Two Great Programs and a description of each!
I was originally going to make this a video, however, after filming and editing vocals, when I got to start working on the editing of the production I found out that the programs could not be seen by the viewer. Oh well, several hours of work wasted on that, and now to write about it.
I’m a fan of VGG Caddy, and I do not in any way want to sound like I’m giving a biased opinion between the two programs. The both have great features to offer you, and one does cost $3.00 USD. I will start with Swingmate and with the use of pictures will show you how it works.
Swingmate is a free program that you may download that uses Adobe Air, which you must install first. Please note that your browser may conflict with the download, so you may need to use another browser if you have issues. Swingmate has many great features, but a few bad ones as well. On the bad side it doesn’t seem that you can change any of the characteristics in the settings for wind or green speeds or at least I can’t but I’m not familiar with Flash programming. On the great side it does offer wind for the approach shots, and has a fantastic ruler feature.
The “Sm” button:
The Sm button is a fantastic way to make quick club selections. When you select the button you have your clubs and putters to select from quickly. I really like this feature, as well as the appearance of the program.
The approach button has the ability to place the distance of the shot. Select the club you are using for the shot. Place the wind in, a positive number is in your face and a negative number is behind you. And you have a modifier which is the distance up or down to the hole. After you place in all of the information you are displayed with a red line as your marker on the meter that indicates that is where to hit it. You are also displayed with a percentage of the club you are swinging.
The putting scale is nice as well. You place the distance to the pin, the putter you are using and the elevation. The red line on the bottom tells you where the mark is to hit, and to the right it tells you both the green speed you have selected as well as the percentage of the club you are swinging.
The ruler mode I really like. You have the option to change the clubs in the preferences which I will go over in a minute. By selecting the club you are using you are given a ruler that marks distance for you with that club. This feature may be used on the green as well if you are not happy with the default layout you had before.
The preferences give you the option to place in your club selection for your approach shot. You are limited to only selecting 7 clubs for this, so select the 7 you use the most for quick reference using the “Sm” button we discussed at first. This is not an issue only having 7 clubs as you may type in the club max distance in the meter for it to still show on the scale.
The putting area also only gives you 3 selections, but remember you may type the max number in for the putter you are using on the green. These preferences are just for the quick pick using the “Sm” button.
Green Speed is a little limited, as well as having the ability to change the default settings for the green selected. I will discuss this a little more with the next image.
Options of adjusting putting distance by 2 feet are exactly that. With it turned on 2 foot is added to the putt. I personally found the putting to be off so I turned this feature off, and on tournament 12 greens I still went past the hole by about four to five feet. I could get use to this and get it dialed in pretty nice if I decided to continue to use the program.
Last is the resize option. This makes the scale larger or smaller to fit on your WGT meter. This option is a little touchy but with a little patients you will be able to get it set perfect.
Last is the green speed selection. It appears that the program has not been updated in some time. WGT has added additional green speeds that we do not have an option to select from. We also have no way to make adjustments to the green speeds, which is disappointing, and something I think the developers should look into. However, this is a free program that has many great features and could be very useful to any WGT player.
For the most part this is a great little tool that is offered for free. On the approach shot you may select the club even if it is the distance of a flop or chip shot. You may then place the distance, wind and the up or down to get a red line for the amount to hit it. If you know basic math calculations out of rough, you may include that into the distance for a more accurate reading. I’ll give you an example:
I was 14 yards from the hole in 30-40 rough. I know that totals to 18, and I also know from experience that I need to add an additional 2 yards to the shot. I set my shot distance at 20, set the club at the max distance for a flop, I then added the wind and set the down elevation. I landed 1 foot from the hole, a perfect little flop shot, but I did have to use some math to get it to work correctly for me.
You do not have to use math and will still have pretty nice shots, you just may not get as close to the hole without it. All in all this is a great little program for anyone to use, and the fact that it is free makes it that much better. Good luck to you with Swingmate.
VGG CaddyVGG Caddy Website
VGG Caddy does have a free version that it offers which you may use to give you a descent scale, but it does not have all of the great features the pro version does. The pro version of VGG Caddy is only $3.00 USD and worth so much more. I am showing you the pro version here.
