Obama photographed using Game Golf wearable device, to the company's surprise
When it comes to celebrity endorsements for your upstart hardware product, it doesn’t get much better than the most powerful man in the world.
The news quickly spread, with PGA Tour golfer and Game Golf investor Graeme McDowell sharing the news on Twitter:
Proud to be part of @gamegolf system especially when the most powerful men in the world choose it? @BarackObama http://t.co/wKe4u1ADeP
— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) August 14, 2014 The best part of this story, as far as Game Golf is concerned, is that the company has no idea how Obama came to be using its device. According to founder and CEO John McGuire, the company never sent him a unit.
“We were on the way back from Apple discussing the Holiday planning. I revived a Google alert to let me know he was wearing it,” McGuire tells me via email. “This is very organic – we did not know until we started searching for images and there it was – AWESOME!” He later adds, “How cool is it though that the President of the United States is wearing our Technology?”
As Pando has reported previously, Game Golf is backed by investments from the PGA of America as well as McDowell and fellow pro golfers Lee Westwood and Jim Furyk. But it was an entirely different kind of sharp shooter that was accompanying the President during his recent round: two-time NBA Champion and all-time 3-point leader Ray Allen. Rounding out the foursome were former NFL player Ahmad Rashad and Cyrus Walker, the cousin of White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
Obama is an avid golfer, but he’s notoriously mediocre at it. Game Golf is designed to help recreational and serious players improve their game through collecting and analyzing critical performance data like the distance and accuracy of each shot, with each club, and how effective a player is at hitting fairways, greens, and putting. The device is legal for use in competition because it doesn’t provide feedback in real-time, only after the fact.
Game Golf also encourages social sharing between users, such as sharing details of their rounds or best shots with members of the community. Unfortunately, Obama's profile appears to be private or filed under an alias. (Even McGuire doesn't know it, or so he claims. Apparently there were four rounds recorded on Martha's Vineyard last weekend, but it's still unclear if those were by Obama or another user.)
Obama may not be bragging on social media about his famed lefty slice, but he’s no stranger to the golf course. POTUS has even been branded the Golfer In Chief, having played more than 180 rounds of golf within his nearly six years in the White House. At this rate, however, he’ll likely fall short of Clinton’s all time record of 400 rounds in eight years.
With just 889 days left in office, it won’t be long before Obama can ignore all the criticism of the amount of time he spends on the course and dedicate as much time as he wants toward improving his game. In the interim, a little technical assistance surely won’t hurt.