Training aids over the past several years have become increasingly interesting to say the least. Thanks most in part to this little thing called technology. Being the gadget guru that I am, or more realistically – a technology junkie, I was thrilled when I found out that I was going to be the lucky one who got to review the two training aids from 3Bays; the GSA Pro and the GSA Putt.
As much as I would like to go to one of the few places in town that has a legit launch monitor, the truth is that those facilities are intended for club-fittings, not for the guy who is looking for some helpful information. I could literally spend hours inside a fitting stall, hitting ball after ball, reviewing my stats. But no one will let me!
With the GSA Pro from 3Bays you’ll no longer need to “pretend” that you’re interested in a new club at the golf store just to get some time on a launch monitor, they’ve taken technology and gadgetry to a new level. And in doing so, they’ve brought the fitting stall to you.
The GSA Pro is a small lightweight device (weighing only 9.8g) that easily fits into the end of your club and records the data from your swing.
Using an advanced 3-axis accelerometer and gyroscope sensors the GSA Pro digitizes your swing motion, creating 10,000 data points, which may vary depending on clubhead speed. Within the tiny capsule the information gathered is then sent via Bluetooth to your smart phone or tablet (iOS or Android) and the results of the swings are displayed brilliantly on your device.
The amount of information that is recorded is outstanding, here’s a rundown.
Consistency, Club Head Speed, Tempo (up:down), Impact Force, Backswing Time, Ball Speed, Downswing Time, Carry Distance, Face Angle and Swing Path.
Along with all of the information above you also get an animated view of the path the club head traveled. Making that feature even more usable is the ability to switch from a face on view to a down the line view. The slider feature for the animation playback is very handy; you can slow the swing down, back it up or stop it at any point.
Pairing the phone to your device is a breeze and takes just a few minutes. Once the unit is paired and you’re ready to take a swing, that’s all you have to do, take a swing. The GSA Pro takes Care of everything else and in less than 5 seconds the information is ready for review on your device.
What makes the GSA Pro an even more effective training aid is the “Best Swing” feature. You can select any one of the swings you have made and label it “Best Swing”. GSA Pro then compares all the other swings you have made to your best swings and gives you a consistency percentage. The comparison is shown in two contrasting color paths in the animation which makes the analysis very simple.
The GSA Pro also allows the tracking of different clubs. You can switch from your driver to an iron or a wedge and the GSA Pro will keep all the stats for each individual club you choose. That makes the review of a specific club or your progress with that club very simple. The information is stored by the date of the swings, and going to any specific swing on any certain day is easily done.
Like most training tools there is a reason why you use it, and what I have determined over the past couple of weeks while testing the GSA Pro is that it’s all about consistency and who doesn’t want a more consistent swing, right?
A new feature that 3Bays recently added with their latest update was the ability to record live video. Big deal, right . . . well actually it is! What makes their version so unique is how they have paired the video with the swing data. Just set up your device to record like you would any other video recording app, select the auto record button and begin your session. After you’re finished you can go back and look at anyone of the swings just like you normally would but now there is a play button as well. Tap the button and the player opens up where you can view the video of that swing. Not having to fast forward through multiple swings to get to a specific one is brilliant.
This upgrade was a suprise and I’m glad they have included it. With all the information the GSA Pro provides now having the ability to record video and see the data is remarkable.
I can’t say that I’d recommend this device for someone just picking up the game, there is a ton of information and it might be an overload for someone not familiar with the golf swing. But, for someone like myself who just reached a 15hdcp, I love how I can review each swing, see where those swings compare to my best swing I have saved and build on developing a more consistent stroke.
Obviously, the full swing is just one part of the golf game which is why the sister product, GSA Putt, is the logical extension to GSA Pro. Utilizing the same technology and interface, GSA Putt, gives players all of the critical data to understand and improve their putting stroke. To me, this really sets 3 Bays apart from the competitors as it allows them to offer a comprehensive analysis package.
Just like the GSA Pro the GSA Putt fits tightly into the butt end of your putter and is virtually invisible, in fact everything about the GSA Putt is a carbon copy. The difference is the information it provides. Here’s what you’ll get
Consistency, Tempo, Face Angle, Attack Angle, Downswing, Backswing, Impact Speed and a very useful chart that displays the swing path distance on the back swing and the follow through – now that’s a ton of information for a putt.
The GSA Putt also has the same animation that you’ll find on the GSA Pro. With the GSA Putt the animation includes a face on view that shows your attack angle and a view from the top looking down at the putter. Both viewpoints show the current club path and if saved you can view your best swing at the same time.
I spent two night hitting putts on my home putting green using the GSA Putt. I recorded over 200 swings and after those two sessions my consistency percentage is at 92%. That’s miles better than where I started . . . after day one I was in the lower 70% range. Not a very good number. The next day I looked over all the putts from the previous session and determined that my tempo and my face angle at impact were my main problem areas.
That information led to an excellent session on day two and by the end of the night I was hitting putts consistently in the 95% range.
A few days later I played a round and my putting that day was by far the best aspect of my game. Thirty putts for the round and everything was on target. I knew that the time I put in developing a consistent swing had paid off and I have the GSA Putt to thank.
Being able to see that my face angle was the most inconsistent facet of my stroke was an eye opener and really got me focused on fixing the problem.
Consistency is the word of the day when it comes to 3Bays and their GSA Pro and GSA Putt. A good swing is great thing but a consistent great swing is a game changer.
The GSA Pro and GSA Putt retail for $199 each and can be purchased from their site. The apps are a free download and can be found in the Apple App Store and the Android Market.