The Good: There are a lot of positives about this product... It's simple to use, affordable, makes practice more fun/interesting, allows for meaningful practice away from the golf course, provides consistent readings, instant feedback taking some of the guess work out of the improvement process, does not provide too much information to the player, keeps track of averages so golfer can track improvement over time.
The Bad: Players who get too focused on number readings can actually get themselves into bad habits if they are not careful. This is not a negative of the actual product, but rather something that users should be wary of in order to ensure they get the most out of the device.
The Bottom Line: This is a great product that is fun to use, and can greatly enhance one’s practice. The Swing Caddie provides instant feedback allowing a golfer to track the improvement of their golf swing. The device provides golfers with swing speed, ball speed, smash factor and carry distance for each shot. With settings such as random and target, it provides versatile means to work on improving the mechanics of your swing, as well as distance control. You can spend thousands of dollars on launch monitors that will provide you with a ton of information that will only confuse most golfers, or you can spend less than $300 for this chic device which efficiently provides you with valuable information for improving your game.
Why Swing Caddie?
Golf is becoming a numbers game. You don’t have to dig too deep on the PGA Tour website to find an incredible variety of stats. In order to gain a competitive edge, pros are analyzing every conceivable angle of their games in order to find any means of shedding fractions of strokes off of their games. The work on their swings are no different. Technology now allows players to use quantitative data to track the efficiency of their golf swings. Devices which provide players with such data can cost thousands of dollars, for they are very intricate systems which provide a ton of information to the player.
The average amateur can also benefit from such systems, but I would argue that it isn’t necessary to spend thousands of dollars to do so. The Swing Caddie, developed by the Voice Caddie organization, provides golfers with information needed to improve their golf swings, all for less than $300.
The Swing Caddie provides players with swing speed, ball speed, smash factor and carry distance for each shot. These are the major factors which shed light on how efficient your swing is as a whole. In order to develop an efficient golf swing, a player must be making consistently solid contact with the golf ball (smash factor) and doing so with as much speed through the hitting zone as they can while staying in proper balance (swing speed, ball speed). These are factors to focus on if you want to hit consistent golf shots which have consistent carry distances. The Swing Caddie provides you with immediate feedback for each golf swing so that you can track your current abilities, as well as your improvement in the areas mentioned. It enhances your practice sessions and prevents against simply sitting on the range and beating balls, hoping that you may eventually improve.
Simple to use
One might think that a device like this could take time to learn how to use effectively, but this isn’t the case. The Voice Caddie comes with instructions which are detailed, but short and to the point. It does not take long to become very comfortable using the device in practice. I myself put off taking it to the range because I thought that I didn’t have time to learn how to use it. I felt a little foolish once I stopped procrastinating and came to realize how user friendly it was.
Making practice fun
Many golfers don’t enjoy practice. This can be for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they find beating balls mind-numbing and/or they don’t really know how to work on the things they need to. This device seeks to address these issues. Not only is it fun to be able to look back after each swing and see how hard you just swung and how far your golf ball carried, but it also contains settings that allow you to “play” while practicing.
The device’s three settings are: Practice, Target & Random. Practice allows you to simply hit shots and look at your readings for each one. Target allows you to choose a club and distance that you want to practice, and hit shots to work on consistently hitting your mark. Random is similar to target, except for the fact that it provides you with a different distance for each shot. The Random setting is a tremendous way to practice, for it creates practice sessions which resemble actual golf rounds, and research is beginning to show that this is the most efficient way to practice. The device also tracks your performance and keeps a score for you when you choose to practice under the Target and Random settings. It can also track progress over time so that you can keep track of your improvement.
Be smart In using this device it is important to remember that the stats provided for each shot are meant to be used to help you improve your golf game. Stats can be a distraction for some players. Many golfers struggle with slowing down their golf swings in order to develop greater consistency. Players such as these could get themselves into bad habits while using the Swing Caddie. If they are not careful they can begin to get obsessed with the idea of getting their swing speed and carry distances higher and higher without a proper focus on sending the golf ball consistently toward their target. With this said, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The Swing Caddie can absolutely be used for individuals who simply want to have fun at the driving range hitting the ball as hard as they can. However, for those who are using the device as a means of improving their game, it is important to be mindful of the distractions stats may cause if you aren’t careful. This is not a criticism of the device, but rather a reality that should be respected in order to get the most out of the product.
Not only for the range
An added bonus with this device is that you don’t actually have to be at a driving range in order to enjoy it. The Swing Caddie can be used indoors or outdoors, at home or at work as long as you have a hitting net and enough room to swing. While you will not be able to see your ball flight, you will be able to examine your readings.
The Swing Caddie is a wonderful option for anyone looking to improve their golf swing, and to do so in a way that makes the process more fun. It provides you with very meaningful data that you can use to track your progress, will cost you a small fraction of what other launch monitors cost, and the fact that it is about the size of a cell phone, makes it very convenient to transport to wherever your next practice session may be.
About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our 'product review' section. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
Our goal with all product reviews is to provide an unbiasted look at various golf products, what we like, what we didn't like etc. All opinions are those of the author and not necessarily the official opinion of Eat Sleep Golf.