Golf Tags are Near-Field Communication-based plugs that screw into the end of your clubs and measure the distance of your shots. Tap your phone on the tags to link to the Golf Pad app and record your current location and club choice. In the app, you can view your shot dispersion, distance trends, fairway statistics, greens in regulation, putting, and more. This gives you the basic info to plan a full course strategy, in addition to the specifics these tags record about the clubs themselves.
Since each club gets its own tag (Golf Tags come in a set of 15), the app receives club-specific playing history that takes elevation changes, temperature, humidity, and altitude into account. Once you’ve played a few rounds with the Golf Tags, the app can learn to be better than new caddy and offer suggestions of which club you should use in the moment (it’s worth noting that the Club Recommendations feature is still under development, but should be ready in time to ship). Checking your driving and approach shot dispersion will show you what part of your game needs practice.
You can edit –that doesn’t mean cheat – and share your stats in real-time from your phone. But if you have a smartwatch like a Pebble, Samsung Gear, or Android Wear, you can see your club info and last shot distance whenever you scan a tag, and keep your phone in your pocket.
The tags themselves are passive, so they don’t have batteries to charge. They’re made of tough plastic, so they can take a licking, but they do have a year’s warranty. There’s also the small caveat that some of the advanced analytics are only available with Golf Pad Premium, at a cost of $10 a year. Each Golf Tag set starts you off with a code for a year of premium, but when that time runs out you can pay for the upgrade or use Golf Tags with the free version of the app.
What’s it really worth to get to know yourself and your clubs a little better? After launch a set of Golf Tags will cost you $100. All the early bird Kickstarter rewards are gone, but you can still grab a set for $80 or two for $150. You can always use the Golf Pad app alone, of course. It’s available at the Google Play Store and iTunes.