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Perhaps Golf is the only game which has the distinction of the players talking about the game while playing, while not playing, while working, eating, socializing. There was a cola ad that once played on this aspect with, eat cricket, sleep cricket. In the real world though, no game can beat golf at it and yet, if you look at the game it’s so deceptively simple. You have a set of clubs with which you hit the ball and put it in a fixed hole. How difficult is that. In it’s collection of jokes, (yes, Golf has it’s own jokes) some Golf legends have been placed even higher than God. At least in Golf. With God saying that He can’t hit that shot. Why? It just looks like you need to swing the club real hard. But is that all there is to it?

Every time you swing a club, or a racket, or a bat, in a game you come across it’s do’s and don’ts. Even in tennis the way your elbow should move while serving is fixed.  In golf we have the classic flying elbow. All of these can now be worked on with the help of technology. Technology, today, has a sensor installed on the golf clubs much like the revolutionary smart bat sensor, BatSense in cricket. Just as BatSense deconstructs the nuances of batting and presents them in 11 measurable parameters allowing the batters to better understand their game this sensor in the golf club helps you in swing analysis.

Do the sensors capture all the parameters that play a part in the gamesmanship, let’s look at the perspectives gathered from cricket. We all know that how the bat moves is an important element in batsmanship but it’s not the only thing there is to the game. One important element is the movement and position of the head while hitting the shot. Another, very important parameter is footwork. It’s movement or lack of it, positioning while hitting the stroke and the momentum generated, if any, while the stroke is played. SmartCricket is working on technology which will be able to capture all these parameters. Through special sensors in the shoes and the helmet. The scope of insights that can be generated through data of such detail is beyond incredible.

Now, imagine if more data could be collected from the stumps bringing an altogether different perspective to the game, one that factors in the distance from the stumps, the direction in which the batter is moving vis a vis the stumps etc. Oh! And you have no idea how crucial even an information like this is when you are looking at stroke play. Add to this the possibility of data from the ball, through a sensor in the ball as well. It changes what we can evaluate, analyze  and assess about a game completely. Compared to all the information that we currently get while evaluating performance, this will be a game changer and will make anyone wonder how people managed without this data.

In golf, you might think that there are not as many aspects to consider and you can’t be more wrong about anything. The greatest feature of golf which encapsulates almost all the difficulties is the terrain. The design of golf courses is as great an art as the gamesmanship. The creation of the challenge is not separate from the art of overcoming it with élan. Both, when seen together, fill us with wonder and the full scale of the achievement. This is why it’s said that to be able to fully appreciate classical music you must have some understanding of its nature, or you may completely miss the finer details and subtle wizardry of the moments. SmartCricket is working to turn all the possible parameters into collectable data from every possible perspective and to say that it is challenging is an understatement.

The golf irons, their selection and use in the relevant situations of the position of the ball also has its set of myths and legends. There have been instances where the spectators or even the critics sometimes wonder how the player managed to hit a particular shot with the mystical conclusion that he has the iron in his bag that can hit that shot. You can’t buy it off the shelf. It’s not found in regular sets

In cricket the selection of shots has to be seen in relation to the placement of fielders as well. That is the final parameter which will determine if you are able to score runs. A stroke, however well played, if it doesn’t convert into runs calls for work. Especially in the formats of the game, like T10 and T20, which have now changed cricket to a fast paced stroke master’s universe.

Look at a scenario, soon to be a reality within our lives, in which the moment the bowler releases the ball from his hand the sensors all around are able to collect every conceivable data helping us understand how well the batter read it, all the dynamics at play, how was the batter placed at the time of the delivery, where was his bat, where was the ball moving, where were the fielders, how he improvised his footwork to play the shot he played from all the possible ways the delivery could have been played. The master at work can then be seen in a way that will make the magic of gamesmanship perhaps even more thrilling and awe inspiring. It’s then that we’ll truly know what it means when you say that the iron to hit the shot is not available in regular sets. Or maybe better, we will know exactly what is to be done and how. Thereby improving coaching, training, evaluation of performances, safety of players, maximizing potential and introducing PERFECTION of science to the beauty of art.

Can something like this be also replicated in golf. It’s all very much a part of the vision of, to be achieved sooner rather than later.

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