P&C Technosavvy the October 2020 issue

AI Gets Into the (Golf) Swing

…but golf is still hard.
By Michael Fitzpatrick Posted on September 24, 2020

Artificial intelligence is here to help. While the pandemic put a damper on most sports, golf is driving ahead.

“Golf is one of the safer, naturally social distanced sports,” says Joe Chin, founder of Sparrow, whose Sparrow Golf app (available on the App Store) pairs artificial intelligence with computer vision to analyze golfers’ swings and suggest how to improve them. “Some people are golfing more than they ever have before. Some people are taking up golf because it is a safe sport.”

Practice is built into the golf experience, whether at home, on the driving range, or at a golf course. But golf lessons can be a little more problematic right now because coaches generally take a hands-on approach to helping golfers with stance, posture and swing. With Sparrow Golf, you only need to use your smart phone’s video camera.

“Using Sparrow with its AI takes that necessity of having someone very close to you out of the loop,” Chin says. “We’ve fed tons of data into the AI to teach it what a good golf swing is. It’s very similar to how AI can beat the best chess champions.”

As many golfers can attest, golf is harder than it looks. That makes practice a necessity.

“A golf swing is actually a very complex motion. To have maximum accuracy and maximum drive, your body and your golf club should be aligned in a certain form,” Chin says. “What Sparrow is doing is checking your form against the best practices of thousands of pro swings. Pros automatically have that optimized form.”

Michael Fitzpatrick Technology Editor Read More

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