Father’s Day is just around the corner. If our previous guide to budget-friendly gifts isn’t up dad’s alley, these unique gifts will please even the most particular papa.
In part one of our gift guide for Father’s Daywe focused on gifts that were mostly affordable. Now, in Part II, here are some gift ideas that will cost you a bit more. They won’t break the bank, but they are not cheap.
Shoes that measure weight shift
Say you need a new pair of golf shoes, and, all of a sudden, you find out that you can buy a pair that measures your weight shift and shows it to you on your tablet or phone. OK, you have to really be super deep into your golf game to want this, but these days, what avid golfer isn’t?
The company that makes them is IOFITpart of a spinoff of Samsung. Someone, obviously a geeky golfer, came up with the idea of implanting sensors in the foot bed of shoes to deliver data on weight transfer.
Then they figured out a way for that data to be sent from your shoes to a tablet or phone so you can see what your feet are doing in a golf swing. What? Right. That’s kind of what I thought, but it’s so different, that, for a good golfer, or someone who is just possessed with finding out everything about his or her swing, this is stuff you could never get before, no matter what it cost.
If you happen to have one of those fire and fall back swings, this will show you that exactly where in your swing you are going wrong.
The shoes are just under $400. A regular pair is probably going to cost you a minimum of $125 to $225 or so anyway. So, if you’re golf possessed or obsessed, this could help your swing and cover your feet at the same time.
Software comes with IOFIT shoes to mesh your “foot data” to your tablet or phone. You can play an entire round of golf and download the data after the round. Or you can work on the range and look at one swing at a time.
The weight transfer maps look a little bit like a weather radar storm heading somewhere. You may need to an expert to interpret the charts and all the data perfectly, but it’s there.
My only question is what do they do with someone like Bubba Watson, or Justin Thomas, or Laura Davies, all of whom lift off their feet sometimes at impact. I mean, they are almost weightless for a while. I obviously wonder strange things.
BodiTrak meaures weight shift
There’s also a more expensive way to measure weight shift without wearing a particular pair of shoes. Several PGA Tour players have used it. It’s called Boditrak.
BodiTrak is a sports pressure and force measuring mat that provides information on weight transfer for the golfer (or baseball pitcher or hitter). They like to say it is “focused on the interaction between an athlete and the ground.” But keeping it simple, it tells you whether your weight shift is right for maximum performance in your sport.
Now, like IOFIT, it doesn’t tell you how to fix it. But unlike IOFIT, you can take this mat anyplace and use it. And you don’t have to wear special shoes to get the data.
Golfers like Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed and Kevin Kisner have all tried the BodiTrak system. There are even some examples on the Boditrak website, including one the from the sole of the foot looking up of James Hahn. Steph Curry has used BodiTrak to understand how weight transfer affects what he does in basketball.
Making a couple little golf jokes here, if Phil Mickelson had used BodiTrak before he won his first Masters, maybe he would have known how to leap a little higher in celebration. If Jordan Spieth and his caddie Michael Greller had both used one before the Travelers victory, maybe their belly bump would have been slightly more graceful. What can we say. They are golfers, not gymnasts. We don’t expect them to leave the ground even though some, like Justin Thomas do.
Justin Thomas’ use of BodiTrak is here:
As to the reason Thomas and Watson get elevated at impact, my guess is it’s because they have pushed on the ground so hard during the downswing that at impact that they fly off of the ground with the force they generate. However, only a guess.
All that aside, if you wanted to have one of these mats, or if your club wants one, the price is $2500 for the smaller size and $3200 for the large. The software that makes it work is $150/ year or $15/ month. Naturally, there is support from BodiTrak. For this price, there better be.
Putting tablet sees and reads your stroke
Everybody, in the back of their mind, knows that putting is nearly half of a golf score. Half. That means being able to hit the putt on the right line with the right speed is huge. Hole More Putts has come up with a way for you to see exactly what you and your putter are doing when you hit the ball. You might not like it, but this invention can see it.
The Hole More Putts device is a tablet, a bit bigger than an iPad.
You putt on the top of it and it gives you instant feedback on each putt and sends that data to your cell phone or their on-line member app which can be accessed by computer or phone. It provides information on face angle, impact point, path, speed and angle of attack. It measures 6000 parameters per second using 68 sensors. Wow. That’s a lot of math.
But here’s the best part. Once it sees what you are doing, it prescribes what you can do to improve. So, if five things are wrong with your putting, Hole More Putts will pick the worst flaw and give you drills to help you improve that first because it’s likely that will give you score improvement first. Then you can work on the next issue and the next.
Using the app which comes with it, you get a detailed analysis of your stroke. The results of your putting are shown in percentages with 100 being the best.
I spoke to a friend who was at the PGA Merchandise Show and watched PGA Tour Champions player John Harris using it, and Harris kept posting 100s all over the place. My friend was not as lucky with his putting. He was sure it wasn’t working, his results were so bad. Names and percentages will not be revealed to preserve his dignity.
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Hole More Putts: $500 for the tablet. Analysis of your buddies’ bad putting strokes, priceless. Get more information at HoleMorePutts.com.