How many times have you seen an ad during a tournament touting a gadget that’s sure to help you become a scratch golfer, or a new set of irons which will finally deliver longer, straighter shots, without the need for all of the pesky practice most players need to reach their goals? It may seem a bit of an overstatement, but there’s no arguing the fact that advertisements for golf equipment are often blatantly boastful and in-your-face. This can be the difference in a amateur golf career or a professional golf career.
Still, golf equipment technology is a massive industry, and with good reason. The fact is that many types of golf technology can indeed help your handicap, as long as your willing to put in the time to learn how to use them properly, and the requisite practice required for any person to become a better golfer.
Ahead are some of the most popular types of technologically advanced golf equipment, with some added information on how you can best use them to lower your handicap.
Visual Range Finders • Every great golf course is designed with visual illusions and carefully placed hazards meant to challenge the golfer. Especially if you are unfamiliar with the course you are playing, you may find that a pin appearing to be 100 yards away is actually 150, with elevation and course design playing tricks on your eyes. While its true that most courses have yardage markers, these typically give just a general idea of the true distance, especially when factoring in pin placement on a given day. • Enter the range finder. These gadgets allow you to get an accurate measurement of your distance from the pin, with the level of exactness depending on the quality of the range finder. Will a range finder help you lower your handicap? It absolutely can, but the key knows your average distance with each club, which you can best measure with plenty of practice shots on the range. Without being aware of your average distance, knowing exactly how far you are from the pin will be of little use.
GPS-Based Range Finders • A GPS-based range finder puts all the power of an experienced caddy in the palm of your hand. While visual range finders lock on to an object in the distance to make their measurements, GPS versions are entirely web-based, with standalone versions, as well as apps designed for most popular smartphone models.
These technological wonders can give you exact distance measurements, with plenty of added information like the position of hazards, elevation changes, and in some cases even course conditions. As caddies become less common on most golf courses, GPS-based range finders provide a useful alternative. The caveat of knowing your club lengths still applies, but with such a wealth of information available these devices can help lower the handicap of even the occasional golfer.
Club Technology • With the dawn of each spring, every major golf company seems to release a new set of clubs they claim will revolutionize the game. These claims can be based on new types of metals for the club face, larger sweet spots, hyper-engineered groove patterns, new materials for the shaft, specialized weighting for putters – the list goes on. In many cases, these innovations really do make a difference, but they won’t revolutionize your game on their own. • When purchasing a new set of clubs, it’s always best to have a club fitting from an experienced pro. This will allow you to try a variety of brands and styles, gaining computer-generated information on which works best for your individual swing. Of course, it also allows you to test the “feel” of each club, a vital concern when purchasing golf equipment. Once you have the right equipment, it’s all about practice. The better you know your clubs and your swing, the better able you’ll be to improve your handicap. There’s a common thread when it comes to new golf equipment improving your game – the latest equipment can be of great aid, but results still come down to practice. Knowing the ins and outs of your new golf technology will prove just as important as the equipment itself when it comes to improving your handicap.