BETHESDA, Md. – In an attempt to take putter fitting to the next level, Ping has introduced a new iPhone putter app that will analyze putting strokes and match those strokes to specific putters.
The first Ping putters to fall into three fitting categories — straight, slight arc, strong arc — will be a new line of seven Anser putters that will be available at retail in August. The categories reflect the amount of putter head rotation during the stroke.
The app became available June 20 through the Apple Store for Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPod touch models. Ping chose the iPhone 4 and iTouch devices because they have both accelerometers and gyroscopes needed to record key data. The app itself is free, although an accompanying cradle that attaches the device to the putter shaft below the grip is expected to sell for about $30.
Here’s how the new app works: After a golfer hits five putts, the app will help decide which which of the three putter categories defines that person’s stroke.
The app not only will identify the type of putting stroke, but it also will measure face angle at address and impact. Furthermore, it will provide a tempo reading. Through measuring a series of sessions, golfers will even be able to establish a putting handicap (PHcp).
“I’m very excited about this and it’s not easy to get me excited,” said Ping CEO John Solheim. “Our guys have put a tremendous amount of work into this.
Added Ping engineer Brad Schweigert, who was involved in the development: “It’s a very cool innovation that gets to the very heart of what we do at Ping — help people play better golf.”
Starting with the seven new Anser models, every new Ping putter will be manufactured to fit into one of the three categories. These three categories will be identified by three different colored shaft bands.
The app and cradle can be used with any putter, although Ping has taken the additional step of matching its new putters to the different putting strokes.
Anser made its reputation as a slightly toe-down putter with a plumber’s neck, but the seven new Anser models will include one that is face-balanced and another with a slant neck. Heath Slocum has been using the slant-neck Anser in practice rounds for the U.S. Open, while former champion Angel Cabrera has been experimenting with the face-balanced model. Both made putter-style switches after experimenting with Ping’s new app.