REVIEW: iPing Putting App

Knowing is half the battle
Putting is really has two parts, the mental and the physical.  1st you need to know the read, the speed, the stroke and the tempo.  2nd you need to execute it as planned.  The iPing putting app helps with at least half of the equation if not more. 

 To start, here is what the app doesn’t do.  It doesn’t tell you your line, the speed of the green, or physically putt it for you.   Everything else when it comes to putting this app can help.
 Ping has always been an innovator on the green.  The original anser style putter is still the most copied icon in putters today.  So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Ping has done it again with its iPing putter app.

 The app itself is free, but the $30 cradle is kind of vital to using it, which can be found at any golf store, or you can order one online from Ping.  If you are really that cheap, I’m sure with a little duct tape you could create one yourself, but why not just get the real thing.  You’ve already spent some good $$ on your iPhone 4 or iPod Touch.

 Once you open the app and lock in the cradle on your putter, there are some simple tutorial videos that are part of the app.  It is worth watching once just to get a feel for how you will be using this app.

 Before I started using the app, I honestly didn’t know much about my putting stroke.  I knew it wasn’t terrible, I am a fairly consistent putter, but I knew there was room for improvement.  With the iPing app I got both those areas addressed.  Ping is able to tap into the power of the Apple products the gyroscope they have inside that can track all the motions in multiple directions.

 There are three main modes in the iPing app:  Practice, Measure, or Compare.  Practice allows you to focus on one specific aspect of your putting.  Tempo, Impact Angle, and Stroke Type.  You can tap any one of those and learn just that part of putting.  You can also compare putters by typing in which putter you are using.  There is also an audio function that allows you to hear a tone on each stroke so you know that it registered with the app.  Tap the play button and away you go, then it will record the putts and spit back some simple information.

 The measure mode is the most useful in my mind for getting a putting handicap.  It is the combination of all 3 factors calculated then into a handicap of how well you will score once you are on the green.  (I think it is pretty accurate too.)  You take 5 balls and put them 10 feet from the hole. Next you attempt to putt each ball into the cup.  The app will measure all 3 aspects, Tempo, Impact Angle and Stroke type.  One of the main goals of the app is not necessarily to change your putting, but to help you understand it and improve your consistency. 

 Once you’ve got that measured, if you choose, you can take that session and compare it with Ping staffers.  You will most likely see how much better they are.  (That is why they do this professionally and we do it for fun)

 What I learned from this app was why I tended to gravitate toward certain putters and why I missed my putts on a certain side.  I learned that I have a strong arc putting stroke that slightly closes at impact.  I also learned I have good tempo.  So after tapping on the question marks in the measure section of the app, I learn that strong arcs like toe hang putters and that being slightly closed is OK as long as it is consistent and I aim accordingly.

 Another feature I really liked is that it made practicing putting fun.  I honestly sometimes get bored practicing putting.  I never get as much out of it as I should, but with the iPing app there is purpose and competition.  I am working hard at lowering my putting handicap.  What is cool is on course you can see a difference after practicing with the app, not after one session, but after about 10 practice sessions, my putting is getting more consistent.

 While the app can’t help you judge tempo, see the line or even make the putt for you, it can teach you about your stroke and offers a fun way to practice consistency of stroke.  Knowing yourself is really half the battle.  For the price, I can’t think of a better putting tool.  (That is if you have an iPhone4 or iPod Touch.)

 For more information: or itunes app

 Quick Hits
+Fun Practice Tool
+Learning your putting stroke
+Grooving your tempo
+Free app and only $30 for cradle

-Works only with iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 4th generation