These days, it’s all about the data when it
comes to golf instruction.
An effort to collect, analyze and leverage precise data is sweeping all facets of the
swing, using applications that can often be
accessed with the touch of a smartphone.
Here are a handful of products showcased
at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show that
have a hyper-focus on data.
Led by electronics and sports/technology
entrepreneur Jason Koo of Coach Labs Inc.,
this swing and weight-shift analyzer uses a
sensor and a mobile
app to provide four
times the accuracy
of other swing analyzers, according to
The latest wrinkle is the new
coach/player feature, launching this
summer, which will
allow players to
connect with golf
instructors via the
Duo Trac app.
Using unobtrusive sensors
attached to the
golfer’s belt, to the top of the club and near
the hosel, the system tracks and provides an
accurate measurement of a golfer’s exact club-face angle, transition, face angle at impact
and weight shift. The sum of that data shows
what’s going on at numerous points in the
swing, where the swing is off, and how to correct it.
Another new product is a 4-D smart ball
called Gen i1. Retailing for $149, the two-ball set had some celebrity appeal at the
show, courtesy of Duo Trac co-owner and Fox
Sports broadcaster Curt Menefee.
MySwing Golf Inc.
is a full-body, 3-D, motion-captur-ing system that takes golf swing analysis to
the next level. MySwing Professional uses
17 wireless inertial body sensors and one
shaft sensor. A student can be suited up, calibrated and ready to capture swings in less than
“It provides more – and more accurate –
data than any wireless system on the market,”
says Chase Cooper, director of product development. “The system is fully portable and can
be used anywhere with zero restrictions.”
Tour Pro Tech was started by PGA professional Tim Tierney and Rich Kosowsky, a
technology entrepreneur with engineering roots from Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. The company introduced
PowerPlane, a golf training device that uses
high-precision ultrasonics and patent-pending
technology to put golfers in position to hit better shots.
All golfers have one thing in common: Their
heads stay within a defined area from address
to impact. Simply stated, the head teaches
the body to stay in position. PowerPlane is
designed to do the same thing. Positioned on
the ground in front of the golfer, PowerPlane
monitors real-time head movement through a
small sensor attached to the golfer’s hat.
Invisible vertical planes are set around the
head. If the golfer moves out of position from
address through impact, instant audio feedback alerts and corrects him.
On the heels of a new partnership with Golf
Channel Academy, PGA Champions Tour
player Brad Faxon helped unveil a new app
and sample drills that can be used with the
Blast Motion swing and stroke analyzer.
For instance, by simply applying a sen-
sor to one’s putter, Blast Motion captures and
delivers loads of data and
metrics – everything from
stroke rhythm to the angle of
the putter face – that can be
instantly viewed via a tablet
Golf instructor Roberto
Borgatti of the Sky Golf Studio in
“All of these key elements,
whether they’re in the hands of
an instructor or a lay person, are
very useful,” said Borgatti, who
teaches at Longboat Key Club in
Sarasota, Fla., during the winter
As Faxon put it, there’s no better
teacher than hitting and feeling a
putt, and looking down and getting instant feedback by “hearing
the noise and seeing the blue line go
across the screen with all your data.”
One of the world leaders in 3-D
Doppler radar tracking for golf, FlightScope
is another company making advances in the
short game. Used by numerous instructors,
FlightScope unveiled its new X3 golf radar
with fusion tracking technology, an innovative combination of 3-D Doppler tracking and
high-speed image processing.
The X3 employs
radar and image processing simultaneously
to provide golfers with
and putting training.
The latest version of
FlightScope features a
with direct distance
measurement for accurate ball flight and club
tracking on 28 data parameters, plus new chipping and putting data. The lightweight design
makes the X3 fully portable.