Golf is an increasingly popular sport at amateur and professional levels, with almost 32 million players playing in the U.S as per the Golf Industry report by the National Golf Foundation. The number of non-golfers in the U.S., showing an interest in golf has also increased to 14.9 million people, per the same report. Both amateur and professional golfers spend a substantial amount of time developing the muscle memory and fine motor skills required to make to improve their game. Another skill that players develop is green reading or reading the course where the players are supposed to play as the specifications of the green play a major part in a game.
Nike has come up with an innovative golf aid including a heads up display (HUD) to help players in green reading. The golf aid includes a user tracking system to locate a player on a golf course, a heads up display, a processor, and additional sensors like cameras to capture additional information about the player, like a field of view.
The user tracking system will determine the location of the player. Then, based on the field of view of the player, and the known or scanned locations of objects on the golf course (like greens, sand pits, the cup, and trees), the processor will calculate the distances of the objects from the player.
All these distances will then be displayed to the user through the HUD in an enhanced image. The displayed distances could be accompanied with distance lines shown to the user. These distances will definitely aid the player in making a better shot. The distances displayed could also be customized for the player. For example, the displayed distances, and display lines could represent full powered swings from the player using different clubs (like a 4 iron, a 5 iron, and an 8 iron). This will let the player choose the best-suited club for a shot.
The enhanced image will also include a putting aid that assists the user in reading the curvature or contours of the green. The putting aid will include arrows indicating to the player if he is putting uphill, or downhill, or possible trajectory of the ball. The enhanced image will also show an ideal trajectory, which if followed, will lead to the ball rolling into the cup.
The gold aid will also help the player by displaying information about previous shots that the player may have made. The information will include information like the spin and speed of the ball after the shot, the trajectory of the ball, and the distance of the ball from the cup. All this information will be calculated through sensors (location sensors, accelerometers, and gyroscopes) embedded in the ball.
This invention is sure to “aid” new players taking up the sport in improving. The effects of this invention, if allowed professionally, will also be interesting, as this will surely increase the competitiveness in the highest levels of the game. How soon it becomes mainstream remains to be seen.
Publication Number: US20190054362A1
Patent Title: Golf aid including heads up display for green reading
Publication date: 2019-02-21
Filing date: 2018-10-22
Inventors: Nicholas A. Leech; Michael Wallans
Assignee: Nike Inc