It’s hard to imagine that a $14,000 launch monitor could be the ticket to bringing more people to the sport of golf, but the more time you spend using Foresight’s new GCQuad the more you see the potential. And there may be no company that sees a greater potential for growth in golf right now than Foresight.
“There are 25 million people playing golf, at least occasionally, in the United States,” said Jon Watters, Foresight’s Vice President. “We think we can help triple those numbers.”
Foresight made its first splash in the golf world in 2010. The San Diego-based company released the GC2, a camera-based launch monitor barely bigger than a dozen golf balls that was not only extremely accurate and easy to use, but sold for roughly half the price of leading launch monitors.
“It was the first time a camera-based system was able to go head to head with a radar-based system,” Watters said.
While well received, the GC2 played a secondary role to radar-based launch monitors among die hards because it didn’t provide club head data. That changed in 2013 when the company released HMT (head measurement technology), a complimentary launch monitor that attached to the GC2 to provide the whole picture at impact: ball and club data. It wasn’t just a “me too” product; its club data was arguably more accurate than what leading radar systems produced.
This year, Foresight is launching an all-in-one unit called GCQuad that the company says is twice as accurate as it previous models. It’s also at least twice as fun thanks to an add-on software called “Zombie Golf” that will sell for $495. Our Zak Kozuchowski exchanged emails with Watters about Foresight and the GCQuad for the Q&A below.
WRX: Shortly after launch, the GCQuad was already oversold by more than a month. Who is buying the new units, and why are they buying them?
Jon Watters: We extended a special offer to existing customers that allowed them to trade-in their existing technology as a partial payment for the new GCQuad unit. We have been overwhelmed by the response and corresponding orders that resulted from this offer. It was really cool to see two units from our first 10 production units getting traded-in for GCQuads. I think that speaks to the quality of design and engineering that goes into all the technology we produce here in San Diego.
Why they buy the new GCQuad may vary between customers, but again I think it’s because of the reputation we have earned in the marketplace in delivering the very best technology available today. In fact, all the new features in the GCQuad are a result of customer feedback and requests to make the experience with our products even better and easier to use.
WRX: How have launch monitors changed golf? Has Foresight made a specific impact?
JW: Launch monitors have impacted just about every aspect of golf. In many ways it’s similar to how smartphone technology has impacted our lives. In the span of a decade they went from a luxury item to being an integral part of our everyday lives. The same goes for launch monitors. Today, launch monitors are an integral part of instruction, fitting and even recreational gameplay because people are getting immediate, tangible benefits from using them. Our specific influence on this shift comes from making the launch monitor more accurate, reliable, user-friendly and cost-accessible to everyone who enjoys the game.
We were also the first company to make a launch monitor that could effectively support true-to-life golf simulation. Golf simulators used to have a reputation as “entertainment devices” and weren’t viewed as a serious golf tool. Now, thanks largely to our technology’s ability to go indoors without compromising accuracy or reliability, you see golf simulators everywhere: retail stores, hotels, recreational facilities and in the homes of casual players and tour pros alike. This simply wasn’t the case before Foresight Sports existed.
WRX: What allows Foresight’s launch monitors to be so accurate? How was the new GCQuad made to be more accurate than GC2 and HMT? Basically, the question I’m getting at is, “What’s Foresight’s competitive advantage at the moment?”
JW: There are two key things about our technology that offer a distinct advantage when it comes to accuracy. The first is positioning. Camera-based technology like ours allows our launch monitors to be optimally positioned to measure — not calculate — what happens at the moment of ball and club impact. Measuring from any other position, such as behind the golfer as other technologies do, means critical elements of data are being missed that simply can’t be calculated, validated or reproduced from other captured information.
The second key advantage of our launch monitors is the virtually unlimited ceiling of technological advancement. Just as with computer processors, image-capturing technologies continue to rapidly redefine the state of the art when it comes to size, power and precision. Like its GC2 predecessor, the GCQuad leverages the most advanced technologies available today — faster processors, higher resolution image sensors, next generation connectivity — it’s all in there. To put this in perspective, our GC2 was the most advanced and accurate launch monitor in the industry when we released it in 2010. Today, the GCQuad captures 10 times as much information as the GC2. Our core capturing and analysis technologies only continue to evolve and get better.
WRX: Can you foresee a time when people would rather play golf on a launch monitor instead of “real” golf?
JW: Absolutely. In fact, since the inception of golf simulators, there has been a segment of players who prefer the virtual game experience to the “real” experience. Back in the late ’90s I saw this firsthand when I was involved with an indoor golf facility in Louisville, Kentucky. And by all indications, the segment of players who prefer the virtual experience is only going to grow.
