PhiGolf is a golf simulator that claims to offer accurate 3D swing analysis all for under $300. This sounds too good to be true, so we tested it out against $20,000 worth of TrackMan technology to find out how accurate it really is.
Here we share the results of our testing, give you an insight into how it works at home and cover who with think will love the PhiGolf 2 and who should give this one a miss and go grab some golf lessons instead.
What is the PhiGolf 2?
The PhiGolf 2 is a mix of a launch monitor, video game and golf simulator. The product is a mini golf club with a weighted ball to match the feel and weight of a full-length golf club.
The PhiGolf Sensor fits into the end of the mini club and is also designed to fit into a real golf club, offering you all the data when you are hitting golf shots at the range.
PhiGolf 2 uses
- Speed golf
- Playing real golf courses
The PhiGolf 2 is great fun for new and beginner golfers. It is easy to set up and offers lots of playing options.
It is accurate enough to play some fun rounds with friends and is pretty good at tracking club head speed and distance for golfers who aren’t too serious. However, when it comes to accuracy data and the swing analysis modes, we’d suggest these aren’t accurate enough to help most golfers improve their golf game.
The mini club that comes with the PhiGolf 2 is well-built and feels similar to a golf club, but the gameplay isn’t realistic compared to playing on the golf course as you aren’t striking a real golf ball.
✔ Great fun, hours of entertainment.
✘ Not a practice tool for more serious golfers.
What is the PhiGolf Simulator?
The PhiGolf Simulator is essentially a sensor that attaches to a swing stick or golf club and it records data that you can then display on a screen. The PhiGolf 2 Simulator lets you play at a driving range, analyze your swing or head out on the virtual course for a round of golf.
Some refer to it as an all-in-one simulator package. With the ability to screen cast from your phone you won’t need a projector and you can use this with or without a golf ball.
PhiGolf comes with a unique polygonal-shaped sensor can be used in a real club or a swing stick. The sensor is equipped with Bluetooth so you won’t have to worry about cords or anything hooking into the club or your television.
There is also the 70cm steel shaft swing trainer or swing stick that is designed to have a similar feel to a regular golf club. The swing stick weighs a total of 480g and the weight is not customizable.
You also get a charger cable and a wrist strap in the box.
The wrist strap is used when swinging with the swing stick just in case you let go at some point in your swing. With how hard you have to go after the ball using this PhiGolf swing stick, it’s smart to keep the wrist strap in place when you are using it.
The device comes with 9 golf courses that you can play free of charge and a 3D data analysis system to improve swing tempo and consistency. With PhiGolf you will have access to several different training programs that work on everything from full swing to putting.
The drills include things like being able to see if your putter head is staying on the proper path.
PhiGolf does not have a monthly subscription for its service but the WGT (World Golf Tour) or E6 Connect will require a monthly subscription to keep playing the additional courses. These two platforms give you access to an incredible amount of world-famous courses, meaning you’ll never be bored of the same old 18 holes.
The driving range functionality is quite simple. You can use a real golf club or the swing stick to hit balls, aim at different targets, challenge yourself and work on your game.
The PhiGolf 2 has 3D swing analysis built in to help you with chipping, driving, putting and full-swing shots. Some of the information collected and shared includes head speed, swing tempo, club path, face angle, attack angle and an estimate for distance.
Is this useful or accurate? We cover this when we compare the data to TrackMan below.
Playing golf courses
The PhiGolf 2 comes with 9 golf courses that you will always have access to. If you get tired of playing these golf courses you have the option to upgrade to the WGT or E6 Connect app which will give you a total of 67 additional courses.
What equipment do you need?
To use the PhiGolf 2 simulator you will need an iPhone or Android with the PhiGolf app installed. In addition, you will need a screen so that you can see the golf course or driving range that you are playing.
The mobile device will be what you use to mirror the image from the app onto the screen of your phone.
