RoboCup by Fine Tune Golf brings many happy returns
Some golf gadgets are just too cool, too inventive not to love.
Count the RoboCup Ball Return Robot among them.
The RoboCup, created by Fine Tune Golf, is the coolest motorized invention in the game since the golf cart. Practicing to putt has always been a drag. Not anymore. The RoboCup fits snug in the bottom of a hole, waiting to spring into action. When a ball finds its intended home in the bottom of the cup, the RoboCup’s powerful arm flings it up to 14 feet back toward the person who putted it.
Fine Tune Golf just announced this week that it’s now being sold at major retailers such as Golfsmith.com, TGW.com, PGA Superstore (10 stores), GolfTown Canada (48 stores) and Edwin Watts Golf just in time for Christmas.
The RoboCup is essentially a battery-operated toy for adult golfers. Take it to any practice green, I guarantee other golfers will be green with envy watching you putt.
Not even missed putts can slow down your session thanks to the Caddy Cord. This thick rope wraps around the hole, guiding some missed putts into the hole, so they can be returned as well.
Fine Tune Golf president Keith Foley credits the Golf Channel show, “Fore Golf Inventors Only” for inspiring the RoboCup’s design. Two years after dreaming up the concept, Foley created a product good enough to become the “Best New Product” at the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show.
More than 150 PGA Tour pros have requested the RoboCup, including Arnold Palmer. Teaching pros like Burch Harmon and Jim McLean carry the products for their students. It is also becoming a fixed installation within putter fitting studios like Taylormade, Callaway/Odyssey and RIFE.
A balmy November day allowed my 7-year-old son and I just enough warmth to give the gadget a try at a local course. I noticed three things after a session with the RoboCup.
1, You make more putts on the practice green for one simple reason. You’re hitting the same putt over and over. When you see the ball drop more often than you’re used to, that can lead to more confidence on the course.
2, I tend to putt with my ball dying into the hole. Knowing the Caddy Cord is behind the hole, I tended to hit my practice putts firmer since that’s the best way to guarantee my ball would come back. I used the Caddy Cord as almost a backboard. By finally getting my putts to the hole during practice sessions, I believe I’ll start making more putts.
3, The only downside would be the Caddy Cord could have been thicker and longer. Some putts jump the cord and don’t find their way into the hole. Yes, the RoboCup could have been built more powerful, zipping back putts up to 25 or 30 feet, but I won’t even raise that issue because the product is an overwhelming hit.
The RoboCup costs $59.95, so it’s not cheap. But considering the many happy returns – at least 12,000 putts for a four-pack of double-A batteries - it’s worth it. If you practice that many putts, you’re going to be a rockstar on the greens.
If you’re looking for smaller gifts like stocking stuffers for the golfer in your life, Fine Tune Golf has invented some other solid products. The G-Clip ($14.95) is a 4-in-1 tool that clips to your waist, making it easy to find your tees, divot tool, ball marker and a place to hang your glove. The Line-M-Up Pro ($9.50) includes a Sharpie Pen and a mold for marking straight lines on your ball.
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