One of the benefits of the explosion in personal technology is that things become more, well, personal.
In golf there are now a variety of self-fitting and self-teaching sensors linked to apps and personal launch monitors are on their way too.
All of these enable individual golfers to analyse and improve aspects of their games in their own time and at their own pace and the Zepp 3D Golf Swing Analyser is one of these aids.
However, the Zepp is not strictly speaking a new technology as it is from the same people who brought you the GolfSense 3D Montion Swing Sensor, but now it comes in a smaller and lime-ier package.
What you are paying your £129 for is the Zepp sensor, which is a very light 3cm (1.1 inch) wide cube that attaches to your golf glove with the supplied clip.
If you also play tennis or baseball then you can also buy different clips to attach the sensor to a raquet or bat from the Zepp website for a reasonable £8/$10, which makes the Zepp very flexible and cost-effective.
The Zepp sensor is recharged using the supplied USB cable and cradle in under 3 hours and should last up to 8 hours depending on use.
It has dual accelerometers and a 3-axis gyroscope to record your swing and then uses Bluetooth to transfer data to the free Zepp app on your iOS or Android device in real time.
You turn the sensor on by pushing and holding one corner of the cube until the lights come on and the initial set up was quick and easy, so I was able to get swinging right away.
When you start you do have to calibrate the sensor to your chosen club by standing still at address for 3 seconds, but then you are off. After each swing the Zepp app displays facts like tempo, club speed, club plane, hand plane, hand speed, backswing length and, if you put your smartphone in your trailing hip pocket, your hip rotation too.
As with most of these types of sensors and even some of the high end launch monitors, it is hard to know how accurate some of the club data is, but all the swings will be relative to each other. So if you make a change that slows your tempo down or changes your plane from a previous swing then that change is real.
One of the best measurements is the tempo, something I have been working on with my coach and having used these types of devices during lessons to get a benchmark for post-lesson practice, coach agrees that this is probably the best feature.
The other main teaching benefit of the Zepp is the swing plane measurements of your club and hands. At present I am going a little flat on the way back and then over the top on the way down and the Zepp unfortunately illustrates this perfectly. I can even rotate the little 3D figure to weep at it from front, behind, side on and above. Great.
Getting to this screen meant going into the app and clicking Past History > Month > Day > Select Swing, which seemed a lot of clicking to get to the key part of the app which is analysing your swing. However once there you can see everything about each swing and then start to share it socially or compare it to others by clicking the menu button in the bottom right.
Zepp Pro's Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele's swings and data can be downloaded to the app and so I can compare my swing numbers with theirs. I have Keegan on tempo, as I am closer to the ideal 3:1 ratio than him, but given he has me on everything else and major wins, I will have to accept I need to put some work in before I join the Tour.
To help you there are also video lessons from renowned coaches like Rick Smith, so when the Zepp Insights correctly figured out my plane was too flat, I was linked through to the video on the drill to try and improve this, which was all pretty clever. You can also view these videos online through the Zepp site without going through the app if you prefer.
The app also allows you to video your swing and do a split screen comparison with the Pro's or your mates, but you will need someone else to help you as it starts recording as soon as you hit the go button. Even if you have your device perfectly set up behind you, I doubt even Usain Bolt could could hit record and sprint out there and get a swing recorded in time.
That aside you can also set swing goals to give you targets for practice, but again they have to relate to the criteria that the Zepp can measure, so it will be good if you are making a change or just using it occasionally to ensure you are being consistent after saving a swing that you know is ideal as a benchmark.
The swing data syncs up to 2,000 swings to your online account on the internet, so you can have the app installed on several devices and all the data will appear on each device. This is handy if you want to record with your smartphone and then analyse in more detail on a bigger screen tablet. You can't access the data online through a traditional website account on a desktop as there is not that facility, so it has to be through the Zepp app on a compatible device.
The 8g (0.3oz) Zepp is the lightest and probably the easiest of the current Bluetooth sensors to use because it attaches to your glove and you hardly notice it is there. You can change clubs very easily without having to take the sensor off the club, as all you do is select a different club on the app and away you go.
There are a lot of similar Bluetooth measuring devices around these days and really the key differentiator is the app and how it interprets the data.
The App itself is reasonably easy to navigate once you get your head around what everything does, which can take some time. On my iPhone the 'My History' section with all my swing data scrolls off the bottom of the screen and that is where all your swings are stored. This is probably one of the key sections, so I feel it would be better to have that higher up the menu to provide easier access.
Thankfully the app does not try to do too much or give you data overload with 'nice to have' stuff. It just sticks to those main swing measurement areas of plane, tempo and speed, so if that is what you want to measure, then the Zepp Golf Swing Analyser will keep you on the right path.