The role of artificial intelligence in golf club design
While we know of many business applications of AI, the field of sports has been using data analytics for a long time. Now with the availability of #AI and #deeplearning techniques, #sports teams and equipment manufacturers are coming with unique insights to find better #strategies and equipment design to get that extra edge to win.
Golf looks like a simple sport but is in fact a highly technical sport both in-terms of how players train/play and what kind of equipment they use in what way. There are lots of AI simulation software’s available for training for players. In the same way equipment companies are using AI to analyze the data they have from games on players and styles to design better equipment and also custom fits for players.
Callaway #golf is a well known gold equipment manufacturer and the below article shows how they used AI to design better golf clubs.
Why did Callaway start using A.I.
“I was interested in trying to break out of a pattern of thinking too similarly to our competitors, particularly in driver design,” explained Hocknell.
“We discovered we could take what we had built over the last few years, which is essentially a very accurate simulation capability for the collision between a club and ball, and we could use this large amount of data to try to teach a computer how to think about club design. Perhaps it would come up with some solutions or some design directions that we wouldn’t have come up with ourselves?”
Changing The Face Of Golf
Many golfers won’t concern themselves with what’s going on in the clubhead, so long as it’s hitting the ball long and straight. However, what makes A.I. so fascinating is how it’s transforming the way clubs are being made – and it’s playing a significant role in delivering huge performance benefits.
“The computer came back with some face thickness pattern variations that we had never considered before,” adds Hocknell. “A lot of the thickness patterns that we were looking at were generally thicker in the middle of the face and thinner at the edges in various forms. But this one came up with a series of thick areas and thin areas.”
Using A.I. To ‘Personalise’ Clubs
A.I. has played a crucial role in helping golfers to generate extra speed, but it’s also taken personalisation to a different level. The Mavrik line-up, released in 2020, includes three distinct head shapes (Standard, Sub Zero and Max), and each head is uniquely optimised for different player types.
Whatever the future holds, A.I. will continue to play a key role in golf club design. It’s not a marketing concept – A.I. is affecting the way clubs are designed. Perhaps there will come a time when Callaway’s R&D department – there’s no danger of the supercomputer replacing the human experts – designs a bespoke face for each of its Tour players depending on their own swing.
“I don’t think it’s too much of a secret we are using A.I. tools in golf ball design. I can say that in five years time, we’ll be thinking differently as an R&D organization and using a different toolset than the one that we’ve used before.”