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How technology elevated the game of golf

How technology elevated the game of golf

Technological advances have been staggering over the past few decades. It’s safe to say that every industry and every aspect of life has been improved by it, including things outside of the job world, like entertainment and sports. 

Tech has definitely had a huge impact on the sport, both in gameplay and behind-the-scenes big data and statistics. How technology has elevated the game of golf is a prime example of what new tech can do for sports. 

While the general mechanism of play has remained the same, everything else—equipment, courses, clothing, and training—has changed as technology has evolved. 

So what kind of things are we looking at in the golfing world today that we have the technology to thank for? Let’s explore some of the fascinating technological evolution of the sport. 

Artificial Intelligence in Golf Clubs 

Golf club manufacturers are now using artificial intelligence to design and build golf clubs. This means your golf club is being designed by someone who may not be much of a golfer, but they’re excellent analysts and data scientists. 

Machine learning is one of the biggest elements of golf club design these days. An example is Callaway’s Flash Face clubface design. 

While investigating how to create a clubface that would deliver maximum ball speed upon the strike, they used a supercomputer to mix and match 100 impact simulations and 15,000 different clubface designs. 

This led to them discovering some unusual thickness patterns, none of which had been used before. Their final chosen design did deliver what they promised—more ball speed off the clubface. 

This wouldn’t have been possible without artificial intelligence and machine learning. The same kind of technology is also being used to manufacture lighter, more streamlined, and more durable clubs. 

While lightness and durability have advantages, AI helps to find the perfect balance between aerodynamics and performance. 

Tech has also been able to make changes to things like club face angle and add adjustable toe and heel weights so that every shot can be shaped to suit the golfer. 

Golf-Related Apps 

Game Tracking Apps 

Just like any sport or form of exercise, golfers need to keep track of their stats as they add more and more rounds. These days, you can keep track of everything on your smartphone, with golf tracking apps and smartwatches. 

Wearables make it very easy to track things like how many shots you make, driving accuracy, and scoring accuracy. 

You can even get sensors that you place on the end of your club which measure every minute detail. These are then paired up with an app on your smartphone and provide you with detailed data on every aspect of your game. 

These apps can be pretty intelligent too, mixing stat tracking with machine learning. Once the app uses your data to learn how you play, it can also provide strategic shot suggestions, club suggestions, and information about upcoming holes. Like a pocket caddie! 

You can also get golf course information on around 45,000 courses around the world, so wherever you’re planning on playing, you can get a good idea of the lay of the land before you even set foot on the course. 

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Swing Analyzing Apps 

You don’t necessarily need to hire a coach to improve your swing anymore. Golf swing analyzer apps are extremely popular and can make a big difference to your game. 

Swing analyzer apps use the sensors built into your phone to gain data on your swing, as well as using your smartphone’s camera to record your swing. The app should provide some information and advice on your swing. On some apps, you can send your swing video directly to your coach for feedback. 

They can get quite detailed. Some apps allow you to view your swing in slow-motion or one frame at a time, so you can carefully scrutinize it and identify weaknesses. In many apps, you can also do a side-by-side comparison, allowing you to see your progress and make sure you’re improving. 

Most will also analyze data like your swing tempo, your backswing and downswing time, launch angle, ball speed, and carry distance. As your swing improves, you can see how these stats change for the better. 

Golf Simulators 

Golf simulators have also risen in popularity in recent years, making golf extremely accessible to almost anyone, at any time. 

While playing a good round of golf typically depends on the weather on the day, golf simulators allow you to play whenever you want. 

If the weather’s bad, you don’t have to worry about getting wet or dealing with nasty winds. Another huge benefit is that you can play a round in the middle of the night if you can’t sleep! 

The courses built into golf simulators are based on courses around the world, including World Championship courses. 

Not only does this give you the opportunity to virtually play courses you may never be able to in real life, but it also offers a level of challenge you wouldn’t be able to get just playing the same courses within your general vicinity. 

But it’s not just fun playing famous courses. The golf simulator tracks your stats and analyzes your every movement. This serves the same purpose as a swing analyzer, providing feedback on your swing and advice on how to change it to improve. 

While golf simulators are like having the golfing world in your living room, they’re quite expensive and take up a lot of space. A golf simulator is an excellent investment if you’ve got the budget. If not, you can get similar feedback from smartphone swing analyzer apps. 

Conclusion 

There’s no denying how technology has elevated the game of golf. At its core, the sport is the same as it’s always been. But with technology making its way into every aspect of the game, it’s definitely vastly different in certain ways. 

The key is to ensure that the game is improved without compromising the integrity of the sport. So far, tech has managed to do that quite well. As for what the future brings, we can only wait and see! 

About the Author

Jordan Fuller has been golfing for decades and has seen first-hand the effects of tech on the sport. When he’s not on the course, he’s researching and writing for his website, Golf Influence

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To add to this article or start a conversation, join our forum to share your opinions with other readers. For stories of this sort and more, do well to log on to www.jbklutse.com or visit us on Facebook.