Golf Dives Into The Future
Greetings from the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, where hundreds of aisles are loaded with thousands of new golf products set to hit pro shops, retail stores and websites in 2018. I’ve attended the convention every year since 1991 and have noticed a gradual onslaught of technology in products. This year, its presence seems to be more aggressive — especially in traditional hard goods. There are, for instance, Coach Labs’ computer chip-embedded smart golf balls that tell you how efficiently you’re rolling putts on the green. TaylorMade is displaying its new intelligent “Spider Interactive Powered by Blast putter” that sports built-in technology from Blast Motion and SuperStroke Golf to also help you improve on the greens. And Cobra is offering two entire sets of clubs armed with Arccos smart grips that automatically plot where you hit each shot in your round and how far. Plus it relays your playing tendencies to your smartphone, to help you better manage your game. The company is not even raising the clubs’ prices to include the grips, which is nice. Being a technology lover, I’m really happy that golf and technology are finding common ground. And I’m very happy that using it’s a relatively seamless experience. I’m just wondering how many golfers will really take advantage of it to improve their game. Maybe there’s an app to measure that progress.