Microsoft this morning announced a partnership with TaylorMade to bring golf shot tracking and analysis capabilities to its Microsoft Band wearable. Additionally, the firm is adding golf guided workouts and additional cycling and guided workout observations to Band.
“This year, more than 80 million golfers will spend their summer on the course, chasing birdies and hoping to perfect that fade,” Microsoft notes in a post to its Conversations blog. “There’s a lot of thought that goes into the game of golf … but, as anyone who steps onto the course with a club knows, it’s all about being able to focus on the game.”
Courtesy of an exclusive partnership with TaylorMade, Microsoft is hoping to help golfers in a number of ways. These include:
Course finder. The Microsoft Health app—available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone—will provide access to TaylorMade’s comprehensive course finder so you can find golf courses near you, and once you’re playing, the tees.
In-game progress report. Using the GPS sensor in Band, you can track your game hole-by-hole. Band will display your score for the hole you just completed, and by pressing the Action button, you can see the distance to the front, middle and back of the green. “The Microsoft Band keeps track of your score with its automatic shot detection and simple swipe interface for those gimmies or occasional mulligan,” Microsoft notes. “There may never be a need to carry a paper scorecard again. Meanwhile, advanced sensors track not only your strokes but also your steps, heart rate and calorie burn, seamlessly adding a round of golf into your fitness routine.”
Post-game analysis. After a round, you can analyze your performance with Microsoft Health on your phone or on the web. It tracks your score, longest drive, number of pars or better per round, and pace of play. And via integration with TaylorMade myRoundPro, you can also view each of your shots plotted on a map of each hole on the course. Microsoft Health also shows you how your heart rate and calorie burn vary during each game, hole by hole, so you can further analyze your performance.
Guided workouts for golf. As you might imagine if you’ve followed the recent Band update for cycling, this update also adds guided workouts for golf: 5-Minute Golf Warmup, Gold’s Gym Golf Workout, Beginner Golf Workout, Intermediate Golf Workout, and Advanced Golf Workout. Microsoft says that these 5 minute warm-ups will help get you ready for the course.
More coming soon. TaylorMade’s myRoundPro will soon provide a detailed statistical analysis of your game, Microsoft says. This will include “classic golf statistics, such as fairways hit and greens in regulation, proximity to the hole, strokes gained and much more; all developed to help you adapt and improve your game.”
Additionally, Microsoft has added a few non-golf observations to Microsoft Band and Health related to cycling and guided workouts. Now, you can analyze your biking and guided workout performance and fitness level with performance summaries that include your improvement over time.
These updates are all free and will be available in the coming weeks to Band users in the US and UK.
UPDATE: I had written previously that the updates were available immediately. Sorry about that! –Paul
Update: Here’s a video showing off this new golf-related functionality.