, this net is amazing to hit into it.  I was able to hit everything from my LW up to my driver.  This is a net I could see pairing really well with a Skytrak system to create an in-home studio on a budget.  While the SPG-8 XL is a bit on the large and heavy side for portability, it still can be taken down and setup in mostly any place you have room to make a swing.
    Final Score (24 out of 30 stars)
     
  11. Like
    goaliewales14 got a reaction from sirchunksalot in Spornia SPG8 XL Net   
    Introduction
    Full Intro Found Here
    Hello fellow spies!  Before I get into this introduction, I want to thank MGS and Spornia for this amazing testing opportunity!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike, or Goalie. 
     
    I do currently have a hitting net that I got as a gift a few years back so I will be doing a compare and contrast throughout this review while just focusing specifically on reviewing the SPG8.  Some of the main areas I want to focus on during my testing are:
    Speed of setup Portability Durability (Driver ball speeds around 165 mph) Ability to handle “bad shots” Ability to handle wedge shots (height) Weather testing (wind, rain, etc.)  
    First Impressions (4 of 5 Stars)
    When the SPG-8 XL first arrived, the first thing that shocked me was the size and weight of it.  I’m used to my 5 lbs. hitting net that rolls up into a little tent case.  When went to grab it off my porch, I did a double take!  When they said an XL net is coming, they meant XL.  The stated product weight of the SPG-8 XL is 30 lbs.  The height is actually one of the reasons I LOVED the net from the start.  The added height of it looked as if I could actually hit wedges into a practice net without them going over it!  The weight to me just meant there are solid materials holding this net together.

    The only downside I’ve had from the first impressions was that the width has always been a concern.  We all hit bad golf shots, and I worried from the start if this net could keep in one of those.  (Spoiler alert: the answer is no it cannot.)
    Aesthetics (4 out of 5 Stars)
    If you look across the Spornia line of nets, you’ll notice all of them are basically identically in style. Mostly all black with a white target line on the bottom and a white target and logo on the target sheet.  This is a great look and the branding is really well done so that everyone will know what brand you’re using without being a distraction to the hitter. 
    If you are wanting to use a projector with this hitting net, you can switch out that target sheet for an all-white one on their website ranging anywhere from $40 - $60 depending on which model you have at home. 
     
    The reason I’m only giving this category a 4-star review is because of the chipping net that comes with the net.  The chipping net just appears to be an after thought in the design and production. You have this very well constructed net and then “here throw this circle on there with these four Velcro straps anywhere you want.”  I would like to see it integrated more in the design like have a designed hook in for it.  That why the placement will be exactly where it can be shown off the best and adding to the overall effect rather than taking away.
    The Numbers (5 out of 5 stars)
     As I mentioned earlier on, I have been trying to get back into my groove where I was throwing darts at the end of the season.  To the point where a course forced me to alter my handicap even though every round that I’ve played had been accurately entered through the USGA.  I wanted to get that feeling back, which meant spending the time with my swing to find those feels again.  This net was easily able to do that for me!  A few weeks ago, I shot my lowest handicap index round in 2 years at an index of 15.7 and the week before that an index of 16.  In that round I started off -2 through 2!!
     
     
    The lowest index I have on record is a 10 for context. 
     
     
    As I’m now heading into the time of year that is very outing heavy for me, I feel confident that I’m trending in the right direction!  There are some things (putting) that this net can’t help me with that is still keeping my index above where it should be, but that is getting address and is separate from this review. 😊
    On The Course (4 out of 5 stars)
    Obviously, this isn’t a product that we will take on the course and use.  This section is going to be dedicated to the over use of the product.  The two major tests for me with this product were:
    Can I hit a full LW into it and not go over the net? Will it handle “bad shots?” The test with the LW went extremely well!  Typically, these types of nets are limited to 9 irons and up depending on your ball flight and other factors.  I started with my 9i and slowly worked my way down.  Hitting ½ and ¾ shots with each new club before I went for a full shot.  Once I was finally able to hit that LW, the target sheet was able to catch it with the overall height of the SPG-8 XL!  This is a HUGE plus for the usage of this product!  This meant I can fully practice any club in my bag without having to flight the ball down to ensure I didn’t send it over the net into the neighbor’s house.
     
    With the “bad shots” test, I hit a few foam balls that I had laying around the house and just hit slight shanks.  I knew that they were going to exaggerate any strikes that I made due to their weight and overall product characteristics.  I didn’t feel like hitting a full swing with them would be representative of what an actual golf ball would do in that situation.  The SPG-8 did NOT keep in those foam balls.  Looking on Spornia’s website, you can purchase “extenders” that might be a good option for someone who extremely worries about this situation. 
    https://spornia.com/collections/golf-hitting-net/products/side-protector-panel?variant=39853368049769
    For $30, I believe this might help, but we all know it can never be a 100% fix.  There will always be that ONE shot that escapes the net that has us saying, “Don’t let me here glass!!”
    The Good, the bad, the in-between (3 out of 5 stars)
    The few main things that stick out to me in this miscellaneous category are:
    Not having to worry about hitting a support pole during my swing Instructions needing updated 2 stakes missing In most dome style hitting nets, like the one I currently had, the support poles run right on the outside.  This means if you’re standing too close to the hitting net in fear of hitting a ball out of it, there is a good chance on your follow through, you could hit, and damage, one of those support poles.  With the SPG-8 XL, those areas of your follow through are just netting.  If you did happen to hit them, the likelihood of causing permanent damage is a LOT lower.
    With the instructions I felt that there were a few items that weren’t really updated from the prior models, chipping net, white Velcro strips, and the stability strings.  As I mentioned earlier, the chipping net almost seemed like an after thought and the lack of instructions didn’t help the situation.  There were absolutely zero instructions mentioning anything about the chipping net.  It felt like it was a “here’s the net, you figure out where it goes.” 
    The instructions also left out the purpose of the white Velcro strips towards the bottom front of the ball returner.  This question was asked in our group chat, and no one could determine what they were actually indeed to do.  I would recommend that the instructions have a labelling section calling different items out in them to help determine their use.
    Lastly, the stability strings.  Upon setting up the SPG-8 for the first time, I noticed string tied in the eyelet of each side of the net.  Typically, with tents, those strings are used to help stabilize the structure and should be stretched out and staked into the ground.  When I went back into the bag, there were only 4 stakes in the bag and not 6.  I looked in the instructions and nothing in there mentioned those strings or even how many stakes you should have in the packaging.  I ended up ordering 2 additional stakes from Amazing to use for those strings.  I tried having them not staked in, but the net just didn’t feel as solid without them.
    Play it or Trade it? (4 out of 5 stars)
    I am 100% “playing” the SPG-8 XL!  I have actually already sold my old hitting net to a friend, so this is my one and only!  I will say that I do question the value of the product being $210 over that of the SPG-7 net.  The difference between the SPG-7 and SPG-8 XL is 1 cubic foot.  The SPG-7 is 7’x7’x7’ whereas the SPG-8 XL is 8’x8’x8’.  I know the extra height has allowed me to ensure I can hit my wedges, but is that really worth $210?  That is a question you will have to determine for yourself.
    Conclusion
    Overall, I think the SPG-8 XL is a great addition to the Spornia line-up!  While I do feel they need to update the instructions and packing materials, i.e. number of stakes, this net is amazing to hit into it.  I was able to hit everything from my LW up to my driver.  This is a net I could see pairing really well with a Skytrak system to create an in-home studio on a budget.  While the SPG-8 XL is a bit on the large and heavy side for portability, it still can be taken down and setup in mostly any place you have room to make a swing.
    Final Score (24 out of 30 stars)
     
  12. Like
    goaliewales14 got a reaction from GrumpyGolf in Spornia SPG8 XL Net   
    Introduction
    Full Intro Found Here
    Hello fellow spies!  Before I get into this introduction, I want to thank MGS and Spornia for this amazing testing opportunity!  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mike, or Goalie. 
     
    I do currently have a hitting net that I got as a gift a few years back so I will be doing a compare and contrast throughout this review while just focusing specifically on reviewing the SPG8.  Some of the main areas I want to focus on during my testing are:
    Speed of setup Portability Durability (Driver ball speeds around 165 mph) Ability to handle “bad shots” Ability to handle wedge shots (height) Weather testing (wind, rain, etc.)  
    First Impressions (4 of 5 Stars)
    When the SPG-8 XL first arrived, the first thing that shocked me was the size and weight of it.  I’m used to my 5 lbs. hitting net that rolls up into a little tent case.  When went to grab it off my porch, I did a double take!  When they said an XL net is coming, they meant XL.  The stated product weight of the SPG-8 XL is 30 lbs.  The height is actually one of the reasons I LOVED the net from the start.  The added height of it looked as if I could actually hit wedges into a practice net without them going over it!  The weight to me just meant there are solid materials holding this net together.

    The only downside I’ve had from the first impressions was that the width has always been a concern.  We all hit bad golf shots, and I worried from the start if this net could keep in one of those.  (Spoiler alert: the answer is no it cannot.)
    Aesthetics (4 out of 5 Stars)
    If you look across the Spornia line of nets, you’ll notice all of them are basically identically in style. Mostly all black with a white target line on the bottom and a white target and logo on the target sheet.  This is a great look and the branding is really well done so that everyone will know what brand you’re using without being a distraction to the hitter. 
    If you are wanting to use a projector with this hitting net, you can switch out that target sheet for an all-white one on their website ranging anywhere from $40 - $60 depending on which model you have at home. 
     
    The reason I’m only giving this category a 4-star review is because of the chipping net that comes with the net.  The chipping net just appears to be an after thought in the design and production. You have this very well constructed net and then “here throw this circle on there with these four Velcro straps anywhere you want.”  I would like to see it integrated more in the design like have a designed hook in for it.  That why the placement will be exactly where it can be shown off the best and adding to the overall effect rather than taking away.
    The Numbers (5 out of 5 stars)
     As I mentioned earlier on, I have been trying to get back into my groove where I was throwing darts at the end of the season.  To the point where a course forced me to alter my handicap even though every round that I’ve played had been accurately entered through the USGA.  I wanted to get that feeling back, which meant spending the time with my swing to find those feels again.  This net was easily able to do that for me!  A few weeks ago, I shot my lowest handicap index round in 2 years at an index of 15.7 and the week before that an index of 16.  In that round I started off -2 through 2!!
     
     
    The lowest index I have on record is a 10 for context. 
     
     
    As I’m now heading into the time of year that is very outing heavy for me, I feel confident that I’m trending in the right direction!  There are some things (putting) that this net can’t help me with that is still keeping my index above where it should be, but that is getting address and is separate from this review. 😊
    On The Course (4 out of 5 stars)
    Obviously, this isn’t a product that we will take on the course and use.  This section is going to be dedicated to the over use of the product.  The two major tests for me with this product were:
    Can I hit a full LW into it and not go over the net? Will it handle “bad shots?” The test with the LW went extremely well!  Typically, these types of nets are limited to 9 irons and up depending on your ball flight and other factors.  I started with my 9i and slowly worked my way down.  Hitting ½ and ¾ shots with each new club before I went for a full shot.  Once I was finally able to hit that LW, the target sheet was able to catch it with the overall height of the SPG-8 XL!  This is a HUGE plus for the usage of this product!  This meant I can fully practice any club in my bag without having to flight the ball down to ensure I didn’t send it over the net into the neighbor’s house.
     
    With the “bad shots” test, I hit a few foam balls that I had laying around the house and just hit slight shanks.  I knew that they were going to exaggerate any strikes that I made due to their weight and overall product characteristics.  I didn’t feel like hitting a full swing with them would be representative of what an actual golf ball would do in that situation.  The SPG-8 did NOT keep in those foam balls.  Looking on Spornia’s website, you can purchase “extenders” that might be a good option for someone who extremely worries about this situation. 
    https://spornia.com/collections/golf-hitting-net/products/side-protector-panel?variant=39853368049769
    For $30, I believe this might help, but we all know it can never be a 100% fix.  There will always be that ONE shot that escapes the net that has us saying, “Don’t let me here glass!!”
    The Good, the bad, the in-between (3 out of 5 stars)
    The few main things that stick out to me in this miscellaneous category are:
    Not having to worry about hitting a support pole during my swing Instructions needing updated 2 stakes missing In most dome style hitting nets, like the one I currently had, the support poles run right on the outside.  This means if you’re standing too close to the hitting net in fear of hitting a ball out of it, there is a good chance on your follow through, you could hit, and damage, one of those support poles.  With the SPG-8 XL, those areas of your follow through are just netting.  If you did happen to hit them, the likelihood of causing permanent damage is a LOT lower.
    With the instructions I felt that there were a few items that weren’t really updated from the prior models, chipping net, white Velcro strips, and the stability strings.  As I mentioned earlier, the chipping net almost seemed like an after thought and the lack of instructions didn’t help the situation.  There were absolutely zero instructions mentioning anything about the chipping net.  It felt like it was a “here’s the net, you figure out where it goes.” 
    The instructions also left out the purpose of the white Velcro strips towards the bottom front of the ball returner.  This question was asked in our group chat, and no one could determine what they were actually indeed to do.  I would recommend that the instructions have a labelling section calling different items out in them to help determine their use.
    Lastly, the stability strings.  Upon setting up the SPG-8 for the first time, I noticed string tied in the eyelet of each side of the net.  Typically, with tents, those strings are used to help stabilize the structure and should be stretched out and staked into the ground.  When I went back into the bag, there were only 4 stakes in the bag and not 6.  I looked in the instructions and nothing in there mentioned those strings or even how many stakes you should have in the packaging.  I ended up ordering 2 additional stakes from Amazing to use for those strings.  I tried having them not staked in, but the net just didn’t feel as solid without them.
    Play it or Trade it? (4 out of 5 stars)
    I am 100% “playing” the SPG-8 XL!  I have actually already sold my old hitting net to a friend, so this is my one and only!  I will say that I do question the value of the product being $210 over that of the SPG-7 net.  The difference between the SPG-7 and SPG-8 XL is 1 cubic foot.  The SPG-7 is 7’x7’x7’ whereas the SPG-8 XL is 8’x8’x8’.  I know the extra height has allowed me to ensure I can hit my wedges, but is that really worth $210?  That is a question you will have to determine for yourself.
    Conclusion
    Overall, I think the SPG-8 XL is a great addition to the Spornia line-up!  While I do feel they need to update the instructions and packing materials, i.e. number of stakes, this net is amazing to hit into it.  I was able to hit everything from my LW up to my driver.  This is a net I could see pairing really well with a Skytrak system to create an in-home studio on a budget.  While the SPG-8 XL is a bit on the large and heavy side for portability, it still can be taken down and setup in mostly any place you have room to make a swing.
    Final Score (24 out of 30 stars)
     
  13. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to mynerds in Spornia SPG8 XL Net   
    Sporina SPG-8 XL Net – Official MGS Forum Review by mynerds
    Introduction - May 31, 2022
    A full introduction can be found in the comments section.
    Thank you to Sporina and MyGolfSpy for this amazing testing opportunity!
    Hello! My name is Mark, I am a high-handicap player near Chicago and have played golf mostly in social contexts like Top Golf and par 3 courses for a few decades. I am a natural righty, but golf lefty. By day, I work as a cybersecurity consultant. By night, I am husband, dad, and fur-dad to these three:

    My daily schedule is chaotic with both my wife and I juggling full-time jobs and chasing around our sassy toddler, so I am not always in control of when I get to practice.  When I can find time to get to the range, I find myself trying to “get my money’s worth” and hit as many balls as possible even when slower, shorter, deliberate practice would be more beneficial. I will be testing the net both indoors and outdoors, and tracking any discernible improvement to my golf game that regular, frequent practice may bring.
    I’m extremely excited to test the Sporina SPG-8 XL Net and have high expectations given the SPG-7’s status as MGS’ Best Golf Hitting Net 2021.
    First Impressions (4 out of 5)
    My full first impressions can be found in the comments section.
    The shipping weight of the product is 30lbs. For reference, below is the package up against my sedan and all 5'10" of my wiry self with the unboxed net in the carrying bag.



    My first point of inspection was the quality of stitching on the bag. Unfortunately I spotted areas with less-than-stellar stitching and several spots with loose or frayed threads:

    I also inspected the quality of the roof pole channel which was a weak point for the SPG-7. It was the thinnest material on the SPG-8 by far - even thinner than the material for the bag. Despite the thinness of the material, the roof pole channel did not tear though I did find threading the roof pole challenging.
    Taped to the outside of the box in a "packing slip" container was not a packing slip but instead a supplemental instruction and warning that "the spring steel opens forcefully" and that set up should occur "far away from people vehicles, and structures." Typos galore aside, this warning should be heeded.



    Minus one star for the stitching issues and the thin roof pole channel material, despite its previously documented weakness.
    Aesthetics (5 out of 5)
    With everything set up, it became clear that the "XL" is no misnomer. It is difficult to adequately describe how imposing this thing is.

    There are a few temporary hitting nets in my neighbors’ yards. To me, other nets seem like toys and the SPG-8 seems more like a tool. I love the look of the net and didn’t mind leaving it out for prolonged periods of time. Even as a "portable" net, I wanted to minimize my setup time. I shared some details on how I’ve left the net mostly assembled while retaining my garage parking space in the comments.


    The Numbers (3 out of 5)
    At the beginning of the test, I expected the SPG-8 to catch every single ball. Unfortunately, it did not meet this expectation. I kept count of every single ball that I hit, balls which were caught but bounced out of the net, and balls that missed the net entirely. Out of 600 balls hit, 27 (4.5%) were caught but bounced out of the net, and 2 missed the net entirely. Further, 3 balls were caught by the net but still managed to contact the wall behind it, more than a foot away. While the wall was not damaged, there are small indentations and marks on the drywall.

