Golf may be a traditional game, but technology has an ever-increasing presence.
Whether its game-improvement tech, distance-measuring devices, simulators, gaming and golf entertainment, instruction or the latest app, new technology is geared to enhance the experience of golfers. And this isn’t even taking into consideration the latest tech advances in equipment.
With the National Golf Foundation recently issuing its latest technology report – a look into how golf’s best customers engage with tech both on and off the golf course – it seems a fitting time to take a spin through some of the newest and best products available for golfers. Whether its information, connectivity, entertainment or convenience, new golf technology has much to offer. Here’s a look:
Can’t spend $25,000 for one of those premium launch monitors? Well, the new SC200 Swing Caddie is the chance for amateur golfers to get tour-grade technology for a fraction of the price ($349). This portable launch monitor is about the size of a smart phone and produces results that are almost as accurate as the high-end Trackman (independent robot testing shows a carry distance deviation of no more than 1.2 yards and a swing speed variation of no more than 1.4 miles-per-hour). Whether you’re practicing or setting it up on the tee box on the course, the easy-to-use Swing Caddie uses Doppler Radar and something called Barometric Pressure Calibration to deliver accurate readings for swing speed, carry distance, smash factor and ball speed. Voicecaddie.com
Bushnell has long been the market leader for golf rangefinders (the choice of 97% of PGA Tour pros) and earlier this year introduced its latest innovation: HYBRID. The new Bushnell HYBRID combines both laser and GPS technology, providing golfers with more information than ever before. Not only is the pin targeted with precision – accurate within 1 yard – but the GPS delivers front, center and back yardages for the green to assist with club selection. There are readouts on the exterior of the rangefinder, which automatically recognizes courses and advances from hole-to-hole during play. The laser and GPS are powered separately too, so if you forget to recharge the lithium ion battery for the GPS, the laser will still buzz your yardages. It’s distance like you’ve never seen before. Bushnellgolf.com
Looking for an app to help improve your game? GolfLogix is used by more than 4 million users worldwide and offers stat tracking, GPS course data and advanced green mapping. Way back in 1999, GolfLogix was the first to introduce handheld GPS to the golf industry and now, after more than 19 years of mapping courses, the company has over 35,000 interactive course maps worldwide. An easy to use app, GolfLogix offers scorekeeping, in-round stat-tracking and a very cool new Putt Breaks feature that allows users to read 3D maps of greens with a whole new level of detail. Now you won’t be able to say you didn’t see that late break just before the hole. GolfLogix.com
Arccos Caddie Smart Grips
Arccos has taken real-time stat tracking to a new level in recent years with its sensors that hook to the butt end of a club and sync with a user’s phone or smartwatch. Now Arccos has introduced the first set of grips that feature built-in sensors. The Arccos Smart Grips are the latest step in the company’s mission to help players make smarter decisions (and shoot lower scores) through extensive data and the game’s first artificial intelligence platform. The Smart Grips feature Lamkin Crossline 360 grips with the sensor built in, so there’s no special installation. Did you know Arccos users lowered their handicap by an average of 3 1/2 strokes last year? That’s 46 times the rate of improvement of the average golfer who owns a handicap. Smarter decisions, indeed. Arccosgolf.com
GolfNow is the largest online tee time marketplace in the world, partnering with almost 8,000 courses in 24 countries. It has over 3 ½ million registered users and last year facilitated more than 16,000 rounds of golf. If you’re a golfer, booking a tee time has never been easier, with a host of nearby courses and tee times available 24-7 at the touch of a finger. According to NGF research, the majority of committed golfers who use third-party tee time sites like GolfNow say they save money and play courses they haven’t previously played. GolfNow also offers a reward program that can earn users free golf. Winner, winner. GolfNow.com
V1 Golf App
V1 Sports is an industry leader in video swing analysis software, used by more than 6,000 PGA teaching professionals nationwide (including big names like Butch and Claude Harmon, David Leadbetter, Martin Hall and Rick Smith). The V1 app allows consumers to take a hands-on lesson remotely. Video your swing and send it directly to your pro, who can then send an online lesson back with telestration and voice-over on the video. The app also has various drills and has an extensive library of professional swing sequences that enables users to do side-by-side comparisons with their own swing. V1sports.com
Toptracer Range is bringing the Topgolf experience to traditional driving ranges. The revolutionary technology has expanded beyond television broadcasts, allowing golf facilities to transform their practice areas into fun, engaging entertainment destinations. Toptracer has tripled its worldwide footprint in the past year and is now at more than 35 range locations in the U.S., encouraging social interaction for golfers of all ages with its cool virtual games and stat-tracking. Toptracer.com
NextLinks introduced its indoor/outdoor golf technology concepts at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show, showing off a proprietary software that blends simulator play with realistic short game shots and putting. The system guides players with colored lasers projected onto the green – either expertly-designed artificial putting surfaces or a real outdoor venue – and features a variety of different types of games like Golf Horse, Golf Corn Hole, Golf Shuffleboard and Golf Darts. A facility such as the nine-hole putting course at the Indian Wells Golf Resort in California uses the technology for its “Shots in the Night” golf experience, helping attract a younger customer base. Nextlinks.com
Launched in 2016, 18Birdies is one of the fastest-growing apps in the golf community. And its geared toward creating a bigger and more engaged golf community with a wide range of features a GPS rangefinder (with more than 35,000 courses worldwide), score and stat tracking, social sharing, and side games. The app recently partnered with GolfNow for tee time booking, features a program called DreamGames that rewards users with prizes ranging from equipment to experiences every day just for playing golf, and can match users based on criteria such as location, age and skill level. 18Birdies.com