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Sports Equipment Manufacturers Offer the Latest High-Tech Advantages, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Major strides have been made in sports equipment technology, especially in golf.  Equipment manufacturers such as Callaway Golf, Wilson Golf and Titleist spend millions of dollars on developing new, cutting-edge clubs, balls and accessories that offer hope to those who want to increase distance and precision while lowering handicaps.  Manufacturers are hoping to lure customers by developing new, game-changing equipment.
With regard to golf equipment, high-tech tools range from gauges that can plot a golfer’s distance from the hole using GPS, to room-size simulators that can recreate course conditions from famous courses around the world.  The SkyCaddie by SkyHawke Technologies is a GPS that measures distance coordinates for almost 30,000 courses around the world.  The expensive Vector Pro Launch Monitor System by Accusport uses infrared light and twin cameras to measure ball spin and speed and perform video swing analysis.  On the super luxury end, the Indoor Resort by TruGolf is a simulator with a tee area, a high resolution video screen and software that can double as a home theater and as a simulator for cycling, car racing and shooting.  Available in home and commercial models, the simulator runs between can cost tens of thousands of dollars and offers realistic simulation of play on courses such as Northern California’s Pebble Beach and Scotland’s St. Andrews.
Data-driven technology is behind the Arccos Caddie platform (, a system using sensors that screw into the top of each golf club shaft and measures variables relating to a golfer’s swing, such as speed and distance.  The data is beamed to a smartphone app on which users can analyze their shots.  The system can be paired with the Arccos Caddie app, which has a built-in range finder and plots a clear path to the hole (even if that path is obscured by trees or other course elements).  The app can also make club selection recommendations based on temperature, wind velocity, topography and distance to the whole.  Similar shot-tracking technology is available from Game Golf (
Until recently, most sales of golf equipment occurred in pro shops on golf courses.  There was little competition and prices remained high.  However, with the growing availability of golf equipment in discount stores and the advent of golf superstores located in malls and strip centers, golfers are taking their equipment business off the links.  Of course, the internet is providing even more competition, not only for new equipment, but also for used equipment on auction sites such as eBay.  The National Golf Foundation reports that non-course retailers take in 80% of the dollars spent on equipment in the U.S.

TopGolf International, Inc. ( offers a practice range concept that takes driving practice to a whole new level.  There are 70 TopGolf Game Centers (three in the UK, one each in Australia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates and 64 in the U.S.), that offer driving bays from which up to five players tee off, aiming for targets that range in distance from 20 to 240 yards.  Balls are equipped with microchips that broadcast exact positions, earning players points depending upon where their balls land.  Each bay is equipped with a flat screen monitor that tracks points.   The centers also offer food and bar service on call, as well as pros who are available for lessons, pro shops with equipment and attire for sale, and miniature golf courses for children.
The centers attract not only hard-core golfers, but people young and old who are looking for entertainment, as well as companies that bring their staffs for team building exercises.  Each TopGolf facility costs between $5 and $7 million to build, and generates revenues through sales of memberships, in addition to revenues from games, food and beverage, retail sales, mini golf, events and lessons.  As of mid-2021, new U.S. locations were planned or under construction in Los Angeles, California; Ft. Meyers and St. Petersburg, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; and Colorado Springs, Colorado; among others.  In March 2021, TopGolf was acquired by Callaway Golf for $2.6 billion.

     Tennis is getting a technological boost with new, smart equipment to help players improve.  For example, a racket called Play Pure Drive made by Babolat captures data such as impact strength, ball speed and the number and type of each shot hit.  The data is analyzed by an accompanying smartphone app.
Another new tennis technology is analysis by PlaySight Interactive Ltd.’s Smart Court, which uses high-definition cameras and digital-imaging technology to record everything a player does on the court.  Players can review their performance and adjust accordingly for improvements.

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