Monday, April 25, 2016

Product Review: GAME GOLF

I admit it ... Reviewing golf products had become a bit stale for me. There is just so much I can write about the latest this or the new-and-improved that. Beyond the marketing hype, there wasn’t a huge difference in products I was testing. They were all good. None of them sucked. And each had its merits.

I was stuck in a golf blogger rut. Then came a game changer ... GAME GOLF. Man, this was different. The GAME GOLF system is so much more than the sum of its parts - shot tracker, stat analyzer, rangefinder, etc.

These little red tags on the butt end of my grips and nifty device attached to my belt provided a level of excitement I hadn’t experienced since taking my favorite set of irons out for their maiden voyage.

That said, I was hesitant. As someone who sees just about every press release from today’s biggest equipment manufacturers, I’ve grown a bit skeptical. The newest drivers don’t really add 7 yards to my tee shots and golf ball spin typically matters only at the highest levels of play. Average golfers care more about making decent contact, finding their ball and making decent contact again.

So why is GAME GOLF so exciting? And why can it make a difference in your game?

Picture this: You’ve split the fairway and you’re 158 yards from the pin, which is protected by water in front. To the best of your knowledge, your 8-iron travels 155 yards in the air - perfect, considering you’ve got to carry 150 yards to stay dry.

Now imagine this scenario: When you pure your 8-iron, it actually does go 155 yards, but your typical shot generally travels 148 yards. You’d better get on this one or your perfect drive may be followed by a lost ball and double bogie.

Enter GAME GOLF. Accurate yardage for each of your clubs is just one of the many statistics this innovative system provides.

Two views of No. 16 at Mayfield (OH) Country Club
GAME GOLF also provides scoring insight. For example, as a golfer with an 8.8 handicap index, I generally par about the same number of holes I bogey and mix in a few doubles with a few birdies from time to time. Thanks to the system, I know I only par about 30 percent of Par 3s, but do much better on Par 4s (56 percent) and Par 5s (63 percent).

As a kid, I always thought Par 3s were much easier. They’re shorter, for one, and you have a controlled lie and perfect stance. Unfortunately, there’s also little room for error.

There’s a look inside putting statistics. as well. What used to be a strength has become my greatest weakness ... or so I thought. While I 3-putt 3 percent of the time, 11 percent of the time I manage a 1-putt. If I can convert more green-side up-and-downs, those 1-putts will increase and the additional par saves will quickly lower my handicap.

Another look into why I basically bogie every other hole ... I only hit 54 percent of the fairways off the tee (15 percent missed to the left and 31 percent to the right), which leads to a disappointing 42 percent Greens in Regulation number. I also have a tendency to leave my approaches from beyond 100 yards short of the intended target 42 percent of the time.

My scrambling percentage (19 percent) is in direct relation to my putting statistics, too. Increase one and the other improves, which will lead to more par saves and lower my handicap.

Strokes vs. Scratch show where improvement can be made
Perhaps the most useful function of GAME GOLF is “Strokes vs. Scratch” and the accompanying “Smart Tips.” As the name suggests, Strokes vs. Scratch tells you how many strokes  you’re losing per round on the Strokes Gained methodology. As you can see by the image above, my approach game and short game compare favorably, but I’m losing more than 2.5 strokes off the tee and more than 5 putting! “Smart Tips” offers me advice on targeted improvement through practice.

Target your improvement
If you’re a stat geek, you’ll love GAME GOLF for the numbers alone. If you’re serious about improvement, this device will help you get to where you want to be. The cost ($299.99) is comparable to a new driver, which will most likely fall short of its yardage promise. I’d recommend spending that money on technology that will help your game - GAME GOLF.

Visit for more information.

Editor’s Note: GAME GOLF may have the best customer service in the industry. E-mail or tweet support and the company is quick to respond.

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