Analytics 101

How a Smart Golf Ball Can Help Your Game

October 8, 2021
5 min

Here at Graff, we are developing the world’s first smart golf ball and an accompanying analytics platform that will allow golfers to assess their games as they never have before.

Most golfers have at one point asked themselves why there isn’t a chip put inside of a golf ball so insights can be gained from the information it gathers upon impact. It’s a challenge to make a product like this (there’s a reason it hasn’t been done before), but the end result will be more than worth it.

How can a smart golf ball help with your game? Why is it necessary? We will answer those questions in this post.

What Is The Graff Smart Golf Ball?

With the Graff smart golf ball, technology inside of the ball connects to an app on your phone, allowing you to instantly have information from the contact you are making with the ball.

Think of it as being able to offer most metrics a launch monitor analyzes without needing a launch monitor. The ball will be able to decipher carry distance, spin rate, spin direction, ball speed, hang time, launch angle and other stats that are useful to understanding your game.

When you hit the ball, the stats are immediately available on your phone. As you rack up sessions and data for each club, it tells you who you are as a golfer. Based on how you are performing, improvement plans and aids are available to help you understand how to get better.

Practicing golf usually means hitting a ball into an empty field and only having a subjective idea of your performance. The Graff smart golf ball quickly identifies a baseline for you — what your average ball speed is, what your average spin rate is for each club, etc. — and gives objective measures. You can hit it into a net in your backyard, so going to the course or range isn’t a necessity.

Golf is a very subjective game, but it shouldn’t mean you have to be in the dark.

But I Want To Use My Own Ball

The Graff smart golf ball is not meant to replace your go-to ball. This is a complement to what you currently use.

The smart golf ball can be used on the course, but will be best utilized in a practice setting. If you play a high-performance ball, the Graff ball will convert the stats to meet the ball of your choice.

For instance, the Graff ball may spin differently than another ball, but the information gained at contact will be converted into what the spin would have been if you had hit your typical golf ball.  

Why Does This Information Matter?

Let’s start with an analogy. If you moved into a new neighborhood and decided to go for a two-mile run, how would you know where to run so you hit exactly two miles?

Would you start running from your house until you felt like you had gone two miles? Would you time yourself until you hit roughly the amount of time it takes for you to run one mile and then start running back to the house?

Probably not. Even if you got close to your guess, the only information you would have from your run is that you went roughly two miles and gained a general sense of whether you felt good or bad while running. If you went running in a different location or a different length, no objective data would explain your performance.

That might be good enough for some people, but golfers desire more.

If you want to get better at something, you need to know where you currently stand. If you want to gain 20 yards of distance off the tee, you need to know that your average ball speed with your driver has to increase by about 10 mph. That means you have to consistently hit your driver to establish what your average is. Then you can develop a plan to increase your ball speed.

When you see the numbers climb, you know it won’t just be a feeling. It’s a reality.

The Importance of Gathering Data

Think about the concept of a golf handicap.

If you post two or three scores, you really don’t have a handicap yet. You may have an idea of where your index is, but you need more data to get a clearer picture.

The Graff smart golf ball requires a similar line of thinking. Hitting a dozen 7-irons is undoubtedly helpful, but our bodies do not react the same every single day. To gain a true appreciation, you will need to hit a lot more 7-irons on different days.

Trends can definitely emerge quickly from just a few swings, but more data is always better.

When you have gathered a solid amount of swings with each club, the application really begins. One of the most important things you will learn is that every club has multiple carry distances. There is the farthest you hit a club, the average distance you hit it and the shortest you hit it.

This knowledge factors heavily into where you should aim on a golf course, avoiding hazards, making the right decisions and playing the game with more confidence.

Understanding Smart Golf Ball Analytics

We get that many golfers don’t know what to do with information like spin rate or launch angle. On the surface, it looks like they are just numbers with no context.

We’re hoping to make this a clearer picture for you. First of all, consulting a PGA professional is a great step to interpreting the data. It’s also helpful for a certified instructor or club fitter to see all of the data to give better recommendations.

Many times, out of whack data is because of ill-fitting equipment. So the golf ball is a critical piece in getting fit with confidence.

However, self-education is also a great thing. We have tons of articles on topics like ball speed, spin rate and launch angle. Get started with a general introduction to analytics in golf.

It may seem intimidating at first, but we envision a world where every golfer laughs about a time when they didn’t understand their games at a precise, detailed level.

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