A Quick 9 with: Andrew Larkin, Pro golfer and Head Golf Coach of Occidental College

We recently caught up with Swingbyte user and Occidental College Head Golf Coach, Andrew Larkin.  Here’s what he had to say…

1. What do like the most about using Swingbyte?

AL: The best thing about Swingbyte is the instant feedback and extra data it provides when working with our players.  To be able to break down what their swing looks like with the data is a huge help when trying to coach college players.  The video feature and easy set up are also big benefits on a daily basis. 

2. How do you typically use Swingbyte when you’re teaching a student? 

AL: We will use it to break down different aspects of the swing, or to help one of our players who may have practiced on their own and had questions about his swing.  Being able to review past swings and data frees up our players from needing to be at every team practice to get coaching.  

3. Which data points do you usually focus on? 

AL: The swing path and data including [club head] speed and face angle are the main things we will focus on when using it.

4. What type of drills do you do with Swingbyte? 

AL: We currently do not use Swingbyte for many drills, sometimes for tempo drills. 

5. Which Swingbyte features do you find most helpful in your teaching? 

AL: The video and swing models are the biggest features for us.

6. Do you ever use the video or ITR features?

AL: Yes it is a great way to help our more visual players make sense of the data.

7. What clubs do you typically have students swing with?

AL: We will have most of out players go through it with mid irons unless they are struggling with a specific club or distance.  

8. Are you familiar with our Teachers’ Module*?

AL: I have not used it. I talked with [Swingbyte] about setting up something like that but never got any new info on it.

9. Advice for anyone looking to take their golf game to the next level?

AL: It is not the amount of total hours you spend but the quality of the practice, find what areas you need work on and create a routine that will help you improve in those areas, the key to taking the next step is deliberate focused practice, not just practice.

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Andrew Larkin (Los Angeles), completed his career as a four-time All-SCIAC golfer at Occidental College in May 2012. He was named the head coach of the school’s men’s and women’s teams shortly after. He is currently playing on the Golden State Tour and All-American Tours where he has had two top five finishes. Larkin, a level one PGA Apprentice, advanced to the first Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School, and looks forward to being a part of the PGA Tour Latin America and OneAsia Q-Schools.

*Note: We recently released our Teachers Module but haven’t made an announcement yet as its currently only available for iPad. We’re looking for coaches and instructors who are interested in trying and providing feedback. To activate the Teacher’s Module in your app, click on the Account icon in the app and select, “I’m a Teaching Pro”. Click here to learn more.

Swingbyte 101: Getting to Know Swingbyte

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One of the best things about Swingbyte is the variety of data our app provides. While our users love this, there can also be a bit of a learning curve when you’re just getting started. So, to help jump start you into the most productive swing sessions you’ve ever had, here’s your Swingbyte 101. Just click on the links below to start learning!

Note: If questions arise when you’re using our app, you can access the built-in instructions and FAQ by pressing the “?” button.  You can also visit our FAQ/Support Forum.

Once your Swingbyte sensor is connected and properly aligned, you’re set to start swinging! First time Swingbyte user? Click here for our quick set up instructions.

                                            Swingbyte 101

1. Setting up Your Golf Bag: Why Club Selection Matters

2. Viewing Your Swing: Face On, Down the Line, Overhead and 3D

3. Reviewing Your Swing Data: The Basics

4. Key Features: Using Video, ITR, Compare Swings and More

5. Making it Work: Troubleshooting and Other Tips

For more detailed questions and answers, you can always visit our Support page at support.swingbyte.com or email us at support@swingbyte.com

Trouble Shooting: Quick Tips for Swingbyte

We’d like to think that Swingbyte will always perform like the champ that it is but if you’re having issues or your data seems abnormal, try following these steps to get things back on track: 

  • Recalibrate your Swingbyte: The Swingbyte app will ask you to recalibrate as necessary during your session. You can also manually recalibrate at any time by going to Settings (gear icon) > Recalibrate Swingbyte.
  • Power down and re-start your Swingbyte: Just hold the silver power button down for a few seconds until the lights blink and turn off. Wait 1 minute, then power your Swingbyte back on.
  • Check your bluetooth connection: Sometimes you’ll have to turn bluetooth on and off or ask your device to “forget”  Swingbyte before attempting to reconnect.
  • Check battery strength: Swingbyte performs best when fully charged. When fully charged, your Swingbyte will last for up to 4 hours of continuous capture. From empty, a full charge will take approximately 4-5 hours Click here to learn how to charge Swingbyte.

