Mention technology, and the first thing most golfers think about is how advances in design and materials have so dramatically improved the equipment with which they play the game. But it has also had a significant impact on other aspects of the sport, and perhaps nowhere has that been more evident in recent years than in the areas of teaching and club fitting. Golf pro shops and studios look and feel as if they should be part of NASA research labs, so full are they of the latest gadgets and gizmos. New golf technology is lowering scores, lengthening careers and boosting the game’s fun.
High-tech equipment is not restricted to merely the golf clubs and balls. It is a constant innovation and advancement to make special equipment for every part of the golfing experience–from golf instruction, game analysis, gear that helps you analyze the world around you, to outerwear that protects you, down to the very soles of your golfing shoes.
Even robotic technologies are put into to use to create a Golf robot designed to help everyone feel the perfect swing, an ingenious wireless motion capture system designed to provide detailed remedial assistance for your swing, technology which enables you to hear your golf swing and numerous golf simulators so you can practice all day long. Even electronic golf ball finder, a golf ball finding system and a pair of golf ball finding glasses to a solar-powered Golf Bag. And now mobile apps designed to answer the age-old question: “How far is it to the green?” GolfLogix for iPhone, offers aerial views of each hole and gives distances the centre of the green, layup distance, and distances to hazards. Also includes a scorecard and statistics about your round like fairways hit, greens hits, and putts. Another app, GolfLink Game Tracker iPhone Golf GPS, offers over 18,000 courses and shot distance tracking at a one-time fee.
The novice and hobby golfers can now use their mobile devices to keep score and to know the course better with GPS. Armed with information on the exact yardage, angle of play, and even wind speed and direction, they zip along in their eco-friendly ‘green’ Golf carts, that run silent and effortlessly over hill and dale. There’s not much of a downside to high-tech golf gear–if you can afford it. Not only can the stuff eventually make you a better golfer, but in the short run it will also make you look good.
Unquestionably, though, the greatest change has been in the golf instruction business with the introduction of computers and computer software programs specifically geared for golf instructors. “Without a doubt, golf instructors today are much more technical and analytical,” says instructor Gavin. “I can see things today on computer screens that I never in a million years would have picked out with the naked eye before. Things just happen too quickly in the golf swing.”
High-speed cameras originally developed to measure the flight of bullets fired from guns are now used to break down golf swings for both teaching and fitting purposes, as are electromagnetic imagers that work in many ways like medical MRIs. Ultra-modern launch monitors instantly provide critical data regarding ball speed, launch angle and spin rates to better match players with irons and woods, and there are devices that can measure a player’s head movement to one one-thousandth of an inch.
Another mobile application, the USD$5.99 iSwing iPhone application allows users to record their golf swing on video and replay it frame-by-frame in slow motion and analyze their flaws by drawing lines over their screen to make sure they’re “on-plane.” An amazing value, given that professional swing analysis is an expensive proposition.
Choose the right technology, and you can indeed lower your score, lengthen your career and simply have more fun. All of this can be achieved without even stepping on the grass. Whatever is the weather or time, indoor golf simulator for the home or professional studios give the student and instructor a controlled environment free of distractions for year round training, practice and equipment testing. A Golf simulator is an amazing piece of leading edge technology. Spectacular images of the world’s most renowned golf courses, and, It looks and plays like the real golf in high definition.
For golf, technology is indispensable from the realm of teaching and fitting – as well as fitness –as probably the best way through which golfers can currently increase their success, and provide golf companies a way to boost their businesses.
And, all of us should never overlook the advice of Harvey Penick (whose teaching was often very simple and non-technical): “The short game. Those are the magic words.”