My best “Electronic Caddy” winner is OptimalClub (OC). OC is a software program that weaves several web services together to recommend a club in real time based on distance, wind direction, wind velocity, elevation and your own launch monitor ballistics: ball speed, launch angle and spin rate.
You’re going to have to read the rest of this article to have a chance to understand that “elevator pitch” description.
OC runs on your iPhone. The application layers Google Earth, a GPS, wind and elevation data and your actual launch ballistics to recommend the right club for wind and any change in elevation.
How many times have you wondered, two or three clubs for the grade? And you still came up short.
The program even tells you where to aim. It is like your iPhone suddenly came to life as an experienced caddy.
Hard eight or smooth seven? Sure it’s not a soft six? You get a credible second opinion. Imagine the amusement of a silent conversation with your iPhone.
It is the only software I’ve seen that helps understand the effect of wind and elevation on the shot you’re facing. It’s a fabulous training device.
OptimalClub is a great way for players who don’t play enough to develop a good feel for wind effects. OC is a must have for beginners.
It is not legal during tournament play. However, it is within the rules to print the charts so you can make wind and elevation information part of your course notes.
To understand why this app should be great you need to know the pedigree. The developer is Todd Koss – a programmer who spent the better part of the last five years developing software to model the effect of spin on golf shots. His first program was OptimalFlight – used to check the accuracy of launch monitor data. He is well known as an Authority on golf ballistics.
OptimalClub recommends a club if you enter your average distances. To gain maximum benefit from the program, you can enter launch monitor data including launch angle and spin rate club by club. Basing recommendations on personal launch monitor data including spin rate and launch angle is where OptimalClub shines.
OptimalClub will adjust your projected yardage shot by shot based on your personal launch angle and spin rate. If you’re a high spin player, you’re going to lose extra distance going into a stiff wind. OC knows you, and what will happen to your shots given present atmospheric conditions. How weird is that?
No other system has come close to working at that level of detail.
For players thinking about collecting launch monitor test data, the process requires hitting every club in your bag an average of five times. That’s a pretty good day’s work for most players so we’ve added it as a separate fitting service. Plan on spending an hour. Optimal Flight temporarily costs $2.99 downloaded from iTunes. It’s the best golf bargain on the planet.
Here is a link to the Optimal Club website: http://optimalclub.com/