If your still having issues, you can always visit the FAQ and Forum pages on our Support site at support.swingbyte.com or email us at support@swingbyte.com. Our customer service team works very hard to keep our users up and running. 

Return to Swingbyte 101 main page

Key Swingbyte Features
  • Record Video: Swingbyte’s in-app video feature lets you make use of the camera in your phone or tablet to capture video of your swing. You can use this feature to capture video from any angle. Currently available for iPad, iPhone, and Android tablet devices. Android phone coming soon!     
  • Video + Intelligent Target Recognition (ITR): ITR is a groundbreaking innovation in the mobile swing analyzer market. Unique to Swingbyte, this feature allows you to set a fixed target line when recording video from a down the line view. Setting the target line enables Swingbyte to calculate your swing data relative to your target line. When using the target recognition and video be sure to follow these instructions for best results. Currently only available for iPad.

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  • Mark your good and bad swings: Use the thumbs up and thumbs down buttons on the swing screen to mark your best and worst shots. Track your progress and improvement!
  • Review Swing History: Swingbyte stores your full history in the app and online at my.swingbyte.com. The history screen lets you view averages, filter by club, shot shape, date, or swing rating to focus on any part of your game.

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  • Review Pro Swings - we firmly believe there’s no one right way to swing a golf club, however it is interesting to see what a pro swing looks like on Swingbyte. Access Pro Swings in the History tab.
  • Swing Comparison: Compare any two swing at any angle in 3D and video. Click here for more detail on using this feature.

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  • Dial it In!: Use Dial it In to target your training and focus on specific aspects of your swing so you can improve even faster. Click here for more on using Dial it In. iPhone users only for now. Other platforms are up next! 

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  • Drawing Tools: When reviewing video use Swingbyte’s drawing tools for further insight such as whether you’re moving your head, where your hands are at impact, and your shaft angle at takeaway and impact. To access the drawing tools for any videoed swing, just tap the pencil icon in the bottom left corner. Only available for tablet devices.

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  • Share Swings with your Friends: Did you have a great practice session and want to brag to your friends? You can share your swings directly from the app using the share button on the main screen!

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Click here to go to the next section: Swingbyte Troubleshooting  

Return to Swingbyte 101 main page

Reviewing your Swing Data

When you’re just getting started with your Swingbyte data, its good to familiarize yourself with some of the basic data points. We’ll start with clubhead speedface to address, club path, face to path, and tempo. For the explanations below, we’re assuming the golfer is a right-handed player. No offese, lefties! 

Note: To ensure the accuracy and consistency of all metrics, make sure your Swingbyte stays aligned with the leading edge of your club face (12 o’clock position right below the grip). It’s good to check every few swings, especially after changing clubs or hitting a thin/fat shot.

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Read More

Viewing Your Swing on Swingbyte

Swingbyte offers four swing viewing options: Down the Line, Overhead, Face On and 3D mode, for viewing from any angle.  All of these are useful for seeing different aspects of your swing. Use the icon in the menu pictured below to change views.

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Swing View Legend:

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  • The blue, green and red colors of your swing path are based on speed.  From slowest to fastest it goes blue, green, red.
  • The green dotted line is your shaft lean at address when viewed from Face On. It can be helpful to compare this to your shaft lean at impact as depicted above.
  • The grey dotted line is the projected start of your ball flight.
  • The thick black line is your target line based on where your club face is aimed at address, not necessarily your ball target. For more on that visit our Face>Address explanation.
  • The red lines in the overhead view (below) are the Swingbyte Laser Lines. Those extend from the end of your club head and top of your handle and give you information on the path of your takeaway and downswing.  

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Swingbyte Laser Lines

  • ITR only: the blue dotted line that appears when using ITR, indicates where your club face is pointing relative to the target line (black line) you set with ITR. 

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Click here to go to the next section: Viewing Your Swing Data

Return to Swingbyte 101 main page

Setting Up Your Golf Bag: Why Club Selection Matters

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When using Swingbyte, its important to make sure make sure the club you’re using to hit golf balls matches the club selected in the Swingbyte app.

