As long as there has been someone using a club to move a golf ball around for sport, there has been someone devising a better way to move a golf ball around.
When you play golf, you participate in a game with a history going back more than 500 years. During that history, the quest for a better play has been addressed in different ways: better golf course design, technique development, and, of course, the ever-changing field of golf technology.
In the past, the best technological improvements were only available to those at the top. Right now we are lucky enough to have access to many of the same tools the pros use almost as soon as they have them.
That means there’s really no excuse for a bad golf game. Read on for our breakdown of the five best advances in golf technology.
1. Golf club construction
Traditionally golf clubs were made of wood, usually hickory. This all changed in the twentieth century, first with the construction of clubs with metal shafts and wooden heads, then moving to completely metal in the 1980s.
Now, every aspect of the golf club is constantly being re-engineered. That includes better grips, advanced materials to dampen vibrations, and structural designs that rival the field of aerospace engineering.
With modern golf clubs, the golfer has infinitely more control over each swing and distances can be much greater than ever before. Golf clubs can easily be custom-fitted for the individual player, and models like the Titleist Vokey SM6 have a progressive centre of gravity design for total control.
2. Golf ball design
Changes in how golf balls are made may have had the single greatest impact on performance.
Today’s golf ball usually has a rubber core and plastic or resin outer layer. Modern golf balls can be constructed from two-to-five pieces; two-piece balls are usually used by less experienced golfers with a slower swing, while three and five-piece golf balls provide longer distance for golfers with higher swing speeds.
Modern golf balls can be constructed from two-to-five pieces; two-piece balls are usually used by less experienced golfers with a slower swing, while three and five-piece golf balls provide longer distance for golfers with higher swing speeds.
The greater distances which can be achieved just by changing the golf ball has pushed the limits of many historic golf courses and led to corresponding changes in golf course design.
3. Wearable golf technology
Do you like gadgets? Chances are there is a digital golf device out there for you.
One of the newest and most exciting advances in golf technology is the use of GPS technology to create wearable devices which can measure all aspects of your performance.
Similar to the popular fitness devices such as the Fitbit, specialized golf technology comes in many forms to measure your performance and statistics.
These include wristwatch-like devices like the Garmin, which comes loaded with details on thousands of golf courses. There are many clip-on devices that can attach to your clubs or glove. You can also buy special RFID golf balls which will link the ball to an app on your phone.
4. High-tech golf carts
Walking, rather than driving through the golf course has many health benefits. But often transporting a push cart for your bag can be an obstacle for those who would like to walk.
Luckily this is another area of big design advances. Push carts such as the Big Max are becoming easier to fold flat and adjust to your golf bag.
Innovations in motorized carts are also making it faster and healthier to get around. Some courses are now offering Golf boards, motorized scooters designed to get you around faster and healthier because you’re standing rather than sitting.
5. Golf simulators
You may have tried a video game version of golf in the past and found it lacking.
There are some new technological advancements in simulated golf games that can keep you at your best in any season.
Some simulators have clip-on sensors you add to your own clubs, and then use to play through the world’s greatest courses. These can be set up in your own home. If you don’t have space many golf clubs offer on-site simulators for poor weather practice.
How have technological changes helped your golf game? Leave us a comment to share your thoughts.