After a week of birdies, eagles, condors and bogeys, the PGA Golf Championship in Charlotte NC is ending this weekend (13th August). No doubt athletes and players will be returning home with video of their performances to analyse and improve their game.After a week of birdies, eagles, condors and bogeys, the PGA Golf Championship in Charlotte NC is ending this weekend (13th August). No doubt athletes and players will be returning home with video of their performances to analyse and improve their game.
These athletes will probably be so in tune with their bodies that they know what lost them that medal or top slot – even if it was just that the competition was better than them. For the rest of us, load cell-based technology can help us improve our performance at a more basic level!
Analysing the COG
For golfers, a crucial part of a swing is the shift in their centre of gravity (COG). For every player, there are optimum COG patterns that improve their performance, and make their golf swing more efficient and effective. A golf instructor will want to identify the optimum shifts, so their student can replicate this and improve their handicap.
Golf pros have long used a force plate system, that uses load cells to detect the shifts in the COG and shows it as a visual output. In the last 10 years, the addition of synchronised video to the load cell data has given coaches and players alike the opportunity to match optimum COG shifts with both changes in weight centres and the movement of the golfer’s body within set regions. Multiple cameras offer further ability to track every aspect of movement and COG changes.
Golf and big data
At its heart, golf is a numbers game, and modern technology is at its heart. The PGA Tour’s ShotLink system tracks every shot hit every week and produces player data divided into no less than 653 categories. Now that technology has been brought to consumer level by companies such as Arccos. Their Arccos Caddie system wirelessly links sensors in the grip of every golf club in your bag to a mobile device app that records all the data you need. It then compares that with data points gathered from players on the same course. It then integrates that data with GPS information, weather forecasts, topographic maps, and uses predictive analytics to suggest the right club and predicts your score.
It’s interesting that the driving force behind the analysis of this data isn’t performance but efficiency as Microsoft’s direct of sports technology, Mike Downey, explained in an article for Golf Digest:
“It’s not about making things easier; it’s about making your time more efficient. Golf lags behind all sports when it comes to those efficiencies. I can understand the reservation that we don’t want to let technology make everyone a great golfer, but that’s not going to happen.”
So, while the future of golf played live may be data driven, there is always a need for analysis off the course to improve basic techniques and performance. And for that, there will always be a need for the accuracy and precision of high quality load cells.
Load cells for sports research and coaching
If you have a sports project that requires precision force measurements, call us. With a large range of precision load cells in stock, plus the ability to manufacture cells and systems to your precise specifications, we have the expertise and capacity to take your sports analysis to the next level.