Why? In order to ensure the most accurate calculations, correct club type, length and shaft flex should be entered. The measurements for the default clubs in the Swingbyte app are based on industry averages and are a great starting point if you want to start using Swingbyte right away or if you don’t have the specs for your set. If you know the specs, we recommend customizing your clubs in the app to match your set. If you’d like to know your club specs, check with on the equipment manufacturer’s site or an online club spec database.

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Click here to go to the next section: Viewing Your Swing

Return to Swingbyte 101 Main Page

I got my Swingbyte 2! Now what do I do?


You are four short steps away from recording swings on Swingbyte!


1) DOWNLOAD: Download the free Swingbyte app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.  The app also contains a brief walkthrough for getting started with Swingbyte.

2) BLUETOOTH: Hold down the power button on your Swingbyte 2. The yellow light (power indicator) will flash about 5 times and then stay solid. The orange light (Bluetooth indicator) will flash a few times and then turn off. (View this on YouTube )

For Android Users:
Turn on Bluetooth on your phone under Settings > Wireless and Networks > Bluetooth. In your Bluetooth settings, select Swingbyte to pair with your phone or tablet. The orange LED light on Swingbyte will not yet turn on— that will illuminate once “+Add Swings” has been pressed in the Swingbyte app.

For Apple Users:

Turn on Bluetooth on your phone under Settings > Bluetooth.  In your Bluetooth settings, select Swingbyte to pair with your phone or tablet. The orange LED light will illuminate once you’re paired.

3) ATTACH: Attach Swingbyte to the club of your choice.  Swingbyte should be attached to the club shaft just below the grip, with the white alignment guide parallel to the leading edge of your club

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4) RECORD: Open the app and register for an account. Enter your age, height, weight, gender, and handicap to help Swingbyte more accurately display your data .

Customize your golf bag— choose your brand, club type, and size. Input the length, loft, lie, and flex of your club to get the most accurate data for every swing. (Want to get started right away? Use the default clubs in the bag).

Connect in the App

For Android Users: In the left corner of the screen, hit “+ Add Swing,” then select “use current club” and you’re ready to start recording your swings! (Remember, Swingbyte needs a point of contact to capture your swings).

For Apple Users: After you have a club selected, the app will automatically connect. Once the Swingbyte icon in the top left corner is green, you’re ready to start recording your swings! (Remember, Swingbyte needs a point of contact to capture your swings).

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For more info, visit us at support.swingbyte.com

A note to our Android users


A note to our Android users:

I wanted to explain why the Android update has taken us so long to deliver. The amount of time and sleepless nights that we’ve invested in this is far greater than we expected and it all has to do with video. Without video, the app update would have been ready in the summer. Here’s why.

The iOS and Android Swingbyte apps are made of two parts, a shared component that does the actual reconstruction of your swing, and an individual component for the UI and interaction with the phone hardware. When we built out video, we did the same thing. A common component that processes the video stream, and an individual component that talks to the phone camera. The issue we ran into is the Android component dealing with video, and the fact that each manufacturer can, and often does, implement video functionality differently than everyone else. As a result, Android can only promise a “lowest common denominator” approach, delivering variable video quality. This makes us have to reprocess the video several times, and work around substantial performance constraints.

Swingbyte video features work by recording a continuous loop of video, listening to the Swingbyte device to get an approximate time when the swing was taken, and then doing complex image recognition of the narrowed down video fragment to identify the camera frame where impact happened. This requires continuously recording the video feed off the phone’s camera to flash (or you’d run out of memory very quickly), then, when Swingbyte says so, cutting out a few seconds of video, reformatting it for our video recognizer, and feeding it in. Along the way, the video needs to be reprocessed to be the correct frame rate (the number of frames per second recorded by an Android device isn’t controllable, it’s just a recommendation that the system can choose to ignore).

All of this, coupled with the great variety of Android devices out there, and the variability of their computational limits, have caused this update to take far longer than any of us wanted. That said - we’re close. Our beta users have been experimenting with the 2.0 tablet app for a few weeks now, and we’re optimistic that we’ve cleared the rest of our hurdles. We promise to do a better job of keeping you informed as we move forward.

