A couple of days ago Bridgestone Golf released a free iOS application that will determine which golf ball is best for your game. The company has been vocal about getting fit for the proper golf ball over the years, and has spent a lot of money on marketing and advertisements around golf ball fitting. So, the release of the Bridgestone BFIT Golf Ball Fitting and Launch Monitor app is very interesting, and could possibly be a much more affordable solution to get golfers to switch to Bridgestone golf balls. You can read the press release and review more about the app, but what we wanted to do was actually give the application a spin and see if it is effective.
Bridgestone BFit Golf Ball Fitting App
The first step is to search and download the Bridgestone BFit application for the iOS app store
The app starts and the above Home Screen is displayed with two simple choices. Either a Quick Fitting or In Depth Fitting button must be pressed in order to start the fitting process. We decided to start with the Quick Fitting option to see how the application works before moving on to the in depth fitting option.
The above screen provides a set of information that is required for either the in depth or quick fitting – it’s basically the same process which requires the use of a driver, and a calibration object. We used another club as a calibration object which we’ll get to shortly.
Setup a New Player
The next step after selecting which fitting option you would like to execute, a new player must be added. Once a single person has been added, other players can be added and also a new fitting can be performed on an existing player as the names and information are stored within the app for later usage.
The interface to enter the player information was a little wonky. I had trouble with trying to select the areas for input and following that by entering information. It seemed that the application had some scrolling issues and input problems. Bridgestone definitely needs to update this part of the application as it was a little frustrating to get through. But finally after entering all of the required fields, we were able to move onto the next steps.
Video a Driver Swing
After adding a new player, or selecting an existing user if one exists, the next step is to record a video session in order to perform the analysis. A confusing situation occurs at this step for the first time.
You’ll notice a black video screen like above, if you are not outside in a bright light. We thought the camera wasn’t working or that we didn’t select to enable the Bridgestone Bfit application to be allowed to use the camera. This took a little bit to figure out, but in deed the camera was working. It just needs to be in bright light (i.e. in sun) outside. You see the lower left hand corner that says “optimize video”? That button will also help with focus on brightness in order to allow the application to analyze the swing and make proper calculations. So, after a bit of time, we got passed the camera issue and were able to follow the instructions in order to capture a swing.
We used another club as our calibration object, which is required to be put in parallel with the golfer’s swing. As you’ll see we need to use that calibration object later on to enable the application to perform a calculation on swing speed.
Now that a full swing was recorded, you’ll need to follow the instructions on top in order to mark points of interest which include the left and right side of the calibration object, the hossle of the club a frame before impact, and the hossle of the club at impact and finally the golf ball.
It’s a pretty easy process to tap on the locations requested by the application, and then the zoom area allows you to move the marker to a more accurate location.
In the above screenshot, you’ll see all of the markers on the video that are required for the app to make the appropriate calculations. The video capture and setting of markings was a fairly easy process to perform, and we did it several times. However, the actual fitting was confusing at times and at times we followed through on all of the steps, but the application didn’t “save” the fitting and never performed an analysis. The Bridgestone BFit Golf Ball Fitting and Launch Monitor application was released on March 1st 2017, so it’s the first iteration and we believe that it needs some updating to be more useful. About the only information we were able to get from the analysis was the swing speed. The accuracy of the markings is important in order to get this speed correct and after using the application a couple of times, we were able to get a swing speed reading which seemed accurate. Now, we would use this application solely for a swing speed situation as there are better options for golfers.
Because the application seemed to need updates and more work, we didn’t take it through a full spin at this time. A more reliable version will need to be released soon and we will keep our eye out for any updates in order to finish the review.
Bottom line, we think this application is interesting but the Bridgestone BFit Golf Ball Fitting application and launch monitor seems to need more work before being useful. Can a golf ball be really “fitted” based upon an application, or will Bridgestone make recommendations for golfers based upon the required information that was needed to be assigned to a player? This information included items like average score (handicap indicator), male/female, and current golf ball information. Based off of that type of information and an idea about swing speed is enough to suggest a ball.
Bridgestone Bfit Golf Ball Fitting and Launch Monitor application can be downloaded here.