The Nr.1 green-reading app


It all started about 15 years ago: I noticed that there were no concepts for length control in putting. While there were sports science studies available (Penner 2002, Grober 2011, ...), they contained mathematical calculations that were not easily understandable for the average golfer. In addition, there were countless strange, esoteric, and sometimes contradictory theories and concepts about putting circulating, which we now know were not useful (e.g., how far should the ball roll past the hole if it doesn't go in - opinions varied from 20 cm to 50 cm. As we now know, this depends on various parameters such as green speed and slope).

Two years ago, I asked my student Paul how a difference in elevation on the green affects the length of a putt (I knew that Paul had studied physics in a previous life). He then developed a simple solution for me. Being curious as I am, I wanted to know even more: Can we also take into account the slope of the green? What about different target speeds? Which target speed is actually the best? What is the influence of green speed? And so on... Paul gradually developed methods for calculating trajectories based on the physics of a rolling ball influenced by gravity and friction, and he programmed a proof-of-concept application for simulating putts and graphical representations.

The result delighted me, and we decided to develop a mobile app from it. Since neither of us had any knowledge in programming commercial apps, we first sought collaboration with students from EPFL in Lausanne (Swiss Institute for Science and Technology in Lausanne), who created an initial app for Android. This gave the students an excellent  opportunity to work on a real project and they did an excellent job  to translate Paul's algorithm, which involved advanced mathematics, from R to JavaScript.

However, it still lacked lacked the functionality expected from a commercial application nowadays, and on the other hand, the app only ran on Android; the students couldn't meet the standards for Apple iOS. Therefore, we ultimately decided to involve a commercial company that added the necessary functionality to the app, made it accessible for Apple, and left Paul's algorithm untouched.

The app, which  implements the concepts of "Aim Point" and "Distance Point," is thought to be used as part of a holistic training concept that is explained on our website. This website also contains numerous illustrations and videos.