    Video.mov
    Spornia lists “Ball rolls gently down not touching the floors” as a “main feature” of the product. They make smaller nets (presumably for better players) and, as their largest and most expensive option, I expected it to contain all my shots. Minus 1 star each for the ~5% of balls that bounced out of the net, and for the balls that missed the net entirely.
    On the Course (5 out of 5)
    Did use of the net translate to improvements on the course? I’ve gained confidence in my irons, improved my dispersion, and am carrying the ball 15 yards further than a month ago. Here is Rapsodo's analysis of a session using my 9i compared from a month ago (left) to this week (right).

    In terms of results, I played my personal best round at the local municipal 9-hole and (using the WHS adjusted gross score) broke 50 there for the first time and had my first true par on a par-4.
    While the performance gains are a product of several things (see the next section), the net was the catalyst for bringing all the pieces together. Without question, I would not have seen these same improvements without the net.
    The Good, the bad, the inbetween (3 out of 5)
    By itself, I don’t believe any net alone is enough to improve your game. To achieve its full value, I needed to also purchase a launch monitor, quality hitting mat, and follow at home lessons/drills. Before purchasing the launch monitor specifically, I was developing bad habits hitting into the net that I only recognized once I was on the range. Once the launch monitor was in hand, I was able to recognize my mistakes and work towards correcting them.
    Minus one star against Spornia’s main feature claim of “get instant feedback on your shots” – it just wasn’t true for me.
    A quick note on the chipping net – I ended up using it only once. I already owned a small chipping net and if I’m working on my wedges, I’m just not going to spend the time attaching the Spornia net to the SPG-8. No fault of Spornia there, it just isn’t an important feature of the net to me.
    The testers also fielded a few questions to customer support via MGS to clarify the purpose of white strap on the net, the Velcro straps, how to use the support ropes, and whether we were missing tie down stakes. Minus one star for unclear instructions and lack of customer service response. I’ll update with any future communications though.
    Lastly, after getting used to the setup and takedown process I was able to reduce my setup time to 1:04 without the roof net and 3:17 with the roof net. Threading the roof channel really is the weakest aspect of the net.


    Play it or Trade it? (5 out of 5)
    Without question, I will be playing with the SPG-8 for the remainder of the season and am looking forward to its use indoors over the long Chicago winters. I will continue to improve my hitting area and hope to add heaters and possibly a projector to create a true indoor hitting simulator. Where breaking 100 seemed like a lofty goal 6 months ago, now breaking 90 seems like a potential goal for next year. Without this net, I don't believe that goal would be possible.
    Conclusion (25 out of 30 stars)
    Overall, the Spornia SPG-8 XL edition lives up to its name as an extra large hitting net. While the extra foot of coverage may benefit high handicappers like me who struggle with the occasional extremely off-center shot, even the XL edition missed a few of my shots that would have ended up in neighbors yards had I been outside at the time.
    If you’re in the market for a hitting net, I would recommend the SPG-8 only if 1) cost isn’t your highest priority or 2) if you’re looking to use it as part of a golf simulator with their projector-friendly target sheet. Otherwise, I would recommend the SPG-7 instead, and use any cost savings towards a high quality hitting mat and/or indoor launch monitor for a complete at-home hitting experience.
  14. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to Chip Strokes in Shot Scope V3   
    hey everyone! i'm beyond stoked to be afforded this opportunity from MGS and ShotScope.
    my name is joe, and i've been playing golf for a little over a year.  hard to believe, i know, because it probably seems like i've been annoying you all on here for a lot longer.  i picked the game up last summer during covid when my dad and brother in law convinced me to join them for a round.  
    a little about my game: i was blessed with club head speed...a lot of club head speed.  this has been a blessing and a curse so far in my short golf career.  when i'm finding the center of the face, things are pretty easy.  when i'm not, well let's just say misses are amplified.  i've managed to get my handicap down to around a 12 this year.  last summer i was struggling to break 100, and now i'm shooting in the mid-high 80s most times out.  
    i've always been into stats and data, no matter what sport i was playing, so i've been interested in ShotScope for a while.  i currently use the GHIN app, which tracks fairways, greens, and putts and compiles them into some meaningful data to review after your rounds.  i'm excited to add some club tracking data to that and start to get a picture of where i'm really losing strokes.  
    i feel like i'm a good pick to test the SS v3 because technology and gadgetry aren't really my strong suit.  if it works well and is user friendly, i'll be the world's biggest advocate.  but if the user interface is clumsy, or if it requires a lot of work to make the device useful, then i'll get frustrated with having to take on part time job just to know how far my 8i is going.  
    all in all, i'm extremely excited to test this out.  any excuse to get out for a few more rounds as the season gets shorter in the northeast is good in my book.
    if you have any specific insights that you'd like me to look into or highlight in my test, let me know! i'd be happy to try and accommodate useful information into my review.  otherwise just sit back and enjoy my rambling, often incoherent thoughts on what i think is going to be a great product.  
     
    UNBOXING AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    i got home from vacation on Saturday and my ShotScope was waiting for me.  i didn't waste much time in getting it unboxed and checking it out.  
    here's how it arrived:

    really nice packaging with everything clearly marked and easily accessible inside.  here's everything you get in the box:

    you've got the watch itself, your charger, 16 tags for your clubs, and a quick start guide which even i didn't need (and i need to call the neighbor's kid if my tv input gets switched somehow).
    the watch itself is made of quality materials and is really comfortable to wear.  i'd say its about the size of an apple watch but with a more comfortable and secure band.

    it sits tight to your wrist, and the clasp and closure are metal, so everything feels really secure once it's on.  my only pet peeve is that as a right handed golfer, you have to wear it on your left (glove) hand.  that means i'll have to sit the watch up a little higher on my arm.  not the biggest deal in the world, but we'll see how i feel about it when i play tomorrow.
    once everything was unboxed, i downloaded the app and connected my watch to my phone.  again, this was super simple to do.  once you're connected, you can pick your home course, and then the app walks you through the rest of the setup.  i headed down to the basement to place the tags on my clubs and build out "my bag" in the app.
    it takes a little bit of elbow grease to get the sensors into the butt end of your grips.  i guess that's a good sign that they won't fall out on the course.  here's where i ran into my second (extremely minor) issue.  i use midsized grips on my driver and woods, and they have a domed grip end.  this causes some seating issues with the flat sensors.

    it's screwed in as tightly as it will go and i don't think the sensor is gonna go anywhere.  it's just not as clean of a look as i'd like.  this all got resolved when i got to my irons, which have a flat end on their grips:

    i'm vainal (vain and anal - don't try to use that or my lawyers will be in touch) enough about my stuff that if i really like using ShotScope, this will influence my grip selection when i replace them at the start of next season.
    from there, everything was smooth sailing.  i put sensors on all of my clubs except for the putter.  i plan to use the "manual putting" mode as people seem to find it easier.  you can build your bag in the app right down to your exact club model, which could make club comparison easier if you switch things around a lot.
    i'd say total time from unboxing to being ready to go out and play was just over 30 minutes, and almost half of that was actually screwing the sensors in to my grips.  once i was done, i put the watch on the charger so it'll be ready for its first round tomorrow.
     
    LOOKS AND FEEL
    10 out of 10
     
    the shotscope watch is great looking and very comfortable to wear.  I had some reservations since the watch itself is pretty square, but I didn’t notice any issues with the corners of the watchface.  I also worried about wearing it on my glove hand, but those effects were honestly minimal.
    Shotscope offers multiple watch bands that can be switched out if you feel like customizing your watch, which is a nice bonus.  They were actually nice enough to send an extra watch band out after we received our initial packages.  Ill cover that more in miscellaneous.
    As I said in my initial impressions, I think the watch is build to last.  The face itself has held up well to the wear and tear youd expect something to go through when it’s on your hand during a round of golf.  I can’t keep track of all the things I’ve banged it against, but it still looks brand new.  The band is thick rubber and all of the clasp and closure parts are metal, which gives it a premium feel overall.
    SETUP
    13 out of 15
     
    Allow me to preface this section by saying that I’m a tech dunce.  It’s actually a miracle that I’m on MGS and can navigate the forums at all.  With that being said, setting up the shotscope was an absolute breeze.  Download the app, pair your watch, and you’re off to the races.  All of the setup is done via the app on your phone and the step-by-step instructions are incredibly easy to understand.  Out of the 30ish minutes it took me to set the system up, more than half of it was the manual act of screwing the sensors into my grips.
    The watch doesn’t use a micro-usb charging cord, so if you lose the charging cable, you’re a bit out of luck.  Shotscope was nice enough to send us out a backup, but not everyone will get that luxury.  I found that after playing 18, I still had well over half battery life.  My routine is that after the round, I power the watch off and hang it from my bag.  The charger stays in my car, and I charge the watch up when I drive to the course for my next round.  I’ve had no issues with the battery.
    Throughout my test, I had one customer service interaction and I was blown away by shotscope’s customer support.  The course I play most often shortened the 8th hole from a long par 5 to a short par 4 to protect some houses that line the fairway.  Shotscope still had the hole as a par 5.  I send them a quick email with the name of the course, the hole number, and what changes needed to be made.  They not only made the changes, but sent me clear step by step instructions to make sure that the next time I played that course, the hole would read correctly.
    ACCURACY
    12 out of 15
     
    I’ve been using a precision pro range finder  a year now, and I found the distances on shotscope to match up really well.  They weren’t exact, of course, because with the laser I was shooting the flag and the watch gives you front/middle/back distances.  They were accurate enough, however, that I’ve become comfortable leaving my laser in the bag and just playing based off of the watch.
    The distances to, and to clear, hazards is a really nice touch and comes in handy especially when a hole plays uphill or downhill and you can’t quite judge how far out bunkers and water are.
    The feature everyone is most interested in with regards to shotscope is the distance tracking for each club.  I really like that I can look at data from 6 or 7 rounds and know what distances my clubs are going out on the course.  It was pretty eye opening to me how much distance I was losing on mis-hits, and how severe an effect the cold weather has on distance. 
    The only downside I see to shotscope is the lack of a birds-eye hole view.  That’s something I’d like to see them incorporate because it’s helpful on doglegs and with other blind shots. 
    ON-COURSE
    27 out of 30
     
    I honestly have to say that using shotscope on the course is incredibly easy and intuitive.  I thought I’d have to adjust to wearing a watch, but unless I’m looking at it for yardages, I barely know it’s on my wrist. 
    It disrupted my normal routine, but in a good way.  Normally, if I’m hitting an approach shot, I’m pulling my laser and shooting the flag.  This is a hotly disputed pace-of-play issue, but no matter your stance on it, grabbing your laser, shooting the flag, shooting again to confirm, putting it away, and then hitting your shot can become a little bit tedious over the course of 18 holes.  Now I get up to my ball, check the distances on my watch, pick a club that covers the front and should carry the middle, and proceed to come up 20 yards short anyway.  That’s got nothing to do with the watch though.
    My advice to anyone who wants to use shotscope is to use manual putting mode.  It took about a round to get into the habit of pressing the button to mark each putt, but eventually it became part of my putting routine.  Looking back at each round, I was impressed by how accurately the watch tracked my putts.
    One spot where the watch struggles a little bit is with how quickly it puts you into putting mode when you approach the green.  If you’re someone who likes to walk up past your ball when you’re in the greenside rough to see what the green looks like, you’ll find yourself on the putting screen when you get back to hit your chip.  It’s easy enough to get back to the normal shot tracking screen, but still a minor annoyance.
    MISCELLANEOUS
    10 out of 10
     
    Shotscope really shined with how completely they took care of the testing crew.  I know that some of the courtesies extended to us won’t make their way to every consumer, but it was still really impressive how well they treated us. 
    Shortly after we received our packages, I got an email from Gavin, the CCO of shotscope.  He expressed how excited he was for the reviews, and said he’d be sending out some goodies.  A few days later, I received a package from shotscope containing an extra watch band, an extra charger, and a few extra putter sensors. 
    Unfortunately, the watch band was for one of their older models.  We decided amongst the testers in the testing group private message that someone would let Gavin know, and the next day we all received a tracking email for another package containing the correct watch band.
    This little gesture, coupled with the amazing customer support left me with the warm and fuzzies with regards to shotscope and how they handle themselves as a company.
    PLAY OR TRADE?
    20 out of 20
    Play it for sure.  I’ll be keeping shotscope for the forseeable future.  I think it’ll be a really valuable when it comes to testing clubs on the course and seeing what actually works best for my game.  Fittings are great, but having club data at your fingertips from the actual rounds you play allows you to extend your fitting out on to the course. 
    CONCLUSION
    If a luddite like me can appreciate the ease of use and data shotscope provides, I can only imagine what someone who is more tech savvy and data driven can get out of it.  I really like products that are low maintenance “set it and forget it” gadgets, and shotscope is definitely that.

    For the hobbyist, you can look over some simple numbers after your round and see what’s working and what’s costing you.  For the more serious golfer, you can dive deeply into your statistics and figure out where you can grind those 2 or 3 strokes out.
    Final Score: 92/100
  15. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to KC Golf in Arccos Smart Sensors   
    Arccos Smart Sensors – Official MGS Forum Review by KC Golf
    The Warm Up
    Thank you for picking me MGS.  Its an honour to provide my first official review.  So I am pretty excited about the opportunity.
    Like many golfers, my golf game lacks consistency.  My index is currently 8.4, but it can range from 8 to 13 over the last 3 years.  I play mostly up in Canada, so our season is short.  I have played golf for a long time.  My Dad took me to the range a lot when I was 7 or 8 and we played a lot of publics and muni’s growing up. We were both very average at best and my Dad read a lot of golf books all the time, but we loved going out together and having fun.  We did a lot of father / son golf vacations over the years, but he hung it up about 15 years ago, after getting frustrated by forced carries.  We like watching golf too, so my Dad took me to a few tournaments like the Canadian Open when I was younger, and I have been fortunate to go to a few majors over the years as well.
    I am trying to get my 10 year old son to love golf as well, so we play alternating shot a lot for 9 holes and he has been getting group lessons for the last 3 years, but he still likes the milkshakes and the cheeseburgers more than the golf. He says watching golf is really boring. But he’s curious about the Arccos, so may be he will start liking stats.
    My Game “Generally”
    My game is probably typical for mid handicappers on MGS.  I have gone for swing instruction quite a lot over the years, but I only started getting more serious about my golf game in the last 10-15 years.  With lessons over time, my golf swing has gotten on a shallower plane and with a more orthodox overall swing with decent swing tempo. Generally, I hit a natural fade in my drives and long irons.  Misses are mostly slices, but I can on occasion hit my wedges thin or throw in a hosel rocket too.  I can’t draw a driver consistently, so I usually hit a FW on a dogleg left.  My coach tells me that I need to focus on less tension and swinging smoothly when under pressure particularly during match play, I don’t play stroke tournaments very often.  
    I have been told that my steady, natural tempo has always been the strength of my game. So I generally find the fairway. No magical distance or high trajectory irons landing softly with backspin on the greens, so I am always more likely to be hitting long irons short of the green and trying to roll it on.  I play mostly in Calgary, so with the higher altitude, my distances are 5-10 yards longer than at sea level.  It can be very windy here, so that makes average distances for Arccos more tricky. 
    That being said, this year, I am hitting the ball farther and hitting my irons crisper thanks to the work I did with my coach using a Trackman / GC Quad.  Also started using Super Speed sticks over the Winter to improve overall clubhead speed. 
    WITB - 2021
    Here’s a look of what’s in my bag.  Woods: TSi3 Tensei AV White Stiff 9 deg. – set to A1, Titleist FW Wood 917 16.5 degree Tensei Blue Reg – set to A1, Titleist 818 H1 21 deg Tensei Blue Reg.  Irons: Titleist AP2 4 iron AMT reg flex, Haywood Signature iron 5 - PW TT DG Stiff.  Wedges: TM Tour Preferred 52, Haywood 56, TM Tour Preferred 60.  Putter: Scotty Cameron – Special Select Squareback 2.0
    ]
    I have been fitted for most of my bag except my latest set of Haywood irons which I bought direct because of the Covid lockdown.  The Titleist TSi3 driver with the Tensei AV White Stiff is great.  My driver swing speed ranges from 97 – 102.  Really happy with the TSi3 driver which has true forgiveness, nice trajectory, great sound and good distance.  My old driver, a TM M3 Tensei blue stiff was great, but the shaft is now a bit too soft and so it was launching too high with too much spin even when it was set at 8.5.  Within my bag, what changes often is wedges.  I have a fitted set of Vokey’s but its hit or miss for me, so they are not in my bag right now.  I have about 12-15 wedges kicking around, but I like the old TMs. I like the feel and predictable turf interaction so I buy new ones when I can find them. My sand play particularly long greenside bunker shots are poor; however, short bunker shots on a flat or uphill lies are not bad.  
    My new gamer putter which I got last year is a Scotty Special Select Squareback 2.0 which I got fitted for.  I have always been a blade guy, so this new more forgiving blade was great for rolling longer putts.  It also has a look and click sound that gives me confidence.  Short putts are where I struggle, and so I am sure Arccos will be picking that up very quickly. 🤣
    The Haywood irons which is a start-up out of Vancouver is a relatively new direct to consumer model.  Josh Haywood is a very nice guy who is very customer focused, so it was an easy choice to try out.  I bought them early in the season, but only started playing them after finishing match play etc., so only playing them in the last 4-6 weeks.  I have used their wedges for the last 2 years, so I bought the iron set which I thought look and would play similar to a TM 790. Haywood has a better sound.  I took a bit of a flyer on it, but other custom options were hard to come by this Spring, so I went with it.  The irons are set 2 degrees weaker, with standard length and lie angle, so close in loft, lie and length to my stock AP2s. They are pretty forgiving compared to my AP2s, but they can be a bit hot off the centre, so it can go a bit long sometimes. The sound is good and the turf interaction is good as well. My old AP2s are AMTs, so I find the lighter 4 iron is more consistent than my heavier Haywood 4 iron, so that is why its in my bag.  
    Garmin vs Arccos?
    In terms of stat tracking, I have used a Garmin watch and Garmin CTs for a long time, and so getting to test Arccos is really going to be fun.  In general, I love new technologies, so I am always trying new tech stuff (not just with golf), but I was happy with my Garmins until I saw my friends detailed shots gained stats on his Arccos.  
    Here are two pics of what a Garmin looks like vs Arccos on the same hole at my regular track.  You can see how much better the Arccos looks.  Its interesting that Garmin just changed the look of their course maps in the last month or so.  Garmin does note if you had a rough, sand or fairway lie. So that is a little better than Arccos. I like the older version of the Garmin map to be honest since its easier to see than this current fancier Garmin graphics.  Left is Arccos and right is Garmin for the same hole.
     
