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It’s Not Over Till The Big Bertha Sings

Callaway Big Bertha (Image courtesy ValueGuide.PGA.com) By Andrew Liszewski

Even I can pull off a half-decent golf swing once in a while (mostly thanks to Tiger Woods on the Wii) but in order to make it in something like the PGA you need to be able to swing like a pro every time you step up to the tee.

Robert Grober, a physics professor at Yale University has created a rather unique way of helping golfers not only perfect the perfect swing but also reproduce that swing every time. For the hardcore tech heads out there the abstract portion of his patent application describes the system like this:

A biofeedback system including an elongated member, for feeding back sounds indicative of swing tempo of the elongated member is provided. The system comprises a plurality of acceleration measuring devices adapted to measure accelerations at a plurality of locations along the elongated member; a first microcontroller for processing the measured acceleration signals to reduce effects of gravity and forming a digital number related to an angular rotational speed raised to a power; the digital number comprising a plurality of bits; a second microcontroller for receiving the digital number and associating the bits with a plurality of groups each having an associated tonal composition and amplitude value indicative of bit content and for forming commands indicative of the tonal composition and amplitude value; and a synthesizer responsive to commands and producing an audio signal; and an output for outputting the audio signal.

For the rest of us it’s basically a special golf club equipped with various sensors that measure changes in the movement and acceleration of the club as it’s swung. These measurements are then fed into a computer where they’re converted into a sound signal. This sound can then be used as an audible reference letting the golfer know how close or far they are to the perfect swing.

You can read the whole patent application on the US Patent & Trademark Office website.

[ Singing golf swings ]







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  • Richard Milward

    It’s been done: see the April 1961 “Popular Electronics” magazine for the “Carl and Jerry” column/story about using a backpack-mounted theremin to train for the perfect basketball freethrow (an audible biofeedback approach). Ref: http://www.copperwood.com/carlandjerry.htm –Richard