Will the Blast Motion Golf swing analyzer make you a better golfer, and is it worth the money? In this review, we will answer these questions and more.
We are now on generation 3 of the Blast Motion Golf sensor. Here we’ll dig into the data and give a genuine appraisal of what metrics work and when you should consider buying one for your own golf game.
TLDR – What does the Blast Motion Golf (BMG) analyzer do and is it worth it?
The BMG analyzer gives you feedback on multiple parameters in your full swing, chipping and putting. For your full swing and chipping you’ll get backswing and downswing times, swing tempo along with calculations of hand speed, clubhead speed and attack angle. With putting you also get metrics on face angle, lie angle and clubhead rotation.
The ease of use and accuracy of the data is really good. However, with all training aids, you have to know what feedback you are looking at and why. The metrics for full swing are useful for golfers who want feedback on tempo, hand speed or simple up/down data on attack angle, but are less useful for golfers seeking improved accuracy and clubface control. However, I do love this tool for feedback on putting stroke mechanics.
If you know what BMG metrics you are interested in across full swing, chipping or putting and why – the Blast Motion Sensor is a great piece of kit to give you accurate feedback in practice and help you improve your golf game.
Let’s dive into the full review.
After many years of research and lecturing in biomechanics, I’m always dubious when I’m asked to try out a new ‘swing analyzer’ – I know how tough it is to create valid and reliable data even in a lab!
However, the first impressions of the Blast Motion did spark my interest. The wireless charging port and sleek, Apple-like packaging make you feel like you’ve bought a high tech piece of kit built with quality and attention to detail in mind.
How to get started with the Blast Golf Motion sensor
Simply unpack the sensor and charger, link the charger up to a USB port and wirelessly charge for 90 minutes. Then download the app and pair the device to your phone. Scan a QR code, rotate the sensor as instructed on the app and you are good to go.
Overall, this is a super smart and simple setup process.
How to use the Blast Motion sensor during your golf swing?
The sensor is designed to be attached to the end of your club grip (see rubber tubes in the image above and golf club pictured below). There are two attachments, one for regular grips and one specifically for larger putter grips.
Then open your app, select a mode (putting, short game, full swing) and let the app run and collect data on every stroke you make. The automated data collection is near faultless with full swings and putting, knowing the difference between a practice swing and an actual shot. However, it did register the odd practice chipping swing during testing.
How to analyze your data
After each swing, or after a set of swings, simply open the app and use the cool interface to look at average data points, variance in your data or differences between individual shots.
The BMG app even gives the option for audio feedback on your chosen variable after every shot you hit.
What does the BMG Sensor measure?
The Blast Motion Golf sensor tracks the following metrics for different areas of your golf game:
- Swing speed
- Peak hand speed
- Backswing, downswing & total swing time
- Attack angle (down/level/up)
As above with the following additions:
- Loft change (from setup to impact)
- Lie angle change (from setup to impact)
- Face angle at impact
- Backswing and forward swing rotation
- Backswing length
How will the Blast Motion swing trainer improve my golf game?
This is likely the most important question when you are considering buying a training gadget.
The Blast Motion sensor doesn’t magically change your technique, it gives you feedback on specific aspects of your technique (knowledge of performance) that you would not otherwise have. Feedback is a critical variable in learning, but the feedback has to be related to your performance as a golfer (think of the effect on impact and ball flight). You must know why you are interested in these variables!
Let’s talk through some examples.
1. Putting – direction
~90-95% of start direction in putting is dependent on face angle at impact. The BMG analyzer calculates the difference between face angle at setup and face angle at impact. Meaning if you were aiming at your target you can get exceptionally clear feedback to help improve your face angle at impact and your putting accuracy.
2. Putting – pace control
Swing length and time can be used to calculate the average velocity of the putter head. When you combine this with putter loft at impact you have a great set of data to observe factors affecting your pace control. Again, the Blast Motion analyzer offers great value here.
If you strike the centre of the clubface and can control your loft at impact, your swing speed is going to be the biggest factor affecting distance control in your short game.
Using the BMG training aid to get swing speed as consistent as possible will likely improve your short game skills. It can also be combined with angle of attack data to ensure you achieve solid contact on your chip shots.
4. Long game
Hand speed will be highly predictive of clubhead speed. Meaning if you can increase hand speed you will hit the ball further. Keeping with hand speed, you can also use this data to help master your distance control with your iron play and wedge shots.
