Technology has marched unstoppably into more areas of life than we would have ever imagined. From micro-chipped dogs to driverless cars, to wearables and beyond, technology permeates the world in more ways than ever before. Not even golf, with its hallowed history and strong sense of tradition, has remained unchanged by the rapid advances in technology. In golf courses all over the world, golfing tech is instigating transformation.
The ball for a masterstroke
Golfers have used apps like Arccos for some time now. The app gives golfers valuable information about their performance by using sensors screwed into the golf club’s grip that record and send information back to the app. Now, companies are taking this technology a step further, to the golf ball itself. A company called Oncore is currently seeking funding for its Genius Ball, a ball that contains a 9-axis accelerometer, a high-performance GPS and a self-charging battery. With these sorts of sensors, the ball can provide some incredibly useful data. Golfers will be armed with information like their shot velocity, carry flight, degree of draw or fade, spin rate at back, side and front, angle of descent, height apex and roll distance – not bad for when you want to improve your stroke!
Soar over the fairways, without leaving your golf buggy
It’s not just the clubs and balls that are evolving. Golfers are realising that new technologies like drones can be put to great use on (or over) the golf course. A quick flyover can help course newbies quickly get an extensive view of the environment, far better than any map would allow them. Not only that, but drones can help quickly locate lost balls and even calculate range, wind speed, temperature and atmospheric pressure.
Bringing the green indoors
Away from the course, home simulation technologies are becoming better and more affordable. Whereas top of the line simulators can cost an eye-watering $20,000, systems like Skytrak and Flightscope Meyo are sold at $2,000 and $500 respectively, moving the prospect of ownership out of the realms of fantasy for ordinary golfers. Golfers can then use the data provided by the simulators, such as club speed, ball speed, smash factor and so on to develop and improve their game.
Technology is undoubtedly changing golf in exciting and unpredictable ways. If tech carries on developing and evolving, who knows what the game will look like in 20 years? Only time will tell, but it will be fun finding out.
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