Best Buy Asks a Veteran PGA Instructor to Test Zepp: Here’s His Grade

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May 14, 2014

Shane KitzmanStaff Writer

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The Zepp is as easy as attaching to your glove, swinging away, and then immediately checking out the detailed aspects of your mechanics on the app.

Mike Barge has helped golfers sweeten their golf swings as the Director of Instruction at Hazeltine National Golf Club – home of the 2016 Ryder Cup – for more than a quarter century.

Golf Digest called him Minnesota’s best teacher six times over and Barge has even been named the state’s PGA Player of the Year, too.

During that time, he has seen a multitude of training aids for golfers. He especially likes those that aren’t clumsy or obstructive, letting golfers take a regular swing. And that’s just one reason why he likes the new Zepp.

Technology’s ability to make life a bit easier every day is hitting the links, thanks to Zepp. It’s a new sports sensor available this week at Best Buy, clipping onto the golfer’s glove and allowing users to analyze and improve their swing via an app on their Android or iOS mobile device.

“It’s like an instructor in your pocket,” Barge said. “It could certainly help students in between seeing their instructor, as soon as they understand the numbers being shown on the app and know what to look for.”

In addition to the golf version, there also are models that analyze baseball and tennis fundamentals.

Wondering if the Zepp is something you should add to your summer wish list?

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Barge shares his three biggest insights:

Immediately after your swing, the Zepp app (available in iOS and Android) gives you instant feedback, including everything from club head speed to the plane of your swing.

So, what did you think of it?

I like it. There all sorts of training aids out there and golfers will always try anything to get better. I’m not big on contraptions and machines, but this is small and extremely portable. You can put it in your pocket. I didn’t feel it when it was on my glove at all during my swing.

How realistic was the app itself?

Love the different angles that you get from it — you can view your swing face-on or down the line. The swing plane is extremely accurate. The fact you can do comparisons of where you are and where you strive to be is great. It can show what you need to do to get better.

Bottom line: Would you recommend it?

It could help everybody. For the beginner, it should be used strictly for looking at your swinging plane. It can help you focus on “Is my club going straight back?” and “Is my swing consistent?” This can benefit everybody.

Zepp is one of many golf tech aids on the market. And many of the following are available at Best Buy:

  • GolfSense is a 3D golf-swing motion sensor system, akin to the Zepp, featuring four precision motion sensors that measure your swing phase, club head speed and more and sends the information to any Apple product.
  • SwingByte works similarly to the Zepp, but attaches to the shaft of your golf club.
  • With the Foursum app you can manage your score, connect, compare and compete with friends.
  • On rain delays, know that you can own and watch a classic like Caddyshack for just $7.99.
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