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Bryson DeChambeau, Microsoft develop pressure-sensing grip

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Bryson DeChambeau, in a very Bryson DeChambeau move, joined forces with Microsoft and Seattle-startup Sensoria to work on a prototype “smart grip.” The grip is designed to analyze pressure applied throughout the swing.

The grip’s eight embedded sensors return real-time pressure data. It’s funneled through the cloud via Microsoft Azure, which ”graphically renders pressure of the hands in relation to the golf grip,” Microsoft noted in a blog post.

“The data collected from Bryson over time will be analyzed during future phases of the project in a machine-learning environment to build new intelligent golf-data streams, helping him determine the right grip and club usage, swing speed, rhythm, plane, and other performance and swing-mechanics variables,” Microsoft added in the post.

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Credit: Microsoft Technical Case Studies

And it seems Bryson DeChambeau wasn’t just some sort of guinea pig for Microsoft. Rather, Mike Downey, Principal Evangelist for Microsoft Sports Partnerships, discussed Bryson’s golf-related needs with the SMU alum. DeChambeau indicated that maintaining consistent grip pressure was important, and that there were no devices to measure the consistency of his pressure.

The smart grip Microsoft and Sensoria developed detects grip position and pressure levels throughout the swing, relaying data Microsoft Azure’s systems. That data was then rendered on a Microsoft Surface using XAMIL and Microsoft Visual Studio.

For the less technical among us, here’s what the rendering looked like.

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Credit: Microsoft Technical Case Studies

 

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Credit: Microsoft Technical Case Studies

And yes, the Smart Grips were built into DeChambeau’s existing JumboMax grips using a one inch square of embeddable microelectronics known as Sensoria Core.

Microsoft and the PGA Tour partnered in 2015 for a three-year deal, which saw Microsoft become the official operating system of the PGA Tour and its Surface tablets worked into the ShotLink shot tracking process.

Sensoria was founded in 2011 by former Microsoft employees. The Seattle-based company develops smart garments and IoE (Internet of Everything) wearable solutions.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Jim

    Dec 3, 2016 at 12:38 am

    I would rather have immediate feedback. If I’m griping too tight the grip should say “ouch or you are squeezing me too tight”. Seriously if I could feel a click when squeezing too tight that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Many times I catch myself holding on way too tight. Out.

  2. Grizz01

    Nov 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    This is really getting stupid.

  3. Harry

    Nov 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    The tech is cool, but Bryson should let someone else figure out what small changes affect before it hurts his game.

  4. Mr. Wedge

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Technology can be an invaluable tool. But sometimes it just goes overboard. This is one of those times.

  5. Jeff

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I think it would be great to have the ability to understand your grip pressure on your good shots and on your poor shots. No different than video. As visual creatures, we give lots of credence to things we can see, and we discount the things we can not see. This is why high speed video is so helpful to understanding how great players hit the ball. Having insight into non-visible aspects of the swing, like grip pressure and weight distribution is necessary to truly understand the golf swing.
    This could be very helpful in the short game, where feel is easier for average players to describe.
    Also, the data is transferred via XAML – not XAIML – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc295302.aspx

  6. HarlyD

    Nov 26, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Get a load of dat bat handle on his driver! Looks like a Louisville Slugger. What, 18 wraps of tape, or what?! Sheesh. Ain’t no feel in that thing!

  7. Guia

    Nov 26, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    This young man is trying his best to become a Robot.

  8. Petewc

    Nov 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    He better start winning with these ideas or no one will care. Need results

    • M Smizzle

      Nov 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      It’s not about winning….
      It’s about selling

  9. Mike

    Nov 26, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    That’s pretty cool. They could put accelerometers in there as well to get tempo data. Very cool tech in my opinion

  10. Mark

    Nov 26, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Dear Lord this man is danger of complete IT overload. Golf is a game of variables not computer readouts. Feel, natural ability and imagination are major elements. How did Snead, Hogan, Arnie, Jack etc ever get the ball in the air without all this tech? Talent perhaps?

    • Desmond

      Nov 26, 2016 at 11:19 am

      We are in an age of data – some always thirst for more. It may not directly help us, but some frontiersmen will use this to gather data that denies or confirm the validity of constant grip pressure, and we will learn. I’d just rather learn a swing. This data “stuff” is interesting, but I’d rather read the results of the study and apply rather than be the tester.

  11. Boobsy McKiss

    Nov 26, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Unfortunately it is the future. We’re going to have sensors in our socks, shoes, underwear, shirt, hat, sunglasses, grips, shafts and clubheads. Even in our home everything is going to be connected to apps and databases, such as our refrigerator, light systems, toasters, oven, every water faucet in our house, walls (yes, walls), etc. Every moment in our lives is going to be recorded somehow, and that information is either going to be stored on Azure (Microsoft), AWS (Amazon), GCP (Google), or IBM Cloud. Sad but true. I have to agree with the Alfredo. We are on the edge of a major information overload in not just golf, but everything in our lives. Do we really need to pressure sensitive grips to enjoy the game?

  12. Alfredo Smith

    Nov 25, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Information overload. Simple is more. See target, aim at target, hit ball to target…

  13. M Smizzle

    Nov 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    This could be a game changer. Bryson is a winner!

