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By adding swing data, ClubHub aims to change the GPS shot-tracking game

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A new player is entering the market of GPS-based sensor-and-app shot tracking, and this one offers something huge the existing options don’t: swing data.

That’s right, in addition to the traditional shot tracking possibilities we’ve become familiar with recently, ClubHub is a portable launch monitor of sorts, offering information such as club head speed, face angle, angle of attack, and tempo, in addition to a 3-D view of a golfer’s swing.

“The main point of differentiation between our product and the competition is we are the first and only personal, portable, and affordable sensor system that does both swing analysis and shot tracking,” said John F. Melican, company president. “We provide the swing parameters that lead to the result … a complete solution for golfers: swing analysis and shot tracking to be used on the range to practice, or on the course to play a round.”

Club-Up-Screenshot

ClubHub, which hits the market in early June with an MSRP of $499, is the brainchild of company founder Pat Steusloff, an avid golfer with a background in medical technology product development, as well as a degree from the Golf Academy of America.

ClubHub_Sensor3_HR

“Each shot taken is automatically analyzed and recorded, and can be reviewed on the phone app,” Steusloff said. “All swing data is also pushed to the Cloud, and can be reviewed by the player and shared with their instructor. The player can see trends in their swing and compare results since all swings are permanently saved. In addition to swing analysis, it automatically tracks shots on course—the club used, the location and distance of every shot, along with scoring stats such as fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts.”

At first blush, ClubHub and its component technology seems an obvious upgrade over existing options, and a premium offering of sorts with a retail price of a few hundred dollars more than Game Golf or Arccos. At GolfWRX, we will be interested to see whether GPS shot tracking enthusiasts are willing to pay an additional couple of hundred dollars for swing data.

We suspect they will.

And a final note: Anticipating the top question from the comment section. The ClubHub butt-end sensor, at 10.2 grams, does change a club’s swingweight by approximately two points. For more information, ordering details (again, the product hits the market in early June), and other burning questions, check out their website and FAQ.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Mark

    Jun 25, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Clubhub does not track your score even though it has the data. You have to enter your score at the end of the round.

    The swing analysis is cool but Arccos has the better app.

  2. 8thehardway

    May 14, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Next year I’m releasing “NAGS” – Neural Analysis and Golf Swing advice that instantly tells you what you did wrong on EVERY shot. When you ‘can’t handle the truth’ anymore, point it at a friend and help them have a more enjoyable round. Oh, it also ‘voice-afies’ and simplifies results from your Ping putting App – “left that one short, Phil” – so you’re covered from tee to green.

  3. Nick

    May 13, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I love anything that gathers stats/analyzes/generally appeals to the inner geek, so I will be having a look at this.

    Just what I need, something else to feed my obsession:)

  4. tlmck

    May 12, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    I just use a free GPS app called GolfShot. Does not analyze, but it is a good GPS.

  5. Robert

    May 12, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    The problem with these “swing analyzers” is that they are so inaccurate when you are analyzing from the grip side it’s outrageous. I used to own the SwingTalk and that thing was great, but it was so inaccurate compared to a high end launch monitor. Frankly, it was embarrassing. How about just make a GPS shot tracking device like Arccos but have it actually work.

    • TR1PTIK

      May 12, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      It’s called Game Golf 😉 Obviously kidding. Game Golf has its quirks as well.

  6. Rene

    May 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    LOL, I was just thinking about this exact setup yesterday and how helpful it would be

  7. Blake

    May 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Can we please stop advocating using the phone while on a golf course?

    • Rene

      May 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      The cost of these systems would be out of range for normal golfers if they didn’t implement the phone as the data collector. Easy solution would be leave the phone alone and review data after the round.

      As for me, I use a GPS range finder on my phone while playing, but it doesn’t slow my rate of play down, if anything it speeds up a round by not having to check yardage markers and stepping off distances etc…

      But I agree, you shouldn’t be reviewing your analytics while on the course, unless of course you are waiting for the group ahead of you

    • Other Paul

      May 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Nope. I love my phone on a golf course. Stat tracking and digital scorecards are great. Phone calls are bad.

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Equipment

Titleist AVX golf balls passed the test, are now available across the United States

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Titleist’s AVX golf balls first came to retail as an experiment in three markets — Arizona, California and Florida — from October 2017 to January 2018. AVX (which stands for “Alternative to the V and X”) are three-piece golf balls made with urethane covers, and they’re made with a softer feel for more distance than the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

After proving their worth to consumers, Titleist’s AVX golf balls are now available across the U.S. as of April 23, and they will sell for 47.99 per dozen (the same as Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls) in both white and optic yellow.

According to Michael Mahoney, the Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing for Titleist, the AVX is a member of the Pro V1 family. Here’s a basic understanding of the lineup:

  • AVX: Softest, lowest trajectory, lowest spinning, less greenside spin and longest
  • Pro V1x: Firmer than the Pro V1, highest spinning and highest trajectory
  • Pro V1: Sits between the V1x and the AVX in terms of feel, spin and trajectory, and will appeal to most golfers

Different from the Pro V1 or Pro V1x, the AVX golf balls have a new GRN41 thermoset cast urethane cover to help the golf balls achieve the softer feel. Also, they have high speed, low compression cores, a new high-flex casing layer, and a new dimple design/pattern.

For in-depth tech info on the new AVX golf balls, how they performed in the test markets, and who should play the AVX golf balls, listen to our podcast below with Michael Mahoney, or click here to listen on iTunes.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AVX golf balls

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Andrew Landry’s Winning WITB: 2018 Valero Texas Open

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Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees at 8.8 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue ATX65 TX
Length: 45.25 inches, tipped at 1 inch
Swing Weight: D3

3 Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees at 15.15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75
Length: 43 inches, tipped 1 inch
Swing Weight: D2

5 Wood: Ping G (17.5 degrees at 17.75 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85
Length: 42 inches
Swing Weight: D2

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105X
Swing Weight: D2

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F and 60-10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Grip: Ping Pistol
Length, loft, lie: 33 inches, 3 degrees, 3 degrees flat

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord

WITB Notes: Landry tweaked his iron lofts before the Valero; 1 degree weak in his 4 and 5 iron, and 0.5 degrees weak in his 6-PW.

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Landry’s clubs.

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