Ping Putting Cradle for iPhone 4
The Ping Putting Cradle for iPhone 4 holds an iPhone 4 and clips onto the putter shaft just below the grip to work in conjunction with the iPING app. The iPING app is a free download from the iTunes App Store. After a series of putts, the iPING app records the golfer’s consistency in each area and establishes a Putting Handicap (PHcp), which gets lower as the player improves their consistency, the key to holing more putts.
The iPhone 4 and iPod touch (4th gen) are the only mobile devices that contain both accelerometers and gyroscopes – the key technology features that allow iPING to measure and record data. The accelerometers measure linear acceleration, while the gyroscopes detect rotational speed.
The iPing app analyzes and displays a golfer’s consistency onscreen using three criteria: Stroke Type, Impact Angle and Tempo.
Stroke Type is the classification of a player's closing angle, the amount of rotation of the putter face during the forward stroke. Ping’s research found that golfers can be categorized as one of three stroke types: Straight, Slight Arc, or Strong Arc, measured in degrees of face rotation. (Straight has very little or no rotation; Strong Arc has the most.) The research shows that players tend to be most consistent with a balance of putter that matches their stroke type. Face-balanced putters work best for Straight strokes while toe-down putters are most effective for a Strong Arc.
Impact Angle is the putter's face angle at impact, relative to address, measured in degrees. Ping’s data shows that even the best players in the world do not necessarily have a 0 impact angle average, but all are highly consistent.
Tempo is a measure of the duration of the backswing relative to the forward swing and is expressed in a ratio: 2 to 1, for example. The average tempo will vary among players, but the best putters have extremely high consistency in tempo.
In Measure Mode, the golfer hits five putts and their stroke type, impact angle and tempo are displayed for every putt in that session and stored. The iPing app calculates a consistency score, and then averages the scores over time to build a Putting Handicap (PHcp). As the player improves their consistency, they’ll watch their PHcp come down.
In Practice Mode, the user can isolate one aspect of their putting that’s lacking in consistency – tempo, for example – for extra attention. Stroke type, impact angle, and tempo are displayed for individual putts.
In Compare Mode the player can compare their results with previous sessions or with those of their friends. They can even do side-by-side comparisons with several Ping tour pros, whose results are pre-loaded into the iPing app.
Users can also share and compare their results through social media, Solheim said. “The social aspect and the ability to form a community around it is another exciting feature of iPing,” he said. “Golfers can share their results by emailing friends and posting sessions on Facebook or Twitter. We expect golfers to fully embrace these features as they develop fun and friendly competitions using iPing and their mobile devices.”
The iPING App now includes the iPING Skins Game that allows users to test the consistency of their putting stroke against friends. iPING Skins Game utilizes Game Center’s turn-based technology and alerts users to their next turn via the new Notification Center in iOS 5. The update is available now for current users, and new users can download the iPING App from the App Store on iPhone or iPod touch.