     
    First Impressions - Arccos System is Sweet!
    After enrolling / registering on the website, the Arccos site tells me with my current 9 index, I could potentially improve by 3 strokes by using Arccos.  Obviously, I am pretty psyched if that happens.  Let’s see if that’s really possible…
    I installed my new grips last week and they look almost exactly the same as my old one and it barely different in length and very little if any difference in weight.
    I have not had GP Plus 4s on all of my clubs before.  I used to use GP Plus 4s on my woods, but I had GP MCC Midsize with no extra wraps on all of my other clubs.  After 2 rounds, I really like the feel of the GP Plus 4s on my irons and wedges.  

    Here’s a pic that shows how big the Link is compared to my Arccos GP Plus 4 grips.  Also the placement of the Link is half way down on the pocket seam.
     
    You have to put the Link on your lead leg (left leg for right handers).  They say that it should not be on your belt buckle if you have a sweater or a vest that might obstruct it, so I have it on the outside of my pants pocket.
    The Link is not very intrusive and it works pretty well.  Linking it to my iPhone was pretty simple before the round.  Turn it on and sink it to the start the round screen on Arccos.  It is supposed to work with my Apple Watch, but I haven’t tried that yet. 
    The Set Up is Painless
    Set up was easy.  You link each club by scanning the grip end when prompted.  It was simple and straight forward.  One small setup criticism, is that it has most club brands and models, including the Haywood Signature in the Arccos data base.  But it did not have my specific Scotty, Haywood wedge or Haywood Signature PW (it does have 4 – 9).  Weirdly, it does not allow you to manually enter it either.  May be I am not tech savy enough to figure it out, but on the App, the options to customize appear limited.
    I have not figured out exactly how far my iPhone can be from the Link and still maintain contact.  I have tried leaving my phone in my back pocket or in my golf pull cart and so far it seems to be working well.  I did have some missed shots on my first 9 holes (with my driver tee shots mostly not being registered a few times), but now it seems to be fine.  I played 18 over the weekend and it picked up all of my shots except 2 wedge shots which may have been confused with my putter and wedge being pulled from my bag for around the green.  Also, one thing it defaults to for putting, is that it assumes your last putt is always 2 ft. and you can adjust that down manually later to 1 ft., but it doesn’t give an option for less than 1 ft (like a tap in / lip-out) which could be helpful for more detailed putting stats.
    So far, I would say the linking of the Garmin watch and the sensors on the Garmin is easier and generally better than Arccos.  I never really have missed shots on the Garmin as long as you change the watch to each hole as you play it.  So with Garmin no link required and no phone needed.  However, you do have to replace the batteries on the CT sensors once every 3-4 years.
    I really like the Arccos on the course so far.  In terms of data for each approach shot, Arccos is great. Really puts Garmin to shame. You can adjust the pin position for distance after you laser it and then it tells you elevation change, temperature, wind, etc. to adjust for actual shot distance.  It shows you how it adjusts in a detailed menu as well.  Garmin only allows pre-set dots that may or may not be that close to where the flag is.  They say the new smart club distances is a new feature I am eager to try out. The Arccos is totally mind blowing in its details on things like approach distances.  
    Arccos New Beta Stats
    Here's a screen for the current Beta version of some Arccos stats:

    This is only after 2 half rounds of 9 and 1 round of 18, but it already has some good details on the weaknesses and strengths of my game.  I’m sure I have more than 3 things to work on! 🤣
    Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the test goes.   So far so good  Thanks Arccos / thanks MGS!
    Feel free to ask me questions or if you are an Arccos user please reach out and give me tips or areas I should be looking at to provide a more comprehensive review.
     
    Final Grading 
    Looks & Feel (9 out of 10 points) 
    The Golf Pride Plus 4 grips with sensors, look almost the same as the stock grips. They look and perform the same.  I could not sense the difference in weight from stock GP Plus 4s.  Again not a scratch golfer, so another player may feel the difference, but I did not. I am deducting a point since the Link while a lot better than having the phone in your front pocket, but it is not as smooth or accurate as a Garmin CT / Watch combo. For what its worth, it comes in a nice set of boxes and looks like a premium product. I like the look of the Arccos App IOS system. Its slick, its too bad it doesn’t run on an Ipad (like the Garmin App). I would definitely consider buying the sensors to try them after my grips wear out. Setup (13 out of 15 points)
    The installation was pretty straight-forward for me.  Its fairly simple and it was pretty clear once you get a hang on it. I am docking two points since it doesn’t have all the major club brands listed.  Okay, I can understand if my clubs were custom or one offs, but they aren’t (Arccos has the Brands but not the models in its database), so why can’t I input them into the system? Also I would think the system should allow for you to input my clubs (into the App) if its not in the system (other Brands, or custom clubs, etc). The setup is fairly easy. Encountered no real problems. It was actually pretty fast doing your whole bag. Switching out clubs was not as easy on the system and you can’t have extra clubs in your bag, so again a side by side comparison of 2 FWs or 2 putters (as an example) is not possible. I did like the ability of the system to eliminate shots from your individual club distance stats. Something Garmin doesn’t allow, but is easy to use and great in the new version of the Arccos App. Accuracy (13 out of 15 points)
    I found the yardages to the pin pretty accurate throughout the test. I did compare it to my Bushnell Laser and it was very close.  Its not far off at all. Compared to my Garmin CT and watch, I found it varied long or short by 2-3 yards at most.  Totally reasonable in my view. On a round playing with my fellow Arccos tester Paul H. (who used an iPhone and I used the Link) are yardages were pretty comparable.  Some slight differences, but again totally reasonable.  I was actually surprised by how close our yardage were. I am docking 2 points for green pin locations (on Link) and putting distances.  The system is better than it was in the past (I am told), but the distances are definitely off and in some cases by a lot.  So I am manually changing the distances of my putts almost every time.  I should note that if someone with Arccos has played the course before you that day.  It puts the Pin in the location set by the previous player. Just a great use of technology. On-Course (28 out of 30 points)
    As you can see from the various posted pictures, the App gives you detailed adjustments in calculating distance to the pin. Slope, temp, altitude, wind, etc.  Its almost too detailed, but I am definitely not complaining. My playing partners remarked that the Arccos App is very accurate and very helpful. It did improve my confidence on what to hit for my approach shots.  It also helps my playing partners with distance as well. Took a lot of the guess work out of which club to hit and how hard to hit it.   Looking at my phone during my round to look at what to hit on approaches or to adjust the number of putts or the distance of putts was a negative.  It made me feel a little anti-social.  Also I had to look at the details of how the approach distance was calculated if it was windy since the strength of the wind and its direction was generally off (not blaming the App it only uses prevailing wind speed and direction in the area, not at your specific location). Did try the Caddy club selection and the Caddy strategy for how to play the course with my typical distances.  Both were very good add ons for the App.   The best part of Arccos is the rich amount of data I got after each round or to see the major trends in my rounds.   Having shots gained data sorted and compiled in a usable way was just awesome.  Nothing comes close to it.  It really dissected the weaknesses of my game in way that I was not aware of.  As an example, it showed me that my bunker play around the greens was actually pretty good for my relative handicap, but my short to mid range putts (after the sand) were poor, I was always of the view it was my sand play that was poor. As you can see from my pics in my review and some of the after comments, the data is really unmatched and (in my view) totally worth the annual cost.   Miscellaneous (8 out of 10 points)
    The biggest problems are missed shots and putt tracking.  This is the major Arccos problem and is clearly not as good as Garmin CT / watch in its ability to track shots.  I believe this is solvable, and the Link is a good add-on that has eliminated some of the problems.  But its definitely not full proof.  Hopefully with better software updates these issues can get solved. In my view this is not a deal killer.  The approach shot distances and the post round data is so great, that I am not docking that many points for this issue.  It has interesting course stats that I have never seen before like whether your putting is streaky or improves or declines over the course of a round.  As an example, my data shows that I seem to be generally better at putting in the middle of my round, but it declines towards the end of my round. In other areas, Arccos also provides the ability to compare your play in the last 5 rounds to the prior 5 rounds.  It also allows you to compare you current play to your target index. It then shows you how to get to your target index. The system actually gives you three tips or areas to work on to lower your handicap. Customer service is excellent.  I tried to play a course not on their system and they were very responsive on the update and what they were doing to fix it.  Their customer service responsiveness overall when I was having problems with the App was excellent. Play it or Trade it? (20 out of 20 points)
    I am definitely playing it.  I believe I have convinced 10-12 other people to buy it or try it. Is it perfect? Not quite, but it’s a very good product. If you could combine Garmin’s CT and watch with Arccos data analysis it would be perfect, but its close.  The Garmin putting stats were never useable in my view, so Arccos provides good data if you input it correctly. I love the quantitative side of Arccos.  Its better than trying to use your own intuition to diagnose your problems with your golf game.   In terms of my handicap / index…  Arccos indicated it could improve my Index by 3 strokes.  It decreased by 2.1 when the season ended and that was in less than 2 months, so its definitely possible.  In fact, I think my index could potentially drop by 4-6 strokes with this new data and their tips on the areas of focus / improvement.  Conclusions
    I really like the potential of the technology and the useable data of Arccos.  Its definitely designed for players that serious about improving their game. Its definitely not for beginners or those that don’t like tech generally.  I will be using the Arccos data over the Winter with my coach to figure out areas for improvement.
    I can see that for some people its too much data, but I believe Arccos does a good job analyzing your game and providing useable pieces for the average golfer.
    One thing I would suggest to Arccos is for those that want only basic data, may be they should provide a lower annual price point. The current price is likely fine for more serious golfers who want the detailed data.  Arccos actually has more detailed data available for even more serious golfers called ATLAS, but it’s an expensive add-on written report.  I may have to try that in 2022.
    Final Score: 91 / 100
     
  16. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to Paul Hedrick in Arccos Smart Sensors   
    The Review 09/26/2021
    Arccos – Official MGS Forum Review by Paul Hedrick
    Intro. -I am just an average guy in his middle 60’s that  started playing golf seriously about 4 years ago.  Currently I am able to play about once a week.
    The Personal Questions:
    What region do you play out of? - I live in Virginia,USA, so it looks like I am in Mid-Atlantic region
    How long have you been golfing? - I have been attempting to golf for approximately four years.
    What kind of golfer are you? - I would consider myself a golf enthusiast.  Knowing I will never be great, I strive to be OK.
    The Golf Questions:
    Handicap? (Or average score)
    My current handicap is 12.7
    Strengths/Weaknesses of your game? - I can hit my driver well, short but well.  My weakest part of my game is most certainly my short game; I struggle with my wedges
    What is in your bag and how did you choose them? Touch quickly but try not to dwell on each club since this review isn’t about them - My driver, fairways and hybrid are Callaway, and my irons and wedges are Cleveland.  Seemore putter
    **Do you consider yourself to be tech savvy?** Good devices should work well for Fred Flintstone as well as George Jetson. - I am reasonably tech savvy, though as I age I do notice a definite change in this area.  I spent the first part of my career as an IT Director.
    **How do you currently get your yardages?** -I currently get my yardages in two ways: an app on my iPhone called The Grint and guesswork.
    First Impressions -The package arrived and I saw that it came with all the necessary parts:

     
    Installing the sensors was very easy, and looked good for all my clubs except my putter: I have a SeeMore Putter and the grip made the Sensor set oddly on it, but it seems to work fine.  I can always regrip to something more standard if I find this too much an annoyance:
    Downloading the app, setting up an account and parinig my clubs was simple and straightforward.  Downloading the course map I was going to play was likewise, simple and straightforward.  Where I struggled just a little bit was with my apple watch.  It seems you need to make some adjustments to the settings on the watch, which I was unaware of until setting up at the first tee.  However, once I accomplished that, the operation went smoothly.
    During my first round, there was a period of adjustment on my part; learning how to get the most out of the systems.  One thing I was unable to do was measure the distance between my ball and some place along the fairway, such as a bunker or a tree I wished to avoid.  It is my understanding that this is a feature, so I will have to do some more research to understand that function.
    As for the accuracy of my shots, I have this photo from the first tee.  I know I usually hit the green on my second shot of this par four, but never really had much of an idea how long my tee shot was.  On my second round yesterday, the Arccos Caddie did not record my tee shot off the same hole.  That was very frustrating in that I adjusted my number of putts to give me the correct score (3 putts! &*^%$!)
     

     
    The conclusion of my first impression is I believe this will be a valuable tool for me to get a better idea of my game and help me make wise decisions.  However I would have hoped it would have been either more intuitive in its operation or have more detailed, written instructions;  I am not one that enjoys spending endless time ‘online’ searching for answers.
     
    10/02/2021 update
    I just completed my third round using the Arccos system. I cannot say I experienced any issues with it today. At the course I downloaded the layout, synced up the Arccos Caddie Link and used my Apple watch for shot detection.  As I have previously mentioned I do not have a concrete way of comparing distances, but from what I can determine they appear accurate.  One thing I have noticed is everyone thinks their device is the most accurate.  Should you come up with a distance that differs from theirs, the natural assumption on their part is that your device is inaccurate.  My goal for my next round is to play close attention to yardage distances.
    10/05/2021 update
    I played an unexpected round yesterday discovered something.  There are three ways of shot tracking with the Arccos system; 1) with you phone and you must leave the phone in your pocket when you play 2) with the Arccos Link, where you clip it to your pocket, or 3) on your Apple watch.  I never really wanted to try option one; I like to leave my pockets as empty as possible.  I have tried the Arccos Link.  I did experience missed shots and questionable distances.  For me option 3, the Apple watch, is the way forward.  I had nearly seamless performance yesterday using my watch.  No missed shots, yardages seemed reasonable to me, and I didn't have to carry anything extra as I am always wearing my watch.
    10/09/2021 update
    Yesterday I completed my fifth round of golf using the Arccos.  Using only my Apple Watch for shot detection it went nearly perfectly.  I did run into a slight problem on the back nine when my watch was not showing the yardage to the hole.  After a bit of fussing with it, I discovered how to get that back.  Again, I believe that if the documentation was more instructive I would not have had this difficulty.  I noticed on my latest round I am getting recomendations on which club to use, based on what I have done with that club, not necessarily what I 'feel' I should use.  That can be a bit depressing: in my head, I always play better!  LOL  I was playing alone and there was not many on the course so I could take my time and consider the yardages presented.  I used my laser rangefinder and measured to several features on the fairway and compared it to what Arccos indicated what the distance to be.  They were very close.  I would estimate between 1 and 2 percent of each other.  This brings up something else that has always come to my mind;  how would I know which is more accurate?  Whats to say my rangefinder is rubbish?  The way I look at it is as long as I use one 'yardstick' to measure, and stick with it, I will become accustomed to it and that will become my normal.
    Up until now I have only been concentrating on how to use the Arccos, and not paid any attention to post round.  I will continue to hone the operation of the system, however I will begin to look at and consider the post round statistics moving forward.
    10/11/2021 Update
    Yesterday completed my 6th round using Arccos.  I am still struggling with shot detection.  It was lightly raining yesterday, I do not let that stop me from playing, and was wearing a light outer jacket. Using my apple watch for shot detection, everything seemed find until on the back 9.  I noticed that on a couple of holes my driver was not detected.  Fussing around a bit on my phone I found that I had covered the watch face and that is something you cannot do.  Taking of my jacket everything started working fine again.  While I find that the systems 'works', it seems to me it is very 'fussy'; will only work under ideal conditions. 
    This round I spent a bit of time post round, reviewing my clubs.  Since I did not know for certain my average yardages per club, it was a revelation to me, and will provide a good foundation moving forward with club selection.
     
     10/30/2021 Final Wrap Up
     
    Grading 
    Looks & Feel (9 out of 10 points) 
    Describe the following for the device:
    General Shape / Size / Fit - All the pieces fit together well with the exception of the sensor on my putter.  This isn't a deal breaker, but it is a little disappointing.
    Customization (if any) - As far as I can tell no customization was necessary
    Durability or build quality (with a prediction on the long-term) - The sensors appear of quality build.That they have a rubber outside is a plus in my estimation, but is really too soon to determine the durability
    Storage cases - For the most part there is no need for storage cases.  The one exception would be the Link.  I would like to have seen something more robust than a little bag.
    Setup (11 out of 15 points)
    Are the instructions clear and easy to understand? - Other than the installation instructions, there are no instructions.  In my opinion this is a major shortcoming.  As mentioned above, I would like to have seen a detailed operations manual, even if I had to download and print it
    How quickly does it charge / how long does the battery last? Is the cable proprietary? - The cable to charge the link looks like a standard USB C.  One was provided, but if you needed you can easily find a replacement.  It charges fully overnight.
    Did you need to ask for help or search online for an answer during setup? - No. The setup itself was fairly straightforward.  The only issue I did run into was when on the course for the first time, I had to adjust the setting on my Apple Watch.  I would have preferred to have known this ahead of time so I could just play.
    Talk about any Customer Service interactions you’ve had - I have had only one issue where I contacted Customer Service.  On my second round using the Arccos, it failed to record my tee shot off two separate holes.  As of now, I still have not had a response.
    Most/least useful metric presented? - I find the club recommendation, based on my history, to be the most useful. If I am vacillating between two clubs, I take a look and see what Arccos recommends, and it usually turns out well.

