A few months back Ping released a app (iPing) to give you putting feedback. It is available as a FREE download for iPhone (4 and above), iPod Touch (iOS 5 required) or Android (Samsung Galaxy 3, Note 2).
To go along with this app you need a cradle which attaches the phone to the club. This retails for $14.99-$19.99. I simply attached the phone to the putter shaft with some rubber bands. You can also get creative and create your own cradle. You just need a shaft clamp/ clip and a spare hard phone case (you can buy on eBay for less than $2). You simply just superglue the clip onto the back of the case and voila!
The app is really simple to use. Basically you can view a bunch of stats about your putting, which is determined from the gyro’s in your cell phone. The main three stats given are; Stroke Type (whether you pull the putter straight back and through, if you have an arc on your swing etc), Impact angle (whether the putter head straight at impact) and Tempo (follow through after impact, i.e. perfect would be 2:1. Meaning you swing though double the distance, of what the back-swing was). After each swing the stats will appear on the cell phone screen for you to see. There are also a number of advanced stats which you can also monitor.
There are some additional features also. You can view and compare your putting stats to Ping PGA Pro’s. You can also do a “fit” where the app will recommend Ping putters which suit your swing. In addition you can save sessions and compare to previous.
I found the app a great tool – especially so as it is totally free! I practiced inside my house using my SKLZ putting mat (review is posted here). I always thought that I was pulling the putter back and through in a straight line. However I discovered I had a 10 degree arc (strong arc). The following day I went to my local golf store and tried a putter which was marked as ideal for a player having a strong arc. It was the Ping ZB S TR. I could not believe it. The putter felt great and 5 of my 10 10ft putts went in the hole. With the other putters I found the balls were going right. This made sense as the strong arc putters are weighted in a way that helps the face of the club to swing around towards center at impact.
I found iPing worked better on the iPhone than the Note 2. Simply because the iPhone is smaller and lighter weight. The Note was a little unwieldy when trying to fasten onto the putter. I did find a glitch when using the Note. I found I could practice fine and the putts were instantly read; but if I tried the Measure or Fit function it would not read any of the 5 putts. I think this could be as I had the cell phone attached to the club with rubber bands and not secure in a cradle.
Overall this is a really fun and useful gadget. The main use for me would be to check that the face of the putter is straight at impact. As it is free tool I highly recommend downloading it if you have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. I would say that iPing is probably the best app I have downloaded on my phone in the past couple of years.
I am interested to hear your feedback. If you have any questions or thoughts on the product please post them in the comment box below.