Within golf the advances in smartphone & tablet technology has brought swing measurement to the masses and Zepp golf were one of the first to exploit this with the original Zepp Golf Swing Analyser.
In my experience, evaluating the success of these devices come in two parts. How easy and accurately they collect the data and then what do they do with it to add value to your game.
The data collection part is pretty straightforward and with the advent of Bluetooth this is very easy whichever type of device you have.
The second generation Zepp 2 sensor is slightly smaller and a more compact shape than its predecessor, but it now uses Bluetooth LE for easy connection and this it does very well.
The lightweight circular device is charged via a supplied USB cable and after being turned on, has an automatic cut out after 15 minutes of inactivity. Waking it up again just requires a click of the power button and everything reconnects without fuss.
The Zepp 2 is secured firmly into the black alloy mount by rotating it 90° and uses a clip on the back to slip onto the Velcro closure on your golf glove.
Once it is on your glove you hardly know it is there and after you have calibrated it by taking your stance for a few seconds, it is ready to collect swing data and pass it wirelessly to the Zepp app on your iOS or Android device.
Swings are recorded automatically and the Zepp is able to differentiate between a practice swing and the real thing so only impacts are recorded. Maybe it picks up on the extra aggression, but either way you get a notification sound that the app has recorded a swing after impact. You can then either stop and look at the results or just keeping swing to build up a database of shots.
If you are using a smartphone as your device then you can also put that in your front pocket to measure your hip turn, but the accuracy will depend in part on how big your pockets are. Too small and you won’t get it in, too big and the phone may not move with your hips.
For each swing you can see your club, hand and swing plane movements shown on the left hand screen below, which can also be rotated 360° to view it from the front, back, side or above.
The stats screen shows all the other relevant data and colour codes it as green/yellow/red for good/not so good/bad.
You set your own goals for each measurement and when you tap on one of them you get an overview definition video and then a video tip improve it.
Some of the videos are the same as before, but the content is still valid. However, what the latest version of the app does better is link the information and coaching to the stats in your swing.
If you are not sure where to start then the app will analyse your swing and recommend one of several Plans that feature video from Keegan Bradley and Michelle Wie amongst others.
This is all a lot more coherent than before and even if you don't have the Zepp 2 sensor, you can still download the app to see and work on these Plans.
There is also a feature to compare your swings against each other, or one of the Zepp tour players if you are brave enough to do so. I would start with Michelle if I were you...
You can also include video analysis of your swing and with the automatic setting the sensor tells your device when you are swinging and it records hands free. This is a godsend if you don't have anyone to hold the camera for you and would work well with the Focal Golf Smartphone Holder
As Bluetooth swing sensors go, the Zepp 2 is probably one of the best out there because it is reasonably priced, light and easy to use. Being attached to your glove rather than the shaft means that it is easy to switch between clubs and even use in practice rounds to see if you are taking your new moves from the range to the course.
Whether every measurement is an accurate reflection of reality I am not 100% convinced as I have been in some pretty hi-tech swing studios with laser sensors and body suits and even they could not always follow my limbs and club flailing around in space. However unless you have a big building and a huge wad of cash, then you are never going to have one of these facilities to yourself.
The Zepp 2 is obviously more affordable and offers a degree of personal swing measurement when you could never have had it before. It tracks the hand movement and therefore things like where they go and their tempo are probably some of the more useful numbers. As with all personal measurement devices, it could be better to focus on the change in the numbers over time rather than the numbers themselves.
For instance, if you consistently have one number for a given measurement and then you change something and get a different number you can repeat, then you have some proof that the change you were trying to make has been done. Do this in conjunction with a coach and you have a tool that will help you repeat what was shown to you in a lesson when you are back on your own range practising.
Overall the Zepp Golf 2 system is a useful, informative and fun system with a good use of video tips, which will give your practice a focus whether you are a beginner or a better player.