Pros: Ease of use, Drills
Cons: Currently only for iPhone/iPod touch
The Golf MTRx iPhone (or iPod touch) app is a very easy to use training aid. I was given the opportunity to try this out for the first time at the range the other day and I am really intrigued by it. This program measures your hips during the golf swing and compares and analyzes the results, all right on your iPhone. The idea behind the program is that you record your swings, save them with as much (or little) information as you'd like, analyze your swing based on four variables, and then improve your game with swing-specific drills and exercises. And the best part is that the app takes care of all of those steps for you ... there is no guesswork.
Here's how it works: After you open the application, (it will automatically create a profile for you upon download to your device, so even that part's taken care of) simply press the "start recording" button, then tuck the phone snugly into your belt, or a case around your waist, and start practicing. You have to be still for a second or so prior to starting each swing, and it will record the entire swing from start to finish. It records your hips to the top of the backswing, impact, and through to the finish. It also gives you scores in four categories (Acceleration, Peak Time, Deceleration, and Speed) and compares them to PGA Tour pro averages. You also receive an overall average score as a percentage of that PGA Tour average.
Once you have recorded a few swings, you can label them, by grading your contact from 1 to 4 stars, recording the ball flight, labeling the club, and adding any notes you like. You can also save your better swings as favorites, and your best swings as your "baseline." Next, you are able to play back your swings as you like and analyze the data if you know what you are looking for. If, like me, you aren't quite as knowledgable about the golf swing as you'd like, then that is OK too. Pick any swing you'd like, or the average, go to the "improve your game" page and it will suggest drills for you based on your deficiencies on that particular swing. Another cool feature (which I have yet to try) is that you can create several profiles and organize your swings that way. For example, you can create a profile for each club in your bag, create profiles for different shot shapes, or shot types, or whatever you feel like.
As far as drawbacks, I can't think of any. My first question was about the App's founder. If I am going to take swing advice from my phone, I need to know that the person supplying said advice knows what they are talking about. A quick look at their website (zerolinegolf.com) will tell you that the founder is also a co-founder of the San Diego Golf Institute, where I have taken lessons (5SK) in the recent past. Now I have the peace of mind that I won't be steered wrong.
The only other drawback ... the app is limited to information about your hips. Obviously, it has no idea what's going on with your arms and hands during the swing, so this isn't a cure-all, but it certainly is a helpful step in the right direction!
Here are a few sample screenshots from my phone:
I would definitely this application to anybody that is serious about learning more about their swing and improving their game!