Posted on July 12, 2016 by staff

Golf pros taking the ‘Gollum’ approach


This week and next BusinessCloud is placing the spotlight on how tech is revolutionising a different sport.

If there is one sport which demands precision, it is golf – and players are willing to ‘go Gollum’ to realise their full potential.

Watching a top player playing on to a green at the Majors or Ryder Cup, a casual observer may be forgiven for thinking that striking the little white ball isn’t all that difficult.

One visit to the driving range will change that view forever as the novice struggles to connect cleanly – if at all – despite dozens of attempts.

And the psychological battle never stops, as players attempt to take their newfound skills on to the course then, over decades of practice and competition, lower their handicap.

Fixing posture during the swing is fundamental to consistent performance. Just ask 14-times Major winner Tiger Woods, who has rebuilt his swing several times since he last won one of the big four individual tournaments in 2008.

Thanks to technology even a novice heading to a golf lesson can see their bad habits played out on video, with all the analytical bells and whistles displayed as they might on TV.

So imagine the lengths that the pros go to.

“You’re in a blue room and they stick balls all over your body, like they do in films,” Kelly Tidy, a former England amateur champion and a member of the 2012 winning GB and I Curtis Cup team, told BusinessCloud.

“You stand on a board and hit balls into a net and they can gauge where your weight has shifted, all the angles that you make while hitting the ball, and it gives the coach a better look into your golf.”

Tidy, from Bolton, played two seasons on the women’s professional tour and is now a golf coach and corporate golf events manager.

She attends PGA technology shows in her current role and has also been impressed by Game Golf, backed by stars such as Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell.

The device includes a belt clip and tags to fix to every club in a player’s bag to produce a variety of stats at the end of a round, such as score, total putts and greens hit in regulation.

McDowell says: “With this platform, I’ll be able to share ny rounds of golf all over the world via Twitter and Facebook.”

Novices learning directly from the world’s best professionals? Now that’s technology in action.