The world of golf is rapidly transforming and big data has a large part to due with it. Gil Hanse a world-class golf course designer used analytics, topography and logistics to help him design and construct the Rio de Janeiro Olympic golf course. Hanse along with Microsoft’s cloud team used data from more than 10,000 courses analyzing everything from map data soil and climate data to understand the ground conditions throughout the year. This is so specific that Hanse could even identify different trends in different courses, like possibly seeing that the sun shines in people’s eyes at a certain time of the day in a certain spot on the course.
Initially I was drawn to this article solely on the fact that I’m an avid golfer, but as I began reading I began to understand the magnitude of how this can change the game. This can honestly be a huge move for the PGA if they use these logistics in their company. This could give the PGA endless possibilities of uses of this technology. With the help of Microsoft the PGA could increase the level of difficulty of golf. They could possibly play with position of pinholes in certain tournaments to make holes harder at certain times of the day. This could make the sport much more entertaining and draw a lot of attention to the game. Another way the PGA could use this technology is in the design process of building a new course. Course architects can now fabricate an entire course with the use of a new technology called 3D mesh. 3D mesh uses drones and aerial photography to create this high resolution “map”.
Data analytics are also transforming the course is through the use of Fightscope. Flightscope is a swing tracker that uses 3D Doppler tracking radar to measure the 27 different components in your swing and ball flight. This technology has been implemented in PGA telecasts to show viewers the exact swing stroke of their favorite golfers. This can help golf trainers show their clients the flaws and highlights of their golf swings throughout a lesson and can help clients know the perfect form that is needed to hit a solid shot.
I believe the evolution of golf is right in front of us and that data analytics is going to have a lot to do with it. The demand for new technology is at an all time high especially in consumer markets. The PGA is fully embracing the new technology and has added it to it’s telecast to help provide users with the best viewing experience as possible. They are trying to make the sport as realistic to its viewers as they possibly can. This is just the beginning of the many uses that Data Analytics are improving the sport.