As we approach 2020, it’s often easy to forget how fortunate we are in the golf industry. It was not long ago when golf balls developed scars by looking at them, “woods” were actually made of the material they take their name from, and “fitting” consisted of not much more than choosing a shaft flex.
Of course, technology and the corporate spotlight has brought greater resources to the sport in the last three decades, resulting in advancements beyond our wildest imaginations.
But where is it going and is that future, with even greater innovations, closer than we think?
Consider this vision.
According to a market research report by TechNavio, the vending machine market is expected to grow by 17% by 2023.
Golf, undoubtedly, will not be left behind in this escalation.
What if you could step up to a self service kiosk and choose the golf clubs of your dreams?
Yes, companies like Cadi-Kiosk offer club-selling vending machines but that’s pedestrian compared to the true possibilities of convenience retailing.
How about clubs custom-built right inside the kiosk and delivered to you on your command?
I’m not taking a standard vending machine here, but something way more futuristic.
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The machine could take your input for features on irons, for example, that would allow you to choose the clubhead design, shape, weight, bounce, grind, offset, loft, groove pattern, lie and more and deliver you the set configuration that you wanted. It would be capable of milling the clubheads from blank heads available internally.
Heck, maybe it would even take your shaft and grip selection and build the complete set by way of robotics right there on-site.
And what if you like the club specs of a certain tour player? Maybe it could just deliver you a set with their exact specifications.
Taking it to another level, what if the machine could assess your physical characteristics and, in combination, with some input by you or from a fitting professional, greater tailor the set configuration so it better matches you?
Is this system even possible and will we see it anytime soon?
Just maybe. The future of this golf geek’s dream might be closer than you think.
A U.S. patent for one just like it was issued last week…to Todd Beach and Peter Barker of TaylorMade Golf.