Edward Doling, Foresight Sports Europe’s sales director, writes exclusive for GOLF RETAILING after a hugely successful PGA Show for the brand
The 2014 PGA Show fantastic show for us – not just for Foresight Sports as a global company – but specifically for our European arm.
Our technology was in use right across the show. Our stand was right next to Callaway, and they had four simulators all running GC2 and HMT (Head Measurement Technology) – and all incorporating Foresight’s fitting software. PING had two on their stand for skills competitions and club testing; Titleist were using it; the PGA of America used it to drive their daily nearest-the-pin competition; Golf Digest magazine had it in their VIP area for guest use; and the GC2 was also in use on a host of other stands across the show floor.
Because it’s so accurate, any time anybody wanted to demonstrate the ‘before’ and ‘after’ effects of their product they were using Foresight technology.
In the last couple of years there has not been that many European visitors to the stand. That changed this year with probably the best European turnout we’ve ever had. The general feeling was that things are starting to come back now; there’s more confidence in the market and in business in general, and so perhaps the flight and hotel costs were considered worth the expense this year – it was certainly good to see so many people from our patch.
It’s all in the head
We’ve been going to the show for 14 years now and it was undoubtedly the busiest and most successful show for us in that time – and everybody was talking about Foresight, which was great. There’s a real acceptance within the industry now that Foresight is the technology of the future – and Head Measurement Technology is really driving that.
Everybody loves GC2, which explains why it’s the number-one launch monitor out there, but HMT is the defining point where, once you use it and see the data, you realise no other technology can get close to it, not just in terms of the accuracy of our data, but also in the range of data we measure.
In every industry and every technology – whether it’s computers or phones, televisions or gaming – there are always advances. You only need to look at your smartphone compared to mobile phones of 10 years ago to know how technology takes huge strides forward.
And that’s where we are with the GC2 and HMT. They are a massive leap forward in ball and club analysis for the golf industry. Until now there has only really been one style of technology within the industry, built around radar tracking, but our approach, directly measuring ball and club data using ultra-high-speed cameras, is the leap forward.
Every fitter, teaching professional, club-maker, retailer and tour pro we deal with tells us how vital it is to have accurate ball and clubhead data. HMT is the only technology to directly measure club path, angle of attack, face angle, loft, lie, club speed, and impact location on the face. It’s incredible.
Manufacturers bought into it a while back of course; their R&D departments are using GC2/HMT because it’s the only affordable technology that directly measures club-head data. If you’re designing or building a golf club you need to know exactly how the golf ball reacts off the clubface, plus you need to know exactly where it struck the clubface. And you need to be able to correlate those two things.
Your technology needs to directly measure what the ball does: directly measure what the club is doing, and to do so independently of each other. That way you can see a measured result, not a calculated one. And our Foresight technology is the only technology on the market that can do that. More and more of the top players and coaches are also realising it and moving to Foresight.
It was really windy on the show’s demo day but the great thing about our data is that it is always pure, accurate and not affected by the weather. Our customers confirm this time and again.
If you hit a gentle fade into a right-to-left wind, then the GC2 reports that gentle fade perfectly. Our data is always pure as we directly measure the movement and spin of the ball at launch. And that was certainly the feedback we got from the many visitors who came to our stand at the outdoor day. They appreciated that their data was unaffected by the gusty conditions.
With so many thousands of Foresight systems in use around the world, and with so many people telling us that they are moving away from radar-based systems, it feels like a real sea change in the golf technology market. What’s more, with our GC2-K ‘Range Changer’ and our new cloud-based, player-focused software launching in Europe in the next few months, we’ll be taking our technology range to an even higher level and to an even wider audience … but that’s another story.