When a robot named LDRIC made a hole-in-one at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year, we all cheered and laughed in amazement as a bunch of nuts and bolts had managed to hit the perfect golf shot. But would you let him teach you how to swing?
It might sound a bit unusual, but there's every chance that one day you will turn to robots to help perfect your golf swing.
Vaughn Taylor, who bagged his first victory in 11 years at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, used a RoboGolfPro to groove his swing.
Of course, new training aids come and go, but RoboGolfPro doesn’t seem to be a passing fad. Sky Sports presenter Robert Lee recently half-joked that robots "spell the end of the golf coach", while Nick Faldo’s former coach Simon Holmes says: "I had a go on one and it was absolutely fantastic because every single swing, in terms of the sensory movement and how it feels, is actually very good."
Though you still need a teaching pro to operate the system, RoboGolfPro can be programmed to simulate any swing and is the first and only training system that allows golfers of any ability to 'feel' their ideal swing, pitch, chip and putt.
The machine is unique in the fact that it physically guides the user through the correct swing path, increasing the speed each time to ingrain the movement and counteract old habits. Scot Nei, CEO of RoboGolfPro and instructor at Pebble Beach, is quick to point out that the robot is not a replacement for a coach. He told TG: "It’s actually specifically designed for the teaching professional to elevate their students’ success and their own reputation as an instructor."
So, it may not be time for machines to replace human coaches just yet, but if a robot can help us swing it exactly like Adam Scott, we're more than happy to embrace the technology.