     
    Accuracy (13 out of 15 points)
    Are the yardages accurate? (compare to another method if possible) - Compared to my laser rangefinder and The Grint GPS app on my phone, the yardages and the Arccos system seem to be within 1% of the other readings. That always gets back to ‘how do you know the others are accurate’?
    Do the calculation or “plays like” distances match up with what you would’ve come up with? - Again, yes, within a very small variation.
    Are there any intermediate targets you have trouble getting distances for? - No.  I simply used my finger on the phone face and could determine distances to various locations on the fairway
    On-Course (28 out of 30 points)
    Did you have to think about or remember anything to use the product? - Yes I did.  I had to make sure that whichever shot detection device I was using had a clear screen to the club swing.
    Did it interfere with your normal golfing routine? - Yes, it did interfere with my normal golfing routine.  If I neglected to keep the shot detection method clear to the club swing, I would have shots not recorded, and therefore would give me a false score at the end of the round.
    How intuitive was using it on the course? - When it was working as it should, it was great.  However if something went wrong, it could take a few holes to get it back to working properly.
    Did you like using it? - Again, when it was working as it should, I did enjoy it.  I did not enjoy it when I had to figure out what went wrong and correct it.  That can take some time, and holding the game up.
    Compare and contrast to what you are currently using or have used in the past. -in the past I have used The Grint app on my iPhone, and before that a laser rangefinder.  As far as I can tell, it is as accurate as either, and when it is working properly, results in so much more data.
    Do you play better or worse now that you’ve got a new method for yardages? - I have been playing better since I started using Arccos, but I cannot really say why.  I do not know, yet, if the data provided helps, or the fact that it is ‘New’ and interesting.  I will have a better handle on that in the next 6 months.
    Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)
    It seems to me that the package arrived very soon after I was informed it shipped; no real complaints here. As I have mentioned before, I would like to have more complete operating instructions.
     
    Play it or Trade it? (18 out of 20 points)
    I will use the Arccos systems for the year that has been included.  I will have to wait until that time to decide if I want to continue with it.  Generally I do not believe this to be a product for me, as it requires too much ‘fussing’ with.  Perhaps it is my age, but I would just rather focus on the Game, and not the technology.  This could be a better fit for a younger person with my patience than I have.
     
    Conclusion
    To sum it all up, this is a good system.  Perfect? In no way.  It requires way too much ‘fussing’ in my opinion.  I liken it to BMW Automobiles.  I have owned two BMW’s, and when they were running as they should, they were AWESOME.  However I was always having to fuss with them; this sensor went out, this needed adjustment, etc.  The Arccos system, again in my opinion, requires way too much fussing on the course and takes away from the pleasure of the game.  Additionally the amount of data provided is a bit too overwhelming to me.  I would have preferred shot distances, club remondation only.   Finally, perhaps I just expect too much from technology. Knowing what I know not, I would not purchase this system
    Final Score: 88 (Add up all categories and present a total score out of 100)
     
     
  17. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to Firebird in Arccos Smart Sensors   
    The Review 09/26/2021
    Arccos – Official MGS Forum Review by Glynn Stokes
    ·       Intro.
    I am in my early 60’s and have been playing golf since was 8-9 years old. I took a 10-year break when I moved to Australia and in 1989 I took it up again. Within 5 years I was on low single digit handicap and played regular A Grade Pennant. In 2006 I damaged my knee that required 4 lots of surgery over 7 years. I returned to golf in 2013 and by 2015 I had got my handicap back to 11, which I was happy with. I then got ill which required me to change my clubs and more importantly change to Graphite Shafts. Today I play golf for fun and the social aspect it provides. If I happen to win a comp every now and then that is a bonus.
    ·       The Personal Questions:
    ·       What region do you play out of?
    I live in regional Victoria and about 3 hours drive from Melbourne in Australia and are a member of Bairnsdale Golf Club.
    ·       How long have you been golfing?
    I have been playing golf for 50+ years.
    ·       What kind of golfer are you?
    I am an average golfer that has the skill to play really good golf, unfortunately illness, injury and age limits that ability.    
    ·       The Golf Questions:
    ·       Handicap? (Or average score)
    My current handicap is 17.1
    ·       Strengths/Weaknesses of your game?
    I have always been very good at putting, chipping and bunker play. Right now my weakness is consistency. I am really struggling with my woods and long irons.    
    ·       What is in your bag and how did you choose them? Touch quickly but try not to dwell on each club since this review isn’t about them
    My driver, fairways and hybrid are Callaway Epic Flash, and my irons 4-AWare Callaway Steelhead Pro with graphite shafts and a Cleveland SW.  I was fitted at the Callaway Performance Centre. My Putter is a Callaway Warbird.  
    ·       **Do you consider yourself to be tech savvy?** Good devices should work well for Fred Flintstone as well as George Jetson.
    I am tech savy.
    ·       **How do you currently get your yardages?**
    I really have not checked my yardages since changing clubs.
     First Impressions
    After a quick check of the product it looked like it would be simple to install.
    Took about 30 min to install the sensors on my clubs. The only one that took a little more thought was the putter as it has a SuperStroke Grip.
     

    Downloading the App and activation was easy as was the setup of CaddieLink.
    Had some issues syncing the sensors on the clubs to the app. It took me 3 attempts to get them all to sync.  Some sensors were identified very quickly, others took allot of moving the phone around, up and down etc before they synced. I am using a Samsung Galaxy S20+.
    Downloading the course and setting up all the relevant profile info was easy.
    So first time on course I had some issues. It did not pick up the first few shots so I restarted the app and after that it appeared to be working as I could see the clubs and shots appearing on the app. However it did not pick up all my putts or sand shots so I need to work out why.
    The information it provides is impressive. It shows the club selected and real-time distances from the tee and to the green as you walk along. It is seamless so all you need to do is play. I use an app called mScorecard which provides scoring and allows for the input of stats and I am using this to double check the data. My phone was on my buggy so when I play next I will put it in my pocket to see if the issue with missed shots is due to the distance the phone is way from Caddielink.
    My first impression is that I am impressed with the solution overall.
     
    Grading
    Looks & Feel (3 out of 10 points) 
    General Shape / Size / Fit 
    o   The product came in quality packaging and in general looks well made.
    o    once the sensors are fitted to the clubs.
    Customization (if any)  - None
     
    Durability or build quality (with a prediction on the long-term).
     
    o   Out of the box the product looks well made.
    o   The sensors are set into a rubber housing with a plastic base which screws in to the hole in the top of the grip. The potential issue I can see is that the club sits in your bag on the actual sensor itself. I am not sure how well they will stand up to the constant vibration of your clubs in your golf bag as you move around the course.
    o   I had Caddielink and 7 Sensors fail. (See Customer Service for more information)
    Storage cases.
     
    o   Caddielink is the only thing that in theory requires a case and it comes with a basic cloth bag that offers little protection.
     
     
    Setup (5 out of 15 points)
    Are the instructions clear and easy to understand?
    o   Instructions a basic and in some cases confusing.
    o   Downloading and installing the app was simple.
    o   Retro fitting the clubs with the sensors was easy.
    o   The SuperStroke option makes installing the sensor on your putter simple. It took a bit of thinking to work out how the sensor attached using the Superstroke Installation Kit as it did not come with any instructions.
    o   Initial pairing of the sensors to the individual clubs was not easy. In some cases it required multiple attempts. Be warned if this happens there is a good chance the sensors will fail.
    o   Connecting Caddielink was an issue as it connects via Bluetooth and does so automatically with out the need for verification. My phone is set to block any unverified connections.
    How quickly does it charge / how long does the battery last? Is the cable proprietary?
     
    o   Caddielink take about 3 hours to charge and it looks like it would last 3-4 rounds.
    o   The Cable looks like a standard micro USB cable.
    Did you need to ask for help or search online for an answer during setup?
     
    o   No.
     
     
    Talk about any Customer Service interactions you’ve had.
     
    o   Caddielink failed after first round. Support sent me an email with the procedure on how to run diagnostics to verify that Caddielink had failed. Once confirmed I was shipped a replacement.
    o   On the next round I had 5 sensors become un-paired. Again I contact support and received and email requesting I try to Re-pair the 5 clubs, which worked.
    o   From the every start I had shot detection issues. The response from support was pretty much canned, emails that told me how to run Sensor Diagnostics, Caddielick Link Diagnostics etc. It took me 8 weeks to hopefully find what was causing the issue.
    As mentioned when I run the initial setup I found that more than half of the sensors took 25-35 seconds to be identified, in fact 3-4 I needed to try several times before they worked. When I run Sensor Diagnostics I had the same issue however all but one eventually connected. I advised support that a sensor had failed and was shipped a replacement.

    The app and Caddielink have a range of diagnostic tools, which is good however you need to run several in order to identify potential issues with the sensors. Simply running Sensor Diagnostics may not tell you if there is an issue with the sensor. If it is totally dead then yes, however in my case I had 6 sensors that Sensor Diagnostics said were paired and therefore in theory working. However when I ran Caddielink Link Diagnosis I found that the sensors connection was intermittent. Now things started to make sense, as this would cause the Random Shot Detection issues I have been experiencing during the test. In the end I identified 7 sensors that were either not being identified by Caddielink or were acting strangely. For example Sensor Diagnosis would tell me that 2 sensors were not paired. I would then Re-Pair them and then double-check that they were paired. If I then run Sensor Diagnostics again 5 minutes later they again said not paired.
     
     
    My advise to anyone is that if a sensor is not identified within 10 Seconds you have a potential problem.
     
     
    To test I have finally found the problem, I played a round and tried to use the 7 clubs that had sensors as often as possible, every shot was detected. I can only hope that the replacement sensor work perfectly.
     
     
    I hope my case is isolated. I live in Australia so the package has a long way to travel and we have know idea what could have happened to the package in transit.
    Most/least useful metric presented.
     
    o   Providing you can get accurate data I think the club distances matrix is the most valuable.
    o   However I would think that most golfers could find the amount of information presented overwhelming.
    o   I would love to see a basic version that simply offers club distances, fairways hit, greens hit etc. at a much more affordable yearly subscription.
     
     
    Accuracy (12 out of 15 points)


    Are the yardages accurate? (compare to another method if possible)        
    o   Distance accuracy is limited by the accuracy of GPS. GPS-enabled smartphones are typically accurate to within a 4.9 m (16 ft.) I found it to responsible accurate. I used a laser to verify distances and they were generally within 3-5m.
     
     
    Do the calculation or “plays like” distances match up with what you would’ve come up with?
     
    o   Yes – I used another GPS Golf App to verify and they indicated pretty much the same distance.
    On-Course (5 out of 30 points)


    Did you have to think about or remember anything to use the product?
     
     
     
    o   Yes, you need to make sure the course was downloaded and that CaddieLink was connected.
    o   Be warned If you log out of the course is deleted and you to download it again. I have suggested that they need to save file on the phone to resolve this issue like other apps do.
    Did it interfere with your normal golfing routine?
    o   Yes, you cannot simply press Start Round and expect it to detect every shot, you need to check every shot and putt.
    o   Manually adding shots may be ok during a practice round however during a competition I found it distracting and frustrating.
    o   I have major issues with shot detection. I never managed to record a round without the need to add shots that Arccos simply failed to detect. I could understand it missing the odd shot here and there but in my case it failed to detect on average 14-16% of fairway shots and 8-10% of putts per round. 
    How intuitive was using it on the course? 
    o   I use a laser to obtain distances. I would generally this to review the round.
    Did you like using it?
    o   No as I could not get it to work properly.
    Compare and contrast to what you are currently using or have used in the past.
    o   I use mScorecard for scoring and statistics. It has the ability to record club distances however it requires more work. That said it is also free. As far as distances to the pin, bunkers etc I use a laser which is quick and accurate.
    Do you play better or worse now that you’ve got a new method for yardages.
     
    o   Worse as I spent more time trying to get it to work than think bout the shot I needed to play. Having accurate club distances will be of benefit and hopefully over the next 6-9 months that will lead to me playing better golf.
     
     
    Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)


    o   Caddielink makes life easier particularly if you have a big phone.
    o   It also reduces the drain on battery in your phone.
     
     
    Play it or Trade it? (10 out of 20 points)


    Considering all the issues I have faced the answer should be Trade It
    However, I really do see some merit in what this solution can provide. Hopefully we have resolved the detection issues and if this is the case then I will Play It until the subscription runs out.
    Conclusion
    This product has lots of potential and I would loved to have had it 30 years ago when I was totally committed to bring my handicap down to low single digits. Having data that allows you to identify deficiencies in your game is huge and therefore you know what you need to work on. More importantly though, it allows you to see any improvement.
    I see this solution as a great tool to use in the short term as it provides one thing that all golfers should know – individual club distances.
    However, would I spend $540AUD for the Sensors, Caddielink, Superstroke Kit plus the ongoing subscription of $140 per year, the simple answer is NO.  
    Final Score: 44 (Add up all categories and present a total score out of 100
     
     
  18. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to Thin2win in Final Reviews: BirdieBall Outdoor Putting Green   
    Hello boys and girls. Its time for another thoroughly in depth golf item review. Since joining these forums a few years ago I have really enjoyed testing and reviewing almost anything golf related. I've written up posts on, golf balls, clubs, putters, wedges, tees and a onewheel. 
    This summer has been a whirlwind for me and it is just starting to settle down. I've been in the process of selling/and buying a home, moving across a state and being homeless while between houses for 3 weeks. Yet still trying to get as much golf in as the wife will let me given everything else going on. The Birdie Ball test kit arrived at my new house before I even did!

    I am super excited to be selected to test out this new indoor/outdoor putting mat. I have owned a couple of the generic 8' mats with the elevated cups for basically ever. I have hours and hours of practice using them and a updated better version would be a welcome addition to my golf practice. Is this new mat that?
    So over the next few weeks, I'll be testing this mat indoors and out. I'll see what I think of the quality, the durability and if Birdie Ball has created a great putting mat, or just a great dog bed(notice Stevie, our Wirehaired Pointing Griffin, thinks it is a nearly optimal blend of cushion and scratchiness).

    Also for the first time in one of my tests, I am enrolling the help of my assistant Xander and he is very excited:

    There is a lot going on with this, as I was not expecting the outdoor targets and birdie balls to also test. Fortunately, my new house has a back yard that is almost 200' in length so I will get to test them out with some real swings. Any guesses on which club will clear the fence at 200'? Will any of them?
    But for the mat, my big concerns are if it rolls like a nicely manicured green at Augusta, or a early evening Poa annua green at Chambers Bay(sorry chambers bay). It also came with a warning to not let it exceed 180° F, and while every part of me wants to test that... I feel like I should leave that one alone... but maybe

    But the biggest question for me, does the Birdie Ball Mat make for a better practice tool than ye ole' felt ramp mat?

    Let the putting begin!
     
    Stage Two - The Review 9/10/2021
     
    Birdieball Matt – Official MGS Forum Review by Thin2Win (Christopher Stefaniw)
    Intro
    Testing a practice aid is different than testing an actual club, ball or other product. But for me, it still boils down to 2 big things:
    1)    Does it work for me?
    2)    Is it fun to use?
    If either of those ingredients are missing, I’m not going to use it. And I would guess that for most of you out there, you are in the same camp. It does need to work, and it does need to be fun. When I ask “does it work for me”, I’m really asking if I think using it is beneficial to my game. Even if it is just on a psychological level, that counts for me. 😃
    The “is it fun to use”, well that’s straight forward, regardless of results, I’m not going to keep using it if it isn’t “fun”. What is a training aid I use and keep using? PuttOut. Its simple, easy to use, is fun, and even if only in confidence, helps with putting.

    So as we dive into the details of my review, those 2 tenets are the focus for me.
    Ease of use
    The actual setup and use of this is straight forward. And other than attaching the bumpers(see below) it all went together quick, easy, and exactly how I thought.
    8 out of 10 points
     
    Quality of components and Basic Characteristics
    Here, I needed to adjust the review format a bit. There is normally a Quality of Component section, and a Basic Characteristic section. For my use and testing, I couldn’t come up with a way to split my review of those two up as they were so intertwined. So here, I merged them. Please see why below.
     Taking the mat out of the box you can feel the heft quality of it, its solid. We had the 3’6” x12’ version for testing, and it was not light. I’m not sure I would have been able to move the 6’x12’ version without help. It rolled out of the box… mostly flat. Definitely flatter than when you unroll the standard 8’ felt putting mats I’ve used. But not actually flat. It took most of a day for it to lay down all the way. Right off I started using it on some indoor hardwoods. Then I moved it to indoor carpet, next to indoor/outdoor cement and then finally I put it straight on my lawn. It looks cool, it takes up a good amount of space and I was very excited to start putting on it. As with most things, there were good and bad things. Unfortunately for me, the bad was bad and the good was limited. 
    Let’s start with The Good:
    ●      It’s a great hitting mat, I hit some chips off it last week, then moved to full swing shots this week. It is durable, it feels good, and the turf interaction is great. It was the highlight of my use with this mat. I’m not sure where they get these mats, but it feels and looks like a premium hitting mat that has been cut into a longer form.

    ●      The Mat rolls fast. Much faster than a felt putting mat, and I liked that. Faster than a standard weekday muni around here. More like a Sunday muni or a well kept private course speed. 10ish on the meter would be my feel for the speed. 
     
