It has long been discussed how increases in technology are improving the game of golf from a fan’s perspective and giving the game a fresh look, but new technologies and analytics are also improving how players look at the game.
In recent years, there has been an increase in data and analysis that allows golfers to better understand their game. For example, there is data collected on almost every player’s shot that is stored on ShotLink, the PGA’s real-time scoring system. This data is collected using lasers, GPS, and other measuring devices.
Once the data is collected, there are special analysts that are available to judge a player’s data through ShotLink, that determine the player’s strengths and weaknesses on the course. Using this data, the player can then go out and play his game to his or her own personal strengths based on the analysis.
While this may seem like a more sophisticated routine available to only the world’s elite touring professionals, there are many are actually analysts that are available for hire. In recent years there are several companies that have cropped up to use this technology and they now work with top players on the PGA TOUR and European Tour, most notably helping some players in the Ryder Cup.
While this is a large deviance from how the game has been played in the past, many golfers are embracing this new analytics perspective. Billy Horschel is one of the new technology’s biggest fans, stated that “I’d just show up to a course and sort of have a game plan, but not an in-depth game plan. Now, I’m more in-depth and know how I need to play…Everybody’s different, but I feel that (Mark Horton, his analyst) saves me at least a shot or two a tournament.”
With the increase in analytics that is sweeping through the PGA TOUR, it will be interesting to see if players begin to have lower scoring rounds and if courses become easier and easier for players to conquer.
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