Just saw this come across my news real on Bloomberg. Nike Patent to Give Golfers Edge With Data Collecting Clubs…
By Matt Townsend
Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) — Nike Inc. wants to make improving your golf game easier.
The world’s largest maker of sporting goods obtained a patent Sept. 4 to put data-collecting sensors in golf club heads to improve personalization. In one scenario, the analysis of a swing is shown on a display screen embedded on the back of the club’s head. That would make getting fit for golf clubs faster and more precise, the company said.
“Custom fitting is outdated, and can be inaccurate,” Nike said in documents posted on the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office’s website.
While most fitting is done indoors on a hard surface, the new club would allow golfers to measure a swing out on a course, which would garner more accurate data, Nike said.
Nike has been integrating digital technology into sports equipment as a way for users to measure and improve results. It also increases the time consumers spend with the brand, which can increase loyalty and sales. The company this year introduced a wristband that tracks daily activity and shoes equipped with sensors that can record such metrics as how high a basketball player jumps during a dunk.
Mary Remuzzi, a spokeswoman for Nike, declined to comment on the patent and when such products might come to market.
The Beaverton, Oregon-based company also received a patent last week for a data collection system that places sensors and transmitters in shoes that automatically track the distance and time of a run or walk. The data would then be shared with the user by sending it to a mobile device or computer.
Beyond measuring performance, there is also marketing potential. In one example, a person walks into a store and the shoe sensor tells the salesman the kind of sneaker, the shopper’s identity and how long he or she has worn the shoe.
Advertising based on that data is then shown to the person wearing the shoes through an in-store terminal or is sent to a mobile device.
The system may also allow Nike to offer promotions based on how much the shoes are used. In one scenario from the patent document, a person buys shoes and registers for a contest that offers a prize if they run 100 miles in a month.
Revenue from Nike’s running category surged 32 percent to $3.7 billion in its fiscal year ended May 31st, while golf rose 10 percent to $726 million. The company’s total revenue was $24.1 billion.
While golf equipment has become more sophisticated, including balls designed to cater to a player’s strengths, fitting is largely a trial-and-error process, Nike said.
This patent would remove that uncertainty by using accelerometers and gyroscopes to measure as many as 100 data points to record such measurements as the angle of the club face, Nike said.
Nike obtained a patent last month for a computerized radar system that places sensors on soccer balls and other equipment as a way to offer data analysis for team sports. It may be able to track two soccer players at the same time with sensors on their shoes as well as the ball to measure how well they pass to each other.
Other products in Nike’s digital sport unit include a watch that can track location, distance and heartbeat and a video game workout for Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect for Xbox 360.
Nike fell 0.3 percent to $99.78 at 11:36 a.m. in New York. The shares had gained 3.8 percent this year through yesterday.
Rory McIlroy switches back to TaylorMade Rors Proto irons at Wells Fargo
It has been a busy equipment week at the Wells Fargo Championship with lots of new gear debuting out on tour, but for world number 15 Rory McIlroy, it’s been less about new stuff and more about reuniting with something older: his TaylorMade Rors Proto irons.
We were on the first tee Wednesday morning to spot Rory tee off with his pro-am partners and that is where we spied the Ulsterman with his old set back in the bag.
To provide a bit of a refresher, the Rors Protos were part of the custom series of irons made for a number of prominent TaylorMade staff players, including Dustin Johnson and (at the time) Justin Rose. They all featured slightly tweaked profiles of the TaylorMade P730 blade, featuring either a unique grind or blade length profile.
There is no question Rory’s game has not been up to his standard recently, and he has been messing around with iron shafts over the last couple of months with the goal of dialing in distance control and dispersion. With the PGA Championship quickly approaching at Kiawah Island, a course where Rory won the 2012 PGA by an astonishing eight shots, this looks to be a switch made for the sake of comfort and trying to find something to get him back into form.
You can join the discussion about the switch here in the GolfWRX forums: Rory is back to the Rors Proto iron at Wells Fargo Championship
GolfWRX Spotted: Ping Glide Forged Pro wedges (exclusive in-hand pictures)
This week, GolfWRX is on-site at the Wells Fargo Championship getting all of the inside equipment scoops from the tour vans, and early Tuesday morning, we got in-hand pictures of the highly anticipated new Ping i59 irons along with new Glide Forged Pro Wedges.
GolfWRX forum: Ping i59 irons – 2021 Wells Fargo Championship
GolfWRX forum: Ping Glide forged Pro wedges – 2021 Wells Fargo Championship
We initially spotted these Ping wedges a couple of weeks ago from a distance in the bag of Bubba Watson, and now, thanks to in-hand pictures (including some comparison shots) we can take a closer look.
Although we don’t have any of the technical details behind the new Ping design, what we can tell is the upper part of the blade is much thicker than the previous Ping Glide Forged wedges to the point where the top line has been beveled. This has been a very popular element of a lot of wedges from multiple OEMs, in an effort to shift the center of gravity higher on the face to lower launch and increase spin.
Ping wedges are well known for their spin performance, especially with the hydrophobic finish to repel water and increase friction. If the engineers at Ping can improve on the already great performance of their wedges, then they have a home run on their hands.
You can join the discussion in the GolfWRX forums here: Ping Glide forged Pro wedges – 2021 Wells Fargo Championship
Jason Day testing putter/shaft combo likely inspired by Bryson DeChambeau
Jason Day is one of the greatest putters of all time, and at the height of his success on the greens, he looked like he would hardly ever miss with his TaylorMade Spider.
Like the rest of his game, however, Day’s form on the greens has gradually dropped off in recent times.
In 2018, the Australian finished the season ranked second in Strokes Gained: Putting, in 2019 finished 30th, last year 65th, and he currently sits 105th in the category this season.
At this week’s Wells Fargo, we have spotted Jason Day with an all-new setup on the greens, which looks to be inspired by the pioneering Bryson DeChambeau.
Just like Bryson, Day has been testing a SIK putter with an LA Golf shaft. In the Australian’s case, however, the putter is his preferred mallet style: a SIK Flo C-Series putter.
We’ll keep an eye on whether Day plays the SIK putter this week and keep tabs on the 33-year-old’s performance with the flat-stick if so.
For more photos and information on equipment testing this week check out our most interesting photos here, and stay tuned for our weekly Tour Truck Report that will drop later today.
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