How Technology Elevated the Game of Golf

golf

There’s no denying the impact technology has had on the world at large. Wherever you look, new tech is changing the game—and sport is no different. Golf is one of the oldest and most raw sports out there… But technology has elevated the game of golf to new heights in recent years, making it a much more high-tech sport than it ever used to be. 

If you’re a golfer, chances are you’ve noticed how tech has crept into the game. While at its core, the game is still about hitting a ball into a hole with a stick (and still requires skill, strategic thinking, patience, and precision), tech has made some big changes to everything from the equipment to the way we play the game. 

Technology Helps Improve Your Skills 

Tech in training is one of the best innovations to come into the game. You can (legally) supercharge your training, boosting your skills faster than ever before. 

Analyze Your Swing 

Swing analysis is one of the most useful training aids out there, and it’s readily available in the form of swing analysis apps. Almost everyone has a smartphone, making this tech accessible to just about every golfer. 

They’re easy to use, too. You simply record yourself swinging using the app, and from there you can either send your videos to your coach for expert analysis or assess it on your own. You can view your swing, slow it down, watch it frame by frame, add notes, and even make a comparison to see how it’s improving. 

If you’re unsure how to analyze it, most apps won’t leave you in the dark. They provide valuable information on your swing tempo, swing speed, spin rate, launch angle, estimated shot distance, and golf ball speed. Plus, they’ll usually give you practical tips on how to improve it. 

golfers

Track Your Performance

Golf wearables are one of the most exciting new ways of tracking your performance. Sensors on your clubs keep track of how many shots you make, your accuracy, and a bunch of other information. 

This is a great time-saving alternative to manually inputting numbers into an app or old-school notebook. However, most of these wearables aren’t accessible to everyone as they’re somewhat pricey. 

The good news is that thanks to machine learning, apps are also becoming smarter and more intuitive. They’re often able to provide you with shot recommendations, club suggestions, and valuable information about upcoming holes, which can make a positive difference to your performance. 

How Technology Has Improved the Golfer’s Game

Golf Clubs

Artificial intelligence—AI—is the latest driving force in golf tech. It’s finding its way into every aspect of the game—advanced golf club designs, new, stronger materials, and apps that learn your habits and provide personalized, coach-in-your-pocket advice. 

Golf clubs are becoming lighter and are strategically weighted to allow for faster swings and further carries. Hybrid clubs combine the best features of two different types of club for increased playability. 

Aside from playability, AI is being used in the actual manufacturing process of golf clubs, changing the shape, weight distribution, and flexibility for the better. 

Golf Balls 

Golf balls might not seem like they could have much tech in them, but you’d be surprised! The latest tech makes them more aerodynamic, and their construction is leaning towards facilitating more accuracy and better distance control. 

Today, golf balls can be made in a single piece, but also in a two-piece, three-piece, four-piece, and even five-piece golf balls. While there are subtle differences, the jury is still out as to what kind of difference this really makes in play. 

Golf Accessories

Golf clubs and balls aren’t the only things that have become more tech-infused. Tech-enabled golf gloves, shoes, apparel, and even tees are becoming a reality, and manufacturers are constantly looking for new ways to improve them. 

Where Technology Has Improved the Game 

Golfers play in two places—on the course and at home if they’re lucky. Here’s how technological advances have improved the game in both places. 

On the Course 

The course itself has not been left out. GPS systems on golf carts are becoming the norm, providing more and more accurate yardages, digitizing scorecards, and sometimes even warning about hazards on a hole-by-hole basis. 

Another interesting bit of tech being used on golf courses across the world is GPS-guided pesticide and fertilizer sprayers, as well as automated irrigation systems. These contribute towards sustainability by significantly reducing water wastage, as well as reducing spraying costs by applying the exact right amount to only selected areas. 

Sensors are becoming big in golf course maintenance. Remote sensors and things like infrared cameras throughout the course can give valuable insight into things like soil moisture, salt concentration, and temperature. 

This gives golf course superintendents a chance to address problems long before most golfers even know they’re there, providing a seamless experience for golfers and reducing costs for themselves. 

In the Home 

For golfers who have the budget, golf simulators, and augmented reality mean you actually never have to leave the house to play a round. Ideal for those who live in places with bad weather, work strange hours, and don’t get to the course often, or just golfers who love gadgets and tech! 

It’s now possible to set up a full golf simulator in the comfort of your own home. Most of these provide swing analysis and other data as well, so it’s not just a case of playing a virtual course—you have a coach and a full stash of beautiful courses all in one. 

Of course, this is a pricey option and may also add to your electricity bill (but it can save you gas!). But for those who have the cash to spend, it could be an invaluable addition to your home. Awake at 3 am? Relax by playing a couple of holes. Is rainy weather preventing you from getting to the course? Play a virtual round from home instead. Having friends over? It’s the perfect activity! 

Conclusion 

Golf is still the gentleman’s game, and it remains a test of your skill, mettle, and determination. But with the addition of technology to almost every aspect of the game, it’s soaring to new heights… And we can’t wait to see where it goes in the future. 

About the Author 

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence

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