by Aman Misra in Mumbai
A year ago, your correspondent met Anirudh at the India Golf Expo in Delhi as he explained his plans to create a device that would combine the best use of technology with ‘numbers’, namely golf stats.
Now, to be honest, I was never one for any additional devices while playing our great game. They tended to be clunky, and as most golfers can probably relate — even a gram of extra weight anywhere in the swing arc would be discernible and unwelcome.
To put it simply, ‘Golfication X’ is a device, that doesn’t only tell you distances, but can also recommend clubs based on those distances, taking into account the millions of other factors you can think of when you step up to the ball.
The idea isn’t new. There have been a bunch of devices that have tried similar stuff over the years. What made this different was the use of AI technology which to our minds has not been implemented fully in any of these devices before.
Anirudh and his team have made effective use of Machine learning, which this correspondent thinks could be the game changer.
In conversation, he takes the analogy of two friends playing together.
“Both of you have different ways of playing the game. For instance, on a Par 5, you may go for the green while your friend may not. Based on your preferences and data, the device gives you advice.”
In other words, the algorithm collects data over the course of a season (or seasons), tailoring itself to your game.
This is as opposed to a one-swing-fits-all-model, or a ‘let’s stick to this particular swing theory’ ideal.
Anirudh adds “Machine learning has data sets, which ranks actions higher or lower. This model needs data to give you an outcome, training itself in the process and understanding what you need.”
All this takes places on Golfication X’s cloud servers leaving you to enjoy your game in an uncomplicated fashion.
In theory, the idea sounds workable, it is a question of getting the nuts and bolts together. It wouldn’t be wrong to dub this as golf’s pocket data monster.
The entire system has 14 taggers which you attach to the butt end of each club. That runs a system through to the device giving you the information and so on.
What if I’d like to go in the direction of testing more than 14 clubs? That would cost me more per tag.
Anirudh and his team have raised 89% of their $50,000 goal on a crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, raking up 235 backers.
Production begins once funding ends on the 1st of June in Shenzhen, China. Shipping is due later in August.
Currently, the device is priced at $175 coupled with free shipping. The device will retail at $219+shipping post-August.
Stay tuned for the full-scale review right here by your correspondent.