The game of golf, long steeped in tradition, is changing, with new technology leading the way.
Watching a group of Segways make their way quietly over a hill and onto the fairway is like watching a science-fiction movie -- if the cast was made up of nattily dressed adults cruising around with bags of clubs next to them.
With the Presidents Cup coming to San Francisco, it's a good time to check in on the Silicon Valley technology that's made its way onto the golf course.
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Like the Segway. Why drive a cart, or, heaven forbid, walk, when you can roll with style and futuristic class in a Segway? I can't even remember what they were invented to do, but if it was to replace the golf cart, it was a good idea. Strap your clubs in, lean ever so slightly towards your last shot, and you're on your way.
Could the Segway even actually take strokes off your game? I was skeptical until I asked local golfer Mark Kennedy, who we found scooting around the San Jose Municipal Golf Course on a Segway. He says it helps upstairs.
"I mean, it definitely takes your mind off your game," Kennedy said." if you hit a poor shot, you can go, 'Well, now I get to ride my Segway, and forget the shot.'"
Hard to argue with that.
Where it's easier to see an improvement is just off the course, with the Track Man. This computer/Doppler-radar hybrid tracks your shots off the practice tee, and plots enough numbers and graphs on the screen to leave the uninitiated thinking that someone somewhere just launched a missile attack.
Remember the video game "Missile Command?" It's kind of like that. Only Track Man can also tell you which club is best for you, and how you should adjust your swing.
It may be awhile before the truly traditional golfer buys in to all this technology. But if your goal is a better, more efficient golf game (and really, who doesn't want that?), get onboard with the new tools. It's what the pros use, and there's really no reason the rest of us shouldn't take advantage of it, too.