The influence of artificial intelligence (AI) in sports is hard to overstate. Machine learning, algorithms to help crunch data, and other applications have made AI indispensable to a growing sports industry around the world. In sports, like golf, where technology could be the difference in winning and losing, AI has taken an even more prominent place.
AI has greatly affected how clubs are designed in made. With every club designer and brand trying to come up with the next best thing, there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of money a company is willing to spend on AI and that company’s ability to stay ahead of the competition.
Callaway Golf, in particular, has been willing to spend money on AI. Because of this willingness, they have developed effective AI which has in turn produced potentially the most sought after driver on the market. With the advent of “Flash Face” technology and the corresponding Callaway driver, they have.
The normal process of creating a new driver includes a huge amount of Research and Development (R&D) just like in almost any industry. You create a prototype, test it out, improve the design, and test it again. This process is repeated until the designers believe that the final product is the best possible design.
In the past, the “prototype” phase of any golf club could last for months or sometimes years. There were so many iterations of the same club and so many small changes that were made to slightly improve the club and each of these changes took time. On top of that, it was difficult to determine which technology was useful and which technology did little to help the club’s performance.
With the use of AI in golf club development, the time and costs associated with golf club development has decreased and the ability to pinpoint the best technology has increased. With AI, Golf club designers can test prototypes immediately, and thousands of prototypes in a matter of days. In fact, leading to the development of “Flash Face” technology, Callaway’s AI tested over 15,000 prototypes in three weeks. They were able to make multiple variations, change the technology, and move things around with the simple click of a button.
AI, while expensive to start, both saves money and produces the best possible outcome. Artificial Intelligence is a game changer for golf club design and testing.