Need To Know
BAL.ON Smart Kit Key Features:
- Insoles with nine built-in pressure sensors: measure pressure throughout the golf swing
- Smart Pods: translate pressure date directly to BAL.ON App
- BAL.ON app: Records your swing for detailed analysis, then provides detailed coaching and drills to use
Continental is a brand name more closely associated with motorsports than it is with golf, but that hasn't stopped it from joining the party with its new BAL.ON Smart Kit, a training aid designed to analyse your swing using an advanced set of pressure sensors and the magic of artificial intelligence.
Weight transfer and ground force are two of the most pivotal aspects of a golf swing, and now, thanks to the Smart Kit, you can analyse both metrics and more with a first-of-its-kind portable and affordable pressure measurement system.
To find out how it worked, we took the kit down to Custom Golf Works in Woking to test it out with a launch monitor.
Let's get into it.
How to setup the Smart Kit
The BAL.ON Smart Kit comes with two insoles, each containing nine pressure sensors. These insoles are slid into your shoes, while the smart pods attach neatly to the outside of your shoes with an easy-to-use clip.
Once the insoles are in place and paired with the free-to-download app, you will then need to place your phone in the Smart Kit case that provides a very handy slot for recording your swing.
Then, all you need to do is pick a club to hit, press record and execute a shot. Each session will record five swings, and you will need to press record between each shot to make sure it is captured.
While the process may take a few tries to get spot on, as soon as you have become accustomed to how it works, it's incredibly simple and easy to use.
As soon as your five swings are complete, your data is ready to view in a matter of seconds.
What does the Smart Kit measure?
Using the pressure sensors in the insoles, combined with hi-res recordings from your camera, the app will analyse seven metrics based on data from thousands of shots, including many from the DP World Tour and German Bundesliga players.
The simple metrics are pressure distribution at address, during backswing and at impact, while the advanced metrics give feedback on rhythm, maximum pressure, timing, and your transition from backswing to downswing.
These metrics are all boiled down to a score out of 100, that is provided to you on screen. Once you click on this score, though, you are treated to a fascinating breakdown of your swing, which is separated into the metrics mentioned above.
Using the playback feature, you can also view your swing and heatmap at the same time, giving you an incredibly detailed analysis of exactly where your weight is moving throughout your swing.
For those less familiar with some of the categories mentioned, if you click on them, they will give you a detailed breakdown of exactly what they mean, so it becomes easy to understand what you are looking at.
What can I do with that information?
For the average golfer, picking apart the data provided by the app can be confusing. Not everyone is a certified coach, so you could be forgiven for not understanding how to translate each metric into improving your swing.
Thankfully, the Smart Kit does all that hard work for you.
Based on your performance, the Smart Kit will provide you with a set of drills specifically formulated from your swing pattern, thanks to its built-in AI coach. These drills are meant to be performed either directly on the practice grounds or at home in front of the mirror.
Alternatively, if you are currently seeing a coach, this data could prove to be an excellent tool for them to use to better understand your golf swing and tailor their tuition based on the results you receive.
Not every coach around the world has access to this level of analytics, so chances are, if you show up to your next lesson with the Smart Kit, it will make your coach's job a whole lot easier.
We tried out the drills provided and immediately noticed our scores shoot up on the app. They are simple to execute and only take a couple of minutes, but the results we experienced both on the app and on our launch monitor were very impressive.
Should you buy the BAL.ON Smart Kit?
If you are really serious about your golf and want to dig right down into the details of how you can improve, then the Smart Kit would be an excellent investment.
The kit is expensive, coming in at £549, but let's first consider another purchase people often make to try and improve their game. A new driver will set you back a similar price, but it won't be able to fix your swing. The Smart Kit, on the other hand, will.
So, if you are considering spending your hard-earned cash on a tool that will really help you improve as a golfer, the Smart Kit would be money well spent.
We were really impressed by the level of detail the kit provided, and the inbuilt coach is also a fantastic feature that really rounds this product out into one of the best training aids we've ever used.
All in all, the Smart Kit is an incredibly impressive piece of technology that will truly help golfers improve their game.