Improve your golf game with tips from Tiger Woods: My Swing for iPhone

Mar 28, 2011
Misc

Even if Tiger Woods: My Swing goes on to grab millions of downloads, it’s unlikely people will refer to it as a return to form for the once golden-swinged master of the golf course. The same can be said for his return to console gaming with Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 2012: The Masters, of […]

Even if Tiger Woods: My Swing goes on to grab millions of downloads, it’s unlikely people will refer to it as a return to form for the once golden-swinged master of the golf course. The same can be said for his return to console gaming with Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 2012: The Masters, of which he isn’t even featured on the cover. No, if Tiger is to get some sort of redemption, he’ll probably have to do it on the golf course, where he hasn’t won a tournament in nearly a year.

Of course, dozens of golfers far less successful than Woods can go through rough patches where they can’t seem to win a round, much less a tournament. And even during his recent struggles, it’s likely that weekend warriors would sooner turn to some video instruction from Tiger than Martin Laird.

But for $9.99, Tiger Woods: My Swing can’t be a sloppily thrown-together PR event just to keep his face in the public eye. Luckily, the swing app appears to be much more than that. It’s well-designed and easy to understand, and might actually help teach some golfers a few things about their swings.

The focal point of the app is swing analysis. There are several videos of Tiger swinging different golf clubs, with digitized lines explaining how he properly aligns his body during the swing. He also breaks these things down verbally, explaining how one line shows where his shoulder blades should be after a swing.

Even without recording your own swing, watching Tiger’s approach broken down step-by-step is quite helpful. The app has videos of Tiger swinging  pretty much every club in his bag.

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While I’d recommend watching the videos first before attempting to record your own swing, there will quickly come a time where you have to step up to the tee, so to speak. Recording is easy enough in theory. You can set the length of the recording, how long you want the delay timer to be, and if you want an audio alert to start when the timer reaches a certain point.

When you’re getting ready to record, the idea is to line up the golfer silhouette with your own body. Of course, this means you’ll need someone else holding your iPhone, and even then the process can be a bit difficult as the silhouette is extremely faint. It might take a few recordings to get the correct distance from the camera, among other things, down.

Once you’ve got your recording, however, the fun can really begin. While you’re given the option to edit your clip in case it ran a little longer than you thought it would, that’s not entirely necessary.

Instead, you can jump into the view mode to watch your video and assign your own lines to it. As a fairly novice golfer, I took the option to just assign the pre-set “Tiger lines” to my video. It places the lines exactly where you saw them in the Tiger videos, but you do have the option of inserting your own lines.

If there’s a complaint to be levied against Tiger Woods: My Swing, it’s that although the app has a digital instruction manual, it doesn’t go into any sort of depth with regard to placing your own lines. It’s understandable the developers would probably prefer you use Tiger’s lines, but the lack of help when trying to create your own swing lines is disappointing.

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Similarly, although this might simply be technologically difficult to do, your swing isn’t ever actually analyzed by the app. Sure you can see how it is or isn’t synching up with the pre-set lines and try to determine what you’re doing wrong, but Tiger Woods: My Swing isn’t going to make your golf instructor obsolete.

More independently minded golfers will probably be able to take a lot away from their video swing analysis, of course. And the option to look at side-by-side comparison videos of any two swings, your own vs. Tiger’s on a three-iron, for instance, could prove handy.

Ultimately, Tiger Woods: My Swing is a very impressive video editing tool that will get you much closer to understanding the path of your golf swing. In that sense, it’s hard to beat.

If, however, you’re not as experienced, and you need some help breaking down your mechanics further, Tiger Woods: My Swing will only get you so far. If nothing else though, it will give you a video you can show to an instructor or other golfing friends so they can verbally assist you.

Sure, the price might be a bit steep, but if you’re going to spend your summer paying course fees far greater than $10, this app’s price is a drop in the bucket and could improve your game. It might not have anything to do with repairing Tiger’s personal image, but the level of analysis involved here shows he knows how to swing a golf club.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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