February 27, 2014
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Photo courtesy Game Golf
Having statistical data at your fingertips won't turn your into a professional golfer overnight. It will, however, give you a better idea about the areas of your game that need improvement.
On the PGA TOUR, ShotLink provides the necessary data, giving pros a glimpse at every aspect of their game — from the percent of putts they make inside 10-feet to the amount of time the ball stays in the air on a given drive (known as hang time).
Most amateurs don't necessarily need to know their average hang time. What is important is understanding how far you hit each club in your bag, and how often you hit the green in regulation.
Game Golf is attempting to simplify the process for golfers by giving them insight into their own game — such as club distance, fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts per hole — via a lightweight GPS tracking device that captures accurate shot locations and calculates club performance during a given round.
Along with a GPS tracking device that attached to your belt and features an accelerometer, compass and a gyrometer, the Game Golf system also comes with red sensors discs — one for each of the 14 clubs in your bag, plus four extras for additional clubs — that screw into the butt end of the golf grip.
When the red sensor in the grip is tapped against the GPS device, it lets the system know what club you're using for a particular shot. Simply tagging each shot — in other words, tapping the sensor to the GPS device on your belt before each shot — allows you to log all manners of data during a round.
The data logged during the round is then sent to the Game Golf servers and can be viewed on a computer, iPhone or iPad.
"We want people to understand how far they're hitting a 7-iron and how often they're scrambling for par," said designer John McGuire, the CEO of Silicon Valley start-up Active Mind Technology. "But we didn't want golfers inputting the information during a round. Enjoy the round and let the device do all the work for you. We want the process to be simple, but at the same time, provide as much data as possible."
While Game Golf has only been around since the last year — the product made its official debut at the PGA Merchandise Show — it already has three high profile investors: Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Jim Furyk. All three players currently use the product to log data during practice rounds, and offer product feedback to Game Golf's R&D team.
The Game Golf device currently retails for $250.