By ED TRAVIS
Chances are, in addition to the clubs in your bag made of “hi-tech” materials like titanium and carbon fiber, which some still think of as exotic, there are one or more items of equipment using sophisticated technology unknown just a few years ago. Whether is the simple measurement of distances, evaluation of our swings or providing pleasant background music the possibilities for “Golf-Tech” are growing all the while. The use of sophisticated technology is evident at every level of the game and has mushroomed with no end in sight, in fact many of these devices can help every golfer to score better.
Add to that the evolution of affordable launch monitors, game simulators plus video teaching and there’s only one possible conclusion, the age of “Golf-Tech” is here to stay.
Below are a few devices with features we like and can confidently suggest are worth your evaluation should you be in the market to upgrade your personal “Golf-Tech.”
Many like getting shot distances from a GPS readout and the AXIS GPS Watch from MGI is a great choice. It’s good looking with easy-to-use button controls, a scratch resistant face and connects to MGI’s Sureshot app on a mobile device via Bluetooth. Yardage to the front/back/center of the green and to hazards is instantly available and a built-in score card is standard. Up to 12 hours battery life in Play Golf Mode. $199
This laser rangefinder will give yardages to the flag up to 390 yards to +/- one yard and to help with battery life it shuts off after 15 seconds. Once locked on the target a vibration can be felt and the scan mode, to help with other distances, is effective up to 1100 yards. A built-in slope feature compensates for the terrain and can be turned off for competitive rounds. A magnet in the case holds the device to the cart. $299
This golfer-friendly priced laser rangefinder has the features needed to make it invaluable to players of all skill levels. It is water resistant with a quick focus and a distinctive vibration feedback when it locks on the flag. The readout compensates for a shot’s up or down slope with an on/off switch to comply with the USGA regulations plus it adjusts to the lighting conditions and has a magnetic cart mount. $260
This PopTop Bluetooth speaker powered by Speaqua Sound Co. brings your music to the range or the course all day with 10 hours of battery life while recharging your phone at the same time. It’s rugged, the outside is made of silicon, and has lots of well thought out features such as dual speaker pairing, a hook to attach to your bag and there’s even a Puma ball marker on the bottom plus the metal ring doubles as a bottle opener. $130
Many of us like to listen to our favorite tunes on the course and the Bushnell Wingman is a quality speaker which Bluetooth connects to a smartphone to play whatever suits your mood. But that’s not all because pushing the button on the remote control it announces the distance to the front, back and center of the green. Other nice touches include magnetic cart attachment and a USB port to charge other devices. $130
A sophisticated 3-camera system coupled with infrared sensors provides critical data on your swing indoors or outdoors. Among the many measurements shown for each swing are carry distance, ball spin, launch angle, clubhead speed, smash factor, and club path. The basic one-year Foresight Sports software package is included. Other packages and simulation software are optional. Basic Launch Pro $3,000