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Never-Lost Golf Ball

Lost your ball? Push a button, and it blinks and warbles!
 
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Golfing is undoubtedly the most frustrating skill sport imaginable - you spend a thousand bucks on clubs, then you pay no less than 10 dollars to lug these expensive sticks around and chase a little white ball for a few hours in the hot sun.

Good times.

It's only made worse when you lose a ball - golf balls themselves aren't cheap, and losing one not only costs you another two bucks per sphere, but you also get to spend 5 minutes or so tramping through briars trying to find the thing and save yourself a stroke, while Johnny Jackass on the tee decides that he's going to play through you, whether you'll allow it or not.

I can't solve all of these problems, but I can solve at least one: lost balls.

The Never-Lost ball has a small radio receiver in it, along the lines of an RFID tag, as well as a watch battery, four equally-distanced LED lights (set within the dimples) and a small speaker.

If you're unlucky or unskilled enough to plunk a ball into the woods, grab your Never-Lost Ball Finder (it's a key fob, really), press a button. The receiver in the ball acknowledges the signal from the Finder, and your lost ball reacts to the signal by both blinking and whistling - so blind and deaf golfers are equally able to find their missing balls.

To prevent a cacaphony that would surely result from always-on status (click the fob, your 200-dollar golf bag erupts into a light and sound spectacular), the ball will have a built-in timer, initiated by club impact. The timer will force the lost ball to turn itself off 15 minutes after being struck by a club, meaning that only one ball at a time within a certain range of the Finder (say, 100 feet) will ever blink on.

See link for similar products.

shapu, Jul 02 2004

Never-Lost Golf Ball ~bz [bristolz, Feb 17 2005, last modified Jun 28 2005]

EasyFind Golf Ball http://www.halfbake...yFind_20Golf_20Ball
A radioactive golf ball and radiation detector from a 'baker. [shapu, Oct 05 2004]

Radar Golf http://www.pga.com/...lf/spike_102003.cfm
A golf ball with a radio transmitter - just like tracking a tagged bear! [shapu, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The Sanderson Golf Ball Finder http://www.sanderso...?subj=Golf+Products
Without benefit of RFID [angel, Oct 05 2004]

RadarGolf http://www.thefeatu...le?articleid=100672
Complete with RFID, pretty much as described. [angel, Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       Baked (linky). Amazing what two minutes on Gooooogle can do.
angel, Jul 02 2004
  

       I don't think it qualifies as baked - those both have the sound in a handheld device. More warmed than anything.   

       In my idea, it's the ball itself that makes the noise, not the finder.
shapu, Jul 02 2004
  

       That is, I grant, a significant difference, but it also makes your version rather less useful. How loud would this thing need to be to be heard over the distance of a half-decent drive, while buried in foot-high rough?
angel, Jul 02 2004
  

       Forget your golf ball. I think you lost a whole letter there. Bip... bip... bip... PING!!! Ah. There it is.   

       [admin: idea renamed from 'Nevr-Lost Golf Ball' to 'Never-Lost Golf Ball']
st3f, Jul 02 2004
  

       //How loud would this thing need to be to be heard over the distance of a half-decent drive, while buried in foot-high rough?//   

       Hmm...that's a good question. I had thought that perhaps what the HB really needed was a dedicated workforce to actually build these things we come up with. Perhaps we need a research team to discover the noise level necessary to penetrate thick wheat grass as well...
shapu, Jul 02 2004
  

       I play golf. My elder brother has just given me a geiger counter (earning the respect and awe of approximately 50% of my friends). All I need now is a source, beta for preference as alpha is a bit short from memory.
gnomethang, Jul 02 2004
  

       Uranium-core golf balls? The radiation isn't THAT bad...
shapu, Jul 02 2004
  

       Probably not something you'd want to keep in your pocket.
half, Jul 02 2004
  

       Jane: I have the greatest golf ball. You can't lose it!   

       Michael: What do you mean?   

       Jane: If you hit it into the rough, it beeps. If you hit it in the water, it floats. If you hit in the sand, it bounces.   

       Michael: Wow, where did you get it?   

       Jane: I found it in the woods.
phundug, Jul 02 2004
  

       Homing Golf Ball   

       It would be heat-sensitive (I think they have invented this part already) and your ball would just have to mark where it fell before it rose and homed in on its owner. gfundl
gfundl, Feb 16 2005
  

       Or tie it to a piece of string?
Loris, Feb 16 2005
  

       [Loris]: No objections to the string, except that it conflicts my Goldbergian upbringing. Is there any way to use that string with a mousetrap, a magnifying glass, and a downtrodden laborer?
shapu, Feb 17 2005
  
      
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