The reason why virtual golf is poised to see explosive growth is two-fold. The first reason is the evolution of the technology itself. Every aspect of the virtual golf experience continues to get better – more accurate, more real, more cost accessible – making it harder to justify the advantages of the “real” experience. When you add in the ability to engage players with gaming experiences like shooting at zombies or playing a round at a famous course with three other players from around the world, the appeal of virtual golf becomes obvious.
The second reason is the inherent scaling limits of the traditional game. We can build a facility full of state-of-the-art simulation bays at a fraction of the cost – and space requirements – of a golf course development or expansion. The reality is that worldwide land resources are limited, and new golf course creation is becoming increasingly harder to justify. The traditional game of golf is now in a state of attrition, and anyone who doesn’t see that isn’t paying attention. In my opinion, the virtual experience is critical for the game of golf to be viable moving forward, and I believe technology companies like ours will play a key part in making this happen.
WRX: You mentioned Zombie Golf. How did that come about?
JW: Zombie Golf is actually the first gaming app created by our in-house Game Studios team. The genesis of the idea itself came from a creative session we held with the team late last year. Everyone was encouraged to bring a game idea to the session that would engage, entertain and hopefully inspire a new audience of non-players to get in the game of golf. After discussing a myriad of ideas, Zombie Golf was unanimously voted the first game we would build to launch in conjunction with the PGA Show and the GCQuad introduction.
Beyond its appeal to both golfers and non-golfers, we see Zombie Golf evolving into a multi-level game that might even spill over into traditional golf play. Imagine playing a round of golf on one of our virtual courses and having zombies suddenly invade your course. That’s what we call changing the game!
Learn more about Foresight and the GCQuad at foresightsports.com.
Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018
Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.
We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.
The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.
Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar.
Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)
BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.
I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.
Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)
mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech.
Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)
cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up.
tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…
Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume.
bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.
TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)
DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list.
elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…
cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it.
Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)
WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).
TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4.
The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8
Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look.
True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots
True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.
The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.
In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.
So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.
Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.
“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”
Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.
True Linkswear Original: $149
The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”
- Gray, White, Black
- Waterproof full grain leather
2-year waterproof guarantee
- thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
- 12.1 oz
- Sockfit liner for comfort
- Natural width box toe
True Linkswear Outsider: $169
With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”
- Grey/navy, black, white colorways
- EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
- Full grain waterproof leather
- 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)
The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.
True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.
Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.
Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout
The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).
Here’s a look at their bags.
Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX
3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX
5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX
Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron Concept 2 NB
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Related: Sean O’Hair WITB
Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X
3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype
Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X
Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore
Putter: Scotty Cameron T5W
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017
Spotted: A TaylorMade “M4” driver (via Instagram)
Tiger Woods WITB (2017 Hero World Challenge)
Match of the Ages: 30 Years of Tech Goes Head to Head
Hybrids or Long Irons? A Teacher’s Perspective
See what GolfWRX members are saying about Titleist’s new AVX golf balls
Spotted: Titleist’s new Vokey SM7 wedges
Callaway Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero drivers hit USGA conforming list
10 things you need to know about Cobra’s new King F8 lineup for 2018
The hottest blade irons in golf right now
Hello USGA, we need to talk….
Golf Gum: Could this chewing gum really lower your scores?
If Jordan Spieth’s gum chewing at the British Open inspired you to chomp a stick on course yourself, you might...
Bob Parsons, Paige Spiranac’s new video blog: “Why are PXG clubs so expensive?”
Golf’s favorite disruptive, ultra–premium golf brand is serving up a heaping portion of PXG brand red meat to its core...
PGA Tour suspends Mark Hensby for violation of Anti-Doping Policy (but that doesn’t mean he doped)
Mark Hensby joins the group of Doug Barron, Bhavik Patel, and Scott Stallings as the only players (we know of)...
Golf bids goodbye to viewer call-ins for rules violations. Should it?
The nearly 40-year era of viewer call-ins resulting in penalties being assessed to professional golfers will have come to an...
pga tour2 weeks ago
Tiger Woods WITB (2017 Hero World Challenge)
Equipment1 week ago
Callaway Rogue and Rogue Sub Zero drivers hit USGA conforming list
Opinion & Analysis4 days ago
Hello USGA, we need to talk….
pga tour1 week ago
Rickie Fowler’s Winning WITB: 2017 Hero World Challenge
Instruction6 days ago
Left Arm Bend: The Difference Between PGA Tour Players and Amateurs
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Tiger Woods driver swing video, on-site reports as he prepares for Hero World Challenge
Equipment2 weeks ago
TaylorMade is turning the tables, accuses PXG of patent infringement
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Tiger’s short game “a lil off” during Monday’s practice round (updated with video)