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Golf Apps Guiding Game's Evolution: Tech Like VPAR, Arccos Leading Way

Monday, 02 March 2015 11:09 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Editor's Note: As a regular feature on A Golfer's Life Blog, Newsmax will discuss issues with industry insiders and golf experts. Today's topic — golf technology — led us to VPAR and Arccos, two examples of apps and mobile tech that are shaping the future of the game.

Golf is a game steeped in tradition. Whether it’s the classic terminology, unspoken codes of conduct, or honoring of past champions, this is a sport that has often looked to its past rather than what’s ahead.

Disagreement accompanies the debate whether golf participation is destined to remain flat or is poised for a rebound echoing the economy. One thing is evident: technology plays an immense role in golf’s present and future.

Golf’s next generation is changing things. Millennials will soon make up the majority of sport’s audience and they have no qualms with integrating technology to make the game faster, smarter and more enjoyable.

A keen example is VPAR  — a mobile app that allows golfers to monitor each other’s scores from around the course at any point in their round. Traditionalists might scoff at the very idea of taking your phone out of your bag while on the fairway. But wouldn’t their views change when they were able to see where they stand coming down the stretch of a tournament?

VPAR leaders predict traditional paper scorecards will be largely obsolete in the next few years. No more waiting until reaching the clubhouse to know where you stand among fellow competitors. No more rummaging through 200 scorecards by overburdened directors managing golf tournaments. Tech brings a leaner, more efficient golf experience for all.

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Tech is also changing how players train.

“Analytics” is the industry’s current buzzword and provides a wealth of data that golf’s old guard could only dream of sifting through. Minimally intrusive equipment like ARCCOS — a grip attachment that tracks each ball strike — allows players to dive into statistics on average shot distance by club, greens in regulation and score progression over time.

Other advanced training aids are allowing golfers to adjust the infinite nuances of their game. It keeps amateur golfers especially from getting discouraged, which means they’ll return to the course. More course visits means more overall industry vitality.

These tech advancements don’t even begin to cover the ever-evolving equipment sector. Golf’s club makers roll out new designs every season that allow new and experienced golfers alike to hit the ball further, straighter and with more control.

Golf purists worry that certain types of technology are unnecessary distractions that sully the game. They see young golfers on greens with their phones out, music playing and automatically assume they’re tweeting or Instagramming. While that may be true, there’s also a good chance they’re sharing the beauty of the course with friends or checking their stats or place on the leaderboard.

Social interaction and striving for better scores — aren’t those two primary characteristics of playing golf?

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Change is inevitable, and tech is certainly changing golf experiences at an unprecedented level. Strap on your swing trainer, it’s going to be an interesting ride.

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One thing is evident: Technology plays an immense role in golf’s present and future.
vpar, arccos, golf, technology, app, scoring
Monday, 02 March 2015 11:09 AM
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