The lightspeed evolution of artificial intelligence technology has caused a lot of job-security uneasiness across a variety of industries.
But not for golf instructors, right? No robot or algorithm could replace the knowing eyes of a trained, seasoned, and skilled teaching pro, right?
Well, that line of thinking is being challenged in real time. Among the companies introducing AI tools that have the potential to drastically disrupt the norm in golf instruction is FlightScope, makers of multiple golf launch monitors, including the wildly popular FlightScope Mevo Plus and the brand new Mevo Plus Limited Edition.
Badger AI, FlightScope’s soon-to-be-released software feature, might be able to make you a better golfer without you having to pay for golf lessons.
With Badger AI, FlightScope is essentially adding an all-knowing golf instructor to their launch monitors. Not only can Badger diagnose what you’re doing right and wrong in your golf swing, but it can prescribe adjustments and drills to help you improve. It can even recommend equipment changes that might help you address a pain point in your game.
Golf Instruction Tailored to Your Individual Swing
And because we don’t all learn the same way, Badger is fully customizable to give you the type of feedback and instruction that will resonate best with your individual needs.
Maybe you want a hyper-detailed, clinical explanation of the ideal golf swing. Badger will provide it.
Or maybe you’d rather watch a series of YouTube videos that specifically address the swing change you’re trying to achieve. Badger will share recommended videos with you.
Perhaps you want a deeper understanding of what each different data metric is really saying about your golf swing. You guessed it, Badger has those answers for you.
Badger works pretty simply. You ask it a question, and it provides you with an answer. If you don’t find the answer sufficient or helpful, you can re-ask the question in a different way or provide more details about what you’re hoping to learn. You can either type your questions and see written answers, or do everything via voice command.
How is this different from other AI models you’re already familiar with, like Chat GPT?
The difference is that Badger is watching you hit golf shots via your FlightScope launch monitor and can review all of the shot data you’ve accumulated. So it’s not feeding you generic answers that could apply to any golfer. It’s giving you specified feedback based on your actual individual swing videos and shot results.
Example Badger AI Use Cases
Let’s walk through a few simple example scenarios to help you better envision how Badger AI could help you play better golf.
You fire up your new FlightScope Mevo+ Limited Edition golf launch monitor. You pull out your trusty 7 iron and you hit a handful of shots. Afterwards, you can ask Badger questions like:
- Based on my 7 iron shot data, what things do I need to improve?
- How can this launch monitor data help me understand and correct my miss tendencies?
- Can you send me videos to help me learn how to hit a draw?
- How does my average 7 iron carry distance compare to the average PGA Tour professional?
Or let’s say you work through a complete range session, hitting multiple shots with all of the clubs in your bag. You could ask Badger for insights like:
- Which clubs do I most consistently hit the best?
- Between which clubs are my carry distance gaps the widest?
- Which clubs are my biggest weaknesses and what can I do to improve with them?
- Based on my shot data, what type of shaft is ideal for my driver?
The more data you accumulate, the better Badger can help you. Say you’ve been practicing regularly for a month and have multiple range sessions stored in your FlightScope account. You could ask Badger things like:
- Based on my last 10 practice sessions, am I improving my average carry distance with my 7 iron?
- How much further do I hit my driver than my 3 wood?
- What is Smash Factor and what kinds of swing changes do I need to make to improve my average Smash Factor numbers?
- What kinds of drills can I do to improve my club speed?
You can export all of Badger’s tips and explanations to a PDF for easy review. And Badger AI can help you analyze and track your progress.
How Well Does Badger AI Work?
The idea of Badger AI certainly sounds quite promising in terms of a tool that can help golfers improve quickly. But it remains to be seen how well it will actually work. FlightScope has not yet announced a specific Badger AI release date, saying only that it will be available sometime in 2024.
Anyone who has used AI to assist with other tasks knows that results can vary and that artificial intelligence doesn’t always allow for a more efficient way to get something done. So the real test of whether Badger AI is actually practically useful will have to wait until the product is available for hands-on review.
The same goes for what, if any, effect Badger AI or similar tools will have on golf teaching professionals. Will this new technology help instructors to be even better at their jobs? Or will more golfers seek game improvements using AI rather than from the advice of a real person? Or will this technology end up being viewed as a novelty that’s not really all that helpful?
We’re also still awaiting details about the cost of Badger AI. Will this be part of the FlightScope Pro Package? Will it be automatically included with the purchase of the FlightScope Mevo Plus Limited Edition?
PlayBetter.com will have all of those answers as more information becomes available. Stay tuned for an in-depth review.
FlightScope recently announced other exciting upcoming software features, including FlightScope Shot Tracer, Environmental Optimizer, FlightScope Planning Tool, and Swing Trainer. Keep it locked on the PlayBetter golf blog for upcoming reports on these improvements and much more.
About PlayBetter Golf Reviewer Marc Sheforgen
Marc Sheforgen is a golf writer whose passion for the game far exceeds his ability to play it well. Marc covers all things golf, from product reviews and equipment recommendations to event coverage and tournament analysis. When he’s not playing, watching, or writing about golf, he enjoys traveling (often golf-related), youth sports coaching, volunteering, and record collecting.