Georgina Hirst

The Bal.On Smart Kit is something in the golf training aid world that we’ve never seen before!

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

Using AI technology and sensors in your golf shoes, the Bal.On app analyses your swing and suggests training drills to strengthen the weaker points it finds.

I tried the Bal.On kit during my practice sessions over a month, to see what kind of impact it could have on improving my game.

Who Is It Aimed At?

The Bal.On Smart Kit is set out to act almost as a digital golf coach, giving golfers immediate feedback from their shots, while explaining each element of the swing and what we should all be aiming to see in certain metrics. This makes it the ideal training aid for any golfer looking to improve their swing and understand each section of it in more detail.

The Bal.On kit has also been designed so that professionals can use it as part of their coaching sessions to add another level of analysis.

The Tech

The Smart Kit is based around biomechanics and uses smart insoles to capture data on foot pressure during the swing, with golfers given feedback on every shot they record using seven different metrics: pressure distribution at address, during backswing and at impact, rhythm, maximum pressure, timing, and transition from backswing to downswing.

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

Bal.On users are then given access to specific drills based on their individual patterns thanks to the app's own AI coach.

The Smart Kit consists of two pressure-sensitive insoles, Smart Pods, and the smartphone app.

In order to get an analysis of your swing, you need to download the Bal.On app and set your phone up on a tripod to record you hitting the shot.

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

You do this while wearing the shoe sensors that connect to the app via Bluetooth, and the AI then combines data from your swing video and the pressure distribution to highlight your weak points.

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Bal.On Smart Kit Review

The Positives

Setting the equipment up was very simple, and I didn't have any issues getting the sensors connected to the app. To use the equipment, you need an account on the app, which meant one pack can work for multiple people which was a huge positive, as everyone who saw me using the Smart Kit wanting to try it out themselves!

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

When the AI works, you get very quick feedback and simple drills to improve. The app rates different elements of your swing out of 100, so it’s very easy to see where you need to focus your time on to improve, as well as tracking your scores to show progress you’re making over time.

Very cleverly the box that the sensors come in double up as a very simple tripod if you don’t have a proper one! You can then set your phone up so that you can see the pressure heatmap as you swing, which can be great to help give an extra layer of feedback and help you practice getting the right weight distribution at different points in the swing.

After every swing video, you get a lot of feedback, with real time heatmaps, pressure graphs and each metric split into ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’. I really don’t think you could ask for much more information back on your swing.

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

Something I was impressed with, was that for each metric the app has a short explanation of them in case you’re unsure of what they actually mean.

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

I also liked that Bal.On have split them up to allow new golfers to focus on the basics, while giving more advanced golfers insights into the more advanced sections of the swing.

The Negatives

Because the app gives you so much information, I feel like you could sit and spend hours working through and trying to digest everything it gives you. It would be very easy to get very far down the rabbit hole of swing analytics with the Bal.On feedback, which some people will love, but for me I did find it slightly overwhelming at times.

If you’re not someone who’s used to looking at and analysing your swing, you will need to spend a bit of time understanding it and the areas you’re working on to get the most out of the kit. Luckily, Bal.On does have a website and there’s of course tons of information available online – so if you’re keen to spend a few hours studying the details of the perfect golf swing, you’ll be absolutely fine!

Something I struggled with using the app is that it does require a strong network connection to work fully, which isn’t something that’s always available at some driving ranges. This did become frustrating for me, as it meant the app worked a little bit slowly at times, but there isn’t much you can do about this.

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

The main issue I had is that the AI can sometimes get slightly confused in picking up your swing, and so I had to go back in and manually fix the position of the takeaway, top of the backswing, impact, and finish.

This takes a bit of time and became tedious when my internet connection was weak, and my changes weren’t saving. It also took me about 3 sessions to work out this was happening, as I was getting some awful scores for my rhythm (the metric that matches the time of your backswing to the downswing) since the AI thought I was starting my swing a lot earlier than I was.

After getting 0/100 in rhythm even on some very solid shots, I decided something had to be wrong and that’s when I realised the issues with Ai picking up sections of your swing. I think its important to note this as a potential issue people might run in using the kit, as there’s a very simple solution, however I think some golfers who are less experienced in coaching and swing dynamics might just accept the zero score, which of course is very demotivating!

Bal.On Smart Kit Verdict

So, does it work?

Given that I was testing this out during winter, its hard to say if I saw any significant improvement in my game over the one month. I can say however that I do have a much better understanding of my own swing and the different positions and metrics used to measure it.

Since Bal.On gives you a lot of drills to work with, I wasn’t always hitting my best shots during the training sessions, which is to be expected, however I did feel as though the golf I played around using the Smart Kit was really solid.

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

The most exciting thing about the Bal.On kit is the potential it has over such a range of golfers and abilities. There’s a lot of scope with the kit if you know what you’re looking out for. Currently, the analysis only compares your swing to one standard, but if Bal.On could start to build a training academy of what pressures and metrics to look for with different shot types, that could be even more of a game changer.

At just under £600, the Smart Kit is certainly an investment, but that could be the same as the cost of maybe 10 coaching sessions with a professional. If you’re willing to put some time in to understand the feedback Bal.On gives you, I think this could be of even more value than those 10 coaching sessions.

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

Especially if you’re around a few keen golfers, if you have a family or you’re a couple who would use this then it makes it very good value for money when looking at the bigger picture. I personally think it’s an amazing training aid for golfers wanting to improve their game, and I’ll be continuing to use it in my training sessions to see what things I can work on with it!

Bal.On Smart Kit Pros and Cons

Bal.On Smart Kit Review

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars


Bal.On Smart Kit Golf Practice Aid

Bal.On Smart Kit Golf Practice Aid - Product Details

UK Launch RRP£549
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