  14. Desmond

    Nov 25, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I think Bryson will get an argument about constant grip pressure and its importance – some think it’s best to increase pressure throughout the swing.

    In the late 90’s, I had a training aid with a sensor in the grip that beeped when pressure was too high — the forerunner …. I put this in the same eBay bin as well as the Hat that beeped when your head moved – that was a decent idea that did not take off.

    • M Smizzle

      Nov 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Takes a pretty sorry person to get on golfwrx and just be a complete downer

      • Desmond

        Nov 26, 2016 at 1:55 am

        Lighten up, Francis, and see a shrink. You’ve got issues.

    • John

      Nov 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      This whole generation of “be positive” about everything has absolutely zero critical analysis abilit, they just accept everything

      • Degrees

        Nov 28, 2016 at 11:57 am

        You do realize this is not the “millennial” to be calling out for having “zero critical analysis abilit[y]” because he has a FRIGGING PHYSICS DEGREE, but sure, old man, from your La-Z-Boy, let’s yukk it up about these damn kids and their lack of critical thinking skills, when you have a young kid LITERALLY using his science degree to run an EXPERIMENT on a HYPOTHESIS he has.

        I can’t understand why GolfWRX STILL allows anonymous internet comments in this, the Golden Age of the Troll, when most everyone compelled to post something reveals themselves as a COMPLETE NINCOMPOOP.

  15. Feel the Bern

    Nov 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    This is the future.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Players iron with a large head and wide sole?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from MillHill88 who is on the hunt for a players iron featuring a large head and wide sole. Preferring the “low offset of a players iron, and the wider sole of a game improvement iron”, MillHill88 receives plenty of suggestions on what could be the ideal fit from fellow WRXers.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • hackdaddy360: “Some will disagree, but I like the Titleist T-MBs. Minimal offset and a slightly larger head – yet retain a relatively thin top line. I’ve been a long time blade player but decided to give these a go after trying a number of irons. So far I’m happy with them – the notable difference for me is how much straighter my shots are vs. blades. Ball flight is also higher on average – which I didn’t really need help with – but it’s nice to see the mid irons stop on a dime after falling out of the sky like a meteor and freeze where they land.”
  • 3PuttsRLife: “Callaway XR Pro. They split time in the bag with a set of snake eyes 600 blades, and it’s an easy transition. The XR Pro has just the right amount of offset, and top line is not too thick, and the sole is just a hair wider. A lot of forgiveness in a head that suits better players’ eyes.”
  • SwooshLT: “Srixon z785……you’re welcome.”
  • mtlJeff: “The Mizuno 919 forged has a bit of a bigger head than the Srixon Z785. Those might be a good option. I remember thinking they were quite forgiving for a forged ‘players’ club.”

Entire Thread: “Players iron with a large head and wide sole?”

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Whats in the Bag

Madelene Sagstrom’s winning WITB: Gainbridge LPGA

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Driver: Callaway Mavrik (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution IV

3-wood: Callaway Mavrik (15 degrees)

5-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (18 degrees)

Irons: Callaway Apex UT (4), X Forged ’18 (5-PW)

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (50, 54, 58 degrees)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works Marxman Black Stroke Lab

Ball: Chrome Soft X Truvis

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII

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Every golfer should have an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use rangefinder. With the new Nikon Coolshot 20 GII and 20i GII, you get all of that and more in one of the smallest, lightest packages on the market.

Not only do you get a ton of features, but when you consider these devices start at only $199.99 for the 20 G II and then $229.99 for the 20i GII, you get one of the best values in a rangefinder from one of the most well-known consumer optics companies in the world.

Review: Nikon CoolShot 20 GII and 20i GII

First Target Priority and 8-Second Continuous Measurement: “First Target Priority” is Nikon’s way of making sure you are picking up the flag and not a tree behind your intended target. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your distance dialed in to then have a shot fly over the green. With how quickly it lets you know the ranger finder is locked, getting that distance and double-checking can happen remarkably fast.

In the eight-second continuous measurement setting, the rangefinder will continuously measure the field of view as you scan the target area for approximately eight seconds. This setting is great when playing unfamiliar courses or trying to figure out the exact spot to a dogleg, tree, or hazard on your intended line.

Bright, 6x Monocular: Nikon is known for its glass and multi-coating technology, from telephoto camera lenses to rifle scopes, if it’s Nikon glass, it’s going to be clear, fog-resistant, and high-contrast for easy viewing. From a viewing experience perspective, the Coolshot 20 GII’s 6x monocular has an adjustable diopter for sharp focusing, along with long eye relief—meaning you can keep your glasses (or sunglasses) on when acquiring your target.

Review

The Nikon Coolshot 20 GII’s size and weight make it ideal for anyone who regularly carries and wants the benefit of knowing distances but without having to worry about weight—it weighs about the same as a sleeve of balls.

The size allows you to hold the units stable. However, I could see for those new to the rangefinder space, it could take some time getting used to when first getting acquainted with it. The best bet for this is to take it to a range or just step outside with it on your next walk and get used to hitting targets before you take it to the course—plus it makes for a fun game to see how good you really are at estimating distances.

Overall, for the price and size, it is one of the best rangefinders on the market. Plus, with a five-year warranty, you can be assured of years of use with the Nikon CoolShot 20 GII rangefinders.

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