Beginner or expert, amateur or professional, player or spectator, we can all benefit from the technologies that have revolutionized the golf world in recent years. As in any sport, the athlete’s performance comes not only from his equipment but also in the precision of his stroke. This is why companies invest significant sums in Research and Development to meet these two requirements.
Equipment at the cutting edge of technology
Since the 14th century, the golf ball – originally made of wood – has seen development and, with the latest, brings its lot of technology which contributes greatly to improving the performance of golfers. Not just three but now five different layers go into the latest generation of golf balls: three layers of a compressed core, supplemented by an outer core and a coating. As a result, the ball responds better to the different strokes and the distance travelled is lengthened. In order to improve the coefficient of drag, the ascent and the spin speed during its flight, the golf ball now incorporates graphene, a nanoparticle the size of an atom, whose discovery was rewarded by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010. The clubs have not been standing still either – one company has called on Boeing engineers to take advantage of their aviation expertise about speed, weight and drag. In this way there have been improvements made to controlling laminar flow, through patterned grooves, at specific locations on the club head, to reduce its aerodynamic drag. Spectators, they can now immerse themselves in mythical golf tournaments using augmented reality on their cell phone.
Artificial intelligence in the service of performance
Using the Internet of Things (IoT), all information is collected, analyzed and returned for the delight of golfers. Let’s begin with the surface. Remote sensors can now measure soil moisture and temperature to ensure that the green is properly watered and of good quality. Then, the course. There are no longer many unknowns, with the rangefinder – which tells you precisely what the distance is between you and the hole – or the GPS watch that lets you know the characteristics of more than 30,000 golf courses (type of turf, obstacles, difficulties, etc.), providing you with advice based on your profile (the release, the approach shot, the roll, etc.) Finally, momentum, the famous gesture with an attempt to perfect both the style and performance of the stroke. Now, the ally of size is called the momentum analyzer. Attached to a glove, it collects a variety of information (speed and inclination of the club, length of the ascent, rotation of the hip) which, once analyzed, determines your strengths and weaknesses, collects the characteristics of your momentum in the form of a dashboard and proposes a suitable training program. A notch above, the powerful nanocomputer – PIQ Robot – which collects thousands of datapoints in real time, uses artificial intelligence to recommend a specific golf club based on your profile and the distance to travel.
With technology at the service of the golfer, it is important that it is not just the hole that is in the line of fire, but also the benefits of this sport, and that there continues to be wonder at nature around it and not just the technologies that serve it.