    The Bad
    ●      The rubber bumpers that are included don’t really work and suck to put on. Balls with any pace bounce right over them. I’m not sure what their primary design use was for, but I can’t imagine that it was for this application. More like they needed a bumper and went to the local hardware store, found a rubber seal for something else and thought, “this will work”. I moved the mat a handful of times throughout testing, after the 2nd move I stop using the bumpers because they don’t stay attached, and again, suck to put on.
    ●      The cups that came with it have never fit right. The plastic cup slides in from the bottom, but with my mat all the cups were slightly larger than the cutout holes. This creates a raised ridge around every cup. Any putt that was slowly heading towards the cup would deflect away. Also, the sticks that go into the cups are very short. Like, very short. I’m not tall, 5’7”, and the leaning over to reach the stick to pull it out was annoying to the point that I also stopped using them. It was much easier on my back to use my putter to knock the ball out of the hole than to use the provided stick. Also, on any of the harder surfaces (wood/cement) the ball would bounce out of the hole on most putts. Yes, they make an additional mat to put under this mat… but that is a different product to help make this product better.

    ●      The putting surface itself had uneven heights of material running the length of it that resulted in ridges that the ball would ricochet off. Putts need to go straight down it, not diagonal at all. Which limits the need for it to be as wide as it is. And as the ball slowed down, it would break like Poa Annua late on a summer afternoon. In other words, wherever it wanted. Combined with the ridges around the cups…. It was frustrating to use as a putting surface. My wife used it one night for about 3 minutes, turned to me and said “this is disappointing” and never used it again.
    10 out of 30 points
     
    On-Course Performance
    So as much as I had issues and was mostly annoyed with it. I still spent more time practicing my putting with it for the purposes of seeing if the ridges would ever go away or the grain would roll smooth on a different surface. And for me, any time spent practicing does pay off. And maybe the fact that putts had to be exactly on pace and line to go in made it even more effective than if the ball rolled straight and stayed in the hole. PuttOut is fun because of how hard it is, maybe this mat being so hard for me to use is what helped. But my putting has been dead on from anything inside 10’ for the last month with rounds of 75,73 and 75.
    30 out of 30 points
     
    Miscellaneous
    Also included with the mat were some Birdie Balls(100!!!) some impact hitting pads for them, and some outdoor targets.

    If you haven’t ever hit a BirdieBall, and you have an outdoor hitting area that you want to take full swings, watch the flight pattern, but not blow out the neighbor’s windows, then they are for you. They are the best limited flight golf ball I’ve ever used. Hitting into a net? Eh, just use a real ball.
     10 out of 10 points
     
    Keep it or Trade it?
    Yes!
    Right now, I don’t know. I have plenty of space at my place, so I have it setup. And I still roll a few putts on it most nights… But I also have the standard ramp style felt one beside it, and I end up using that more. The ball coming back to you, rolling straight, etc. Its just easier to use and you get more reps in with a ball return.
    Do I want it to be cool and have friends marvel at it and want to use it when they visit, yes… I’ll probably pass this off to one of the other spies who I have lined up and know need help with their putting( @fixyurdivot )but I’ll use it until then. But I won’t be sad to see it go when it does.
     10 out of 20 points
     
    Conclusion
    Its cool, practicing on it will help with putting because you are practicing. But it has issues with roll and component choices. For me, I don’t think it is an improvement over the ramp felt style mats. Using it reminds me of when I watched Mad Men. They had Jaguar as a customer, and Jags were sleek and stylish, and everyone wanted one. But then you go to drive it and it wouldn’t start.

    Final Score: (68 out of 100 points)
     
     
     
     

  19. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to Stuka44 in Final Reviews: BirdieBall Outdoor Putting Green   
    Stuka44: BirdieBall Outdoor Putting Green
    Introduction  8-14-2021
    Well everyone welcome to my first review since joining MGS.  I'm excited to have been picked to test this product.  
    I'm 55 years old and have lived and play 99% of my golf in northeast Ohio.  I play $30-$50 a round public courses as a general rule and have never belonged to a club.  I have been golfing regularly since about 2008, but learned the game when I was 16 or so.  I have never had a golf lesson, or club fitting of any kind.  I am an avid golfer at this point, and golf mostly to spend time with two of my older brothers, who have recently picked the game up again after long layoffs. I play all year long here even January and February as long as there is no snow on the ground.
    I am currently around a 14 handicap, and I am a very easy swinger of the golf club.  In my younger years I always found myself using a less lofted club by one or two compared to those of similar age I was playing with.  I don't mention that as a negative!, I have always been alright with this, "just let the club do the work"  was and still is, and will continue to be my motto. My current putter is a Ping Scottsdale "Wolverine", and I wasn't fit.  I just like the way it felt, and had never been successful with shoe, and blade type putters so I tried the mallet.    

    20210814_164813.mp4 My first impressions were good.  The matt was bigger than I expected it to be, its 3'4" x 12 feet long, however finding a level enough spot outside wasn't to be so I set it up in my basement.  It seems to be constructed well enough to certainly go outside.

    The speed of it is quite good, and seems like it will translate well to the green speeds I play, (We'll see I guess that is part of the point of this).  There is another single cup at the opposite end from the three.  To the center cup you can comfortably practice 2-10 footers(painters tape along the edge), and add 6 inches to the side cups. The matt/cup is about 1/2" deep.
    I'm going to be concentrating on what I read in Broadie's book "Every Shot Counts".  Trying to concentrate on making a higher percentage of putts in the 3-10 foot range, more specifically  4,5,6, and 7 footers.  I've never really been a practice guy, and rarely get to the course in time to practice putts or take a practice swing. Here are some of my putting numbers, based on 130 some rounds I have loaded into Free Golf Tracker(since 2008, some years I didn't enter many), which I hope to improve!!

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    My average putts/GIR is 2.2, and my average putts/PER HOLE is 1.9, and my current average putts per 18 is 33, and I average 2.9 3 putts per 18 holes. I'm hoping the BirdieBall Putting Green will improve my make percentage at 10 feet and under, and help reduce 3 putts overall at all distances.  Only time, and PRACTICE, will tell!!!!

    This last chart directly above represents the last 18 rounds I've played.  For the last 18 rounds (not knowing anything about the BirdieBall Putting Matt test/ review) I began to pace off my First Putt Distance.  And the Free Golf Tracker keeps track of 1, 2, and 3 putts for the distance you put in.  What I would hope to see as I practice rolling putts on the BirdieBall is 1 Putt make percentage especially in the 3-10 foot range go up(Hopefully Substantially). STAY TUNED!
    BirdieBall Outdoor Putting Green..Official MGS Forum Review by Stuka44(Don)
    09-10-2021
    Introduction
    I was able to get in about 3-4 practice sessions a week, consisting of about 40 putts each session.  Two each from 2-10 feet, and then another 6 each from 4, 5, 6, and 7 feet.  I was able to get in 5 additional rounds of statistics for my putting since the Introductory post about the product.  I did have improvement.
    Quality of Components (8/10)
    The BirdieBall mat (3'4" x 12') was packaged quite nicely and is not really too heavy.  This being said I am not to sure I would want to have to move it a long way to put it away after each use, its kind of awkward, and I'm not sure how rolling it up and putting it back down would affect its flatness for use. 

    I noticed two very minor problems that I am classifying as "quality".  The first was mentioned in previous comments and by another tester.  One of my cups seems to have a little crown which causes a little break to the right.  A little annoying but I just know to aim center to compensate on that one.  The other issue is that the flags, and their bases which go into the 1'2" deep cups are very light.  Let me make it clear that when putting to the cups with the flags in them, THEY NEVER FELL OVER, EVEN ON PRETTY FIRM PUTTS.  My issue (and its mostly laziness on my part) is in retrieving the balls.  Clearly they were designed to be lifted and the balls dumped like on a real practice green.  I found that in doing this that the bases and flag would separate quite often, I glued mine finally.  Then I tried just tapping the ball out of the cup with my putter.  This is where the slightest bump of the flag and it would topple over.  A little heavier base for the flagsticks would be nice.

    Ease of Use (9/10)
    The mat was very easy to use and its purpose was clear.  The only problem I had here was that in order to get the maximum distance for a practice putt, I found that I needed to remove the bumpers on the end I was putting from eventually.  For me if I tried to place a ball within a foot of the top  edge pictured below, that my backswing would contact the rear bumper.  I also like to make a few putts from as close to the edge as I could get( and putt across the green so to speak) from as far away as I could get, so I removed the side bumpers as well on the end I was putting from.

    Basic Characteristics (17/20)
    I have never had any sort of actual home golf practice item.  I've always only ever practiced on my various carpet weaves for putting practice.  The BirdieBall putting mat most definitely encouraged me to practice.  The fact that it was quite quick, and looks like an actual putting green seemed to encourage me that what I did on it, would actually apply on a real course.  That feeling in hindsight was clearly lacking when in winter mostly I would try practicing on my carpet.  Quickly I would feel that putting on the carpet wasn't going to do me any good.  The quickness of the first few putts, and smooth roll very quickly got me  thinking this would help my putting.  The variety of this version of BirdieBall mat was good.  Its length provided the ability to practice about 10.5 foot putts at a maximum, and clearly shorter putts.  Again having read some books and other material, prior to getting this mat, I had determined that I needed to practice putts mostly in the 8 foot and less range, as a means to improving my scores a little more.  So the opportunity to review this mat fit right in with what I was planning to do.  I did notice some improvement quickly.  I noticed after making 120 or so practice putts that my stroke seemed much more consistent, and mentally making putts but trying to get them past the hole without striking the bumper behind the holes was great for distance control.  Something I hadn't ever really paid attention to in practicing intermittently before a round.  The tight weave and quick speed of the mat was very good, after having used it for a while the width of it was a little restricting for me.
    On Course Performance (27/30)
    At almost every distance of putts, my one putt make percentage improved after the limited duration of practice I was able to get in, and the numbers as indicated earlier are just 5 additional rounds to the total.  I would expect that with continued practice and adding of rounds that the numbers would continue to improve.


    The top chart was the original 18 rounds, and the bottom is newest with the five additional rounds added to the totals.  One putt make percentage went up at 6,7, and 8 feet.  I was surprised at 4 and 5 feet.  4 feet was only 1 additional putt that I missed since the one putt percentage went down, and 5 feet was 7 additional putts, and the 1 putt percentage went down there.  I would note and this is not an excuse, but it is kind of ironic.  The last round I played I had to use my brothers putter(and it is not identical to mine) because my putter was leaning in the basement next to the putting matt.   I also noticed that at almost every distance beyond 8 feet the 3 putt percentage for almost every distance is going down.
    I expect that continued practice will improve 1 putt make percentage.  But what I noticed most importantly though is that on these critical distances 10 feet and less is that all of the practice strokes I have made on the mat(which is pretty quick) has improved my stroke and distance control to a point where I'm not really concerned with making a horrible stroke and leaving an 8 footer 4 feet short, or blowing a 6 footer 5 feet past the hole.  The practice on the BirdieBall mat has really helped me mentally  to be confident in my stroke, also on 10-20 footers, and while not really expecting to make them based on make percentages, I'm putting them to try and make them without really being concerned about making a horrible putt.  I guess I'm trying to say I am putting to make them confident in a two putt, and not putting this distance of putt exclusively not to 3 putt, if that makes any sense!
    Final Performance Comments:
    A minor issue with it is that I really don't see the need for the cup on the opposite end from the 3.  Although I have the grass insert in this cup hole, it just impedes my ability to putt from as long as possible to the center hole on the other end. and in regards the the 3 cup end I would like to see at least one of them be very close to the rear edge to maximize the distance of the mat.
    Miscellaneous (9/10)
    The only thing I think I would like better would be to have the green be wider, so when putting from the edge you could be standing on the mat, and wider would provide a little opportunity to put "across" the grain so to speak.  From the right edge to the left cup, and vice versa.
    Keep it or Trade It (20/20)
    I would definitely keep it.  As a largely non-practice golfer the putting green is very good.  It represents a quick putting surface, which in the big scheme of things I have practiced on for only a very short time has improved my performance and attitude over my putts.  It seems very durable so if it holds up as promoted, and lasts a long time then I believe it would be worth the cost.  This is for every golfer.  I only wish I had put some effort into practicing my putting earlier in my golf career, especially realizing how just a little practice has helped me.  Repetition of my putting stroke on the BirdieBall green has transferred directly to the course and has me on the way to continued improvement.
    Conclusion
    The BirdieBall Outdoor putting green seems to be very well made.  The durability obviously can only be judged over a much longer period of time than available.  The practice you can do on it, given its speed, does  help you on actual putts on the course, and I believe will without question help you putt better.  This last point is a tough one which I want to address in this conclusion if this is all you read of my review.  Cost!  This 3'4" x 12' version is listed at $455.  If you are someone who loves to "practice" the game of golf, like my brother, who stops at the driving range 3-4 times a week, then I think this would be well worth it.  Just being honest if you are someone like me who plays but doesn't love to practice really, I'm not sure I would spend that much on it, without seeking out some comparison  prices for similar products.  This is not a bash of the product it is top notch, but $455 is a lot of money.
    FINAL SCORE (90/100)
  20. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to Blueberry_Squishie in Final Reviews: PuttOUT Golf Training System   
    Introduction
    I’m Michael and I’m a first-time tester for MGS. I play most of my golf at Werribee Park Golf Club, which is west of Melbourne, Australia (Down Under!). It’s a brilliant part of the world to play golf and has one of the best views from the clubhouse of any course I’ve been to. I also venture out to other golf courses about 4-8 times per year; one of the best was playing Curlewis (close to where my in-laws live) after being invited by @Peaksy68.


    A typical view of Australian golf in the middle of winter.

    View from the clubhouse
    I have been playing golf since I was 14, so have been playing for 20 years. Up until the last 3 years I haven’t had a regular playing schedule, but now it’s weekly. I’ve been able to go from an 18 handicap down to 8 in those 3 years. Typically, I gain strokes from driving, lose a little from approach and short, then putting is a small gain. Lately I’ve been driving terribly but my short game has been better than normal; skewing my recent averages.
                                     
      
    Current 10 round averages - Overall stats are vs 8 Handicap, Putting vs 5 handicap (gives a testing baseline of 0.0)
     
    My golfing is mainly on Saturday mornings, and I don’t usually have much of an opportunity to practice during the week. With the PuttOUT equipment I’ll be able to practice putting at home without having to go to a dedicated facility. It looks like a good range of equipment to make sure my putting is top notch. This should combine well with an AimPoint session I did recently. I’ve found it useful for reading greens.
     
    First Impressions
    In our box of goodies we received a Premium Pressure Putt Trainer (titanium white and dark grey – a colour combo that doesn’t seem to be on the online shop), a large putting mat (3.7m x 0.66m or 12ft x 3ft), and a Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set. I haven’t seen the packaging on the other colours of the Pressure Putt Trainers, but the silver band at the bottom of the packaging would be a nice colour pop to match the different colours of the trainers.
     
    Packaging - The packaging is quite nice, with clear indications about what each item is for and links to ideas for how to use the equipment. I noticed how the packages could be merchandised both on a shelf standing up, or on a hook – a nice touch. There aren’t excessive amounts of packaging so it’s easy to get everything out. One minor issue is on the top of the Alignment Stick Set’s packaging. The closing tab detaches with an unsatisfying tear rather than a clean detachment. It’s an incredibly minor criticism, but it would make the user’s experience a little nicer.

    Pressure Putt Trainer Packaging - I hope the silver band at the bottom changes with the colour of the product.

    Alignment Stick Set Packaging with carry bag

    Top of the Alignment Stick Set packaging - has unsatisfying tearing
     
    Storage - Living in an apartment, I can’t permanently setup any golfing equipment, so the thought the designers have put into easily putting away each product seems to be very useful. I have a 4 x 4 set of Kallax shelves in my office and a golf area in the wardrobe for storing my gear. I think that I will be able to easily take out and put away all elements of the kit. The mat comes with a storage bag to keep it neatly rolled up when not in use. The way the Pressure Putt Trainer and the Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set fold up is ideal to fit into my golf storage area. A big tick for consideration of storage.

    Easy to find places to store both the Pressure Putt Trainer and the Alignment Stick Set
     
    Unrolling mat - For the test period I’ll be continually rolling and unrolling the mat to use it. First impressions are that the mat is thick, has plenty of different markings for different activities, and the edges are highly reinforced. It looks like it will last a long time. Only issue is that the centre of the roll doesn’t lie flat. Maybe that’s because it’s brand new and needs to relax (who am I to criticise for not relaxing), or maybe it’s just physics of rolling up a mat. It’s doesn’t really affect the performance of the matt, but I’ll see how it goes over time.

    Matt rolled out - plenty of markings and a decent length that can fit in my living room

    The centre of the mat doesn't lay flat. Will see if it just takes some time to relax
     
    Assembling Alignment Stick Set - There are plenty of pieces that look like will enable a variety of different putting activities. All the parts disassemble and have a dedicated storage area in the bag, so it’s easy to pack away and keep all the bits. The small rubber tube that enables the two alignment sticks to be joined is a nice touch. I like the idea of the gates to give immediate feedback about starting line, but having the alignment sticks to ensure that the equipment is lined up properly is a nice feature.

    The Alignment Stick Set allows many options and disassembles for storage. Pocket is for the gate parts.

    Use of extended alignment stick ensures ball, gate, and target are aligned (sticks sag but are straight along putt line)
     
    Goals for testing
    My 10 round average for strokes gained putting is currently sitting at 0.0 against a 5 handicap, so I think a good goal for putting success would be to get it to +1.0, but any improvement will be worth it. I’ll post updated stats after any round I play to see how I’m progressing.
     
     
    With my practice I want to make improve my ability to start my ball on my intended line, with appropriate pace. I really want to try out the variety of possible activities that can be done with the gear, as this will help with keeping practice fresh (putting practice can easily get stale) and evaluating how the gear can help you to develop a repeatable, accurate stroke. If there are any drills you want me to try out to see if they’re possible with the gear, please let me know in a comment.
     

