Golfers Wearing Whoop to Assess Physical Condition – Just Another Gadget?
As an old-schooler, I’ve been put through a lot in my life. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age where I am finally comfortable. I drive an electric car that still makes me feel as though I stepped off the set of Star Trek. Yes, I eventually catch up, but when it comes to golf, I’m pretty stubborn, and detest gadgets that do the thinking, evaluating and lining up that I should be doing. To go home and say that “Apple and I shot an 81” is not the right way for me. So, what am I supposed to do with the Whoop 3.0 strap?
Of course, that part of my brain finely tuned to a distant yesteryear immediately thought of the old song, “You’ll find it’s cheaper than making Whoopie.” That seemed clearly irrelevant, but maybe not. Is the Whoop just another gadget to do our thinking for us? Is it just another step in the march toward artificial intelligence? Will it do everything but swing the club after doing all the calculating I should do?
When I read further, I realized that the answer is “no,” or at least “not necessarily.” The Whoop 3.0 strap is not a fashion statement, a Nike or Adidas commercial sensation, a distance calculator, an electric putt line-up or a swing analyst. You can’t use it to tell your lawn mower to start work from halfway around the world, or train your dog in absentia. The Whoop does one thing that is very important. It can tell you how you really are, medically, and what amount of body strain you should take on any given day. It can give you an idea of how efficient your sleep was from the last night, and how much you have recovered from the day before.
Professionals on tour are, of course, subject to pressures we do not meet at our local course. They are jumping on flights in all hours of the day and night, wreaking havoc on sleep patterns. Although I am all for listening to one’s own body and using good judgement for the decisions of the day, some things are more difficult to sense internally than others. As a gadget, Whoop projects a more noble purpose than serving as a crutch for your game.
The company was founded by a Harvard sportsman in 2012. Will Ahmed wanted to know the effect training had on his body, and what his optimum regimen should be for the day. Employing no screen, the Whoop monitors the heartbeat and gives a detailed account of body stress, sleep quality, and recommended steps to keep the physical in balance. Here, it is used for golfers throwing their sleep, drinking and eating schedule out of whack, but it sounds as if it could be valuable for the average citizen, golfer or not. I can surrender to such a gadget, without giving an inch on the importance of listening to your inner self. The brain is still the best gadget on the block for telling us what we lack, want, and need., but Whoop does us the service of spelling it out in precise mathematical language.
The Whoop is worn on the opposite wrist from the watch. This is irrelevant for me, as in my profession, watches can’t be worn without being shattered in ten minutes. A Whoop, however, would probably do fine, and be very informative. The unit is free, but requires a $180 membership. For many situations, that’s not so unreasonable. If I’m understanding this correctly, such a gadget should be invaluable for people on irregular sleep and nutrition intake, schedules that make listening to one’s own body excessively difficult. So, is it really cheaper than making “Whoopie?” I’ll vote yes on this one – cheaper, wiser, and healthier.