Technology’s grip grows ever tighter across all spheres and sectors in the world, and golf is no exception. Fortunately, in our case, this is unequivocally a good thing.
As the race for marginal gains among manufacturers and enterprises intensifies, so too does the consumer-friendly, inverse relationship between product quality and price. And it isn’t just about improving what’s already there. Innovation is at the heart of technology’s drive to make the game of golf an easier one, and to aid golfers like you in your never-ending quest for improvement.
A quick little peruse online will demonstrate to you the vast array of products, gimmicks, training aids and more.
But, amid the sea of ingenuity and revolution, we’ve picked out four golf tech products that we genuinely believe will consistently shave shots off your score.
Game Golf Live
Adam Young first made waves with the original Game Golf product, which records every shot you play. For the stats nerd, it’s basically Seventh Heaven. Every single golfing metric you can think of is covered, and it allows you to delve deeper into the numbers which really matter.
Like the original, Game Golf Live involves a device you wear on your belt, coupled with plugs for each club which are inserted into the top of the grip. At address, simply tap the plug against the device, and then go!
The two key upgrades are 1) an app (iOS and Android compatible) which allows you to view your performance stats in real time, and 2) a built-in GPS-enabled rangefinder, which basically means this is an all in one.
Oh, and don’t worry, we tested the rangefinder, and it’s as accurate as most others on the market. Everything functions like clockwork, and the concise presentation of the data makes it easy to glean the trends across various categories. Honestly, there aren’t many better ways to drill down on your strengths and weaknesses than by using Game Golf Live.
Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer
There are some mighty fine swing analyzers in the business at the moment, but we simply can’t look past the Zepp Golf 2 3D. If you’re prepared to shoulder the price tag (roughly $150), you’re going to get a lot of bang for your buck.
In terms of hardware, it consists of a luminous yellow device that clips around the Velcro of your glove. This then feeds all swing data back to an app on your phone (iOS and Android friendly), which in turn displays your swing in 3D. You can also study it from any angle as it yields a 360-degree view.
This an upgrade on the first version in that the battery life is longer, it recharges quicker, the accuracy levels are vastly improved, and, perhaps most importantly, it is smaller and thus less distracting.
There is also the Smart Coach Training System, which has a split screen enabling you to make direct comparisons with players on the PGA and LPGA Tours. Cutting-edge, yet exemplified by simplicity – this really is a must have.
Bushnell Tour Z6 Jolt Rangefinder
There's nothing more frustrating than hitting a glorious shot straight at the pin, only to either come up short or fly the green because you've miscalculated the distance. That's where golf rangefinders come in, and there are some good'uns out there.
Bushnell is very much a market leader in this respect. Although there have since been some newer editions, our favourite is the Tour Z6 Jolt.
For starters, it looks good, with the pleasing contrast of the rubber and white aluminium. It's also nice and light, and compact too. But it's what it does that counts. Simply fix the target with the bright red epicentre, hold steady, and then let the Pinseeker Technology do the rest. And, as the name suggests, once the target is locked it, the device will 'jolt', thus allowing you to get a good fix on the distance.
It couldn't be easier to use, and is accurate to within less than a yard. It has an enormous range of up to 1,300 yards (450 to flag) and a 6x zoom level. The Vivid Display Technology is also an excellent feature, ensuring readings are easy to glean, regardless of ambient light. Even though it costs a bit at $330, you get a lot for your money here.
Garmin Approach S6 Watch
If you're more GPS-inclined than rangefinder, then you wouldn't want to look much further than Garmin, who have asserted their expertise in the market for GPS golf watches. The Approach S6 has a lot of great features, the best of which are SwingStrength and TempoTraining. The raison d'être for each is all in the name. The important takeaway is that they are easy to understand, and use meaningful, insightful data that can help you improve your swing.
This GPS watch is also impressive in that it has mapped over 40,000 golf courses worldwide, with touchscreen hole maps enabling you to zero in on distances all around the respective course.
The interaction between the watch and the Garmin Connect Platform is flawless too, and delivers all the data you could possibly want in terms of swing stats and scoring analysis. And, at a little over $200, the value is exceptional as well.
So there you have it.
Four awesome gadgets to cut your score down to size, and hopefully without busting your wallet either. We hope that some, or all, of the above can really help you to take your game to the next level.