Is there a sport in the world that can so utterly consume its players as golf?
Unlikely. Golf is one of the most technically demanding, gadget-heavy sports in the world, rivaling Formula One for complexity. Most people never even get close to matching the professionals, no matter how much kit they buy. But does it matter?
Here we’re going to look at some of the stuff that won’t make you any better at golf, but will make you fall more in love with the sport.
Voice GPS Systems
As any terrible golf player knows, it’s always nice to know by just how great a margin you missed the green with your tee shot. Now, thanks to voice GPS systems, you can. A system made by a company called Golf Buddy is able to track your position. It can then tell you how much distance there is between where you’re standing and the next hole. It’s a fantastic tool for those who find it hard to gauge their shots and know exactly how hard they should wallop the ball at any given range. Most systems will talk to you via voice and show you distance on their displays.
Golf Buddy’s version comes with more than 35,000 preinstalled courses in its databank, meaning that you’ll be able to use it on most golf courses across the world. It also has an option to add more golf courses, if you find yourself at one that isn’t already included in the system. Wear it in your waist with a clip, or on a wristband.
The Range Finder
There are, of course, other ways to get your bearings, besides a voice GPS system. Rangefinders have been used in golf to measure the distance between the player and the flag for decades. Now, though, the technology has gone up a gear. The latest rangefinders from companies like Bushnell, use a laser that gives precise information about the distance to the hole. One of their units, the Tour X, has a peephole with six-times optical magnification, allowing players to see far into the distance.
Some rangefinders also come with the ability to measure slope at a distance - handy if you find yourself on an unfamiliar golf course.
Glowing Golf Balls
Most people think that golf is a game best played during the day. But there’s a problem with this: golf courses quickly get crowded, and there’s nothing more annoying than having to wait for the people in front of you to finish up.
One way around the problem might be to go for a spot of golf at night, but finding your ball after you’ve teed off is difficult. Now, though, thanks to companies like Glow Gear, there’s a solution: golf balls that glow in the dark. These balls are made with special lights inside that light up the surrounding material of the ball. They can be charged up too, like pretty much every other device you own and will emit a bright glow for between four and six hours. That’s easily enough for an eighteen hole run.
What’s the difference between a regular watch and a “golf watch?”
Turns out, it’s the fact that a golf watch comes with GPS plus a super clear screen, showing you the layout of the course. Currently, Garmin, makers of all sorts of sports gadgets, include sensors in their watches that are able to provide golfers will real time feedback on their swing strength and tempo. They Garmin’s Approach S6 watch also comes with a little pointer that tells you the direction of the pin: helpful when you can’t see it!
Golf Gloves are perhaps the best example of the market coming up with a product that golfers don’t really need but will buy anyway just because it’s related to the sport that they love. Golf gloves help you grip the golf club better if you happen to have ridiculously clammy hands, or if it’s a hot day.
Every golfer has their favorite golfer of all time. For some it's Tiger Woods, for others, it's Bobby Jones or Sam Snead. Whatever your favorites, what better way to celebrate your love for the sport than with statues for your yard of golf pros?
Golf statues serve as a reminder that some people in the world of golf are timeless, and their achievements worth celebrating.
A company called The Aiming wants to help golfers improve on their - you guessed it - aim. The idea is to wear a device that senses the direction you are standing relative to the flag. As you shimmy around, trying to find the perfect position, the device will give you helpful feedback. When it says “ready” it means that you’re facing the right way to take the shot. It’ll then say “perfect” to confirm that you’re ready to hit the ball, and hopefully, land it on the green.
The cool thing about these new aiming devices is that they help get your angle to the ball right. The bad thing? They’ll do nothing for your swing, no matter how perfectly aligned your hips are with the green.
Golf Ball Radar System
If a glowing ball isn’t enough for you to find your ball, then the backup strategy is to use a golf ball radar system. The idea here is to make is really easy to find your ball after teeing off and avoid having to spend ages walking around, looking for your ball in the rough. You’ll need the right balls for the system to work, of course. Compatible balls come with a chip, implanted in their center. This microchip can then be used to track down the ball, using the hand-held sensor device.
You’ll have to pay out a bit of money for one of these on Amazon. But the company selling them has an enticing value proposition. Sure, they say, it’s a premium product. But it’ll save you lots of time out on the course, and you’ll lose far fewer balls in the long run. In fact, you shouldn’t lose any at all - unless, you don’t like getting wet.