Golf is among the most popular sports in the world with an estimated 390 million fans worldwide, according to Sporteology…
So it comes as no surprise that companies are looking to the digital landscape to release new innovative golf-themed apps, games and training tools to sell to such a vast market.
And these products aren’t just aimed at novice golfers, some are targeting at professional players.
Unlike other sports, golf (as you know) is a non-contact sport and for the most part isn’t as physically demanding as say, rugby or football.
However, while it may not be as demanding on the body, the margin for error on a golf course is psychologically draining, meaning you need to be on top of your game at all times.
If you’re a beginner you can consider taking golf lessons to improve your game or venture to the driving range as much as possible to improve your ball striking.
But if you want to sharpen your technique without having the luxury of a course professional at your beck and call, alternatively you cab use many of the new digital aids now available on the market.
Is technology good for golf?
In the digital age, as well as mobile apps that can support players in terms of technique and collect useful data and stats on things such as swing speeds, impact angle.
One of the most impressive pieces of technology we have seen to date has to be The Robot, recently installed in state of the art golf studio in Camberley Surrey.
However, at over £150k per unit this will be out of most golfer budget.
Here are just some of the latest (affordable) technology available on the market in 2017…
Is Technology good for golf – SKY PRO…
SkyPro is an app which focuses on one important skill – a player’s golf swing.
Combined with a small device (the size of a thumb drive) that can be attached to your golf club, SkyPro analyses your swing and identifies faults which you can then fix and/or improve upon.
This nifty little gadget will cost you around £200 (App is free) and is reasonably priced considering that a Golf Coach will probably cost you around £40+ per hour.
SkyPro has been around for a couple of years now, with the app getting regular updates. One of its main supporters is Hank Haney, the former coach of Tiger Woods, who stated on twitter that SkyPro is revolutionising the way teachers help golfers.
SkyPro allows you to be your own coach if you’re unable to get professional guidance.
Is Technology good for golf? Zepp Golf 2…
Unlike other golf gadgets, Zepp Golf 2 doesn’t attach to your club – instead, it fits on your glove.
Utilising a synchronous connection with your mobile through Bluetooth, the app can render your movements in a series of 3D still shots or a video, which you can then view on your phone giving you instantaneous data to work with.
The makers have specified the six mechanics measured by the device, namely: club speed, club plane, hand plane, hand speed, backswing position and tempo.
You also have the option to follow a preset required number of swings per week and get a detailed report from the app afterwards, complete with tips for further enhancing your performance.
The device retails at around £130, while the app is free.
Is Technology good for golf? Hole19…
Hole19 is a different kind of tool because it’s main function is to help golfers familiarise themselves with around 40,000 golf courses, which is roughly 95% of the world’s courses.
But Hole19 can do so much more, as it can assist players in gathering course data such as GPS yardages, hole map imagery, stat tracking and other key statistics which will aid players in making quick decisions and adjustments – while playing.
The free app is also compatible with smart watches, which brings more convenience to players especially in the middle of a game.
In 2016, Hole19 acquired more than 800,000 active users from all over the world.
Is Technology good for golf? Away from the course…
Having these three trainer aids in your arsenal (or in today’s parlance your smartphone) is a good start, but there are plenty of other digital tools that can help develop your golf skills.
With the continuous development of mobile technology, there is sure to be more apps and devices in the coming 12 months that will break new ground in helping golfers hone their skills.
However, there has also been some evolution in the way we play golf away from the course….
For example, Phone Arena revealed that the World Golf Tour Mobile app provide updates with the latest Pro tournaments and now includes the 2016 Virtual US Open in its database, mainly due to requests from players of varying abilities.
We’ve also witnessed the evolution of PGA Golf on the PlayStation, originally made famous by Tiger but now endorsed by Rory McIlroy on the cover.
While the last couple of examples of the sport’s popularity in the gaming world cannot help you improve your golf swing, they certainly represent golf’s popularity as the sport breaks new ground in digital entertainment, giving fans alternative options to pursue their love for the game away from their local course.
Is Technology good for golf? The Future…
We can only speculate where this form of the golf industry go next but one thing for sure is that whether it be a Swing App, a GPS Tool or a gaming activity – technology is set to develop more and quicker than ever before over the next few years….
The best thing about digital age is you longer have any excuses for improving your game or indeed for enjoying the game more than ever before.
Ps The TSG Team will be at the PGA Golf Show in Jan 2017, bringing you more updates on the latest technology product available in the company season…
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By Ian Mullins