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We’re living in a technological age, and no part of life has been untouched by it, including our beloved sports! Technology elevated the game of golf in such a way that it’s not an integral part of the sport, and the idea of going back to a game without our tech is just not an option.
But the beauty of technology in golf is that it’s added new dimensions to the sport, from pro-level to home heroes. Whether you’re watching the PGA Tour on TV, working on your own game, or playing a couple of friendly rounds with your buddies, technology plays a huge role.
It’s here to stay, so we definitely need to embrace it. Here are a few examples of how technology elevated the game of golf and made it more exciting and more accessible to all.
Every golfer, regardless of their skill level, wants to improve their game. Technology has made it easy for any golfer anywhere to receive excellent game-improving tuition, whether or not they have access to a course or a coach.
Swing analyzer apps use the camera on your smartphone to record your swing, which you can then view in slow motion to spot any weakness. If you do have a coach, you can share these videos with them for them to analyze, or you can simply do a self-analysis.
Many apps offer their own analysis of your swing, providing information on metrics like your swing tempo, launch angle, ball speed, backswing time, and more. Many apps also use machine learning to become familiar with your particular swing, so they can suggest improvements based on your tendencies.
You can also usually do a side-by-side comparison, which allows you to see tangible evidence of how your swing is progressing.
Easier Score Keeping & Stat Tracking
Next to game improvement, most golfers want an easy, convenient way to track stats and keep score while they’re playing.
While these are two different things, technology has progressed to the point where score-keeping apps and stat-tracking apps have melded into one, providing you a quick way to track your score which then automatically logs your stats for you to compare.
One of the best things about smartphone apps and wearables is the ability to store huge amounts of data and bring it up in the blink of an eye for comparison purposes.
There’s a huge range of apps out there that allow you to keep track of your score with little effort as you go. Most of them offer a variety of other handy features, including online tee-time bookings, real-time distances, and hazard notifications.
With regard to stat tracking, some smartphone apps and various wearable devices have the ability to track things like driving accuracy, putts per hole, and greens in regulation.
However, if you want more detailed statistics, you can now invest in sensors that you place on your clubs. The accompanying app reads the data straight off the sensor, providing the most accurate real-time information based on your swing.
Increased Social Gaming
For those golfers who aren’t too serious about the game but love to play socially, technology has progressed to the point where you truly don’t need to actually go to a golf course in order to play a round of golf.
While golf purists will scoff and say it’s not the real thing, we can’t deny that technology has made the game much more accessible and it’s now being enjoyed in social settings more than it ever was before.
TopGolf and similar companies and concepts have made golf a fun way to spend an evening challenging your friends and catching up while doing something fun. It’s the modern version of tenpin bowling.
On the other hand, we have golf simulators, which bring championship courses to you in the comfort of your own home. This is where virtual reality becomes exciting in golf tech because you can choose to play a virtual round on hundreds of courses, including some of the most famous golf courses in the history of the game.
No need to meet for a round of golf anymore… Or, you can still meet for a round when the weather’s bad, so the convenience factor is strong here.
And it’s a bonus that you get swing analyzer data built into home simulators, so you can improve your game without ever leaving the house.
While home simulators will never replace the real thing—strategizing against the wind, sun in your eyes, and the walk from shot to shot—we love that technology is bringing the great game to more people around the world.
Guest article written by: Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who’s seen firsthand how technology has changed the game. He writes about all things golf-related at Golf Influence.