Matt Kilgariff, PGA, Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., spoke with CEO, Ryan Dotters, and Head of R&D, John DeLeon, about Full Swing’s decision to enter the launch monitor game—expanding beyond simulators.
By Matt Kilgariff, PGA, Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Full Swing is not just a simulator company anymore. Full Swing is now in the launch monitor game.
So, I set out to find out what made them decide to move in this direction and what makes their launch monitor the best in the game for everyone looking to make this investment. I had an opportunity to have a great Q & A session with CEO, Ryan Dotters, and Head of R&D, John DeLeon.
Matt: When and why did your team decide to add a launch monitor to your portfolio?
Ryan: Back around 2014 I had a conversation with a good friend of mine, John DeLeon, who had a background in aerospace and military defense electronics and radar. We liked the idea and thought … how can we make it happen? Later when talking with Tiger Woods, who had owned a Full Swing Simulator, Tiger asked us to build a launch monitor better than anything out there for the practice range that he could trust as much as his indoor solution we made him. I convinced John to join the company and we were all in.
Matt: What was the vision for the launch monitor?
John: Ryan wanted a launch monitor that was small in stature and affordable for all golfers, not just country clubs and tour players. I wanted to create something that was better than any launch monitor product that existed for use on the driving range by any Tour player, at a fraction of the cost. If you have ever noticed when you watch the guys warming up on TV now, they use multiple machines at the same time, which is about $40,000 worth of equipment.
Matt: How did you do pull it off?
John: We decided to go with something that no one else has tried, with full stack 24GHz radar, usually used to track short distances, but we implemented a dual mode to track not only the short distances but to track a ball that will travel 300-plus yards thanks to our proprietary processing power that gives us the cleanest data on the market. When you go up in frequency, you can go down in price and size.
Matt: Why was size so important?
John: When we discussed the project with Ryan, he gave us the constraints of size and price point but allowed me to hire the best engineers to figure out how to get it done. I like to think of existing launch monitors ais the desktop PC and we are the latest and greatest smartphone / tablet technology.
Matt: How accurate is all the data?
John: The fact that Tiger brought it to all three majors that he played in this year is our seal of approval that our data is the most accurate on the market, as we know how legendarily high his standards are for equipment. We are going head to head within 50 RPM and matching actual and normalized carry distance to what are considered the combined gold standards for initial ball and club data.
Matt: What are your favorite features of the monitor and the user experience on the app?
John: I love the size of the KIT and the accuracy that we are getting with all the data for the price you pay – strong value for money proposition. We are giving actual numbers based on direct radar measurements coupled AI/Machine Learning innovations. Our video is giving players high-resolution 60 FPS at 1080 HD video play back of every swing from our built-in camera in addition to our radar-powered data. I like that we have the only full color there is an OLED display screen right on the monitor and you do not need any other devices to see the numbers. We also have nearly a 5-star rating in the app store thanks to the most user-friendly free app in the industry that allows users to get all of their data, video and customize how they see it across their iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch or even listen to it on their AirPods. At the onset we felt we needed to set the bar higher when it came to simplicity in the user experience – something existing launch monitors missed the mark on, we feel that we have a made an experience from start to finish that golfers of all skill levels can appreciate and more importantly, learn quickly how to get started.
Matt: Concluding thoughts?
Ryan: I am most proud that Tiger has full trust in this product, given that he used it at all three majors this year and continues to give us his feedback to improve our user experience, it means that we have created something truly remarkable for golfers around the world. He is the best there ever was in the game, and if he did not trust the numbers, he would not use it. The release of the launch monitor took longer to develop than planned, but it was because we wanted to make sure we put out a product that the best in the game believed in. If Tiger approves, I think every golfer should too.
We use the Full Swing KIT launch monitor at The Bridges and have had remarkable success with it. The price point of the launch monitor is $4,999 with a free included app or annual premium subscription that includes unlimited video, historical data and trends in the app store that is only $99. At this price point we will hope to order additional units, which will allow our members to check them out and use during their practice sessions.
Check out fullswinggolf.com and use coupon code HOLIDAYKITMK to get $500 off the Full Swing KIT and a free $750 Virtual Gameplay Package. Once you’ve added the Full Swing KIT to your shopping cart, type HOLIDAYKITMK in the coupon code box and click apply coupon, you’ll see that the e6 Connect Perpetual Package has been added at $0 and that your KIT is $500 off.
Matt Kilgariff is a PGA professional who spent much of his career working for Butch Harmon and the Harmon Family. He is currently the Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Prior to joining The Bridges, Kilgariff was Director of Player Development at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Matt has also been part of TaylorMade’s National Advisory Staff since 2012.