iGolf Unveils High-Resolution 3D Golf Maps for Simulators in Q2 2024

The best way to appreciate the excitement that data-mapping company iGolf is feeling in early 2024 is to think of the massive strides made by Google Maps over the past decade and to understand how those advancements went on to change web-mapping dramatically from how the world had once known it.

What Google Maps has done to ensure billions of people get from point A to point B with confidence and ease, iGolf is doing in the 3D data space – improving the resolution of its data to the extent everything on this front can now be done in a one-meter grid for 3D elevation; a significant step forward compared to where the technology resided this time last year.

As the veteran tech company focuses heavily on the golf simulator space for the first two quarters of this year, iGolf’s VP of Strategy, Sales & Marketing Ryan Kimberling is very clear about the biggest takeaway from the January 24-26 PGA Show that the brand hoped to see from future iGolf customers.

“One of the main objectives we had for this year’s PGA Show was visually displaying the one-meter data through a physics engine,” said Kimberling. “The end goal was for potential partners to remember that image – that five-second flyover on one hole on a golf course – with that lasting image representing all things possible regarding our growing technology.”

iGolf, a brand specifically focused on providing the golf technology sector with advancements in software, hardware and GPS content, has invested heavily over the past year in adding new intellectual property to its licensing portfolio. This investment has included radar-based launch monitor technology, laser range finder sensors, trolley and golf car intelligence, 3D elevation terrain on 23,000-plus courses and virtual reality environments for the gaming sector.

“We went into 2023 just dipping our toe in the water regarding 3D data,” said Kimberling. “iGolf had 3D data in some form over the past three to five years, but last year was the first year the development engines – such as Unity and Unreal – were finally at the point in the integration process where our 3D data could fit through and pump out higher-resolution graphics – industry standard for the thriving simulator and gaming space.

“iGolf was able to create some level of a simulator experience in 2023 through these more powerful physics engines, and that resulted in some key announcements with Rapsodo and PhiGolf at last year’s PGA Show. From that moment on, a fire was lit for us to continue driving further down that path, resulting in a massive step forward in the technology for this year.”

Rapsodo had one of the most exciting reveals at the 2023 PGA Show where they debuted their new MLM2PRO mobile launch monitor and golf simulator, which Forbes named Best-In-Show for the category. One year later, Rapsodo brought home technology and innovation awards at the 2024 show – as did other iGolf partners Blue Tees and Zero Friction.

Another long-time iGolf partner – PhiGolf – created a state-of-the-art, nine-axis sensor and portable swing stick that allows users to practice their swing almost anywhere. The more serious golfer can even place the PhiGolf sensor on his or her own golf club, thereby creating a more informative and engaging driving range experience.

Asked what made simulator products in particular so attractive to iGolf as a brand, Kimberling replied: “Anybody going out to the PGA Show over the past couple of years has seen that launch monitors and simulators comprise a vast majority of the large spaces at the show – whether it be FlightScope, K GOLF, Golfzon or Uneekor. There’s a new and sudden interest in this space, which is beyond exciting for iGolf.”

Kimberling also highlighted the fact that simulators have become all the rage since modern-day, entertainment-fueled driving ranges have popped up nationwide.

“A lot of the interest is driven by that original TopGolf concept that the masses were exposed to just under a decade ago – the concept of making golf less of an on-course experience and more of a fun and less invasive entry point through this new gaming experience,” he said. “It worked for the traditional golfer, and also for the latent golfer who was either looking for a way to pick up the game, or hadn’t given it much thought until this new entry point was created. Simulators make the game more fun and approachable.”

iGolf CEO and Founder Brian Verdugo expects golf’s launch monitor industry to expand at a considerable rate over the next five years as some key players spend lavishly, raising awareness and looking to make serious headway.

“An industry that has been dominated for decades by the best hardware is now shifting towards software innovation that supports quality products while creating gamification hooks that will lure new players into the game,” said Verdugo. “The end result: the next generation of serious golfers who are the torchbearers for the traditional segment of the greatest game moving forward.”

iGolf has already established a strong global presence in golf data mapping spanning more than 20 years, and is perfectly positioned to license companies Golf GPS maps for nearly 40,000 golf courses in 150 different countries. With the massive improvements made over the past year in 3D resolution, the tech company can now offer existing and future clients a much wider range of support.

“The fact that we have some great companies like Rapsodo and TruGolf using and relying on our data – as well as companies outside the simulator space, such as the USGA and Golf Canada who utilize and trust our data – I feel we’ve solidified our position in this space,” said Verdugo. “From the iGolf standpoint, the simulator space gets really exciting in that it shows how what we do technology-wise can be translated into so many different things.

“All that to say the improvement in our 3D resolution is what’s going to really help us stand out in this space – to go from where we were in earlier versions of the technology to now, where you can see undulation in fairways and greens. We’re really looking forward to seeing how the industry reacts to that.”

About iGolf:

iGolf began as a data mapping company which has become a brand uniquely focused on providing the golf technology sector with advancements in software, hardware and GPS content. With a strong global presence in golf data mapping spanning more than 20 years, iGolf is perfectly positioned to license companies Golf GPS maps for nearly 40,000 golf courses in 150 different countries. iGolf has invested heavily in adding new intellectual property to its portfolio including radar-based launch monitor technology, laser range finder sensors, trolley and golf car intelligence, 3D elevation terrain on 23,000-plus courses and virtual reality environments for the gaming sector. Over 60 licensees, including Fortune 500 companies, rely on iGolf’s technology to bring advanced products into the hardware, software and mobile sectors.

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