     
    With my reviewing, I used all of the different elements of our sets over different weeks. I started with just the mat and the Pressure Putt Trainer, then used the Alignment Stick Set with more regularity later on.
     
    Quality of components (10 out of 10 points)
    For all 3 elements of the set, the products are made well, have quality materials, and are well put together. As identified in my initial impressions, I could only fault some very minor packaging experience issues.
     
    Ease of use (10 out of 10 points)
    With the Pressure Putt Trainer and the putting mat, it was obvious what the purposes of each product were. With the Alignment Stick Set, it’s a more complex product. There are many more applications and combinations the product can be used in, so some were not initially obvious. This was solved with informative packaging with examples of the different ways the products can be setup.
     
    Basic Characteristics (17 out of 20 points)
    Starting with the mat, it does everything you would want from an indoor practice mat. It rolls at a green-like speed, has assorted targets and alignment lines for practice. It makes a great base to build putting practice from.
     
    With the Pressure Putt Trainer, having the smaller target meant I was able to focus with greater detail. It also meant that I had a more difficult goal that a standard hole size; great for rehearsing putts inside 6 feet. By having the goal of the perfect speed and line to nestle in the target, it was rehearsing starting the ball on line, with appropriate pace, and made practice interesting with the satisfying “plop” into the small target.
     
    With the Alignment Stick Set, its fundamental purpose is to rehearse starting the ball on line. Sadly, with all the arrangements there was only loose feedback that I was starting my putts on line. The gates were much wider than a golf ball and can’t be narrowed for making tighter pass/go for starting putts on line. As I stated in the mid-review comments, by having multiple slots in the round rubber feet, the difficulty for starting on line could be changed.
     
    On-Course Performance (## out of 30 points)
    For my review, it’s impossible to evaluate on course performance; public health orders where I live prevented golf being played during the review period. I had one round on the 31st of August, but with 50km/h winds (31 miles) my poor putting stats were influenced more by the conditions than any practice I had done with the products.
    So sadly, I’m going to have to ignore this part in my scoring of the products. I’ll revisit this in about a month and update this.
     
    Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)
    The strongest characteristic of all the products in our set is the quality of materials and finish. They don’t really affect the ability of the products to help your golf game but if you’re spending money on products, it’s better if they’re well-presented. For example, the Pressure Putt Trainer’s materials have a nice matt finish, the putting mat has reinforcement around the perimeter of the mat and a thicker base layer than others I’ve seen on the market, and the stainless steel in the Alignment Stick Set gives it a premium feel.
     
    The other area of strength for all products was the thought put into how they are packed away for easy and small storage. The bag with multiple pockets on the Alignment Stick Set where every part had a place is well thought out. As a result, all the products take up minimal space in a closet.
     
    Keep it or Trade it? (14 out of 20 points)
     
    Putting Mat – keep. It does everything a putting mat should. Rolls up, rolls truly, can be vacuumed occasionally to keep it clean, and has a range of useful markings. Technically I’m not going to keep this one, but a friend is buying a Medium mat and then we are trading. The medium mat will fit my home better.
     
    Pressure Putt Trainer – keep. This is a unique product in the putting practice market; providing a little reward for making a perfect putt but also indicating made putts. With the added convenience of it being able to fold away neatly when not in use, the different colour options, and its suitability for people who aren’t “golfers”, it’s a real winner.
     
    Alignment Stick Set – trade. I really wanted to like this product, but I just didn’t find it useful. I tried all the different setups that it can do, and none of them convincingly aided starting the putt on line, and the product is not designed to train correct speed. I’m sure there will be someone who thoroughly disagrees with me who will love it though. It is a well-made product that you can tell has been thought about in design, but it just doesn’t gel with me.
     
    Conclusion
    I thank both PuttOUT and MGS for giving me the opportunity to review these products. The process really got me thinking about putting practice, and was the trigger for some enlightening discussions with the professionals at the facilities I go to. Overall, I commend PuttOUT for the quality of materials, construction, finish, and storage of their products. You can tell they have gone to great effort to get this right. For the Putting Mat and Pressure Putt Trainer, these are great products that I think help to keep my practice fresh and improve my putting. I want to practice more with these two products. Whilst the Alignment Stick Set is a well-made product, I didn’t find it useful to get my putts starting on line. I'm thinking of modelling and 3D printing some custom feet for my Alignment Stick Set.
    Final Score: (61 out of 70 points)
  21. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to artful_golfer in Final Reviews: PuttOUT Golf Training System   
    Hello fellow spies. Here we go ... starting my PuttOUT testing and review.
    First, a big thank you to MyGolfSpy and PuttOUT for this opportunity! I will give it my best.
    Some background: I began my golf journey 7 years ago and my current handicap is 19. Putting is both my favorite and the best part of my golf game. From the beginning putting seemed easy. Although I’m right hand dominant, I began putting left handed because it felt more natural. I do some things left handed and some right and but easily switch back and forth for many things without even thinking about it. After 3.5 years lining up as a lefty, I allowed myself to be talked into a right handed Edel putter fitting. It works but it also feels like more work. Until last year, I typically 2-putted with a few 1-putts and 3-putts each round.
    A couple years ago I started working on putting in earnest. Last year @downlowkey gave me a PuttOUT Pressure Trainer that I’ve used regularly and experienced success with in lowering my number of putts.

    (On the left is my original PuttOUT Trainer cup; on the right is the newer version included in out testing kit.)
    A few months ago @downlowkey also gave me the Bettinardi SS38 Armlock putter that he reviewed for MGS. With the armlock, PuttOUT and a lot of practice I've managed to further lower my average putts per round to ~31. But in the past few weeks I was delighted to play two rounds with 29 putts and one with 27 putts. For me to consider this new comprehensive PuttOUT setup a success, I want my average putts per round to be sub 30 and make more 10-12 foot putts. I feel more confident at the 15 foot range than facing a 2 footer and hopefully PuttOUT can fix that.
    Being a fairly good putter, leaves fairway hits, or miss hits, as my weakness. That is where I seem to put myself in difficult spots that add strokes. I regularly find bunkers, deep rough and water, plus I seem to be an expert at smashing into trees. I’m rarely on the green in regulation, but once there I relax and putting is good. It’s not unusual for me to score a 6+ on a hole but with only 1 or 2 putts. I can leave my playing partners shaking their heads, but they like me as a scramble partner.
    When my PuttOUT shipment arrived I was impressed how well everything was secured in the boxes.

    (Above top photo is the Putting Mat wrapped in protective plastic inside the shipping box. Bottom photo is the box containing the Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set and Pressure Putt Trainer cup minus the stuffing to keep stuff from moving around.)
    The PuttOUT packaging design and quality is superb (more about that later). At first I thought I must be missing the instructions but it’s all there with steps and illustrations printed right on the packaging.

    (Above are some of the instructions printed on the packaging. More cumbersome than a booklet would be, but don't throw it out!)
     
    The mat is larger than I anticipated 12’ ½” x 26¼” and very well made.


    (Above top photo is the PuttOUT Mat setup in my den. Bottom photo shows the heavy stitching on the edges, like a well made throw rug that keeps the corners from flipping up.)
    It is easy enough to roll out for practice and roll back up for storage. I have identified 6 places in my house with hard floors that I can set it up. I plan to leave it setup in my den for most of the duration of this test so it will be ready to use every day. I will move it to a carpeted area for at least a week to see if that makes any difference.
    I enjoy the challenge of the Pressure Putt Trainer but so far I’m not thrilled with the Putting Plane Alignment Stick Set. I’m a visual learner and don’t like the clutter between my ball and target. But if it helps me improve, I will learn to love it.

    (As you can see, the top alignment stick obscures being able to see the center alignment line on my putter. The Pressure Putt Trainer cup is on the left end, a metal gate to putt through is in the center, and two alignment sticks are connected in a row above the white center line on the mat.)
    If you have questions or ideas you would like me to try, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide answers.
    My LGA gives an award each year for the best putter. The score is determined by keeping up with our number of putts on each hole throughout the year when we have monthly play days. The end score is achieved by adding up the lowest putts we had for each hole. My goal is to win that in December with some help from the PuttOUT practice package!
    Stage 2 Review
    Time for scoring my PuttOUT kit experience. Albeit inconsistently, I have practiced many hours since setting up the PuttOUT package. I was hitting 150 – 200 putts a day for long stretches and then nearly a week would pass without finding time to practice. Some nights I would wake up and unable to fall back asleep, I would get up and putt. Trying to score those "perfect putts" can be quite addictive.
     
     
    Quality of components: 10 out of 10 points
    Everything from PuttOUT is well made and seems quite durable. From the informative packaging to the different components the quality and attention to detail is evident - i.e. the heavy stitching on the mat edges which helps keep it flat.

     
    rubber tips on the ends of the alignment sticks to help keep them secured in the gates

     
    nubs on the bottom of the Perfect Putt trainer to keep it from moving around

     
    printed markings on the mat to encourage proper alignment, distance control and creative practice

     
    and the knap on the mat is short and dense, similar to real grass greens... I only wish the greens at my home course were this thick.
    Ease of Use: 7 out of 10 points
    The package we received was easy to figure out/setup and included a large practice mat. I left the mat setup for the duration of our review period but did test how easily it can be rolled up and stowed in the storage tube. I had to reroll it a few times to make it fit. One point deducted for the difficulty getting it back in the storage tube. I imagine the small and medium size mats are probably a little easier to manage.
    If you have sufficient space, the large mat is nice. That said, the medium size would probably be my first choice because I would be more likely to keep it setup full time. I think being able to just walk over and use it for a few minutes encouraged me to practice more.
    (Note: In one of the above photos from my first review stage of my review, you can see and compare a 7 ft throw rug next to the PuttOUT mat. Prior to being selected for this review, that rug was my practice putting mat and the surface on which I practiced extensively with my original PuttOUT Pressure Trainer. It worked for me.)
    Setting up the different components is fairly straightforward although a little awkward getting the parts of the Putting Plane, sticks and gates properly aligned/oriented. I'm deducting 2 points for this issue.
    Basic Characteristics:  16 out of 20 points
    I like putting through the gates but didn’t find the alignment sticks and putting plane particularly helpful. Depending on what part of your putting needs work, the alignment sticks and plane guide could be useful. The putting plane has hash marks one inch apart for visual feedback on the length of your back stroke and follow through.
     
    I tend to rise to a challenge and making "perfect putts" was no exception. I practiced until I could make them semi-regularly. But the reality is that "perfect putts" are not mandatory. PuttOUT states that if a putt rolls back to you from the Pressure Trainer cup, it would have likely dropped in the hole – that’s what matters most to me.
     
    Each practice session, it would take me a few minutes to get a feel for my putting. As I would get in the groove, more putts would be “made” putts but not necessarily "perfect putts". I would liken it to spending some time on a practice green prior to round of golf. Practicing for a few minutes on the PuttOUT mat before heading out for a proper round of golf has become my typical routine.
    I deducted 4 points because my mat had a distinct ripple that adversely impacted putts. And it wasn’t only one mat. I oddly received 4 mats in my shipment. I gave one to another Spy and the other two to local high school golf teams. But I checked out all the mats and each one had a distinct ripple in the same place. The other Spy, laid a heavy flat board on his mat for a few days which helped. The ripple in my mat did not completely smooth out even after being setup for 4 weeks.
    On Course Performance: 27 out of 30 points
    Scoring in this area was difficult for me determine. This new PuttOUT practice package did not make much difference in my putts per round during our short testing time, but my prior experience with the original PuttOUT Pressure Trainer made a significant difference. I feel like if I had not already been using that original Pressure Trainer for the past year, this new version would have been much more impactful. So I counted my past Pressure Trainer history and putting improvements in my on course scoring category. Rather than be repetitive, you can read above in my First Stage Review how my average putts per round improved.
    I deducted 3 points because I did not find all of the components in our kit significantly helpful.
    I track my stats with a Shot Scope V3 every time I play, although recently I haven’t had time to analyze all of my rounds. In the past it indicated that of my missed putts, 60% were short. I’ve always had difficulty judging distance. I don’t have new figures yet, but I do feel like I am leaving fewer putts short since practicing on the PuttOUT mat. That in and of itself is worth it. In my most recent round, I had 3 one-putts and the rest two-putts. More putts than I want but of those two-putts, 9 of my initial putts (10 - 20 feet) finished inside 18” and most were not short. So I feel like the PuttOUT mat has probably helped with pace.
    Miscellaneous: 5 out of 10 points
    I originally deducted 10 points because the instructions are only printed on the packaging. This is a significant oversight to me. Keeping up with all of the product packaging in order to reference the instructions and tips is rather cumbersome. A small booklet/brochure would have been my preference. Including info on all of the available components in the booklet might also entice consumers to order more parts of the complete package.
    Then I added 5 bonus points back in for the ways, beyond only practice putting, that PuttOUT can be creatively used. The putting games you can create using PuttOUT are limited only by your imagination. The coach for one of the high school golf teams I gave PuttOUT to is very excited about creating competitive games to get her players to practice pressure putting. Plus, following the lead of @DStar, I’m excited to continue using PuttOUT for practicing short chip shots in my house.
     
    Trade It or Keep It: 20 out of 20 points
    I will definitely keep the PuttOUT practice package - it has encouraged me to practice more and I have seen improvement in certain segments of my putting performance (i.e. distance control).
    Conclusion: 85 out of 100 points
    If you want to become a better putter, I would absolutely encourage you to purchase the PuttOUT Pressure Trainer. While I feel like the same quantity of putting practice on an actual green will improve your stats, the Pressure Trainer is so addicting and easy to use that it encourages you to rack up more practice time. The Pressure Trainer folds up small and flat for storing/traveling. When the practice green at our club was closed for several months and inclement weather kept me indoors, I could still work on my putting. The putting mat is very nice but not essential. Happy putting!
  22. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to DStar in Final Reviews: PuttOUT Golf Training System   
    PuttOUT - Official MSG Forum Review by Steve Davies (DStar) 
     
    2nd August 2021
     
    Into
    I’ve been testing the PuttOUT large mat, pressure putt & alignment stick set for nearly a month. After a few evenings of initial testing to see what worked for me I came up with six tests/practice routines that I would use to complete the review.
    These included using the gates & alignment sticks and the dreaded ‘Perfect Putt’.
    The results can be found here: PuttOUT Test Results
    Each session took around an hour to do and my aim was three sessions a week. 
    I have also recorded my progress when playing on the course but these numbers only give an indication of my number of putts per hole/round as I don’t have any data on putt distances but we have some really tough greens and, on some, a 2-putt is a welcome number. 

     
    Quality of components - 9
    All of the products on test were very nicely packaged, clear/crisp graphics with instructions on use printed on each item. The individual items all felt well made and, as a set, blended really nicely together. 

    On opening the packaging the parts felt really nice. As an engineer by trade I am particularly interested in quality of fit and finish and, overall, this was excellent. The only issue in this area was with the alignment plane - when the sticks were inserted I found that they did not line up perfectly with the holes in the gates, it would fit but needed a little persuasion. 

    I had no issues with any items breaking or becoming unusable and I had my mat set up in our conservatory which gets very hot and I experienced no issues with the mat losing shape.
    I really liked the bag for the alignment stick set as all of the components fitted well with a pocket on either side for a gate/feet set - very nicely thought out! 

     
     
    Ease of Use - 9
    I’m a typical man! New stuff, take it out of the box and try to put it together..
    The pressure putt is simple to use, folds out nicely and I liked the aluminium button for the perfect putt target. 

    The gates & feet go together and it’s obvious how these fit.
    The alignment set took a little time to work out but then I read the instructions - easy peasy! 
    The mat rolled out flat 1st time and stayed flat throughout the test. I did hoover it before use, every time. 
     
    Basic Characteristics - 18
     
    I found that as soon as the PuttOUT kit arrived I couldn't wait to try it. Having never used any training aids before I was keen to get it set up ASAP.
    I still really enjoy the challenge of improving my putting and I am seeing some really good improvements in my game as a result of using the PuttOUT set regularly which means I will continue to use this equipment. 
    The tests I devised are working for me and, going forward, I will look to add in different tests to keep the practice interesting. I can see that doing the same thing over and over may lead to less use but I think there are enough options to keep me coming back.
    I found that the mat is quite good for short chip shot practice too although I would use an old mat or piece of astroturf to chip off as I'm not sure how much use the mat could take.
     

    20210801_104259_001.mp4 I may add in a mirror as an alternative aid and will take the gates & pressure putt to the course to use on the practice greens to help improve further.
    After a few hours of use I could really feel and see how my stroke and distance control was improving - this was backed up by my results on the course too. 
    It started to become obvious which putts were good and which were bad. The repetition has really made a difference to my putting stroke. 
    On the whole I found the kit easy to use and quite intuitive in how it can help improve my game. 
    I did find that the alignment plane didn’t really work for me but others may find that it does. I can appreciate the idea but found a better way, for me, to use the gates/sticks to help with my alignment. 
     
    On Course Performance - 30
     
    I really do think that doing this test/review has made a huge difference to my confidence with the putter. 
    I now stand over the ball without the dread of not really knowing what I’m doing. I can line up the putt, make a good stroke and have faith that I’m doing it right. 
    I may not get the read right but the stroke is feeling so much better. 
    The numbers in my data don’t really show the full story as it’s hard to achieve a perfect putt. As long as I was scoring 5 or more on each test I was happy as that meant I had, effectively, holed the putt I was aiming for - a perfect putt was a bonus. 
    All of the kit on test performed flawlessly and I think that PuttOUT have produced a well thought out system that works well together (or on their own too).
    One thing I would change would be to have two different sized gates as this could further increase the difficulty to help improve accuracy. 
    Personally, I wouldn’t buy the alignment plane. I would be happy with a pair of gates and sticks as, for me, these were the best aids in that particular set. 
    Did it help improve my scores? Even if the figures don’t show it I would say, without doubt, that this has improved my scores. Putting is a hard thing to quantify as it could be 2 putts from 8 feet or 2 putts from 30. We have large, undulating greens and I’m finding I am much less likely to 3-putt than I was before. I’m lagging long putts to a couple of feet for easy tap-ins much more regularly and I feel confident that I can do that on most putts. 
     
