Tiger’s launch monitor could be yours

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Where were you on November 21st? The golf Twitter universe was set ablaze that morning following a single tweet from Tiger Woods. Two words—“Making progress”—accompanied a 3-second video (spoiler alert: it went viral) of him swinging a golf club for the first time since his near-fatal car accident in February. In the foreground of the video was a silver-backed launch monitor labeled “FULL SWING.”

It turns out Full Swing Golf, one of the pre-eminent makers of high-tech golf simulators, has been collaborating with Woods for four years on the development of a portable launch monitor. His tweet was a lovely coming out party for the nascent device. At $3,999, the Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor (available at https://www.fullswinggolf.com/kit-launch-monitor/) isn’t excessively-priced as these gadgets go, and it’s loaded with breakthrough technologies to enhance practice sessions, whether you’re Tiger Woods or an average Joe.

Like other monitors, the KIT records multiple data points (16 in all) during each swing. It captures ball speed, clubface angle at impact, shot apex, spin rate, total distance, and more. Here’s the big difference, though. Many devices use algorithms to calculate shot data, such as launch angle and carry distance. But this one has a built-in micro-Doppler radar used in unmanned drones and self-driving cars. Which means the KIT measures the ball during the entire shot, from impact to when it comes to rest down range.

It’s not by chance. In 2017, the original brainstorming sessions took place between Woods and Full Swing Golf officials. Woods, incidentally, began using the company’s indoor simulators in 2015, which is the same year he signed on as an investor and part-owner. “Anything golf tech, we have the exclusive agreement with Tiger,” says Ryan Dotters, CEO, Full Swing Golf.

How involved was Tiger in the development of this product? Very. “Early on, I got the look and feel of the first [launch monitor] production units,” says Woods. “Throughout the process, I’ve been giving feedback based on the company’s findings during test sessions.”

Of course, having one of the world’s greatest pitchmen can be a double-edged sword. Woods required a device that he could trust the data with on EVERY shot. “His mission to us was to deliver a premium-performance unit that’s accurate,” says Dotters. “We knew it would have Tiger’s influence and name tied to it, so we couldn’t deliver anything but the best.”

It hit the mark. “The KIT exceeded my expectations,” says Woods. In addition to precise, in-flight ball tracking capabilities, the unit has a high-resolution OLED screen that provides a TV-quality, crystal-clear picture. “It’s a big differentiator because you can see the data points right on the device and it’s super-easy to read,” adds Dotters.

Besides that, players can arrange stats on the screen in whatever way they want. “You’re able to customize the display to show one specific data point or have a four-tile data output,” says Dotters. Plus, all 16 specs can be easily viewed at one time on your phone.

Maybe the coolest feature is the built-in 4K camera, which combines with the unit’s auto-leveling technology to make setup a snap. The camera records swing videos in high-resolution (1080 pixels). Players can instantly play back videos on their phone or tablet while simultaneously looking at shot data on the monitor screen. Golfers can also share the data and videos with their swing instructors, friends, or whomever.

With the free app, you get the aforementioned custom data views, unlimited data and video storage for the current practice session, audio playback of data on iOS products (iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch), the ability to share videos of the current session, and more. Players who upgrade to Premium ($99/year) get unlimited video storage, an archive of all previous practice sessions, historical club averages, etc.

The four-pound, compact KIT (10” tall x 6” wide) is small enough to fit in the golf bag and has a lithium-ion battery that runs up to five hours between charges.

All in all, the monitor could be a game-changer for teachers and students alike. And, even though you won’t ever swing like Tiger, you could practice just like him.

Learn more and order yours at https://www.fullswinggolf.com/kit-launch-monitor/.