Welcome to the Age of Modern Golf
I’ve only been in the golf industry for 3 years as a businessman, but I can tell you things are changing quickly.
The game is getting high tech.
I’m not just talking about new metal alloys in modern golf clubs or club head aerodynamics. There are a lot of passionate people out there building technology to help golfers improve their game. There are golf swing jackets, GPS trackable golf balls, swing analysis fueled by AI, and countless golf mobile apps just to name a few of the newer developments. It’s fascinating to see the breadth of technology already in this space.
I’m a technology junkie and golf geek. When I was introduced to indoor simulator golf, I could see the unlimited potential of what could be done by connecting the carbon environment (being the human and the golf club) to a digital environment. Players can spend as little or as much time as they want to enjoy a game on the simulator with friends (or alone). The data that’s collected during a game can be shared with a professional to improve the player’s swing. Technology removes barriers for people who want to learn the game. We can actually help people get the instant gratification they experience with esports and increase engagement by making the game more fun.
The impact of technology spans beyond personal improvement. In the Northwest and Northeast United States, the season is limited by weather patterns. The clubs that use our simulators expand their playing season by having their course rendered for the simulator. They have new options for coaching revenue, and a different draw for potential members and existing non-golfing members. One of our clients recently reported a drop in the average member age of 10 years and they had to implement a waitlist for applications. Hearing stuff like this is what makes me excited to be a part of Modern Golf.
What is Modern Golf?
Modern Golf is fun. It’s not as time-consuming and engages a much wider demographic than traditional golf. aG defines Modern Golf as the best elements of the traditional game combined with the advantages and convenience of technology. It encompasses data, on-demand competition, worldwide social connections, and endless entertainment. The aG platform has you playing anytime, anywhere, and with anyone.
The keys to Modern Golf are gamification and community. I’ve noticed how our platform creates a bond even within our own company. When we compete in closest to the pin or longest drive games, there’s three or four of us that land within a couple of feet or inches of each other. It’s created a bit of camaraderie and we spend more time playing trying to one-up each other than I think we would otherwise. It’s easy to picture Modern Golf connecting people online in a 20-mile or greater radius, enabling community and friendly competition.
Modern Golf helps professional instructors who may not otherwise have access to a big market. Now they have the globe at their fingertips. Modern Golf instruction provides a more interactive way to discuss and communicate between the coach and the golfer, and it’s more cost-effective for everyone involved.
I use my simulator to connect with my golf coach. Randall Henry sits in Idaho. I’m able to record three to four practice drills and send them to my aG Locker. Randall gets access to that data on his app, and then he can call me or send a screenshot back with lines drawn where my shoulders should be.
What Sets aG apart?
We’ve found that customers really appreciate the authenticity of the tee to green experience. It’s very important to us that it be as close as possible to playing outdoors, including how the ball rolls, how the ball interacts with hazards, and so on. Now we’re applying a software platform on top of an existing customer base, which is really exciting. The cloud opens up loads of options for the growth of an online community, competitions, and content delivery.
We connect people to some of the top experts in the field. What’s fun for us is we see people improving with fewer swings—and they’re doing it while they’re having fun. It only takes a few data points for professionals to be able to identify how someone’s swing should change. Compared to YouTube tutorials that may or may not apply to your specific problem, this is the tailored approach people really need.
I’m most excited about aG Tour. Golf is the only sport you can take and replicate in a full esports platform. We’re hosting digital golf tours online with competitions for every skill level. We’ll have putting tours for kids, closest to the pin competitions, longest drive contests, and even putting competitions for adults. I see PGA sanctioned digital golf competitions for PGA professionals in the near future as well. aG Tour is the infusion of esports we think golf needs.
There aren’t any limitations. A golf competition will no longer look like one golf course holding a tour every year. We can have tournaments with players logging in around the world or live events in regions where snow prevents people from setting foot on a course. I get excited because people who have never had the ability to compete because of time constraints or lack of access to the right kind of infrastructure can now win money on golf.
Over the next ten years, Modern Golf will evolve into something we’ve never seen before. I can picture a stadium with twenty-four people competing on simulators for a purse of three to four million. I can see the top two finalists side-by-side on a giant screen.
We’re excited just to be a part of that.