It reminds of this scene from 90’s popular American sitcom ‘SEINFELD’ where Cosmo Kramer, a huge Golf enthusiast, goes for golf practice at Manhattan beach near Brooklyn and he swings his golf club and the golf ball is nowhere to be seen. Long story short, it landed on the blowhole of a whale, blocking the nostrils.
Lost golf balls are a big issue in this already expensive sport which people like as a hobby or play it professionally (Aditi Ashok, an Indian professional golfer is to watch out for). According to a research by Danish Golf Union, around 300m golf balls are discarded or lost by golfers every year in USA alone. If taking into account the golf balls prices, let’s say $2 per ball for average ones (Titleist pro V1 golf balls cost around 4$ each), the simple math tells us that approx 600m USD worth golf balls are lost every year in USA. How’s that for an expensive sport?
If you further consider the environmental impacts of this simple phenomenon, lost golf balls throw us off the course (I’m not talking golf course here!) in our cumulative efforts to meet sustainability targets.
The simple solution to this problem is RFID based golf ball tracking in the form of RFID golf balls.
What are RFID golf balls?
As it happens, a lost golf ball not only frustrates a golfer on the field, it’s another plastic out there in the lake, ocean or park that will most likely decompose in 100 to 1000 years. The environmental impacts are huge, considering the popularity of the sport and the number of golf balls lost, as mentioned above, in USA alone.
Typically golfers try to locate their golf balls but that doesn’t always result in finding the ball, frustrated they bring in another ball and take a penalty on their score and that’s not good.
TopGolf and RF-golf are such companies that have come with a solution that uses RFID (radio frequency identification) to identify and track the location of a golf ball, hit by a golfer. By locating the golf ball quickly, it improves the score of the golfer significantly, reducing penalties.
RFID golf ball designed by TopGolf, a top player in Golf balls, clubs, merchandise etc., comes with a Rain RFID chip embedded in the core that is associated to the player and activated for play, as mentioned in their patent filed in USA.
They employ this solution on their driving ranges to improve golf playing experience of the visitors. Speedway readers are installed to monitor the ball and the score of each individual player.
RF-golf balls use active RFID system to track and identify golf balls during play, saving your time while you have a good swing. RF golf ball locator can work for 100 hours at a time and can detect up to 50 meters within 1m accuracy.
Another player in this field, Prazza, a Dutch company also sells RFID golf balls that can be tracked by a smartphone size device.
The Future of RFID Golf balls:
The USGA says you can’t use information like spin, strokes, speed, etc., using RFID golf balls while you play. Anyone in the business of selling golf balls probably wouldn’t want you to find every golf balls, would they?
But it can be said, with certainty that RFID will be used in golf matches sooner or later.
- Last updated on Mar 02, 2023