the research and technology issue

Golf Insider: Technology on the Green

With all of the improvements in technology, it’s only natural that we would begin to incorporate these advances into our athletic programs at North Dakota State. The Bison men’s and women’s golf teams particularly have technology that makes a large impact on preseason workouts and tune-ups for the student-athletes.

The equipment used in each of the team’s practices can be tailored to the individual using it.

The teams typically use two types of equipment

The first technology, Flightscope, allows players to record various details about the ball, their swing and their shot overall.

“Flightscope enables us to see the path of the shot, spin rate of the ball, path of the club, club face angle, distance and numerous other bits of information,” NDSU men’s head coach Steve Kennedy said.

Bison freshmen golfers Dax Wallat and Will Holmgren said this method of practice provides insight for the players to create superb shots while also picking out errors or things they are struggling with.

“It’s extremely helpful on perfecting your swing before the season starts,” Holmgren said about Flightscope.

The other technology is called Technique, which provides videos of each player, allowing them to break down their swing.

Bison women’s head coach Matt Johnson explained the video technology as being useful for individuals who need to make adjustments to their swing or need positive feedback.

“The video allows the coaches to show the players what they are doing and the visual feedback helps them to reinforce good things and learn about the positions that need improvement,” Johnson said.

In the offseason, this technology makes it easier for the student-athletes to keep their skills sharp while also allowing the team to improve during the season by making quick fixes to their swing or their game.

“The technology we use makes it much easier and quicker for the coaches (to) diagnose issues or problems,” Johnson said. “Also makes it easier for the athletes to understand what they need to work on because of the direct feedback they get from the video or launch monitor information.”

Though the coaches and players agreed that the technology is overall beneficial, Johnson pointed out that it couldn’t replace an actual game of golf on the course.

“There is no substitute for the real thing, but (the technology) definitely provides benefits,” he said.

While the student-athletes and coaches are unsure of what kind of technology will appear in the future, the tools they have now allow the team to make improvements throughout the year.

With a fourth place selection in the preseason polls for the women’s team and a ninth place selection for the men’s team, it is clear that the technology is beneficial to both teams and its upcoming success.

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