Guest Post by Brian Peña @ Red Birdie Golf. Brian has been playing golf for more than 30 years. He first picked up the game when he was 12 years old as a way to spend time with his very busy dad. His love and passion for the game has grown over the years, which prompted him to start the website Red Birdie Golf. His vision for this website is to help beginner and intermediate golfers better understand the game and inform them about the best products on the market so that they can play their best and enjoy the game to the fullest. Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest information.
Golf probably isn’t the first place you look to witness incredible technological innovations. Still, it has become one of the most progressive sports on earth regarding artificial intelligence and new technologies.
These days, golf is a bit like a duck. On the surface, it’s calm and unchanging. But below, it’s kicking up a storm of new innovations that have the potential to completely revolutionize the game.
While there are so many new technologies being implemented by top manufacturers, three, in particular, are especially interesting. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at how artificial intelligence in golf, and how companies are harnessing this technology to reach new heights.
TrackMan’s Tracy Software
From coaches and pros to amateur golfers and weekend warriors, few examples of artificial intelligence in golf are as exciting as the AI-powered Tracy platform from TrackMan.
Tracy is a training tool that delivers actionable insight based on player performance. As you practice, Tracy tracks dozens of different metrics that can provide you with accurate data on everything from club and ball speed to attack angle and spin rate. Tracy can also compare your swing and ball trajectory to hundreds of tour pros.
The latest iteration of Tracy adds ball impact location to the 30-plus metrics the software can measure, and thanks to its dual-radar system, no markers are required to deliver the data directly to you. Tracy also provides live shot analysis, and you can visualize that data in several different ways, including a numerical dashboard, video recordings, and 3D ball flight analysis.
TrackMan’s state-of-the-art video interface allows you to watch videos of your swing, look at swing models, drawing tools, and more. Tracy is equipped with a radar-synced camera, and thanks to the wonders of AI, it can overlay 3D graphics based on all the data the software shares with you. Additional cameras can be added to provide a complete picture of your swing.
While Tracy works best when you have a coach who can help you implement adjustments to improve your game, it’s just as useful when you’re working on your own. The TrackMan Combine feature provides standardized testing that can show you how you measure up to pros and other golfers using the software.
Best of all, TrackMan’s Tracy software is available on both PC and iOS devices, so you’ll be able to take this powerful training platform with you everywhere.
Callaway’s Epic Flash Golf Clubs
One area of constant innovation in golf is club design. Major companies spend millions each year in research and development, and artificial intelligence in golf club design has made it easier than ever for companies to engineer cutting edge equipment. Best of all, AI allows manufacturers to reduce their R&D costs while producing more prototypes than ever before.
In the not-so-distant past, Callaway would spend tons of money on developing a handful of different prototypes when new clubs were being developed. Next, they’d make whatever adjustments to the prototypes were necessary, and after many months of work, hopefully, they would have an exciting new club to bring to market.
Thanks to the wonders of AI, Callaway created over 15,000 different digital prototypes for their new Epic Flash series drivers and woods.
The development team at Callaway was petrified after the computer developed the first few (odd-looking) prototypes. But, as the computer learned from its mistakes and the Epic Flash line began to take shape, it was clear that AI was going to revolutionize the way they produce new golf clubs.
The Epic Flash line of drivers and woods can increase ball speed by 3-5 miles per hour for the average golfer, which translates to somewhere between 5-10 additional yards on every shot. Given the initial success of the Epic Flash clubs, expect to see more manufacturers leaning on AI as they develop new products.
IBM Watson Uses AI to Deliver Highlight Packages at the Masters
The quest for the Green Jacket is one of the most captivating times of the year for golf fans, and millions of spectators focus their attention on Augusta each April to see who will emerge victoriously. IBM and the PGA have been partnered for the past two decades, with IBM providing exciting new ways for fans to enjoy the tournament.
Thanks to IBM Watson, fans are now being treated to AI-powered highlight packages that can tell the story of an entire round in only three minutes.
These days, fans want to be able to see or relive moments in near-real-time. You can bet that within seconds of that Eagle on 15, fans will be all over Twitter trying to locate a clip to share. With over 80 competitors in the field each day, it’s virtually impossible for the production team to keep up with demand and get highlight packages out in a timely fashion.
Thanks to AI, Watson can get to work almost immediately, pouring over mountains of metadata to find relevant highlights, edit them together, and deliver them to the fans in record time.
Once Watson has a highlight package assembled, it’s checked by producers, who make any necessary edits and get the videos out as quickly as possible. Fortunately for the producers, Watson rarely needs much help in producing an exciting highlight package.
Wrapping it Up
Artificial Intelligence in golf is one of the most exciting new storylines in sports and entertainment, and it’s quickly taken the golf world by storm.
From training developments like the TrackMan Tracy program to equipment developments like Callaway’s Epic Flash line of woods and drivers to advances in entertainment, like IBM Watson’s Master’s highlight packages, it’s clear that the next generation of golf has arrived.
Time will tell what kind of revolutionary new developments AI has in store for the world of golf. Still, one thing is for certain, AI in golf is here to stay, and it’s already providing fans and players with exciting new ways to enjoy the beautiful game of golf.