Sonic Golf: A Stroke of Genius

Professor of Applied Physics and Physics Robert D. Grober has recently combined his passion for golf and his professional expertise to produce the Sonic Golf club, a unique and effective real–time audio biofeedback device for teaching and training golf.

Fifteen years after Grober first put an electronic sensor into a club to study golf swings, the result of his research is a narrow, footlong sensor that Grober designed to fit inside the top of a club to help players gauge rhythm and tempo. His innumerable hours spent tinkering with his invention in Becton 415 have also earned him a company, Sonic Golf.

With every swing, the motion-detecting sensors in the club wirelessly transmit to the golfer’s headset an orchestrated sound not unlike the flourish of a pipe organ, that is, if it is a good swing. A herky-jerky motion releases an erratic wail.

The sound of the golf swing was created using Musical Instrument Digital Interface technology that combined a few different instruments to produce a distinctly on par sound. The music is simply an audio interpretation of the swing itself. The faster a golfer swings, the louder the music plays, and vice-versa.

The collected data is also sent to a computer that records it and displays colorful arcs for each swing. This allows for further analysis of the swing, including the duration of the backswing and downswing, the force of the release, and the swing-to-swing reproducibility.

All in all, Professor Robert Grober has constructed a great example of the joy in practical application of basic science and engineering.