Zepp Golf 2 review: Is this golf’s smartest wearable?
Before I clipped the Zepp Golf 2 onto my tattered golf glove, I only knew three things for certain about my golf game. First: I’m a 12 handicap. Second: I average at least two rounds of golf a week. Third: I three-putt way too much. It didn’t take long, however, before this tiny circular device was able to deliver a much fuller picture of my strengths and weaknesses – probably more than anyone else at my club. You can nab one of these wearables on Amazon UK for £130 (or Amazon US for $150).
The Zepp Golf 2 is a tool that should interest every golfer. This tiny device breaks down the mechanics of your swing into six different measurements: club speed, club plane, hand plane, hand speed, backswing position and tempo, and – once you’ve paired it with your smartphone – it can give you instant feedback, plus the ability to watch a 3D replay of each and every stroke.
The attachment measures 25.4 x 25.4 x 12.3mm and weighs 6.25g. It’s roughly the same size as three 10p coins stacked on top of one another, and once you clip it onto your golf glove you immediately forget it’s there. That’s important since you don’t want any distractions as you attempt to concentrate on improving how you strike that ball.
A few hits later and you’re ready to review your data. This is a huge moment. Until now, you’ve only got a picture in your head about what you’re doing right and wrong. Good news: there’s not a hint of smugness or pity from the Zepp app. Just cold, hard data on your strengths and your flaws.[gallery:4]
Click on Review and you’re presented with a chronological list of your swings, complete with a date, time and overall swing score, with the ability to drill down into a specific swing where you need it. This is where the app becomes most useful. In front of you now are your stats complete with traffic-light colour code, indicating the elements that are good and bad in your swing. After a quick swipe through my swings, and a top-down look at my session’s general stats, it quickly became obvious that I have two big problems: tempo and club plane.
Noticing that tempo is the only one that’s red (that’s bad, right?), I now want to see where I’m going wrong and what and I can do to improve.[gallery:5]
So what next? After tapping on the tempo score, I’m taken to a new screen that breaks down the score further, providing precise timings for backswing and downswing. This is truly amazing. My backswing in the above screenshot was timed at 0.92sec, with my downswing taking 0.35sec, giving me a tempo ratio of 2.6:1. That’s not good enough, apparently; the app tells me I want to be aiming for 3.0:1.
Zepp Golf 2 review: Swinging into action
Okay, but what does all this mean? Fortunately, the Zepp app has this comprehensively covered, with three further features to help golfers improve. First is a text explanation of exactly what it is you’re aiming for. Next is a video presentation of the fundamentals of tempo and why it’s important. The final aspect is a video tip to help you get there.
I now know that I’m “rushing my backswing” and “not loading it up”, and that a simple drill of counting “one and two” during my swing should help improve consistency. And consistency is, unsurprisingly, where I struggle the most on the golf course.
While we’re on the subject of video playback, it’s worth noting that this is the one area of the app that is a little buggy. Videos often stop halfway through and refuse to play again until you refresh the page. A little annoying, but it’s still better than being transported out of the app to watch it on YouTube.
Here’s an example of what you can expect to see in the app:
Explore the app further and you’ll find a section dedicated to a selection of well-known professional players: Keegan Bradley, Michelle Wie and Brendan Steele. Here, you can take a look at the sort of stats the pros posted when they used the Zepp Golf 2, and view a selection of video tutorials detailing the drills these pros use to improve their game.
There’s one more killer feature, however. As well as using the app to break down your own performance, it’s possible to compare your stats with friends who also have a Zepp, or have set up a profile on yours. And, if you want to feel really bad about your game, you can compare stats with the three professionals mentioned above. In short, Keegan Bradley wipes the floor with me.[gallery:6]
Zepp Golf 2 review: Verdict
If you play golf and are serious about improving your game, the Zepp is a great tool. It takes the complex task of data and performance analysis and makes it incredibly easy to understand and digest.
From just a few swings at the range or in your golf club’s nets, you can gain invaluable insight into what’s going on with your swing’s mechanics, without having to pay your local professional £50 an hour for the privilege. And while a device attached to the back of your hand can’t give you the whole picture, it’s a darned sight better than nothing at all.
In short, this tiny, clever accessory is a must-have for golfers aspiring to achieve a better handicap, and while it might look a tad expensive at first glance, £130 is actually very good value for money.