Unlike many sports that rely on brute strength, force, or extreme physical fitness, golf is a sport of almost microscopic proportions. Just the tiniest adjustment on a grip, accounting for as small as a millimeter of difference in the way a club is held can mean the difference between sending a ball soaring over the tops of trees or skittering straight across a rough. The difference these microscopic and minute adjustments make is what causes even the most professional athletes to spend decades perfecting what should have long since been a perfect swing.
Golf equipment itself is also a study in microscopic adjustments. While the basic weight, shape and size of different types of clubs have largely not changed in decades, on a microscopic level, clubs of today are a galaxy away from clubs used in the mid 20th century. With smart technology on the rise in every sector, it should be no surprise that it is also changing the game of golf. Smart clothing is helping golfers themselves to analyze and perfect their swing, but golf club manufacturers are also using smart technology to perfect their equipment.
Golf club manufacturers have a difficult job. On the one hand, industry standards are set to keep one golfer from having a significant advantage over another. The world of competitive sports is dependent on the premise that all athletes perform on essentially a level playing field. That being said, every golfer has a unique and individual swing that can benefit from minute changes in the way in which a club is structured. The goal of golf club manufacturers is to find the perfect weight, length, distribution and materials to give every golfer the very best shot at executing a perfect slice or drive every time.
Industry giant Calloway is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze the performance of thousands of swings in the space of just a few hours. With this data, they hope to design a perfect club within given parameters that will be most effective for the broadest range of golfers. The time may not be far off when golf clubs may even be individually manufactured to conform to an individual golfer’s swing. Instead of having to adjust their swing to their clubs, golfers may soon be able to purchase clubs that literally adapt to their swing.