Dialing in your golf game used to be an art, and many are quick to assure that it still is. And technology is going a long way to enhance that art by allowing golfers to train smarter with instant access to real-time data or precision equipment adjustments. Even course superintendents have access to tech that helps maintain smoother, more even fairway turf and pristine greens. These tools don’t always come cheaply, but like most new technology, they are becoming more widespread and often improving the games of the PGA pros down to recreational golfers with money to spend.
The evolution of smartwatches to more specialized variations like golf watches can give players more performance analytics and course information than ever before. They can track the angle of a club’s path and the speed during each swing, and some watches have individual smart tags for each club in your bag. Downloadable maps of tens of thousands of courses around the globe that include distances with shapes of the greens and scorekeeping capabilities will help your foursome spend less time guessing and more time playing.
Technology is improving the way data is collected and analyzed to fine-tune performance and remove hindrances to your game by adjusting your technique and equipment on an ultra-precise level. Sophisticated measuring gadgets like portable launch monitors record much more than just speed, flight angle, and spin of a ball in play, and to Tour-quality accuracy. Equipment technologists are using devices like these and coupling the data with actual performance video and swing analysis to identify and spot-fix club problems so you can focus on your practice and course management more effectively.
Not to be left out, course superintendents at world-class golf courses are embracing technology that helps them manage smarter. Sensors embedded in the turf can report real-time information like the temperature, moisture level, and salt content of the soil so the pesticide and fertilizer needs can be determined more exactingly than ever. Sprayers are GPS-enabled for better and more even applications, reducing overlapped and skipped areas. The new, state-of-the-art software can compile all this information to assess the health of the course and coordinate it with maintenance records and supply management.
As technology becomes more sophisticated, it usually also gets smaller and easier to use. Portable launch monitors and golf watches can be taken directly into the game and used to evaluate performance where it matters. Bringing an enhanced game onto improved course conditions will likely spur the next generation of ability in golf.