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Technology and the Changing Face of Golf - The first in a 4-part series

Jun 27, 2013

Steve Kaese, a PGA professional and Academic Dean at Golf Academy of America in San Diego, has a long history using technology to improve an individual's game.

"Slow motion and freeze frame are particularly important for analyzing the golf swing," said Kaese. "When I first started teaching, video was the main technology for doing this, but we didn't use it often. The camera was housed in a big box that weighed about 100 pounds, making it a hassle to bring out on the driving range. There were dollies, wires and only marginal camera quality."

A lot has changed. That cumbersome camera box has been traded up for the smartphone or a tablet equipped with BluetoothR. Users can view a slow-motion swing and comparisons, all from a simple app. These digital options are not only user-friendly; they continue to bring higher caliber results.

"Quality is so high now you can watch the golf ball compress on the club, seeing the dimples and how it spins off the club," said Kaese. Manufacturers are using this to hone their product, and players to sharpen their skills.

How does the access to this computer science affect the way golf is taught? Kaese says it's become a standard, particularly for the younger, more technology-driven, generation.

At Golf Academy of America, the goal is to improve the students' games first, then make them better teachers for someone else down the line. Throughout the first couple of semesters, students focus on improving their personal game. By the third and fourth semesters, the focus shifts to teaching courses and to helping other people.

Golf Academy of America graduates have received instruction in how to balance of their use of technology with an ability to relate to customers. According to Kaese, "We want our students to know how to use the programs people expect, but have the customer service skills that the older pros excel at, the ones that keep customers coming back."

Instructional golf technology available at Golf Academy of America includes:

As a part of this series, we'll explore the technologies changing today's game, speaking to Golf Academy of America alumni, faculty and students.