Dropping anchor in a sheltered cove to play a few holes of twilight golf, while the catch of the day is on the grill sounds enticing, doesn’t it? While on the surface, golf and yachting may not seem an obvious pairing, remarkable new innovations now allow enthusiasts to tee it up from the comfort of their own deck. Through methods of advanced technologies and eco-friendly innovations, the golf and yachting communities have become entwined, offering pioneering new forms of entertainment. The capability to play golf anywhere, without restrictions on time, place, or weather, completely lends itself to the Super Yacht ethos.
Most of us have experienced hitting golf balls at the range off synthetic mats that not only have no similarity to real turf but also leave you feeling jarred after your session. Fortunately, artificial turf has made giant leaps in terms of aesthetics and feel, so now hitting off the bow of your yacht can feel like you’re playing off manicured fairways. Historically, the problem of synthetic turf was replicating the strike sensation. Hitting down and through the golf ball never feels the same on synthetic grass, given no divots are taken. Ergonomic turf is now being created with unique brush weaves and gel technology, replicating the authentic feeling of ball compression and ultimately promoting more pure ball striking. The illusion of real grass is accentuated further by being able to use real golf tees on premium hitting mats. If bending down every time to tee it up is not your idea of a relaxing holiday, then automatic teeing systems can be retrofitted into your setup.
Keeping it ECO
Thanks to a new generation of ‘Eco friendly’ golf balls, ‘yacht golf’ is now a reality. The organic makeup of these balls ensures no harm is done to marine life from microplastics entering the ecosystem.
Polyurethane and rubber polymers were used in traditional floating golf balls, with the degradation process taking years to biodegrade, and poisoning marine life. As a result, manufacturers have created non-toxic balls that will dissolve in water and actually provide nourishment to sea life. One manufacturer is helping to solve the issue of lobster shell waste by turning the excess shells into golf balls. This zero-waste concept returns valuable nutrients and calcium back into the ocean as the balls dissolve in seawater.
Floating Golf Greens
Floating greens can be anchored out at various distances from your yacht to create any course you desire in as little as 15 minutes. Not only that, there are a range of manufacturers who will even design them in the shape of famous golf holes such as – the island green at TPC Sawgrass, or the iconic 16th at Augusta National. Specifically designed, these floating greens deliver true bounce and spin that you would expect from turf greens, creating the ultimate maritime shootouts between guests and crew.
Golf Simulators have revolutionized the golf industry. Fast responsive displays give immediate shot data in an immersive virtual environment. The experience is now so realistic that Tour Pros are using simulators to play practice rounds before they even set foot on the upcoming course. Not only can you play iconic golf courses from all around the world, but today’s golf simulators have become an indispensable tool for providing incredibly accurate analysis. This technology has become a must-have utility for Instructors, Tour Professionals and club makers alike.
The range of simulators available is wide-ranging with manufacturers utilising technology that falls into 3 main categories. Most commonly seen on the practice ranges at most Pro Tour events are devices using Doppler radar. These units benefit from being compact and portable. Radar technology tracks the ball with a microwave signal which then bounces back off the golf ball after impact, instantly sending back incredibly accurate metrics. This data is used to optimise ball flight trajectory and track various stats such as distance, swing speed, spin and dispersion rates. Photometric is a camera-based system that captures high-speed images from different angles. It can be used indoors and outdoors and is commonly selected for high-spec indoor setups.
Infrared technology tracks the precise location of the golf club captured by light-emitting signals, which predicts ball flight trajectory.