One of the benefits that we provide for our members on The Sand Trap is the “Members Swings” thread. We can provide quick and useful feedback to our members who are looking to improve their swings. As a golf instructor, there are a few things that are vital to making correct assessments of a players swing. We need to assess the fundamentals, i.e.: stance, ball position, grip, as well as assess the technical aspects such as swing plane and face angle. The great thing about having the thread on our forum is that we are able to see all of these things from our computer and give you instant feedback. The disadvantage that we have is that we are not with you on the range. We are not able to walk around and view your swing from multiple proper angles; down the line and face on. We are completely dependent on you to give us the angles necessary to diagnose your problems.
The majority of videos we receive are from smartphones. They can shoot at upwards of 120 frames per second and they are with you at all times. There are also a ton of swing apps that can break your swing down even further and you can watch your swing frame by frame!
Last year a company, ProtoSports came out with a solution for iPhone users to allow for hands free video anywhere on the golf course. Over the last year I have probably bought 10 of them and gave them as gifts to people I was teaching as well as friends. There is something really cool about the ability to use your phone to video your swing anywhere on the course when you need it. I have noticed a huge difference in the video that I receive from my students that have the ProtoSports Holster, and the ones that do not. The videos are much more consistent and are less shaky. My only real concern with the Holster is that I had to take my case off my phone to use, which is more of a hassle than anything else, and I could not give it to my students without iPhones.
So this year it looks like ProtoSports is coming out with a brand new product and they are calling it the X Mount. Kyle, the CEO of ProtoSports let me know that it would be coming out this year and sent me the link to the Kickstarter campaign which he set up in order for people to be able to pre-order. Of course, as a fan of the holster I have already pledged to get my X Mount total package which includes a collapsible alignment rod and a clamp that will attach your phone to virtually any surface.
Here are some of the new features and some photos I grabbed from the Kickstarter site:
This new spring loaded feature means that it can fit all phones and it can also fit my phone with a case. This is great for me not only because I like to keep my case on when I am at the course, but also because I don’t have to worry about my students having the iPhone. This is a great adaptation.
It still has the cross clip backing so that you can video in portrait and landscape. This is a must have for me. Sometimes the wider angle makes the swings look better. I use the horizontal attachment a lot when I am videoing putts.
As an addition to the X Mount, ProtoSports has included an attachment with a bendable arm and a clamp that attaches to virtually anything. The thing that first got my attention was that it opened up possibilities for guys who practice on hard surfaces. You can now clamp it to a hitting bay or to your golf bag. It won’t matter what kind of surface you are on you can almost always get the right height and angle for us here to diagnose your swing correctly. Also, you can attach the thing inside your cart and use your phone as a GPS or watch videos on it.
If you happen to have a tripod that you like to use, then this will work with it. It is essentially limitless in the ability to set up your smartphone for videos. I think that they have done a great job of turning a functional tool on the golf course to something that can be used for all kinds of situation, on and off the course.
It looks like ProtoSports is launching their product on Kickstarter for a couple of reasons. It allows golfers like me to pre-order the X Mount and also to help manage funds for the cost of tooling and manufacturing. The prices on Kickstarter are cheaper than the retail site according to the page and you can follow the progress of the campaign from updates via email. Kickstarter is an all or nothing site though, so if it doesn’t reach its goal, then you don’t get your X Mount and ProtoSports does not get the funding they need.
We think that products like this are extremely cool to use and can really help you improve your game. The ability to consistently set up your phone will in turn help you to consistently monitor how your swing will progress over the weeks and months of your swing changes. We like to share products to our members that we think would be useful to them and am something that I would back and use myself. The versatility of this product makes it well worth the $18.00- $37.00 of money spent.
You can see it and Pre-Order it here. Check it out and let us know what you think! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/667763688/x-mount-not-your-typical-smartphone-mountits-mobil