In an article that I wrote earlier this week (What I Learned) I touched on the fact that technology in the golf industry is very “en vogue”. The advances in technology in regards to the golf industry has gotten absolutely mind-blowing. Whether it’s GPS units, laser rangefinders or wearable technology that allows you to measure a variety of metrics like Driving Distance, Greens Hit and Putts Per Round technology has made the game more interactive and in some cases technology has made for a real learning tool for golfers and instructors alike.
When it comes to the game of golf, technology has developed a real penchant for supplying golfers a wealth of information when it comes to vital information like spin rates, distance and launch angle. Information that is necessary to every golfer that takes the game “serious” (it’s a relative term). We all love to know how far we hit each shot. As we go through the bag this becomes vital for “gapping” purposes. There is never a time when we want a 30 yard difference from “Club A” to “Club B” so technology comes to the rescue again and through the use of “Doppler” (commonly used radar by meteorologists) launch monitors have quickly become the norm. Launch monitors have their big players in the industry and with those big players comes big price tags. Launch monitors can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands. For most (myself included) the budget isn’t there for even one of the “lower end” launch monitor/simulator options. So there has been a major hole in the launch monitor game. A very affordable monitor for the masses. DuoTrac has and is continuing to work on a solution.
I was invited to attend a luncheon the Wednesday of the PGA Show by Holly Geoghegan and Irlianna Samsara of Golf Marketing Services. There was going to be a special announcement at this time by Jason Koo CEO of DuoTrac (Coach Labs) who is also the developer of a 4D Motion Sensor that measures Hip Sway etc. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Koo at his booth the year prior at the show. The announcement also featured a special guest and most football fans may know him from FOX Sports (Curt Menefee). The announcement was for a new and exciting device from DuoTrac called the “GEN i1”.
The GEN i1 is a launch monitor that is unlike others in the industry. Instead of having a system that’s pretty involved (wires, laptops etc) you have a launch monitor that is in the form of a golf ball. As a matter of fact the GEN i1 is being touted as the “World’s First True Intelligent Golf Ball” this golf ball is like nothing else that I’ve seen on the market. As Mr. Koo and his team explained through his presentation the golf ball has a “chip” inside that will measure everything from putting and how the ball starts to roll (it’s rotation) to face angle. Data is relayed in real-time to your device. There’s going to be an app for iOS and Android formats. Not only will GEN i1 give you this valuable information but it will also have the capability to give you a full game experience and data like ball speed, launch angle, back spin, carry distance and smash factor. That is an absolute plethora of information from a small device.
Remember when I alluded to DuoTrac and Mr. Koo finding a real sweet spot or niche in the market? When this product is released it will be retailing for $139 USD which of course is a fraction of the cost when compared to other options in the industry. For $139 you will receive 2 GEN i1 golf balls, a USB Charger Cable and a Charging Base. To give you a rough idea of what the ball feels like… I would say that it has the same feel and weight as a regular golf ball (range ball) and when I think about I would compare the ball to what you would find at a Top Golf facility. As time wears on I am curious about its durability.
When the GEN i1 becomes available this summer, you will be able to set up a practice net and play “golf” in your backyard or during the winter months from the comfort of your house or garage. Full swing, short game and putting measurements. It sounds perfect! What more could you need? Combine your net with a putting mat from a company like Big Moss and you have yourself a private “golf course”. I am excited about this product and I hope that it does exactly what it says. I hope to test and review this product and when/if this happens I’ll be more than happy to post my findings.
Until The Next Tee!