As far as a home golf simulator is concerned you will need very little space if you are using the swing stick. Of course, if you change clubs and start swinging with your own, be prepared to take a full swing and ensure you have the proper clearance.
This means that in theory, you can use the PhiGolf 2 to run your own golf simulator, but that would mean changing the sensor to a new golf club for every shot, so we wouldn’t recommend this.
Testing PhiGolf vs TrackMan
We really wanted to know how accurate PhiGolf 2 is. Let’s be honest, we’re not expecting it to match up to a $20k launch monitor like TrackMan, but the accuracy of PhiGolf tells us how useful it will be for improving your golf game.
Also, many golfers forget that this data powers any golf simulator experience. If it isn’t accurate it will feed into all the games you play on the PhiGolf simulator.
The key takeaways are that the PhiGolf 2 offers a good estimate of the distance the golf ball goes and swing analysis, but it isn’t accurate enough to really work on your golf game if you are aiming to get down below a 20 handicap or better.
The PhiGolf was good at tracking club head speed, and not bad at tracking how far shots actually travelled.
When we dig into the details of the PhiGolf swing analysis we can see there was a consistent error in the club path (we tried to improve this by twisting the sensor around). However, the PhiGolf wasn’t able to detect changes in face angle – it was within a few degrees, but this still translates to 10+ yards of error in shot outcome).
Based on this we wouldn’t say this is the best tool for golfers really wanting to work on their accuracy, but it is not a bad tool for golfers wanting feedback on club head speed and distance control.
Golf Insider verdict
When we tested the Phi Golf 2 we had a lot of fun with its functionality. The game modes, courses and the swing trainer are all interesting and easy to use. If you have a family and need something to keep the kids busy on a rainy day, this is a great option to consider.
However, if you are considering the PhiGolf 2 working as a real-life golf simulator or to pick up useful information about your golf swing we’d suggest you look elsewhere if you are a 20 handicap or below.
The PhiGolf won’t compare to a true launch monitor from an accuracy standpoint, but it is fun. Think of this more like an interactive video game for golfers who enjoy golf when they aren’t on the course.
Is PhiGolf 2 worth it?
PhiGolf 2 is worth it for an avid golfer (or new player) who is interested in having fun and playing with a portable golf simulator with friends. However, if you are a realistic and accurate golf simulator you are better off looking elsewhere.
Higher handicappers may find that simply getting the extra swings in while off the golf course can be helpful. In that case, the PhiGolf sensor may encourage you to swing a little more and work on the general motions. In addition, the swing trainer may give you some basic tips or advice to improve your game on the course.
However, if you are going to spend the money on the PhiGolf 2 you really need to commit to using it to have fun, that’s its real benefit. To put the PhiGolf2 in the category with other golf simulator setups is really just a bit unfair.
How realistic is PhiGolf?
The PhiGolf 2 can track the general direction and distance of the golf ball, but it is accurate enough to know exactly where the golf ball would go on the golf course. This is partly due to its limited ability to track club face angle and swing path, but also because you don’t hit a real golf ball when playing on the simulator mode.
Can you play 2 players on PhiGolf?
The PhiGolf will allow up to four players on one device. The ability to play this as a competitive game with friends or family members is an option.
Does PhiGolf require a subscription?
PhiGolf does not require a subscription. However, if you want access to expanded features and more golf courses you will need to pay for WGT or E6 Connect.
Can you use your own clubs with Phigolf?
The PhiGolf 2 allows you to put the sensor in any of your golf clubs. You can even hit real golf balls with your club while using the PhiGolf 2 if that helps you feel like you are more accurate or it’s a more realistic way to play golf. The difference in data between swinging a golf ball and swinging without a golf ball should not be significant.
Can you play Phigolf on TV?
PhiGolf can and should be played on your TV. Use your mobile device to mirror the screen from the app to the television so that you are able to watch your round progress and follow up with the data, stands and information that is coming your way.
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