Finish company Suunto has released a golf watch which measures and processes data collected by its wearer, such as shot distance and score, and can suggest club selection too. All shot measurements and data collected on course can be downloaded to a home computer for analysis and storage, and historical data can be uploaded to the watch when playing specific courses
Suunto is the world leader in sports wrist-top computers, beginning its company selling high quality compasses prior to WWII and evolving into a sports technology company thanks to the enormous success of its diver's compasses. As more technology was miniaturized, Suunto began building more sophisticated watches incorporating pressure gauges, depth gauges, GPS capability and packed more and more features into smaller and smaller products. Then docking units were added and software which analysed the information captured by the watches and now there is a wide array of Suunto wrist-top computers available for everything from diving to sailing, orienteering to mountain climbing.
In late 1999 Suunto was taken over by the Amer Group, whose vision is to bring the latest electronics and IT technology to the world of sport in a big way - and to offer people, whether they are golfers or tennis players, or skiers or snowboarders, the very latest and most useful technologies.
Which brings us back to the newly-released G9 Golf watch. Apart from telling the time, the G9 includes a barometer, thermometer, altimeter, 3D digital compass and a Global Positioning System - so as your watch gathers more information, it eventually knows how far you normally hit a ball with each club, and becomes a silent, respectful and informative golf accessory. It can, for example, suggest the correct club by combining your playing history with the distance left to the green.
It's also a weather station of sorts thanks to all the data it is gathering and it has a seven day memory and can display a six hour trend graph to help you decide whether there's too much likelihood of getting wet that afternoon.
The G9's Golf Manager software also enables you to maintain information on different courses and upload the information back to the G9 whenever playing a specific course. And there's a truckload of data you can put in if you're inclined - distance to flag, different obstacles and user defined locations, locations of bunker, water, flag, green, rough, lay-up, pin, plus hole and par number for up to four courses. It also memorises the total number of shots and penalties per hole and per round along with corresponding club information and it measures the distance of each shot and updates the average shot length in the watch's club database.
The G9 carries a suggested retail price of AUD$1625.