Improving golf equipment
Since the inception of the game of golf, players have continually tried to improve upon their equipment. The result is that golf club equipment has evolved in leaps and bounds. The traditional wooden headed woods and steel headed irons with steel shafts, have been replaced by titanium club heads combined with graphite shafts and space age materials; all which help to make the club lighter and head larger, so easier to hit. This progression in manufacturing using the most advanced technology also means that golfers have the ability to personalise their clubs to their individual needs. And, another trend or innovation is the adjustable driver, which gives the golfer the ability to adjust its weight. This helps a golfer more easily hit a draw or fade depending on how it’s set.
Golf trolleys have moved on as well, from being made out of steel to multi plastic compound versions. Even the battery-operated trolley has innovated from using lead acid batteries, to lithium; some now even come with a remote control.
The days of hitting a bag of practice balls down an area of grass, then collecting them up by hand, has been replaced with covered and floodlit driving ranges that will collect the balls for you. There are also TopGolf versions of a range that have computerised scoring games, as well as TopTracer technology which, using a range of launch and spin characteristics, can tell you exactly where your ball went without seeing it land. This has led to indoor studios opening that replicate the experience you may have on a golf course without getting cold and wet!
Using GPS technology
The handwritten yardage charts that most clubs had have now been replaced with lasers and GPS devices, some which can be linked via an app to your smart phone. These apps make available the details of tens of thousands of golf courses from around the world that you can select from. They can then tell you within seconds the exact distance from your ball to the flag, or any obstacles as you play the course.
Coaching itself has gone from observing a player’s swing, videoing their movements for frame by frame playback and introducing pressure plates for weight distribution, to using launch monitors to assess the golf club angle of attack and ball launch angle, together with spin rates as well as the exact part of the club the ball was hit from.
Innovation has not just focused on those playing golf, but also on the courses themselves. For example, course maintenance machinery has vastly improved and changed beyond recognition, with some machines now being able to cut grass remotely using satellite and GPS technologies.
All of these innovations have led to improved technique and a more analytical approach to playing golf. However, for the majority of players, the main benefits of a game still remain the social aspects of meeting others in the fresh air, as well as helping to exercise the body and mind.