Can AI help you become a better golfer? I was having trouble with this driver and got a big surprise

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AI and golf. Do you want anything else?

Golf Callaway

Every golfer wants to get better.

It’s a compulsion. Maybe a little sad.

People pay a lot of money for lessons and even more money for golf clubs with the strong belief that they will come close to PGA Tour standards.

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However, I confess that I like to play golf. So when I saw that artificial intelligence — happiness will soon envelop us all — having entered the world of golf, I just need to see if it can make me a world champion. Or at least bring me a little closer.

Some context: I am a good golfer. On a good day. Those good days don’t happen too often.

I like to play when it’s windier because I’ve learned how to play on such courts. I also enjoy being outside, preferably with a good friend, and occasionally hitting shots that a professional would envy.

However, I don’t succumb to the technological trends and preferences that many golfers do. I don’t use range finder. I don’t upgrade my clubs every year as if they were iPhones. Indeed, some of my clubs predated the George W. Bush administration.

An AI golf club? Of course I want to try

However, the appeal of Callaway’s AI Smoke Paradox The collection of clubs is too much.

So I pledged some credit card points to get one Callaway Golf Paradym AI Smoke Max D Driver.

Callaway’s claim for this it’s very simple. It is said to bring “distance and forgiveness”. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of forgiveness in golf, the idea is that even if you hit an imperfect shot, the club will adjust to make your shot better than it deserves to be. .

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Marketing’s appeal to the human ego is never-ending, but where does AI come in? Yes, Callaway claim this is “The world’s first AI smart face designed with real player data”.

Essentially, like any other AI model, Callaway says it has removed “putting motivation from thousands of real golfers.” Those dynamics include “swing speed, delivery and face direction just before impact.”

Result? Allegedly: “Optimal launch conditions and tight low-altitude dispersion.”

Imagine, as Callaway promises, that you could have “sweet spots in the center.” [of the clubface] and all over my face.”

It’s like having five lovers and they’re all happy with you.

Bring my expectations to the house

Then I went over with my good friend Pat Link at Bodega Harbora difficult golf course where ocean sea lions make the same shrill, piercing noises as the golfers on the adjacent 16th hole.

As with all things AI, I have very high expectations. I lined up for my first tee shot, confident the ball would explode from the clubface like a SpaceX rocket and rocket out of sight.

Surprisingly, this is not the case. I hit a house on the right side of the fairway. Nerves, you understand. So is the excitement. I had also just taken a cross-country flight the night before.

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I’m afraid of what Pat will say. He said this: “WHO, huh? Sweet.”

Yes, I’m making excuses. Every golfer does it.

Every golfer also knows you’re allowed to bring what’s called a breakfast ball. It’s the first tee freebie.

My second attempt went straight, but certainly no further than my previous driver. It also produced a somewhat soft, muted sound, not one I associate with additional distance or optimal launch conditions.

Indeed, in all 18 holes, I wasn’t able to hit a single drive that would have given me more distance, which made me a little nervous. I live by the promise that AI will make us all better and smarter, and yet here I am becoming a completely recognizable version of myself.

Golf, AI and life

On the plus side, the club is very forgiving. It’s hard to hit the ball straight, even if your shot matches what OpenAI is aiming for consistent frankness.

The driver is well-balanced and easy to grip, and I want to believe that, over time, we will get along and soon achieve optimal launch conditions, thanks to the thousands of people who have committed to their swing. Surname. WHO.

However, I’m a little concerned that many companies are adding AI to their products — just those two letters — without delivering any tangible benefits. One dares to suggest that it might feel like smoke and mirrors.

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My experience with the Callaway Golf Paradym AI Smoke Max D Driver — be careful, this product retails for just under $600 — may mirror my experience with the AI ​​in the rest of the world.

Somewhere along the way, it might make me a little better, a little more productive in the small parts of life. However, in the end, I am still who I am, for better or worse.

I’d like to philosophize a bit more, but I’m about to go play golf. I need to try Smoke again.

After all, my first lap with the AI ​​driver could have been an illusion.



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