One last thing: ITR and a phone app.

The ITR add-on is a common component. Once the 2.0 app is out of beta and ready to rock, it will be a minor update to enable it. That said, ITR is much more computationally intensive, so expect the list of devices that can handle it to be limited to newer, higher-end models.

The phone app will take full advantage of the work we’ve done for the tablet app. That means it’s just a matter of the new UI, which has already been drawn and is ready to be built out. Just like with ITR, once the tablet app is wrapped up, the phone app will be ready a short time after.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and patience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact support@swingbyte.com, or me directly at alex DOT pedenko AT the swingbyte domain.

Best,
Alex

How to test Swingbyte vs. radar-based systems

We hold Swingbyte’s accuracy to the highest standards - accurate, meaningful, and actionable information is essential for improving faster!

To ensure Swingbyte’s accuracy, we have spent countless hours testing Swingbyte’s output relative to golf’s other leading technologies: high speed cameras, radar-based ball launch monitors, other on-club sensor systems, etc.  There are nuances to each of these technologies, and they must be carefully considered when comparing the results of one system to another.

Given the availability of radar-based ball launch monitors, field-testing of Swingbyte relative to those systems is both common and welcome.  While Swingbyte has never and will never suggest that it is a perfect mimic for the outputs from any other technology, we believe that cross-testing technologies offers many benefits.  The most important of which is to confirm the trust you should have in Swingbyte’s accuracy and consistency.

If you are so inclined to compare the data from radar-based data systems (RBS) and Swingbyte’s, follow this protocol to ensure the most accurate comparison:

CLUB HEAD SPEED: To ensure the most accurate club head speed calculation in Swingbyte, accurate club length and shaft flex must be entered for your Swingbyte clubs.  Further, the correct club that you are using to hit golf balls must be selected in the Swingbyte app.  Swingbyte’s Club Head Speed calculation includes extensive shaft flex data across all flex categories.  While this robust library is a decisive advantage for delivering the most accurate club head speed calculation with on-club accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, there may be some variance relative to RBS due to differences between your “S” shaft and the aggregate category shaft data.

ATTACK ANGLE: Attack Angle requires two points to determine a line that is then compared to the horizon.  To determine this line, Swingbyte uses the point of impact and one millisecond before impact.  We understand that RBS use a point or points forward of impact to determine Attack Angle.  Therefore, Attack Angle is not an apples-to-apples comparison between technologies and will typically be a minute or so steeper on Swingbyte than RBS (1 minute = 6 degrees).  Further, “impact” is exactly that - the first point of contact in the downswing.  For golfers of all skill levels, this is not necessarily always the golf ball.

CLUB PATH: Swingbyte uses the clubface direction at address to determine a target line.  RBS use a fixed target line based on where the unit is aimed.  These are the target lines against which a Club Path # is determined.  Given that golfers rarely aim the clubface directly at their intended target, clubface aim at address must be accounted for when comparing Club Path #’s between the two systems.  Here’s how:

1) Hit golf balls off a lie board.  Many top teachers who use radar-based ball launch monitors in their teaching advocate using a lie board so that divots do not interfere with the radar.

2) Align the lie board’s target line perfectly with the radar system’s target line.

3) With Swingbyte properly aligned on the club, align the clubface perfectly perpendicular to the target line on the lie board…This is not necessarily a recommended golf fundamental.  It is essential, however, for neutralizing the target line differences between the two systems.

4) Make contact with the golf ball first.  As mentioned above, Swingbyte uses the first moment of impact to determine impact data.

Even with the above protocol in place, the Club Path numbers are unlikely to perfectly mimic each other.  The differences include the variance in aligning the lie board to the RBS, the Swingbyte to the clubface, and the clubface in a perpendicular fashion to the lie board’s target line.  Further, as discussed in Attack Angle, Swingbyte measures impact at a slightly different point in the swing circle than RBS.

Although a perfect apples-to-apples comparison requires great care and is difficult at best, by following these steps Swingbyte’s information will prove to be directionally consistent - swing faster or slower, steeper or shallower, more from the inside or outside, and Swingbyte will show you the appropriate change.

As always, please contact us anytime at support@swingbyte.com with questions, feedback, and success stories!

Thank you,

The Swingbyte Team