Epson M-Tracer: Worth Every Penny
A little while ago if you wanted any real type of swing tracking your options where very limited. You either needed to be pretty wealthy or you needed to be a tour pro to afford something like a Trackman or a Flightscope. Or you needed to shell out some decent coin for PGA professional lessons with one of those tools.
That’s not entirely the case anymore.
Swing analyzers have been around for a little bit, but they’re becoming more and more refined and there are more options entering the market pretty frequently. The Epson M-Tracer has set out to be atop of this market.
Usually when you hear “Epson” the first thing that comes to mind is understandably printers and projectors, and you might wonder how did they get involved in the golf industry. But after speaking with Randy Bergstedt of Epson Active, I was educated on their existing motion sensing arm of the company which makes it a pretty natural extension of the business.
How Does It Work?
The Epson M-Tracer is a lightweight (about 15 grams), club-mounted analyzer that captures basic swing data such as swing path, clubhead speed and face angle as well as measuring some more complex data like natural uncock, shaft rotation and swing tempo. It does this all at a 1,000 samples per second rate.
The M-Tracer will store up to 200 swings and the swing data can be viewed via Bluetooth on iPhone or Android devices, both mobile devices and tablets. The data is displayed in a 3D model that can be rotated with zoom capabilities, different view angles and view aids that assist in visualizing where the “money zone” for your swing should be. The Epson M-Tracer also sets the backswing and downswing in contrasting colors which makes it just a bit easier to quickly identify a hitch or another quirk in your swing.
How Does It Perform?
The Epson M-Tracer was nothing short of revelational for my swing. The HWB view (Half Way Back) specifically was incredibly insightful. To be able to see how much the shaft was rotating halfway through the backswing quickly cut out the need to make any other adjustments to my swing — it took out the guessing work of if the problem was swing path or if the issue was occurring in my takeaway or at the top of the backswing.
Within one session I realized that my swing had become too steep with my irons which was robbing me of the consistency in ball-striking that I was looking for.
The 3D display of the swing is very easy to use and play with. It’s very intuitive and allows you to see, at least at face value, what may be an issue with your swing. Pairing that with the easy to read data metrics which come with descriptions and examples of where a good swing should fall makes the Epson M-Tracer an invaluable tool for identifying faults and weak points in your swing.
Additionally, the M-Tracer comes with different sized clips so that it will fit virtually any grip and it sits well below your hands, so it’s never in the way. And don’t worry, a safety strap is attached to the back of it so you don’t take a swing and toss it 100 yards into the middle of the driving range.
How Should It Be Used?
While it’s astounding how useful, helpful, easy to understand and simply great the M-Tracer is, it will not reach its full potential without being used in collaboration with a teaching professional. I am fairly well-versed in swing analysis and how to understand data and provide myself certain adjustments to fix issues, but even I felt inundated with the large amount of data in one place. That’s not to say it’s a problem with the M-Tracer; that’s how Epson wants it to be used. An amateur could see several data points and try to make alterations to each one of them individually whereas an instructor might be able to provide a single tip or swing change that could address the foundation of each one of those issues without addressing each one at a time.
They have paired up with legendary instructor David Leadbetter to have him provide insight into the development and Epson later plans to release instructional videos from Mr. Leadbetter using the Epson M-Tracer. The M-Tracer will be used exclusively as a training tool at his academies as well.
David Leadbetter on the Epson M-Tracer:
“Golf is a highly technical sport where the smallest details and adjustments can make all the difference in getting the best out of your game. The Epson M-Tracer provides real-time feedback and immediate solutions that help golfers develop a more efficient and powerful swing. This information empowers golfers to improve their swing in an easy and intuitive manner, ultimately resulting in lower scores and more fun.”
I cannot express enough how much the Epson M-Tracer is worth every penny of it’s retail price of $299. If I can offer one warning it is this: do not buy it thinking that you will fix every problem with your swing on your own. Do not think that it will get your from a 20+ handicap to the single digits. It’s outstanding for helping you see how your swing could improve fundamentally, but it is absolutely best used when paired with professional instruction.
Go to the Epson M-Tracer site page to find out more and order one of your own.