The Local Knowlege

Gear & Equipment

It's a little disheartening to compare your swing to Rickie Fowler's, but it's really cool that you can

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

ORLANDO -- In a TrackMan-fueled era of golf, some of the game's fastest adaptors have been equipment companies. They figured out quickly that measuring every feasible aspect of the golf swing actually comes in pretty handy for clubfitting (and, ultimately, club selling).


I took a spin on GEARS, Cobra-Puma's latest addition to this fast-growing space, and it was pretty astonishing. Retailing for about $39,500, it's more geared towards high-end facilities and Cobra's custom clubfitters. All of Cobra's tour pros -- Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter among them -- have their swings stored on GEARS.

The way GEARS works is pretty simple: the user puts on a suit which features tiny, white sensors all over them. After standing still and facing the camera so it can recognize all the points it needs to, all you have to do is swing. GEARS will do everything from telling you your clubhead speed, to showing where you hit the ball on the face, to sketching a 3D simulation of your entire golf swing. It has a margin of error of about .2 of a millimeter, and it even allows you to overlay your swing onto one of Cobra-Puma's staffer's.

If you dare. . .


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Gear & Equipment

Full Swing makes simulator golf two steps: drop and hit

By Keely Levins

You know when you're hitting into a simulator, and a thousand other people have hit a thousand shots off it before you - but you can only hit off that one specific spot, because otherwise the simulator won't pick up your ball flight? On Wednesday at the PGA Merchandise Show, Full Swing Golf and Swing Catalyst announced the solution to this problem: ION 2 Vision Technology. 


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ION 2 Vision Technology uses a camera mounted on the ceiling above the hitting mat. The camera can notice the ball when its placed anywhere within about a two-foot diameter circle on the mat. Once the ball has been identified, the simulator automatically adjusts to the angle at which you're hitting into the simulator screen.  

Ian Poulter was an early adopter and now he has company; Hunter Mahan and Bill Haas both are now using Full Swing simulators. If you're as techy as these pros, all you have to do to get the ION 2 and the rest of the simulator set up is foot the $40,000 - $65,000 bill.  

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Gear & Equipment

FlightScope Xi offers a portable launch monitor for less

By Stephen Hennessey

ORLANDO -- Golf pros and clubfitters have used launch monitors since the early 2000s. One obstacle for the average player? The cost. Now FlightScope is adding a more affordable, portable launch monitor. 

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Starting at $2,500, the new Xi uses much of the same technology as its FlightScope X2, which sells for around $11,000. Real-time stats--from distance to clubhead speed and ball speed--are viewable on the device, and you can connect through your smartphone to view your shot trajectory and other graphics. 

It's available for ordering now at flightscope.com, with first deliveries coming in mid-March. 


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Gear & Equipment

You, too, can play Royal Melbourne (sort of)

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Just in time for the start of the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the OptiShot Infrared Simulator has introduced Melbourne Golf Club to its library of courses available on which to play a virtual round of golf.

Its Melbourne Golf Club ($49.95) is what the company calls "a hyper-accurate replication" of the Alister Mackenzie design on which the Presidents Cup begins on Wednesday in Melbourne, Australia.

OptiShot ($399.95) is an in-home virtual golf experience that can be played with your own clubs, real golf balls, foam balls that come with the system, or no ball. Four players can compete at once.

It also can be used as a practice device. Its infrared sensors calculate clubhead speed, face angle, swing path, distance, tempo, face contact and ball flight. It requires a connection to a Windows operating system.

-- John Strege

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