We love golf for the friendships it helps build and for the memories it helps create; for the proof that hard work will transform into talent sooner rather than later and for the unbeatable feeling you have when you pull off that impossible shot. It’s important, then, to know that technology will never eradicate those things from the game. New devices and contraptions may change elements of it, but as long as new technology preserves and enhances the already great parts of golf, I believe that they should be welcomed into the golfing community with open arms.
In this post, we’re going to look at the innovations that we believe will change golf in the future, along with what we think may never change.
The advent of microchips and the ability to shrink amazing technology down to the size of a crumb means that tech can be put in golf balls without affecting the weight and flight of the ball too much. These microchips in the future could pair up with a smartphone app to help you locate the balls you lose track of, meaning no more 10-minute long rescue missions in the middle of games. They might not make it easier to get them out of a bush or from the bottom of a lake, but they should speed up regular rounds of golf and save you some money – in the long run, at least.
The virtual reality boom has some industries still shaking, we could only be a short spell away from this changing the game of golf too. You may already aware of the Trackman technology, which measures your swing and ball flight to make improvements and analysis of your swing easy. Imagine this, but with a virtual reality headset included – you’d be able to hit balls with realistic detection and movement in a generated landscape.
You could play countless holes of golf while barely having to move; an auto-travel function could transport you straight to where the ball lands, and you could even have downloadable map packs so you could play the best courses in the world without having to leave your home.
Speaking of virtual reality, it could also change the consumption of the sport; watching it from your couch is one thing, but watching it from the actual course as if you were there is a level of viewership that has previously been limited to a select few physically at the event. This act of faux-teleportation and much more are all possible, and possibly incoming.
In terms of what won’t change, it’s hard to predict with absolute certainty what the future of any sport holds; one can just hope that the heart of it remains even if everything else is replaced. However, we believe the act of physically hitting a physical ball with a physical club will never change. No simulation or virtual reality will ever match the satisfaction of a good hit, so we should only expect phantom swings to take place in practice rounds or at home; never in an actual game.
We also believe that nothing will fundamentally make the game less fun. Advancements might make the game faster or more convenient, maybe even easier – but after all the come-and-go fads, golf will always be about hitting a ball into a hole and little will change just how ridiculously fun that can be. That’s something every reader of this site can agree on.
This post was written by Jack Bird of Golf Safari SA, who provide quality golf accommodation in South Africa’s most exclusive resorts.