We take a look at what technology Tour players use and look at what amateur players can learn from their use of technology.
What Technology Do Tour Players Use?
You’ll be hard pressed to find Bryson Dechambeau without some kind of device on his person in the days leading up to a PGA Tour event.
Gone are the days where players doing data-driven practice were ridiculed and Bryson has certainly popularised its use on Tour.
His success has affirmed the fact that technology, and using data in the right way, helps elite golfers get the added edge over their opponents.
Technology in golf has now become more accessible to the masses over the last decade and now it’s not just Tour pros who can benefit from what technology and data can do for the game of golf.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the best players on Tour are using right now, how it helps them play their best game and how it could also help you play some of your best golf.
GCQuad Launch Monitor
You may have spotted these devices positioned next to the Tour players up and down the practice range before a round. The GCQuad has spiked in popularity on Tour and is one of the go-to devices for shot analysis.
Made by Foresight Sports, the GCQuad gives players a complete picture of what the club and the ball did at the moment of impact. It is portable, incredibly accurate and provides instant results for the players to see a multitude of statistics.
Four cameras pick up a 3-D image of the interaction between the clubhead and the ball and accurately presents the players with information such as yardage, ball speed, launch angle, clubhead speed, clubhead impact and a whole host of other data points that would take too long to list.
Each shot is recorded on the Cloud and allows players, whether after a range session or practice round, to go back and analyse each individual shot to see where gains can be made or where shots are going wrong.
The likes of Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland and Russell Knox have all been using the GC Quad to help their game and, of course, Bryson Dechambeau is a serial user of the device.
For the handicap player, the GC Quad is probably even more useful than it is to these Tour players. Fowler, Woodland and Dechambeau already know their games inside out and use technology to refine their skills and gain tiny percentages against the competitive PGA Tour field.
For amateurs who have much less understanding of their game, the data that comes from the GC Quad can be even more beneficial as there are parts of our game we simply don’t know about unless we use the right technology.
Learning where the bad shot off the tee goes most often, knowing your precise wedge yardages and understanding how much your 7-iron spins can be the difference between shooting a high score or breaking 80 for the first time. Yes, Tour players are playing the game on a totally different level to handicap golfers, but why shouldn’t we use the same data they do to help improve our game?
UK Buy Now the GCQuad Home Studio at American Golf
Trackman Launch Monitor
Using much of the same technology and concepts at the GC Quad, Trackman is another device used widely on the PGA Tour and you’ll see it dotted across professional and amateur ranges across the world helping golfers analyse their game.
Just like GC Quad, Trackman sits by ball to track shots and give players a multitude of different numbers regarding their golf shots. It’s interesting to note that Bryson uses both GCQuad and Trackman interchangeably and he says this is to get as much accurate data as possible using both devices.
Related: Best Golf Launch Monitors
Trackman is another staple Tour device used by most players to gather data on their shots and give themselves as much relevant information as possible before a round.
Relevant information is the key point here. Indeed, there is so much information provided by Trackman that it can be overwhelming.
When Jon Rahm uses Trackman, he only looks at two specific elements: carry distance and angle of attack. He says if the attack angle is plus 2 or plus 3 with his driver, he knows he’s hitting it well.
This is a great lesson for amateurs when using technology. Whether using your own Trackman or even tracking technology now installed at some driving ranges, focus on a few numbers you understand and think will help your game the most.
It’s interesting to see that even Tour pros don’t use all the data provided to them, but just the most significant and telling numbers available to them.
Away from shot tracking and data analysis, rangefinders are a vital piece of technology used by pretty much all Tour players.
Currently, they are only allowed to be used in practice rounds to gather yardage information which is then recorded in a yardage book for later reference. However, earlier this year the PGA Tour announced they would be permitted to be used in play at this year’s PGA championship at Kiawah Island, sparking up some fairly intense debate about their usage on Tour.
Bushnell is an overwhelmingly popular device on Tour and has been for over a decade. Indeed, 99% of Tour pros and caddies use a Bushnell and they seem to have a total monopoly of the Tour pro market.
Related: Best Golf Laser Rangefinders
For amateurs, rangefinders can be used in competitions providing any slope measuring technology is turned off. They are fantastic at finding precise yardage to pins and carry distances over hazards, but are also effective at helping find lay-up points on the fairway or knowing the exact yardage to the front or back of a green.
There is also a wide-range of choice away from Bushnell, with manufacturers like Motocaddy, GolfBuddy and Volvik making rangefinders to compete with Bushnell.
Whilst this device isn’t used by Tour players, it is in this list thanks to the Tour-style analysis it provides amateur golfers.
Arccos Caddie consists of 14 smart sensors that screw into the top of your club that, when activated, record every shot you hit out on the golf course.
After a few rounds, the technology learns how you hit the ball – the sort of shot shape you hit and yardage you hit with each club – and, via the app, recommends what club to hit out on the course.
Related: Arccos Caddie Review
But it is the post round data that is most useful feature of Arccos Caddie and provides Tour-level analysis of every round logged
Last year, Arccos introduced Strokes Gained Analysis (SGA) as part of the Arccos Caddie app, allowing golfers to select a target handicap and and measure performance against that goal across every facet of their game.
If you’re looking to help your game by investing in some of the great technology now available, this is an affordable and easy way of accessing Tour-level data to help bring your handicap down.
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