Sport: Golf: Ball
Never-Lost Golf Ball   (+2, -2)  [vote for, against]
Lost your ball? Push a button, and it blinks and warbles!

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
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]

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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