    Miscellaneous - 8
     
    I thought the whole package was a very well thought out set. All of the items can be used together or separately which gives a lot of scope for finding the best way to use them for different people. 
    Everything came well packaged and presented and feels high quality.
     
    Keep it or trade it - 18
     
    On the whole I believe the improvements in my putting make this a sound buy. I will definitely be keeping it as part of my ongoing practice as I try to improve my game. 
    The items represent good value for money, maybe a little highly priced if I was buying but it is all very good quality kit. The mat, in particular, seems very durable and consistent as a putting mat should be.
    I think the gates and sticks go well together but would add the plane as an option as it didn’t work for me. 
    I would also have two different sized gates rather than both the same size as that would give some variation on difficulty and further help with accuracy practice. 
    I would also change the printing on the mat slightly. As most people would probably use known distances I would change the small lines (either side of the 1’ markers) to have rings that are the same size as the gate feet. This would make it easier to line up the gates with the central line.

    Who would benefit from this set? Me for a start! I think that any golfer looking to improve their putting would find these products very useful. 
     
    Conclusion
     
    Overall this has been a great test. I’ve found the products easy and fun to use and will continue to use them. They can be tucked away fairly easily and the reinforced mat bag is a great touch as is the alignment stick set with pockets to keep all the bits safe.  
    The perfect putt is so hard to get but so satisfying when you do and it’s showing it’s worth on the course which is where it matters.
    Thanks to MGS for choosing me for this test/review and if you need any information do get in touch. 
     
    Final Score - 92 
     
    Well done PuttOUT on a great product...
     

  23. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to IDontGiveAchuck in Rapsodo MLM Launch Monitor   
    Hello fellow spies.
    Welcome to my review of the Rapsodo MLM.
    First let me say a big thank you to MGS and Rapsodo for the privelege of being a part of this test.
    Who am I?
    My name is Chuck and I live in the Seattle area.  No, I'm not a Seahawks/Mariners/Sonics (RIP) fan.  I'm a big hockey fan and have a love/hate relationship with soccer.  I love the Pittsburgh Penguins and now I'm going to be a Kraken fan!  Release the Kraken!
    I'm a father of 3 girls and a grandfather to 2 of the most beautiful little girls in the world, one is 5 and the other is 6 months.

     
    My Game
    I'm 49 years old and have been playing golf for the better part of my adult life.  I picked it up early in my 14 year career in the Marine Corps.  I'm a self taught player, never had any lessons other than the free ones you get from your buddies.  The strength of my game is in the short strokes and bunker shots.  I don't get a chance to play as often as I would like, which is the reason (excuse) for my 18 handicap.  The Coach Connect option of this test is going to be the part to which I pay very close attention.
    Here is my swing...

    20200719_113630.mp4 MGS Tests
    I have had the honor of being a part of one other MGS test, linked below.
    Nippon N.S. Pro Zelos 8 – Official MGS Forum Review by IDontGiveAchuck
    My Expectations
    As I said before, I'm really looking forward to testing the Coach Connect.  I hope to give a very amateur point of view on this as someone who's never taken formal lessons before.
    In summary, I am excited about this test.  I look forward to seeing the data and comparing it to data I get from the launch monitors at the local range.  I hope to do everyone here a service and give a worthwhile review of the Rapsodo.
    I'll post the unboxing as soon as it arrives.
     
    The Grand Unveiling...
    Here are the photos of my unboxing:










     
    Initial Thoughts
    Packaging - Despite it being a demo unit that does look like its been put through its paces, the packaging is well put together.  I like the look of it and the information provided on the box is well done.
    Contents - I like the soft case that is supplied.  Keeps everything nice and tidy.  Also comes with "carabiner" clip to hang it from my bag and allow everyone to know I have a Rapsodo MLM! 😆
    Unit - Again, even though its a demo unit, it's in fairly decent condition.  I can tell its been used by the scuffs and scratches, and hopefully this doesn't affect testing. 
    I like the size of it, not even the size of my hand.  So huge plus there.  Very much a MOBILE launch monitor.  
    Controls are easy enough to understand, it has 1 power button on the side, and 1 multi-color status light on the front.
    I'll be testing this with an iPad and it fits on the unit fairly well, although I think that an iPhone will probably be more stable.
     
  24. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to GolfSpy BOS in Rapsodo MLM Launch Monitor   
    How we doing y’all?!  Welcome to B.Boston’s official Rapsodo MLM review!  I am super excited about this one as I had literally commented to another member on instagram that if I had $1,000 to spend on golf equipment I would buy a personal launch monitor and get some lessons, then I saw that MGS was looking for testers for exactly that!  
    No review would be started correctly without thanking both Rapsodo and MGS for offering up this launch monitor for review.  And thank you to the mods for selecting me.  It is always a humbling experience to be chosen to do a review and I know we have high expectations of our reviewers here.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! 
    Who is this B.Boston guy anyway?
    Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about me!  My name is Bryan, and I am from Bellingham, MA.  Based on my user name you might see that I identify with Boston as my “home” city.  I grew up about 40 minutes outside the city, went to school just outside the city, and have lived within those 40 minutes for my entire life.  If you don’t know me already, or heck even if you do based on my Cobra Connect posts last year you’d probably expect me to be your Dunkin’ and Sam Adams drinking cousin from Boston sports guy with a wicked accent and Tom Brady posters all over the place.  While some of that is true… my accent is apparently disappointing.
    Obligatory family photo from our recent vacation:

    I’ve been golfing since as long as I can remember, getting my first set and going to the executive par 3 near me from when I was about 7 years old, but I got much more serious about it (read: tried to eliminate my slice) as I got into college.  Now 34 years old and a happily married father of three I would say I am borderline obsessed with the game and I have an ultimate goal of reaching “scratch” status for my handicap.  I am currently a 5.8 based on my Arccos stats.  Strength of my game is putting and I’m really hopeful that I can dial in my approach and long game with the help of the Rapsodo MLM and Coaching.
    State of my game:
    Just for reference here is a current view of some Arccos data:




    My gapping is pretty good and I really just need to work on consistency.  My worst stats come from Approach and Short Game shots.  I need to get better in my proximity to the hole on approaches, and get closer for an easy one putt if I don’t hit the green.
    Here’s a recent swing clip.  This should be useful representative of a starting point for me before any changes or developments from the coaching aspect of this review:
    My signature shows my current WITB, but in case you’re reading this on mobile and can’t see I’m playing here are the details:
    Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS Fairway:  Cobra Speedzone 5-wood Hybrid:  Titleist TSi3 20* Irons:  Cobra Forged Tec (5-GW) Wedges:  Cobra MIM Black (52, 56, 60) Putter:  Evnroll ER2B Ball:  Titleist Pro V1x Tech:  Precision Pro NX9 Slope, Arccos Caddie I’m a tech nerd at heart so I’m always interested in ways to utilize technology to enhance my game.  I have been loving Arccos and its strokes gained information as it has been insightful in many cases and damn eye opening in others.  I’ll record my swing at the range and on the course to see if there’s anything I notice off on a particular day, and can not wait to pair it with a powerful tool in the Rapsodo MLM to get an even better understanding of my game.  
    What will I be looking at in this test, and what am I hoping to get out of it?
    I will primarily be using this device outside at the driving range, and hopefully getting some actual on-course data as well.  I know that from both last year’s forum testing and the most wanted articles that the Rapsodo MLM is top of its class and very comparable to professional grade units for good quality strikes.  I know all of these units can suffer on strikes that are at opposite ends of the bell curve, so I don’t expect perfection, but I will do my best to test out the accuracy claims.  I want to see what the Rapsodo shows as my carry gapping versus my Arccos stats total yardage.  Also to see if I am getting good ball speed gaps, peak heights, etc. to make sure that everything is looking in line.
    However, the thing I’m most excited to take part in is the coaching feature as I have only ever had one golf lesson and while I would love to have a coach and consistently see them, it’s difficult for me to know which day I’ll be able to shoot to the range on lunch and scheduling something after work is challenging, and if I’m booking time on the weekend for golf, I’d much rather it be time playing on the course and enjoying the game.  I really feel that the coaching feature will help me maximize my range sessions by getting feedback and things to work on for the next bucket of balls.    
    I’m also going to try and have some fun, and highlight some of the cool features for you all.  There will be a long drive contest and hopefully some other videos along the way.
    Much more to come with the unboxing and review!  Please sound off in the comment section with anything else you’re hoping to see from my review or any of the other testers.  As much as this review is about my experience, I want to make sure the forums are learning everything they possibly want to about them to aid in future purchase decisions.
    Make sure to give this thread a follow so you don’t miss out!
    Initial Impressions! (September 10th Update):
    I’ve had three range sessions in the books now with the Rapsodo MLM and have had an opportunity to try everything out except the coaching feature, so I’ll be adding more details about that later on.

    Rapsodo claims that the MLM sets up in under 30 seconds and I have to agree.  The iPhone and iPad apps are super responsive to start a practice or game session and just as slick in reviewing rounds once the session has been uploaded.  Every time that I powered the unit on it connected quickly to my phone and I was able to get a session going without any issues.  Even swapping to the iPad to test went smoothly.  I had no issue going through my session after getting home, looking at swing videos, and viewing detailed data.  I had even forgotten to switch clubs at one point and that was easy in the app too.  I can’t stress enough how simple the app made it to get setup and start hitting shots.  This is important to me because I don’t want to be thinking about the set up and capture of swings to get the data to the point that I’m not thinking you know… about my golf swing and hitting the shots I want to hit.  
    Here’s my typical range setup:

    The iPad version of the app allows for more data to be shown and I think it looks cooler.

    Side Note:  On the first day I did have to improvise as the MLM needs to generally be level with the ground you are hitting on, so I used a flipped over small bucket as the ground behind the mat I was on sloped down and away.  I have since used it slightly below the level of the ball (maybe 4 or 5 inches) and it seemed to work just fine.  But it was still level, which I think is more important.

    Rapsodo highlights several features when talking about the MLM:
    Shot Tracer
    GPS Shot Map
    Video Playback
    Club Gapping
    Interactive Games/Sharing
    Shot Library
    NET(Indoor/Outdoor)
    Smart Club Recognition
    They also highlight that accuracy matters, and so far the MLM seems to have done really well on good/average strikes.  Poor strikes have been less consistent, but yeah, it’s a poor strike and likely out of the focal range of the unit’s radar.  I’m not going to fuss that the unit was unable to show my topped drive was 30 yards before it hit the ground instead of a 42 yard carry (I mean if I were to have had a shot like that…. Which I NEVER do!).  
    So far the clunkiest part of the app experience has been exporting swing videos to the camera roll.  For such a smooth app for everything else it takes way too many clicks, and too much time to do.
    So what does this accuracy get you?  Here are the metrics the Rapsodo MLM captures:
    Distance (Carry for irons, user selectable Carry or Carry + Roll for woods)
    Ball Speed immediately after impact
    Club Speed immediately prior to impact
    Smash Factor for strike efficiency
    Launch Angle
    Launch Direction
    So far, it seems to be a pretty accurate launch monitor, particularly with well struck balls.  I’ve had a few data issues with pull-hooks, my guess is because the ball gets lost behind my club or body and the reading gets messed up.  I can forgive that miss as I realize these are not perfect commercial sized radar units.  It’s also disappointing that there is no spin, but I read a rumor that they are working on that, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  My club and ball speed numbers are right inline with what I saw earlier this year on a trackman and were well within my expectations.



    (Very cool to have the visual satellite overlay view, but I’m not convinced the scaling is quite right.  More research needed.)
    Not too shabby for the asking price right?  But wait, there’s more!
    There are two main subscriptions offered with the MLM for golfers.  Basic (AKA Free), and Premium ($99 annually)..  There is also a Coach Connect subscription, but that is teaching professionals and is out of scope on this review.  With the Basic subscription you only get cloud storage for your last 100 shots included.  The premium subscription includes more:
    Cloud storage for 10,000 shots
    Slow motion swing replays at 4 speeds
    Shot Apex data on your swings
    Access to online golf lesions through the Coach Connect platform
    I need some more time to think about it, but I don’t think we’re getting enough as consumers at the Free level.  100 shots isn’t even 10 good shots with each club in my bag, so the club gapping is much less appealing.  Heck, that’s not even two full buckets at the range.  I really think that something like 250 or 300 shots should be included, or I should be able to use my iPhone or iPad’s internal memory.  It is super portable with the included carry case, so it really would be a shame to not be able to see more than 2 range sessions of history since I can see myself always having it there available to use.

    As for the upgraded features you do get with the premium, I DO enjoy the peak height indicator on the shot replays.  It’s not always easy to tell due to the angle of the camera and it is something that I do like to see.  The ability to play your swings in several levels of slow motion is neat, but I think the app needs to use a higher FPS on the camera’s phone to really take advantage of it.  Slow motion videos from the native iPhone app are much better.  I need to do a comparison there on the downswing as well as some more testing to show what I mean.
    I should be getting into the online golf lessons soon, and will update here after I get to try that out.  Until then, it’s off to the range for some more hone my skills with the Rapsodo MLM in tow!
     
    Final Scores! (November 23rd Update):
    Looks & Feel (10 out of 10 points) 
    The Rapsodo MLM is very well built and feels like a tank.  It feels very dense and solid, not hollow.  I like that feeling as it feels more high quality even if a lighter unit may be just as good.  It strikes a good balance with some softer feeling rubberized plastic.  Also the buttons and flap that you open for the phone/tablet stand have a satisfying smooth feeling to them. 
    The case is a good standard feeling rangefinder style zip case.  With that storage for between uses and the high quality feeling unit itself I have no doubts that unit will hold up long term.
     
    Setup (13 out of 15 points)
    As I touched on in my initial impressions, the Rapsodo MLM and Rapsodo app could not be easier to set up and get going. Turn it on, place it down, open the app, select practice or the mode you want, set location and heading, verify you’re in your box and the ball is in its box, and Go.  Demos in the app are very good at showing you what to do step-by-step if it’s your first time setting it up.  
    The unit charges fast enough through standard USB connections and I don’t doubt I can get through 2 or more range sessions on a charge, but I usually just charge it after a practice session anyway.  
    Upon swinging the replay shows all your relevant data (more is shown on the iPad, and I prefer that view).  The data is all useful information for your shots and can help track your progress.  I find the ball speed to be the most useful (with driver at least) as a way of determining how solidly I’m hitting the ball.
    While I won’t say any of it is useless, the least useful metric to me is the shot shape.  I’ve had several shots that were over or under curved, likely due to the device not capturing spin.  However, I don’t recall it being wildly off, but enough that I consider the tracer more of an estimate than a calculated or tracked overlay.
     
    Accuracy (13 out of 15 points)
    As far as accuracy is concerned I want to note that I used the Rapsodo MLM exclusively at the driving range outdoors..  I have no indoor or outdoor net experience so this is all based on Outdoor mode with range balls. 
    I think the unit overall does a really good job on well struck shots.  Considering the condition of the range balls I was using I was expecting some variance, even if the data is normalized.  One area I did see some strange results was on shots that started more left and maybe got part of the ball flight lost behind me while swinging.  I also had several shots where the tracer did not start at the ball, and I am not sure if that means the numbers are good or not.  
    Here is a chart of my Arrcos Smart Distance versus Rapsodo Lifetime Stats (Driver and woods are set to Carry+Roll setting in the app):
     

    So now, let's take a look at the story here by club grouping:
    Wedges (52*, 56*, and 60*) No surprise here.  At the range I hit my 52, 56, and 60 to some specific targets and on-course I end up with many different length shots.  The Rapsodo distances feel very accurate to the targets I am usually shooting at with them Irons (including PW and GW) These feel really accurate in aggregate as well.  Considering I don’t get much roll through the 9 iron I am happy to see they match my Arccos on-course performance.  It makes sense to me that I would see some gaps in the longer irons as Rapsodo does not account for roll on these shots.  If anything, the quality of ball I’m hitting may start to impact carry figures for the 6 and 5 irons by 3-5 yards. Hybrid Ok so this is the only one that I really don’t agree with.  It’s also one of the clubs I hit the least during practice, so it could be a sample size thing with a few bad shots pulling the numbers down.  I think I only have a dozen or so shots with it in the Rapsodo data, but once again when we account for roll, this may only be 5-8 yards off on carry.  Maybe it rolls a lot more for me than I’m thinking? 5-wood This looks pretty good to me.  At this point the range I practice at does back uphill, so it’s easier to gauge how close to the targets your landing and estimate total carry distance.  Also I don’t tee this club up at the range and my Arccos data would include tee shots which in theory would allow for some additional distance. Driver This one is tough for me to gauge.  I don’t like seeing a 20 yard gap here, but I have a hard time believing the range balls are not partially to blame here.  The last few sessions out I could see the ball traveling shorter overall distances even though the Rapsodo unit was showing a lot of the same swing speeds.  It also had my efficiency at about 1.42 so maybe with my gamer balls that number would be a little higher.  Or maybe it is because I was practicing a lot with the Epic Max LS as it was the newest club in my bag, and I was trying different shafts, and had a bunch of poor shots in the data.  I will note that I saw my biggest “Hmmmm” moments when looking at the Rapsodo readouts with the driver, particularly if my start line got pulled to the left at all.  But, more on that later… I’m docking a couple points here because the accuracy of the shot tracer and shot direction/path is just OK.  With no ability to edit for the landing point  it looks awkward if you’re not hitting on a flat surface and without spin measurements it’s only ever going to be a guess anyway, but overall the yardages seem solid in aggregate even if some individual shots are off.  I actually had purposely not looked at the summary stats until writing this section so I was pleasantly surprised to see the figures matching up and making sense.    
    see here the tracer isn't starting at impact, or even within the range of the "hit zone" on this one.  I had more than a few shots like this:
     
