Truth & Rumors: Nike patents data-collecting clubs

Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Apparently, traditional custom club-fitting methods just aren't befitting of the world's largest sporting goods manufacturer.
That's why Nike decided to put the computer inside the club, according to Matt Townsend of Bloomberg:

[Nike] obtained a patent Sept. 4 to put data-collecting sensors on golf clubs 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“Custom fitting is outdated, and can be inaccurate,” Nike said in documents posted on the website of the U.S. Patent and and Trademark Office. 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's been putting sensors in equipment for a while now, so it's only a matter of time before they got to golf. Of the options, this makes the most sense: putting chips into golfer's shoes to measure vertical leap -- like Nike did with basketball sneakers -- would just depress most golfers.
Of course, the potential to depress players is high on this, too. Bloomberg says nothing about what the read out on the back of the club will say. "Chunked," "Topped," "Shanked," "Missed"….

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