Golf: Swing machine

Swing machine

By Robert Tighe
Originally published in Idealog #10, page 27

Dunedin entrepreneur Joe Morrison wants to teach the world how to play golf. He has never coached and knows next to nothing about the golf swing, but his high-tech simulator could change the way we learn, practice and play the game.

Morrison and Michael Campbell’s former coach, Mal Tongue, are the brains behind Cymicon Module, a driving-range simulator that uses three cameras to record your swing.

Touchscreen technology allows golfers to view a replay of their swing, compare it with a 3D model of a picture-perfect swing or take a lesson. They can save video of a practice session and analyse it at home on a laptop, PlayStation or Xbox.

Golf professionals already use video analysis as a coaching aid but this system enables golfers to self-diagnose faults in their swing and, more importantly, shows how to correct them.

It’s estimated there are 57 million golfers worldwide. The first units will be shipped soon to driving ranges in Korea, Singapore and Japan, and Morrison says Cymicon hopes to have 20,000 machines in Asia within five years.

“We’re doing something that has never been done before,” says Morrison. “If it’s successfully executed, it is going to be huge.”