As you can see on the scale there is a list of buttons and I’ll tell you what each are for.
S = Shot
Now the shot is any kind of shot you would like to take. By clicking the “S” button you will scroll through the different shot types. Select Full, Punch, Pitch, Chip, or Flop for the shot type you would like to make. Once you have your shot type selected you may scroll the wheel of the mouse while it is hovered over the “S” Button to change the club selection within the shot. If you have an issue with the mouse maybe selecting to fast you have the option of holding down Alt + Shift while you select the “S” button to change club types.
P = Putt
Press “P” to select the putter scale. With the mouse over the “P” you may scroll the mouse wheel to select you different putters. If you have issue with the mouse you may also hold Ctrl + Shift and click the “P” to change putter selection.
% = Percentage
This brings up a percentage scale that some players use.
N = Notebook
This brings up a notebook in the program with a list of courses where you may take notes. The Notebook is customizable.
C = Configuration
This brings up the configuration panel for the program for fine tuning all of the adjustments you may need to make.
X = Close
_ = Minimize
In the configuration panel you will see the first tab called, “Scale”. You will use this when you first set up VGG Caddy and the configuration will save in the config.ini file.
Shot Scale Width is the width of the shot scale. Line up the far left line of the shot scale on the far left line of WGT shot scale. Then adjust the width of the scale until the right end is lined up with the right end of the WGT shot scale.
Putter Scale Width is the same as above. I would suggest you are on the green before setting this just to ensure you have the putter scale showing.
Putter Scale Offset is very important and should be listed above the Putter Scale Width. The offset will move the left side of the putter scale over till it is even with the left of the WGT putter scale. Then use the Putter Scale Width till everything is adjusted. Remember not to move the scale or you will have to start over with lining up the shot scale again.
Scale Height is the lines that run along the scale. Adjust these until the lines fill the WGT scale.
The next tab is your buttons tab. You have the option to turn buttons on or off if you like by removing the check next to each button you do not want to show. For example I do not use the Percent Button, so I have that off on mine. Now let me explain each of your options available to you.
Margin Left is the box that holds the buttons. The higher the number the more it will move to the right. I have mine set at 30 so that it does not get in the way of my WGT club selection. Some may like it over even farther or may even like to line it up on the right side of the scale
Margin Bottom is going to increase the width between the scale and the box that has the buttons in it.
Drag Delay (ms) calculates how many milliseconds before you can drag the box. This is a nice feature to use once you have your caddy set up. Increase that number to like 1000 so that it will not move by a slight accidental nudge.
Opacity (%) is how bright the bar is. You may change this to your personal preference.
In the tab clubs you may select all your max distances for each club and each shot type. Don’t bother filling it out all the way across. I only place in what I know I will hit, it makes for quicker selection of club that way.
The putting tab has a list of all of the green speeds, and you may change the percentage value for each. The program comes with a default set already, but you will need to adjust for those because they will not be set for your clubs. My settings on Very Fast to Championship work well for me and may be a good place to start.
- VERY FAST 10 = 118%
- TOURNAMENT 11 = 130%
- TOURNAMENT 12 = 133%
- CHAMPIONSHIP 13 = 138%
The notepad lists all of the courses and may be sized to your liking, as well as increasing the opacity to make it not as bright and you can slightly see the course through it. You may take all the notes you like and have them handy for you when you play the course again.
Final thoughts about VGG Caddy are all great. The scales are in 10, 5, and single increments which are great for that 37 yard punch shot or that 16 yard flop. Having adjustment on the putting scale was a great feature that the programmer included. The low cost of only $3.00 USD is so affordable and the program is worth so much more.
So in conclusion I would say that both programs will help you out on your WGT game. I’m not as happy with Swingmate as I am with VGG Caddy, but I learned how to use math for my shots, and that is something that only Shatmate helps you out with. VGG Caddy does not give you the option to adjust for wind and height, you will have to use your own math to figure that out. I hope that after reading this you can see why that is the case for me. Post your opinion in the comments and let’s hear a little more. If you have another program you would like me to try out let me know.