Innovative device from Game Golf promises to help golfers visualize their game and get their geek on.
One of the benefits I have been almost fanatical about introducing to our members is a way of holding competitions between individuals and groups who are separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles. I’ve done significant research into technologies that will support this, and while many are interesting, none have really met the full requirements. One company I caught wind of last year, however, is now close to bringing a product to market that promises just the sort of features I’ve been looking for….
For an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, Game Golf–which is backed by Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood–recently took the wraps off the wireless system it has designed to provide golfers a way to compile and share stats from every round they play. The “Wow!” factor? There’s no need to manually enter data. Game Golf impresses with how it collects data, the type of data it collects, and then, finally, how its presentation of that data will add a new dimension to both the personal and competitive golf experience for amateurs.
The Game Golf system comprises three components–a small wireless device a golfer wears on his or her belt, 18 lightweight thumbtack-shaped radio tags you insert into the butt end of a club, and an application that packages up wireless data and presents it as an “experience” a golfer can study and share. Wireless geeks will appreciate how the system works, but for those who just want results, Game Golf assures me the system will shield its owners from any complexities.
–The job of the lightweight, wearable device is to communicate both with the radio tags, using near-field communications technology (NFC) and with mobile devices such as phones or tablets (using Bluetooth). It also includes GPS, an acceleromoter, and gyroscope technologies that assist in capturing as many parts of your game as its little digital eyes can see–at a rate of approximately one snapshot every half second. The device uses a lithium-ion battery you can refuel using any standard USB connection.
–The club tags, which feature the same tiny RFID chips now included in many credit cards, provide a passive connection to the wearable device. They require no external power and are there simply to serve as a sticky collection point for small bits of data that are automatically transferred by touching the tag to the mini belt “server.” Of the 18 included, 14 are designed specifically for the clubs you bag as part of your complete set. Four extras are included for use on other clubs or as replacements for those occasions when Mr. Fumble Fingers drops a loose tag down a storm drain.
–The software application grabs data from the belt device and delivers it to your mobile products over the air or to a desktop computer via USB. Once there, the Game Golf app paints a pretty picture of your day on the links. You’ll find the traditional stats–shot distance, fairway stats, GIR, etc.–as well as more innovative visualizations. An overlay, for example, places GPS data of all your movements–and distance between each shot–on top of included course maps. Game Golf promises that you will have all kinds of ways to dissect, twist, manipulate, compare, and ultimately view the data it collects.
The Game Golf product will be available in July, but the company is accepting pre-orders now ($249). Founder John McGuire says his company already has nearly 2,000 buyers and judging by the buzz surrounding the company’s IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/game-golf-change-the-golf-experience-forever-for-everyone), my guess is units from the first production run will sell out quickly. If you’re eager to get your hands on the technology for use this season, ordering early may well be the only way to go.