Golf Technology: What Does It All Do?
May 8, 2017
The game of golf has been around for centuries and has continuously changed throughout the years, but especially in the last few decades. The most recent improvements to the game include technological advances such as wearable technology, tracking systems and recording devices.
Golf technology can potentially help any golfer win more rounds and improve their game by providing them with a deeper understanding of their movements. The latest golf gadgets are designed to help measure distances, examine swings or keep records of the game that can be shared instantly. Brad Kirkman, national dean of golf instruction and golf technology at Golf Academy of America, notes that improvement in phone cameras and apps allows for much easier use of these technologies.
“It is a lot easier to carry an iPhone or iPad to the tee than a bulky video cart,” he says.
The newest golf technologies are often focused on statistics and aren’t limited to those playing with handicaps. That being said, there are some technologies that are worth investing in and others that may not be worth their price tag.
Mobile Golf Swing Analyzers
These devices measure the most important aspects of the golf swing to review and improve. Golf swing analyzers give a golfer feedback on club speed, club plane, tempo, and backswing length.
“Augmented feedback is the key to improvement. When you know the move you attempted was either right or wrong, the learning curve is so much easier,” says Kirkman.
The most recent mobile swing analyzers are very simple to use and can help amateur golfers get better in no time.
Yardage Tracking Systems
Performance tracking systems can help golfers understand yardages and stats to pinpoint what areas of their game need improvement. Professional golfers usually know their yardages, but the typical amateur golfer has little idea what yardage corresponds to each club. For those players, this technology can be worth the investment. Kirkman recommends Game Golf and Arccos.
A launch monitor is an electronic device that measures various aspects of a golf ball’s reaction after it is struck by a golf club. It can make a world of difference when custom fitting golf equipment. Lately, there have been many developments for less expensive launch monitors on the market; the pricier models are not worth the expense for the typical amateur golfer. However, for those golfers looking for a high-end launch monitor, Kirkman suggests looking into Trackman, saying, “the information concerning the ball and club is incredible.”
Wearable Golf Tech
Additional wearable technology that can provide a golfer with valuable information is the smart shoe. The smart shoe provides swing feedback based on the golfer’s balance during the swinging motion. Using pressure sensors in the soles of the shoes, the smart shoe gathers information that can be reviewed on smartphones, and it can be shared with instructors for a deeper understanding of the analysis.
Kirkman predicts that the future of golf technology lies in the improvement of 3D analysis. But even as technology evolves, there’s no substitute for expert golf instruction.
“Currently, you need to use numerous sensors to gather data. In a few years, we probably will not need the sensors as we know them now,” he says. “Information is only worthwhile when you know what to do with it. Take lessons from a qualified professional and have a plan for improvement developed for you.”
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