Yes, we are using the term gear a little loosely here. This is more of a Tech Test. As golf technology advances there are more and more ways of gathering data on your game, and the Shot Vision app is certainly that. There are numerous shot trackers on the market, and most of them are salty to say the least. Even the "mobile" versions can be pricey and a pain to carry around in your already full bag. That's what makes Shot Vision so enticing, it's already in your pocket (as long as you have an iPhone). To be fair, you need to have something to prop your phone up, but if you don't have a fancy phone tripod you can figure out a way to make it work.
Unlike most shot trackers Shot Vision is set up behind you, which is good if you're prone to the shanks and want to avoid destroying your phone. It does have a nice mode that makes sure you have your angle set up perfectly and aren't off kilter before you lock things in. Select your club and you're off and running.
Ease of Use
Once you have the app and phone set up and running there is an audible "ready" announcement and you can start swinging. Our small complaint is that you have to walk behind the phone and bend down to see your numbers and if your tripod covers your screen you probably aren't going to see much until you finish your session and check the overall data. Our large complaint is that the app can struggle to sense shots. Our experience went through streaks. 4-5 shots in a row would be fine, and then 3-4 would go un-recorded. On the whole only 64% of our shots were caught by the app.
The Shot Vision does have a free mode, so truly the cost could be $0.00 if you want it to be. For the price of nothing, you get Ball Speed, Launch Angle, Club Speed, and Spin Rate. Not bad really. If you want Carry distance and total distance you're going to have to break out your wallet. You can either pay monthly at $6.99 ($83.88 annual) or ante up for a year for $41.99 (50% discount). Compared with trackers that can cost from $500 to $20,000, the price seems pretty darn good.
For accuracy comparison, we used a Sky Trak that retails for $1,995.00 so the assumption here is that the Sky Trak is the model of accuracy. In our time using the Sky Trak, we don't have any reason to believe that it's not accurate. All numbers referenced here are Shot Vision vs. Sky Trak. Take it with a grain of salt.
Average Variation is as follows
- Carry Distance +5.99%
- Total Distance +2.34%
- Ball Speed +5.41%
- Club Speed +2.14%
- Launch Angle +6.28%
- Spin Rate +33.52%
Overall you can see everything seems to push to the high side, with the Spin Rate being the real outlier. This was even more evident on longer clubs (4 Iron-Driver). Outside the Spin Rate situation, the other numbers get pretty close over the span of many shots. If you're looking at the overall trends (which the app does a great job of pulling together by the individual club) we can see a real value in the data. If you're looking for single shot accuracy, this doesn't seem to be the device for you based on it's shot to shot comparisons:
- Carry Distance -6.3 to 27.3
- Total Distance -18.9 to 28.6
- Ball Speed .2 to 12.9
- Club Speed -13.5 to 9.3
- Launch Angle -1.6 to 2.3
- Spin Rate -6264 to 4734
On the whole, the app is well designed and easy to use. We were impressed by the shot mapping and data collection by club in an easy to find spot. We can see a lot of value in using Shot Vision along with a hitting net for basement or garage practice this winter. For the price, you can get some feedback on your clubs and even get a good idea for mapping on your clubs. If you're looking for high end accuracy and feedback, save up some cash and go for a larger shot tracking unit. The old cliche holds true; you get what you pay for.