What technology do you need on a golf course?

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What technology do you need on a golf course?

Golf is often regarded as a sport where you can escape the always switched-on nature of modern life. But technology can play a big part in delivering the kind of golf experience we want and expect when we head out on the greens.

Here are just a few areas where technology has made a big impact on the game.

Water management

Responsible water management is a priority for many golf clubs, as using water efficiently is crucial for both the environment and their bottom lines. 

Many clubs have therefore invested heavily in innovative irrigation technology, which makes use of sensors that measure environmental factors such as the temperature and the salinity and moisture of the soil.

This allows the people who maintain the course to fully understand what is going on beneath the surface and know which areas need watering - and when.

This approach also lets stewards know if certain areas have been overwatered, so they know to shut down the system if necessary.

Golf clubs have also sought to use their sprinkler systems more intelligently. An integrated flow management system considers factors varying from the pipe system and pump capacity to the number of sprinklers and the type of nozzles they have to tell the software how much water needs to be sprayed on the greens, the fairways and the roughs.

This technology can be remotely controlled via a smartphone, meaning a reliable and speedy internet connection is essential at your course. It makes the process of looking after the course far less labour-intensive and time-consuming, and means problems or faults can be dealt with the moment they arise.

Imaging technology

Golf clubs can showcase every element of their course to potential visitors with a 360-degree imaging service.

The technology gives golfers a sneak preview of the site, enabling players to think ahead about what type of shot they might want to play in certain areas.

Another useful application of imaging technology is that it allows visitors to look at facilities beyond the course itself. For instance, they could take a look at the shop, bar and restaurant facilities before even setting foot at the golf club.

It also gives the designers of golf courses a wonderful opportunity to showcase examples of their work in an exciting and stimulating way, while ground maintenance officials can find it very useful if they have to call in third party contractors to assist them at any point.

3D analysis equipment

Sports fans who are following the action on TV will often be confronted with a dizzying array of stats, while coaches for the world's top sports stars will pore over every fact and figure to improve their performance.

This is possible due to technology such as 3D analysis equipment, which can record key data about how a golfer positions themselves when they are taking a shot. By monitoring every aspect of how a person positions their hands, shoulders and other parts of their body, it can provide recommendations on what slight changes need to be made to deliver even better shots.

Wearable technology

This trend is taking off in many sports, particularly running. But it also has a useful application in golf, with innovations such as gloves embedded with sensors recording key statistics about the shots being taken.

The sensor technology connects with an app that provides a three-dimensional view of everything from your plane, tempo, the path of your swing and your overall consistency throughout the game.

Another option is a smart shoe, which features sensors placed within the soles and uses Bluetooth technology to transmit data to an iOS or Android device.

Alternatively, you could download the Golf GPS Range Finder to your phone. Whereas an actual range finder device can be quite costly, this app is a free alternative, using Google Maps to aid you in accurately determining the distance to certain fixed points on the course, such as the various hazards that are dotted around.

Golfers can also use wearable technology to measure physiological changes, such as their heart and breathing rate throughout the game, which could be useful in determining their approaches to future competitions.

Sensor-embedded clubs

If wearable technology isn't your thing, you might prefer to deploy the Game Golf system. This makes use of chips installed in the handles of all your clubs. This will record and analyse data pertaining to each shot you take, but you don't need to be distracted with these insights throughout the game.

As a result, you can get on with enjoying your time on the course and take a look at the data on a computer or mobile device later on.

Golf simulators

If you want to hone your technique away from observing eyes, golf simulators such as Full Swing Golf could be exactly what you need.

These stunningly realistic recreations of top golf courses make use of cameras with infrared light waves to create movements that closely replicate what would happen if you were out on the green for real.

It's therefore useful to practise different techniques, styles and clubs and see what works best for you before you find yourself taking to a real course against physical competitors.

Of course, incorporating technology to such an extent into a game which prides itself on being a relaxing outdoor experience might be unpopular with some.

But technology has added a new dimension to this ever-popular sport and may even have helped to broaden its appeal.

We can better understand how we play and easily see what small changes and improvements we can make to refine our shots.

Best of all, much of the technology is highly affordable, while we at Grenke Leasing can help you finance some of the more expensive pieces of kit that once you start using, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.