It doesn’t seem too long ago that the invention of the handheld GPS device was heralded as revolutionary for the game, rendering yardage books futile and sparking debate in clubhouses up and down the country.
But at a time when golf technology is evolving at an ever-greater pace, could it be that DMDs will soon join that it once usurped in the long list of golfing artefacts, leaving us to reminisce about the good old days when we were forced to calculate a yardage without a mere glance at our trolley handle or mobile phone?
Ok, we might not be throwing our much-loved GPS watches, handheld devices or rangefinders in the dustbin quite yet, but with the launch of two innovative electric trolleys in the past week, the way we calculate our yardages may have just fundamentally changed.
Let’s first take the FW7 GPS, the new flagship offering from PowaKaddy, which comes fitted with an integrated GPS. Golfers now simply need to glance at their trolley's display and they will be proffered yardages, distances to hazards, and all the usual trimmings you’d expect from a DMD. With a price tag (£749.99), the trolley is on the expensive side, but it almost certainly offers a glimpse of the way the market is heading.
More affordable is the new Motocaddy S5 Connect and at £549.99 with a standard lithium battery. Unlike its competitor, the brand is focused upon giving golfers all the information they need via their smartphones, and by connecting to a free app, it enables golfers to receive yardages, and if they so wish, updates such as emails and messages, straight to the trolley's digital display. Whether the app is paired with the trolley or not, it can still be used worldwide with access to 36,000 golf courses.
The benefits of these changes are unquestionable. With golfers having instant access to all the information they need, there is no reason why pace of play shouldn’t improve, while with the game in a perpetual search for ways to draw millennials into the sport, the introduction of fun gadgets will certainly do no harm.
Of course, these advancements are not without precedence. The handheld device, which not too long ago was the must have gadget for any serious golfer, was soon overtaken by the GPS watch, which in the past year has in turn faced competition from smartphone apps.
Nowhere is the ever-increasing focus on technology plainer to see than in the recently launched performance tracker, Arccos 360. The system is so simple that golfers merely need to place the sensor on the end of their club, their phone in their pocket, and by the end of their game have every statistic they could ever need at their disposal.
Whilst we're yet to be convinced that the game of the average golfer will be radically improved by unlimited access to shot by shot swing statistics, it’s clear that the emergence of the latest technology has fundamentally altered the way we approach our golf games.
You never know, before too long there might be an invention that improves our swing at the touch of a button. You’ll be able to find us first in line!
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