REVIEW: Golfzon SwingTalk swing analyzer sensor and app

REVIEW: Golfzon SwingTalk swing analyzer sensor and app

There are so many golftech products to screw into the butt end of your grip that you could extend your grip by a yard.

They all do a little something different, but these sensors tend to fall into one of two categories: game-tracking devices, like Arccos and Game Golf, or swing-tracking devices, of which there are about 10 that I know of and probably others that aren't even on my radar.

So, when the folks at Golfzon contacted me about their SwingTalk product, I was a little weary. Another one? What will make this one different? Does it have a better accompanying app?

However, after a very good, insightful experience with the 3Bays GSA putting analyzer, I agreed to give SwingTalk a try, figuring that the experience might help me decide if it's worth having anything at all screwed into the butt end of any of my 14 clubs.

SwingTalk is easy enough to install, just like most products in the category. Charge it up using the accompanying mini-USB charger, then turn it on and pair it to your mobile device -- iOS and Android are good -- using Bluetooth. From there, go to your app store and download the SwingTalk app. Work through the account setup process, which is pretty simple.

Using the sensor and the app is pretty simple, as well. From the home screen, pick Swing Analysis, then, in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, pick the club you're using. Then swing away.

After you complete the swing, the app will give you some basic data on screen, namely the face path at impact, your swing speed and tempo ratio, which measures the time of your backswing compared to your downswing (a 3-to-1 ratio is a good one). If your volume is up, the SwingTalk app will audibly tell you the results so you don't have to stop practicing and look at your phone to see the results. If you'd like, you can dig in to see SwingTalk's full per-swing analysis, or just continue through your session, working through the back and moving the sensor as desired to different clubs.

When you're ready, like with other products, the swing full swing analysis is waiting for you on the app. You can choose to view cursory results by practice date or by club, then go into specific swings for much more data.

The analysis of each individual swing starts with a simulation of it on the app, showing the arc of the backswing in a light blue color and the downswing arc in a darker blue. You can use a slider to move through the full swing, more or less, frame by frame, while hitting five key data points highlighted in the animation: shaft angle at address and impact, how far your hands are from their original starting point at full takeaway and impact, as well your angle in relationship to parallel at the furthest point in your backswing. The graphics are pretty slick and easy to understand.

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Outside of the animation, there are even more details presented as pure numbers. It tells you how far into your downswing you cock your wrists, your face angle relative to address, as well relative to swing path and club path, your attack angle and the difference in your backswing and downswing planes. It's a lot of data to digest, but the app offers explanations of each statistic so that it makes some sense to a novice consuming this information for the first time.

As a data geek, the information in each swing is fascinating. You can spend hour upon narcissitic hour looking at your beautiful -- or terrifying -- swing recreated in digital form.

There's plenty to learn from a product like SwingTalk, but what you do with that information is up to you. Unless you're a well-oiled machine, this kind of data is a great place to start with an instructor. If you're in a groove with your swing, then it's a great occasional check-in.

Other product-app tandems offer different ways to visualize your swing, and, some may do it better for your taste. SkyCaddie, as an example, offers a great app, but you may not like that the tracking device clips to your club shaft instead of installs in your grip.

At $150, the SwingTalk is competitive with other similar products in the market. None of these products are cheap enough that you can buy two or three and figure out the best one for you, but most, like SwingTalk, won't steer you wrong.

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