I first became an avid golfer about the time Alan Shepard was swinging at golf balls on the Moon during his Apollo 14 mission.
To say I love golf is quite frankly a bit of an understatement. My wife would say I love it more than…..well I better not say or I will get myself into even more trouble.
The perfect swing repeated perfectly across 18 holes is what we golfers all strive for and the pros practice this for hours and hours with a swing coach. But practice does not make perfect! Perfect practice makes perfect!
Enter space technology!
When Shepard returned from his trip to the Moon his game would have been way off. After such a long flight in the weightlessness of space, the body goes through many changes. One of them is loss of balance and dizziness until the body adjusts again to Earth’s gravity.
Under a NASA funded research project, a new test and equipment were created to measure balance disorders and provide training to correct the issue.
The first of these systems was called by the catchy name “Computerized Dynamic Posturography” or CDP for short! This technology altered the surface a person stood on as well as the visual surroundings and then measured the responses and provided assessments of the person’s postural alignment and stability. This was later combined to include a screen feedback mechanism that was instantaneous. Thus the system could diagnose and help train those people with balance disorders.
Okay how does that help with golf you might ask?
To make a perfect swing a golfer needs to know if they are in balance or not as they address the ball and as they swing through it.
The latest version of this technology is known as the Dynamic Balance System and is marketed by Sports Therapy Inc. It has two main components: a shifting force platform that the person stands on and a computer connected to the platform that displays balance data. As a person tries to balance, the computer provides a rea-tie display of his or her balance and center of gravity. The technique monitors the heels, toes, weight transfer, and rotational movements while recording the motion of the center of gravity.
Oh the applications!
Imagine being able to improve your tennis serve by 5 mph by being better balanced? Imagine being a brown belt in Karate being able to move to a black belt through better balance? Bowling, “Dancing with the Stars” and many more areas including medical physiotherapy and God forbid amputations can be helped!
I have a personal interest in this from a golfer’s standpoint because I could see that on Saturdays at the Club, I could make some extra money from my $5 NASSAU with my foursome!
This would create a healthy imbalance in my direction!
They will be crying for a mulligan as I swing away!
Thank you space!
James Causey is the Executive Director of SpaceCom and an avid golfer who is excited to step up his golf game with this new technology.