5. Variability in performance
Pros are less variable between swings than single figure golfers. Variability continues to increase as you move up to mid then high handicappers. As a general rule, the more stable your movements are the more consistent you will be.
However, I must note that with long game analysis, the most important parameters for performance are stability in centredness of strike and face angle at impact – neither are captured by the BMG sensor. Nevertheless, you can still work on tempo and timing of your golf swing and ensure these aspects are consistent.
Other smart ways to use the Blast Motion Golf sensor
If the section above fits your needs then this section should double your interest.
Practice vs course
I’ve written and talked at length about the topic of the range vs the golf course. Here the BMG analyzer can really help you out. Practice using the analyzer, then head out for a few holes when the course is quiet and see what changes from practice to play.
This quantitative feedback is great for your short and long term development. It will also give you a great insight into what happens to your swing when you are on the course versus practice.
Other cool features
On top of the data discussed above the Blast Motion swing analyzer also offers cool features such as: graphics and data overlayed with swing recordings, a bunch of video content and benchmarks to hit within some variables.
As a coach, I don’t find these as useful, in this review I really wanted to focus on if and how this will make you a better golfer and help you practice effectively. If you’re interested in learning more about these features check out this video below.
Frequently asked questions
The following section contains some of the most frequently asked questions when buying the Blast motion golf swing analyzer.
How does the Blast Motion Golf sensor work?
This is obviously something they keep a secret, but my educated guess is that the sensor contains an accelerometer (measures acceleration) and a gyroscope (measures position and orientation) to collect kinematic data. This data is then filtered (possibly a Butterworth bandpass or polynomial filter) before data points such as peak speed, timings etc. are extracted.
There will be some additional algorithms for detecting impact and triangulating the accelerometer and gyroscope data for better accuracy. They do a great job of proving a simple, sleek dashboard with data on your phone – it does feel like magic!
Is Blast Motion Golf data accurate?
Validity and reliability are deep topics. Some variables will be more accurate than others, however, most data you will get from the sensor is accurate enough to keep you moving in the right direction during practice.
Timing, tempo and attack angle data are all very solid. I’m particularly impressed with the sensitivity of putting face angle and lie angle data. I would estimate club head data is the one that may have a little more error, as this is estimates from hand speed (where the accelerometer is positioned), and likely, rotational data about the grip.
How accurate is Blast Motion swing speed?
Hand speed will be quite robust in terms of validity and reliability. However, there may be some error in clubhead speed data.
How accurate is Blast Motion clubface data?
From tinkering on the putting green with a laser and training aids to stabilise face angle I’m quite impressed with the accuracy. It seems to be accurate to within 0.5º and potentially closer to 0.1º.
Why does the Blast Motion analyzer not look at clubface angle for chipping and full swing?
My hunch is that they cannot detect clubface rotation accurately enough at higher speeds. The sampling rate may not be high enough to perfectly find the impact position (these compact sensors often run at 100 – 1,000Hz). And/or, the vibrations at impact may cause too much noise in the signal for it to accurately capture rotation.
If the clever crew at Blast Motion could solve the problem above I feel this would move it from a good to great swing analyzer – but this is a tough problem!
Does Blast Motion Golf measure distance?
The BMG sensor measures hand speed, estimates clubhead speed, but does not measure overall shot distance.
How good is Blast Motion Golf?
If you are working on one of the variables this sensor captures, the BMG swing analyzer is a brilliant practice tool. Just be sure the variables you focus on will make you a better golfer. After our thorough testing, the BMG secured a place in our review of the best putting aids and features in our round-up of the best swing analysers.
Blast Motion Golf Review – Summary
Let’s be clear, more feedback does not always equal better practice. However, when you can focus on 1 or 2 key metrics that will positively affect your shot outcome, your rate of learning will go through the roof! The key message before you buy this tool is what metrics will you use and why.
In specific use cases (putting accuracy and pace control, chipping distance control and long game controlling and increasing distance) the Blast Motion sensor opens up a new world of data for you to improve your game. It is great for putting and useful to a point for short game and long game training.
As a coach, I will use this as a coaching tool for putting, and I will reach for it now and again when I have a player who needs feedback on key parameters in chipping and long game lessons.
Usability and design are both 9/10 and if you’re a golf geek you’ll just love this as an addition to your practice and play.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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