Oh, Snap! GoPro
The camera that's turning golf into an extreme sport
Last summer, Dave Phillips, co-founder of the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif., set a video camera down in a bunker as if it were a golf ball and hit it into the cup on the fly, capturing every dizzying moment from the ball's perspective. The 44-second video, which you can watch on YouTube, is one mesmerizing example of how cool golf can be from the right view. Helping to make this happen is a 2.6-ounce gadget called GoPro.
Frustrated at not being able to capture photographs of himself and his friends surfing, Nick Woodman founded a company in 2002 to develop a small, waterproof video camera that was durable, user-friendly and could get up close and personal to just about any event.
Does it ever. It's now the best-selling camera in the world, and GoPro is a billion-dollar company. The newest model—HERO3+—was released in 2013 and retails for $400.
Golfers are attaching the camera to anything they can think of—clubs, carts, body parts—in hopes of capturing a previously unseen view of the game. The possibilities seem endless, though we did find one dead-end. Golf Digest Senior Staff Photographer Dom Furore tried to capture two-time long-drive champion Jamie Sadlowski hitting the camera with his driver swing. Sad to say, but that GoPro met its demise.
"It's about capturing the raw, extreme athleticism of sports," says Justin Fierro, sports marketing manager at GoPro. "Golf, in many ways, is a perfect fit."