     
    On-Course (25 out of 30 points)
    At the range getting ready to play is pretty simple.  Open the app, move the icon over the spot to where you’re hitting, and set your heading.  Then all you have to do is line up your unit and make sure the hitting area is within the box on the screen.  I can’t say that it interfered with my normal practice routine at all.  I could make my swing, watch the flight, and then turn around in time to see the some/all of the replay and see the numbers.  It worked out well because I could see if the MLM picked up the shot shape and get a gauge as to if I felt it was a good shot or not.  I didn’t really get along well with the “Smart Club Recognition” but it was simple to select the right one, or even edit post practice if I forgot  (I usually work through my bag with all even or odd clubs so it’s pretty clear when I changed based on the numbers.  
    Compared to my old way of playing at the range I didn’t really change much.  I normally will use my rangefinder to get the distances to flags or markers and go from there.  One thing I did do differently with the MLM is set up in line with the middle of the range which has a 100 yard marker.  Then I would try to hit all my balls over that flag to get the distance as I was warming up, which was great with the unit for tracking accuracy and distance, then get to my target practice in the second part of my practice. 
    However, I did run into some issues/limitations with the MLM while out on the range.  The unit does not like high contrast situations.  At one of my practice sessions it was hot and humid, and I was able to hit in a covered bay to keep myself, and the MLM a little cooler.  However the MLM failed to capture probably close to 25-30% of swings that session as the ball was starting in the shade and jumping out into a bright clear sunny day.  The unit was unable to track this so it must be using both its radar and your mobile phone to track and lost the ball from transition from shade to sun.
    The unit also did not seem to like my Hybrid very much, missing a noticeable amount of shots with that club, including several that were just straight, medium trajectory, boring shots.  I still can’t quite figure out why, but it was enough to notice the trend.  
    While I can’t say I play better or worse since including this in my practice, my range sessions or definitely more enjoyable.  It’s also fun to use the long-drive feature as @Lacassem and I did.  I recorded that with the intent of creating a video to share with everyone, but it was windy and the audio came out like absolute trash… and my competitor was trash that day too. 😉 
     
    Miscellaneous (7 out of 10 points)
    Speaking of the long drive/closest to the pin built in challenges…. They need to work on the UI for that a bit.  So I’m deducting 2 points.  First,  the results are not saved in your shots or sessions.  When Mark and I completed the long drive challenge we wouldn’t have been able to back and see the totals for each round had I not set up a screen record.  It is not saved in your session, and you cannot review the swings after.  On top of that, there is barely a final page or summary screen at the end.  I’d love to see Longest from each round and longest overall or something with the averages… something more than just our names in first and second and then once the page clears it’s gone forever.  Although that’s probably how Mark wanted it since it was a clean sweep for me.  *Side note: maybe next time you show up for a long drive competition don’t be wearing work boots.*
    Nothing really much to mention otherwise.  Shipping was quick.  We were all hoping to get to try out the coaching feature, but were not able to get access to coaches during the testing period (-2 points) despite our mod’s best efforts (thanks Jamie!).  But we did get a full year of premium from Rapsodo (+1 point).  I may investigate the coaching feature in the Spring, or maybe over the winter if I find some indoor practice time, but with the prices varying wildly from coach to coach I may be better off getting in front of an actual coach the old-fashioned way, face-to-face, so they can see my particular inconsistencies IRL and not just a selection of my best and worst swings. 
    Rapsodo INSIGHTS.  This has some real potential and now that I’ve seen what it is I feel like I can’t un-see the gap that was there before.  Insights in a new AI driven addition to the MLM app that gives you feedback (sort of like strokes-gained) on your practice sessions as a whole.  It takes the MLM from being a “toy” to being a real “tool” that can be used for improvement in my opinion.  Data like left/right misses and distance compared to other golfers of varying skill levels should help you focus your practice much like strokes gained analysis will point out your on-course weaknesses.  I’m excited about this addition and look forward to seeing more added to it for even better practice sessions.  
    Here are some of the summary screens you get with Insights, it really does take the MLM to the next level:



     
    Play it or Trade it? (15 out of 20 points)
    This is a tough question for me to answer.  So I’m going to break it down into a few parts for the unit and the subscription.  I think that the unit is great, and see no reason to not continue using it.  Despite a few challenges with the technology working great my numbers are pretty spot on in aggregate and I think it’s one of the best personal launch monitors out there for its cost.
    When we factor in the annual subscription things get a little less clean for me.  I think $99 per year is a bit much for cloud storage and some expanded analysis.  I also feel that the base level does not include enough storage for the asking price of the unit.  
    Regarding coaching (which is not factored into the score here as I did not test it, but as an aside) the prices vary significantly from instructor to instructor, which you’d see just the same if you were looking at different coaches at a few places near you, but Rapsodo does a good job of having the coaches offer both standalone, lesson packs, or unlimited monthly offerings.  It also looks to have limited slots for coaches which is good, because it gives me the sense that the coaches will have the correct amount of time to dedicate to each student.
    The most natural competitor I can think of to the Rapsodo MLM and other personal launch monitors using this base plus subscription model would be Arccos’s shot tracking system or Shot Scope.  I think both the PLM and On-Course data gathering are both means to the same end of improvement for golfers.  If we take a look at this as a three year investment the MLM will cost you around $800,  While 3 years of Arccos is going to run about half of that.  
    Now I know they are not the same tools, but if someone came to me asking which one they should get FIRST, my answer would be Arccos or Shotscope.  I feel that the on-course data and strokes gained analysis is going to be money better spent for golfers.  However, if you’re like me and already have on-course shot tracking, well, then the Rapsodo MLM is a powerful tool that can partner with your on-course data to help measure improvements during practice.  I hope that in the next few years costs can come down, but the Rapsodo MLM is not high priced compared to some of the other units that it is competing against considering the accuracy of the results. 
     
    Conclusion (TL;DR):
    Rapsodo has an absolute hit with the MLM unit and slick operating iPhone/iPad app.  It works well in most conditions, and if you know where it doesn’t work well you can generally avoid setting it up that way.  I’m not sure there is a more accurate unit available in its price bracket, and while I’d like to see either a reduced annual subscription fee, or more features for the base plan, I can see that Rapsodo is putting the money into R&D as the new INSIGHTS platform is a welcome addition to post-practice analysis.
    Overall, I like it, but I don’t love it.  However I think it will be a very useful tool for my future practice sessions and I’m excited to see if I can improve my game a little bit from the insights analysis and my on-course tracking during normal rounds.  Insights is a massive release for analyzing your practice sessions and I also feel that many of my issues with it can be address via software updates.  I am confident that the folks over at Rapsodo are working hard to stay ahead of the competition with constant improvement and updates.
     
    B. Boston’s Final Score: 83!

     
  25. Like
    goaliewales14 reacted to GregB135 in Rapsodo MLM Launch Monitor   
    Rhapsodo MLM Review: Introduction
    Hello again fellow Golf Spies! 
    I'm excited to get started on another product review with MyGolfSpy, it is always an honor to be selected. 
    My name is Greg, and I live in Tampa Florida, and play the majority of my golf in and around the central Florida region. I first started playing golf in high school after a friend invited me to go play. We borrowed his dad's clubs and off we went. I shot about 120 that day, but on the 17th tee I hit a soaring long draw with the driver and I was hooked, I mean destined, to be a golfer for life. I played as often as I could through the rest of high school and college with a 'set' of clubs I was able to piece together one or two clubs at a time off the sale rack at Sports Authority on a minimum wage pay check.
    After completing the four year ROTC program at UCF (Go Knights) I spent just over 20 years flying KC-135 air  refueling tankers in the Air Force.
     
    During my first year in the AF, I bought my first real set of clubs and began playing golf in earnest. I was mostly self taught and relied on whatever natural athleticism would manage and could usually make it around the course scoring in the low 90's. In my late 30's I finally decided to seek out a coach and take lessons, but the military lifestyle and transient nature of golf instructors made it difficult to stay with any particular coach for very long, but I managed to work my handicap down to about 10 for a while and played pretty consistently in the low 80's.

    After retiring from the Air Force I got to move back home to Tampa where I now work teaching current KC-135 pilots in the flight simulator. I'm able to play or practice golf 2-3 times per week. My current handicap index is around 13, and I'm about to finish my fourth season playing in a local competitive league. See the League Play From the Middle of the Pack 2021 Season thread for my story there.

    I've done several other tests for MyGolfSpy, including Odyssey EXO putter, Ping G410 irons, and Sqairz golf shoes. This is going to be my first 'soft goods' test though so it will be interesting to interact with you all as we put the Rapsodo MLM through it's paces.
    How am I going to approach this testing process?
     Like the other testers, I'm most curious about the Remote Coaching option they have generously added into the test process for us. I have been working with my current coach for about 6 months now, and I feel like my swing is in a pretty good place. I've played pretty consistently the last couple of months. It will be an interesting comparison to see what the remote coach can see and recommend versus the in-person coaching. 
    One cool aspect for this test is my current coach uses an indoor studio with a ForeSight system for full swing lessons. I think I can convince him pretty easily to let me set up the Rhapsodo during a session and get some direct comparison data. 
    I also purchased the ShotScope V3 GPS watch (thanks in large part to the MGS review) for shot and performance tracking. I've also been using the 18 Birdies app for scoring history and track handicap trends along with MyScorecard through the league managing my USGA official handicap. Especially Shot Scope will give me a way to do some side-by-side data comparisons with what the Rapsodo says on the range and the on-course performance data I've gathered through Shot Scope.
    As always, the fun part of these reviews is the interaction with the other testers and all of the readers as we put the product through its paces. Thanks again to MyGolfSpy for this newest opportunity. Really looking forward to getting started, and as always, feel free to ask whatever questions you like along the way, and I will give the best answers that I can.

     
     
    Final Review: 28 November 2021
    Thanks again MGS for another great test/review opportunity. Many of my review centric thoughts were included in the discussion thread, so if you've followed along or scrolled through those comments some of this final review might sound repetitive. Anyway, here goes, and happy holidays!
    First Impressions:  Packaging for the device was simple, compact, and more than enough for protecting the device in transit. One big plus is the compact size. The carry case and device are small enough to carry in or attach to your golf bag for transit to the range. Keeping the charging cord in the carry case made keeping track of that easy, especially in my house where chargers and cords tend to be everywhere. Getting started was easy and intuitive as well. A quick search in the app store, and a couple of clicks in the app itself, some charging time, and I was off and running (well in the car at least) to the range for session number one!
       
     
    Looks and Feel: 8 out of 10 points:  As more of a soft goods product, there really isn't much to looks and feel with regard to the device itself. It's small size makes it easy to use. The device is simple, and I suppose for looks you'd have to say simple is better. I didn't have to spend a bunch of time on the range with it answering 'Hey, what's that?' type of questions, which meant I got to enjoy my range sessions with the device. The interface within the app is simple and intuitive as well, so I didn't have to spend hours figuring out how to access my data or swing videos after a session.
    Setup: 9 out of 15 points:  One of the aspects of the Rapsodo MLM is it's versatility and being able to use it both indoors or outdoors. The less you need to change the ball placement spot, the easier setup winds up being. That makes indoor setup a breeze, since hitting off an indoor mat means you don't need to reposition the ball after several swings or potentially change your target line. Outdoor setup is a little more cumbersome. The app tracks your device's gps postion, so it can recognize you are on the property of 'Golf Club X'. It takes a minute to properly position and orient the device to your spot on the range. Once you've done that, the instructions are pretty spot on with where and how to position the device. A challenge to battle is changing your position relative to the device. If you have to move forward or back a few inches/feet for turf you have to make sure you are in line with the device.
    The MLM itself seems to charge  pretty quickly. Even after sitting unused for several days, it lasted at least through a range session with as little as 15 minutes of charging time. If it has a battery level indicator anywhere other than the LED on the front of the device changing color, then it was somewhere I didn't notice it.
    One thing of note here was needing to give the device a little shade to operate in. Several of my sessions here in Florida were in full sun and warm temperatures. On days like that, the device tended to overheat pretty quickly, whether it was my phone or the device itself, left exposed 20-25 minutes was about all the session time I could get out of it before needing to let it cool down a bit and start a new session. Giving it some shade by using the umbrella on my push cart usually got me to 45-60 minutes before the device would drop offline.
    Accuracy 13 out of 15 points:  Considering the size of the device, and the fact it is using radar to capture two different, simultaneous data points (club speed, ball speed) the Rapsodo MLM was pretty accurate. For outdoor sessions I made sure to laser capture the target posts on the range to give me a gauge for estimating shot distance to compare. Indoors, I had the opportunity to use it side-by-side with my coach's Trackman system and the distance numbers were pretty close to the same.
    Indoors has some limitations on the output though. It seemed like the more of the ball flight the camera was able to capture, the better the 'Shot Type' description turned out. Hitting indoors or into a net, the short ball flight tended to come back with almost every shot being called 'Straight'. Outdoors, with the camera interface seeing the entire ball flight it was much more accurate identifying Pull/Hook/Draw/Fade etc. 
    Keep in mind, the only real data points you get are club head speed at impact, and ball speed at launch. The rest of the distance is the device doing math that we don't want to. You do get the depiction of ball flight on outdoor sessions, and since ball flight is king, that is a big benefit with this device. If you are looking for more advanced club related data like attack angle, face angle, path and such, you're out of luck. And if you are a 'spin nerd' then  you are left out completely.

    On Course 20 of 30 points: The Rapsodo MLM is not really designed or intended for on course use. That being said, I did have the opportunity to take it out onto the course on a slow day and see what I could get out of it. Of course, you have to have the time to go through the setup process before any shots you want to record on the course. The data again was accurate relative to the comparison, which on-course for me was ShotScope v3. I did like getting to see a video replay of a couple of good shots though. 

    On the range though, where it is intended to be used, it is easy to set up, even if it's not necessarily quick. It provides good, useful launch data and it's nice and portable so you don't have to take a whole bunch of extra stuff with you to the range to use it.
    Miscellaneous 7 out of 10  points: It feels like there is a lot more to cover in the Miscellaneous category for the Rapsodo MLM when you start looking into the extra little features in the app. 
    One that most of the testers were keen to investigate was the Coach Connect feature. Once I looked into this in the app, I decided it wasn't really for me. Living where I do, I have year round access to coaches I can see in person that are within close proximity to my house. For players who live in remote areas without a lot of golf course options or quality coaches close enough, then the Coach Connect feature can get you in touch with a coach. There are a lot of coaches in the Rapsodo system, but price depends on which coach you choose. Then you have to take video recordings of you swing/s to send them and wait for their feedback and drill recommendations. 
     
    Other in-app features were the remote Long Drive and Close to Pin contests. I'll admit, those didn't seem inviting enough to me to try. Take note though, those in-app contests do offer prizes to the winners, of course you have to be a subscription member to participate.
    A feature added later into our testing process was the Insights feature. So each recorded session gives premium subscription members an option to get robot analysis of their practice session. It uses some algorithms to compare your recorded session to other players of your handicap level to suggest where you are better or worse than average on some performance parameters, and gives a suggestion on where to work to improve. It seems pretty intuitive and accurate with the analysis, but it goes by every shot in the session, including any drill swings or outlier swings you recorded.
     
    One helpful little feature is the club recognition for outdoor sessions. It is, so far, not available on indoor sessions, but outdoors, if you hold an iron in front of the camera for a few seconds, it will automatically change the club in the session. I found that it works about 80% of the time, and is more accurate recognizing irons versus driver etc. 
    I especially liked the headphone compatibility option. If you have Bluetooth compatible headphones connected while you use it, you get audio feedback after each shot with ball speed, launch angle and distance. You can also listen to your range tunes at the same time. I didn't notice any detriment to the device function life with that over the sessions where I went without the headphones.
    As other reviewers have mentioned, the camera field of view can be a serious limiting factor if you are looking for reviewable video of your swing. With long clubs the hands and forearms tend to get cut out of the frame at the top of the backswing unless you more significantly further from the device. When you do that though, the data accuracy tends to get degraded. Same applies with indoor use. You may not have sufficient room in front of the MLM to get the entire swing in the frame. It's designed to capture the launch data though, and it does a good job of that.
    Play It or Trade It - 10 out of 20 points: I went middle of the road here because my jury is still out on what I plan to do with this long term. The folks at Rapsodo were more than generous with our test group and set us each up with a one year premium subscription. I'm going to wait and see what comes down the pike as far as additional features or upgrades. There is also the fact that this is a rapidly growing segment of the golf gadget market and there are likely to be more options to choose from in the not too distant future. For now it stays, and I'll continue to use it during my league off season to help steer me toward where to focus my lessons and practice.
    Conclusion: The Rapsodo MLM is not a device for every golfer out there. As I mentioned in the discussion thread, if you are a competitive golfer or are seriously trying to improve your game, then it is a wallet friendly option as a personal launch monitor compared to it's high priced big brothers used by professional coaches and teachers and club fitters. Other than saying "I have this really cool gadget I use on the range" there really isn't much utility in it for a purely recreational golfer. It's got enough useful data you can verify your club gapping. If you are working on swing changes, ball flight is where it's at, and this is a very good ball flight monitor. As far as capturing video of the swing, well, the device is what it is. It is a Launch Monitor, and it does a good job of giving you the basic launch data you need - Club Speed, Ball Speed, Smash Factor, Launch Angle and doing the math on all that, an accurate distance. 
    Final Score: 67 / 100 points


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