Hi guys. I have been using the iPING app for a while now and I would just like to share my experiences with you lot. Like many golfers, I feel like putting is my biggest weakness and I use a PING Pal 1 putter. Yes, it's a very old putter but one that I enjoy using and it fits my eye perfectly. This putter is also fairly unforgiving when not struck well.
Clearly, the major question regarding the iPING app is whether the weight of the iPhone + the iPing cradle would alter your "actual" stroke. I would like to think not as it is difficult to determine if it can indeed alter your putting stroke but of course, you would definitely feel the difference between having them on there whilst you're using the app as opposed to without them. However, what we all need to realize is that the sole focus of this app is in my view, "To determine your stroke pattern, impact angle and tempo on each putt you've struck (based on 10ft putts) and to promote consistency in every one of those aspects" at a very reasonable price or $0*will come back to this*. It works like a launch monitor for your putting stroke :D
This app has allowed me to practice whilst knowing what exactly took place after I've struck a putt. That for me, is very crucial as putting, like many great putters have said, should be ruled by feel. So for me personally, it is great to finally know categorically and in numerical value as well as having some kinda point of reference as to what a good or poor putt feels like. For instance, *note, i have a slight arc in my putting stroke* my tendencies are
1. I feel like I can get a bit too quick in my forward swing and would usually pull it into my stroke path which will cause my putts to pull off line as soon as it leaves the putter face
2. I feel like I'm not letting the putter head to release slightly which will cause my face angle to stray open at impact which would lead to putts pushed/non solid putts/side spins imparted on the ball; all of which are dependent on the forward swing path but equally detrimental in having a consistent, reliable putting stroke.
This app assists in confirming these "feels" that I have and project them in numerical value and categories; over time, if you're a problematic putter like how I used to be, you will notice that these features of the iPing app will assist you in learning a little bit more about your putting stroke and determine some of the causes for a pulled/pushed putts, non solid putts and putts that strayed off line.
We all know that no one has a perfect putting stroke with a 0 deg of face impact angle every single time etc.etc. but what all great putters have in common is the ability to execute their putts with great consistency. The greatest putters have
1. a very tight and consistent stroke pattern, be it Straight back and through *eg.Steve Stricker*, Slight Arc *majority of and many great putters* or Strong Arc*not many I reckon
2. A consistent impact angle
3. A highly consistent tempo (the greatest contributor to speed).
Over time and with practice, I've noticed that my consistency with regards to all of the above have increased tremendously. I have always had a reasonably good tempo but I now have a tighter stroke pattern and a far more consistent impact angle with an iPing PHcp of 1.8 *down from 18.6 when I first started(lol).
So what happens when I detach the iPing and bring out my actual puttting stroke on the course? My verdict is that it has definitely improved my putting especially the percentage of putts that I've hit where I wanted it to start! I now have a far more consistent putting stroke than before and I'm able to commit to my lines better without having thoughts in my head about my stroke and so on. I am also striking my putts far more solid and in the center of the putter face with greater consistency. It has certainly put some worries away for now and hopefully, for good. On the weight of the iphone and cradle: I feel like it has worked a bit like a weighted club for my putting and it has done more good than harm, really. If anything, it was fairly useful in getting the big muscles to learn to know the swing path my putter needs to be on each time.
Just a point worth noting: remember to always keep your grip pressure light with or without the iPhone and iPING Cradle on. It is definitely the key. Bear in mind, good putting is also about having good alignment, having the ability to read putts and striking putts at the right speed. But, without a consistent putting stroke, a good alignment and great reads of putts are sure to be of no or little value. Under pressure, a good consistent putting stroke will also prove to be reliable.
On the $0 option, I have custom built a homemade iPing cradle using an old iPhone cover and some kinda old golf clubs holder *one where you put on your staff bag to hold your clubs in one place. I basically took a portion of it and glued the phone cover to it. I think with a bit of creativity and imagination, you too could build one yourself. The 30 dollars iPing Cradle is also a very reasonable option imo.
I read that some call iPing a gimmick by PING. It certainly is NOT. It improved my putting stroke and what it can't do is to worsen yours.
P/s: Am I a PING fanboy for using a PING Putter and now iPing? Certainly not as all of my other clubs aren't by PING. :D