The closest most of us will probably get to the famed island green at the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is the EA Sports PGA Tour game from 2015, but if you’ve got the money for a dream golf vacation at the posh resort, you’ll find an array of state-of-the-art technology in the PGA Tour’s Performance Center that will help improve your game.
“We use the technology — Trackman, Foresight’s GC Quad system, V1 Pro computer software, high-speed video, hitting vests, balance plates, etc. — to assess where they are with the game and how their body functions during a swing, and to quantify how to improve their game,” Todd Anderson, PGA instructor, told Forbes. “We don’t have tech that’s different than everyone else, but it’s how we assess a golfer and apply that to help them improve their game that’s unique.”
Previously only available to tour pros, these high-tech assessments help with clubfitting and individualized teaching tailored to a specific golfer’s needs. Golfing resorts around the country are embracing the latest tech teaching tools and incorporating them into their resort packages.
“When they go to high-level performance centers like ours, they expect them to have the latest technology there,” added Anderson. “It comes with the territory and is becoming a larger part of how resorts bill their destination.”
The Sawgrass resort even includes a tech-heavy putting facility to help golfers learn how to read greens better. The Quintic ball roll software uses a high-speed camera, tracking the putter during impact and ball movement afterwards.
Once you get out on the course, there are hundreds of high-tech gadgets you can take along with you to give information about the course or provide feedback on your game. There are electric scooters you can ride instead of carts, or even driverless carts that follow you around the course. You can use GPS devices to plan your shots, or range-finding wearables that tell you how far you are from the hole. You can also don wearable sensors to track and analyze your swing, or smart golf balls that tell you when you’ve hit it correctly.
So far, there’s no device that will automatically shout “Noonan!” when your opponent lines up for a putt, however. You’ll have to do that one on your own.