The Swing Catalyst App has everything you need and nothing you don’t for capturing swing video analysis….
The version we tested was for the Apple iPhone and iPad and the experience was good on both. The app is very easy to use with an intuitive layout of features. My test for ease of use when it comes to technology is to hand whatever it is to my wife. If she can figure it out with just a few clicks or swipes it must be pretty intuitive. This was definately the case with the Swing Catalyst App. With just a few hints she was recording and saving my swing like a pro. She even uploaded it to my Swing Catalyst Online Account right there on the range while I was switching clubs. Swing Catalyst has a great Youtube channel available with a list of tutorials on how to use the app.
The Swing Catalyst App has what most other swing analysis App doesn’t….A price tag.
That’s right, the Swing Catalyst App is free. I don’t know if they have plans to charge for the app in the future but right now it’s free to download. The online account is also free with a storage capacity of ten swings. It is not necessary to upload your swings to the online account to use the App. The online accounts primary purpose would be to store swings in a central location for your coach or pro to diagnose. A self taught hack such as myself would have little to gain by storing all of their swings online, but having ten free for a quick lesson with a local pro is a phenominal addition, especially for free. I use a pro in Pawleys Island, South Carolina from time to time for an annual tune up and he has access to the Swing Catalyst Online community. I can record my swing, upload to my online locker, send him an email asking him to take a look and viola, he has it. He can tell me what I’m doing right or wrong over the phone or send me a detailed analysis via email.
What the Swing Catalyst App lacks is a solid stable of pro or semi-pro swings to compare against.
This is where the relative newness of the Swing Catalyst App hurts it a little. While some of the other swing capture apps have been around a while and have done a good job of attracting pro attention, the Swing Catalyst App has not been around that long. Therefore, they have a very limited number of pro’s in which to call upon to get recorded swings in their library. To make this worse, the videos they do have are not of a high enough quality to all be very useful. You have to pick your way through them to get to the ones you like or think are of good quality to see what ever swing malady you are looking to improve. They are adding new pro’s everyday but currently only have five to choose from using a down the line and side view. They haven’t uploaded a swing for every club but have the driver, eight iron and six iron represented. I will update this post when they get more videos added. While I will never have a “pro” type swing I do find it a useful tool to look at certain players swings and try to emulate specific parts. I tried to do a side by side comparison using one of my swings and one of the pro’s swings but could never get it to line up properly or synchronize quite right. I believe they are working on this with improvements on the horizon in subsequent releases.
For reviewing, capturing and analyzing your personal swing, the Swing Catalyst App is among the best out there.
Once you get away from the tour pro library thing, the Swing Catalyst App is a really well done swing analyzer. If you want to compare video you’ve taken side by side, the app does a wonderful job. You can take video of yourself and video of a friend, or even your coach, and then compare them side by side very easily. You can draw all the lines, circles and squiggles your heart desires and save it for later use. I found the key to capturing consistent video is to be real conscious of how far away from the camera the subject is and the angle at which you are looking at them. Try to keep all of that consistent and you will wind up with very repeatable results. The other tip I would add is try to figure out what your personal triggers are in your swing, i.e. when you start your swing, when you transition at the top, and when you get to the end of your follow through. This will help with cropping each of your personal videos to the same length making side by side comparison much quicker and easier. If you don’t want to spend the time doing that, the Swing Catalyst App has a feature to couple or un-couple the side by side video. One of the biggest problems I have is sliding behind and then through the ball in my swing, especially if I’m really trying to get into it. As you know, the results of a hip slide are normally disastrous. If you look at the below screen shots of Suzann Pettersen, you can see where I have put a series of lines demonstrating shoulder tilt through the swing as well as vertical and horizontal head position through the swing. As you can see, I did a horrible job of drawing the lines for shoulder tilt but the others are ok. I would like to see some variation in the line density for the drawing part of the app. A thinner line would be easier to use I think.
All of the features in the Swing Catalyst App are very simple to use. There are options for right or left handed, face-on or down the line, split screen, front or rear camera, line color and several different shapes to choose from. One of the coolest things available on the Swing Catalyst App, is the timer. If you are practicing by yourself, which is always the case for me, you can set the timer to start a few seconds or minutes after you press start to give you time to set the camera up and get into swing position. This is a great feature not all of the swing analyzer apps have available.
Swing Catalyst has done a great job of integrating their app with their online community via their web portal.
The whole idea behind the Swing Catalyst App is not only the use of the swing analyzer there on the range but with the sharing of your swing with a coach, pro or friend via the online portal. It’s a bit like they are allowing the average Joe Golfer to get in on the tour training technology currently in use. If you can get your coach, pro or buddies to get one of the free online accounts it is exceptionally easy to share videos and get feedback. I think the online sharing portion of the Swing Catalyst App is one of the features that sets it apart from some of the other apps available. As they continue to add features I look for the online and sharing portions to grow as well.
Overall the Swing Catalyst App is a worthwhile download. It’s free, easy to use and is packed with features. The online portion, I think, is great addition to golf training allowing you to share your swings with really anyone you want who has one of the free accounts. It doesn’t take long to make the free account and it’s all very straightforward. As with the app, the online portion is a no frills, only what you need sort of environment. Both are very well done and are very solid. We didn’t crash the app once during use. Give the Swing Catalyst App a shot; I don’t think you will be disappointed.
I hope this helps you in your search for a better golf swing. I would love to hear your experiences with the Swing Catalyst App. And by the way, my wife knows she is technologically challenged and she never reads my posts so, I should be safe.