Opinion: ASU golf is truly No. 1 in innovation

It has been a long time – seven years, or rather – ADU called “innovative” school. We’ve all seen signs around campus and pasted on buses that ASU – “No. 1 in innovation ”, but when it comes to athletics, one program leads in innovation: golf.

In 2018, ASU Golf Club moved to a new gym at Papago Golf Club called Thunderbirds Golf Complex, which was developed by PGA Tour professional and ASU graduate Phil Mickelson. The facility is full of state-of-the-art labs and practice areas to help Sun Devils improve its golf game.

“The practice has many unique features,” said Mason Anderson, a graduate student at ADU. “Everything seems to be designed to be complex.” Excessive training is a great strategy, especially when it comes to playing golf, because you never know what the next blow will be.

In golf you never know where the ball will fall. You can make an absolutely gorgeous shot, but the wind can move the ball 20 yards and end up squeezing under the cactus. Unfortunately, ASU does not have a training area to strike from under the cactus, but Andersen praised the training base for its uniqueness.

“There are several cool designs, for example, our putting greens are based on interest, so we have one slope that is 1%, another slope that is 2%, and so on. … You have a lot of options, and I think it was a goal not to leave a stone unturned, ”Andersen said.

What is truly innovative about the design of the gym is that it teaches golfers to do everything they might need in a round of golf, from a short game to approaching throws. Another aspect of innovation is new technologies.

According to Andersen, the Thunderbird complex is equipped with a “really cool golf lab” that has a feed platform that tilts to give the golfer different angles for their shots, a patting lab that tells the player how good their shot is, and a balance lab which measures where a golfer’s weight moves when he makes a move.

All of this technology has helped ASU’s men’s and women’s golf teams stay at the top of the NCAA rankings for the sport. At the moment, men are 2nd in the country, and women – 13th.

But in the end, much of what makes ASU golf so consistent is repetition. Being able to go to the gym and choose which throw you want to work on is paramount in order to become a good golfer. Repeat the same movement over and over until this movement takes root in your head and makes you feel better.

Innovations are getting better, and this has undoubtedly set the ASU golf team to success.


Contact the correspondent at jdhinkl1@asu.edu and follow @JeffreyHinkle_ on Twitter.

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