It may be time to stop calling golf the royal and ancient game, as continuing advances in technology and the ways they are applied are making the sport anything but olden. Witness the new digital-tracking system called Game Golf.
Available for $249, Game Golf allows players to monitor their shots, maintain a record of their scores and analyze statistics from games and practice sessions. It also enables them to easily share information with friends, swing coaches and fellow members of the Game Golf community and organize long-drive contests and closest-to-the-pin competitions.
Here’s how it works: a golfer puts a small device on his or her belt and then inserts small plugs into the top of each golf club. And those work together to record the location of shots made, the distances balls travel and the clubs the player uses.
That information is “synced” to the cloud from the device, and then is viewable on the Game Golf website within a player’s profile or on his smartphone, allowing him to evaluate his performance after each round as it relates to things like fairways and greens hit and distance. Data can also be shared with his golf professional as part of an instruction process and passed among friends as a way of comparing scores and shots and maybe even talking a bit of smack.
Game Golf was developed by a firm called Active Mind Technology, and investors include PGA Tour professional Graeme McDowell, world champion surfer Kelly Slater and Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang. McDowell and fellow Tour pro Lee Westwood have used Game Golf devices and are consulting with Active Mind on the product, as is Jim Furyk.
And at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show, Game Golf announced a partnership with the PGA of America, which sees the system as a next-generation teaching application for its professionals, and Golf Channel, which will use the product on its instructional programming and leverage its social-media platforms to better connect with viewers.