Golf is undoubtedly one of the oldest sports we still play, with origins as far back as the 15th century. Between the times the first putts were made and now, humans have traveled to space, created talking robots, and invented touchscreen phones, among many other astounding developments.
While the golf world hasn’t deviated much from its originality, it has also undergone some changes. In terms of technological developments, the golf industry has improved clubs, balls, and courses, making the golf experience even better.
Here are 5 ways technology has shaped modern golf.
1. Club Design
There was a time golfers had to carve their clubs from wood to play the game, so club design technology has come a long way. Today, golf club companies invest a lot of money into designing new clubs — everything from aerodynamics, weight, and materials are factored in.
Also, with the assistance of swing sensor technology, clubs can now be designed to fit the exact playing styles of players. So rather than modifying their play styles to fit a set of clubs, players can use data from previous golfing sessions and the assistance of club fitters to pick out clubs that complement their styles.
2. Ball Design
You’d think a golf ball is pretty simple. But it’s amazing to see the changes the golf ball has undergone as a result of various advancements in design technology.
Like the clubs, the development of CAD software systems has made golf ball designs more intricate. The shells and every layer inside the balls can be catered to the type of golfer.
Some newer balls also come with GPS allowing players to track the exact positions of the ball after shots.
3. Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) and GPS
Previously, golfers only had their eyes to estimate the distance to the hole for deciding the type of club and shot. Golfers used pre-measured markers such as hazards and trees to estimate the distance of the shots they would take.
As time has gone by, technological advancements have let you measure the distance to the hole down to the yard. These are more commonly referred to as Distance Measuring Devices. DMDs are simply devices used to measure distance and yardages while on the course. They include GPS devices and rangefinders.
Golfers can now estimate distances to holes with pinpoint accuracy and even get club recommendations based on information from previous game data.
Players can also better understand the courses they play with most of these devices coming with preloaded course maps. This gives the players awareness of the hazards on each hole that they should avoid.
These devices have progressed from being heavy objects golfers would carry into handheld devices, the latest wearable devices, and those that attach to golfing equipment.
4. Golf Information Systems
Now some devices measure your playing abilities, keep records of your shots while on the course, and even offer feedback on improving your game.
In the past, to improve your game, you needed a coach to guide you through areas where you could get better.
However, today with technological developments in golf training aids, devices such as swing trainers and even posture trainers can help players improve their game. By attaching these devices to either the hand, gloves, grip, or club, players can get instant feedback on how to improve.
Worth mentioning also is the development of simulation systems that allow players to play the game indoors and receive tailored feedback.
5. Golf Carts
Considering just how big golf courses are, it is not difficult to see just how important golf carts have become for the game. With the dawn of the industrial revolution came the birth of golf carts. Originally, players walked, then there were carts pulled by caddies, then came the first golf buggy.
The developments of these carts have gone hand in hand with commercial vehicle evolution with the unique incorporations of golf-friendly accessories such as GPS devices on the carts.
You can check out GolfSpan.com to find some of the best golf carts today.
Wrapping Up the Changes in Golf Tech
The golf world has come a long way since the first shots were made in Scotland. A lot has changed, and even more, developments are likely to come as the years go by.
From wooden clubs to metal ones, from two-part balls to five-part balls, and from players having to use their vision to estimate distances to the introduction of DMDs.