Radar Golf promises the Holy Grail for hackers: No more lost golf balls
My game is improving. The south side of 80 is just around the next bend, and 90 is usually only viewed through my rearview mirror.
I still have bad days. Very bad days. Days when I stop counting strokes and start reckoning my round in golf balls lost versus golf balls found. If I come out on the plus side, I’m happy.
The hacker’s eternal lament is not posting a snowman on the 6th hole, but rather losing a ball. The worst is losing a brand new ball when you SAW it land, and you swear you KNOW where it is. I know golfers (some well-to-do ones at that) who will not give up on that wayward ProV1 even if the next group is waiting on the tee, the woods are strewn with poison ivy, and lightning is striking all around.
Enter RadarGolf, makers of golf balls that can be tracked down by even the most curmudgeonly duffer.
The USGA-conforming RadarGolf balls have implanted in them pinhead-sized microchips. Golfers using these balls carry a handheld tracking device that beeps increasingly more loudly as it nears the ball. So if you slice one into the high cotton, you just switch on the handheld device and make like Spock with his tricorder.
For $249, the errant and irritated among us can purchase the RadarGolf System, which includes the handheld device and a carrying case for it, a dozen RadarGolf balls, two sleeves for those balls that will shield them from the tracking device (so you don’t just keep finding your golf bag), batteries, training manual and DVD.
RadarGolf balls are allowed for play in rounds to be submitted for handicap, but not for USGA tournament play. But if you think about it, being able to locate your ball during a regular round using this device will likely lower your handicap over time. Then, if you use that handicap in a tourney where you cannot use the device, your net score might suffer.
Of course, it doesn’t help to know exactly where at the bottom of the pond your ball drifted down to rest, so you can still lose balls. And my biggest concern would be tearing up the covers of the RadarGolf balls with my wedges. During the course of a round, I’ll go through a few balls, even if I don’t lose one (which is still a rarity). With RadarGolf balls costing $40 a dozen (separately from the System) they’re cheaper than some big name brands, but more expensive than most duffers are willing to pay.
Of course, it would almost be worth it to have the RadarGolf System on hand to lend to some of those guys who spend more time on the golf course in the woods than Daniel Boone.
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