PING Develops New Clubs with Aid of Vicon Mocap
October 17, 2014

PING Develops New Clubs with Aid of Vicon Mocap

LONDON – In an effort to design its new G30 family of golf clubs, PING deployed a Vicon motion-capture system in this pursuit.
Using a Vicon T-Series system and Nexus software, PING was able to analyze in unmatched detail how a club behaves during a golf swing, helping the company produce the optimal design for the G30 driver.

The Vicon system tracks how each part of the club performs and reacts during the swing, from the full motion of both the handle and the club head, to the shaft’s bending and twisting response.

“Vicon gives us the accuracy and speed we need to track a rapid golf swing and define precisely when impact occurs,” said Dr. Paul Wood, PING’s director of engineering. “From the top to impact, a golf swing takes place in less than half a second, and the impact lasts just half a millisecond. If we’re off by a millisecond, that could mean we’re off by a couple of degrees in key attributes.”

PING uses eight Vicon cameras to capture every aspect of the golf club’s motion during a swing for in-depth analysis.

The Vicon system consists of eight Vicon T40S and two T10S motion-capture cameras, and Vicon Nexus capture software with a custom plug-in for golf-related calculations. As well as being used for research, the system could be used as a golf club fitting system and coaching tool, and it has been used to analyze the swings of top PING staff players, including Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan and Tom Lewis.

“With the Vicon system tracking the performance of a club during a swing, PING’s engineers are able to measure all aspects of the club with the highest level of accuracy,” said Jeffrey Ovadya, sales director, Vicon. “This gives them the reliable data needed to determine aspects like structural stiffness and weight distribution, resulting in the best possible club design.”