Golf Inventions Gone Wild

Don’t pull this invention out while playing a round of golf with me unless you want to see my head explode (and learn how fast I can turn my pitching wedge into a deadly accurate spear). The invention looks like a foolproof way to annoy everyone in your group and have the ability to bring play to a screeching halt is found in USPN 8,303,311 titled “sport personal coach system.” The patent describes the invention as:

A call center system for coaching a player in judgmental aspects of an athletic sport or for practicing judgmental aspects of the sport includes a call center computer having a display and a memory. The system may also include a camera, a telephone, and a position locator system. Either the pictures stored in the memory or pictures taken with the camera are used to provide coaching or practice. Pictures of a golf course, golf course mapping data, or both are stored in a call center system. GPS data indicating the position of a golf ball on a golf course hole is used to provide either an overhead view of the hole and terrain features, pictures of the course at or near the location of the ball, or both, on a golf professional computer display.
Say what?

The patent explains:

An object of the invention is to level the playing field between the average player of a sport such as golf and the richer players and professionals. Professional golfers and people with enough money have caddies that accompany them on the golf course. Such caddies provide assistance in all the judgmental aspects of golf. For example, they will provide assistance in adjusting to the slope of the course, the condition of the course, and suggestions on shots of all types. Wikepedia, for example, defines a caddy as "the person who carries a player's bag, and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it. This includes knowing overall yardage, pin placements and club selection." ( As recognized in this article, a significant part of the moral support is giving the player confidence in knowing that the various judgmental decisions are sound. People with little money are definitely at a disadvantage under current golf practices.

The invention solves the above problems, as well as other problems of the prior art, and obtains the objects of the inventor, by providing a sport call center that provides real-time coaching to a player of a sport from a location remote from the player. Preferably, the system is transparent to the player. That is, the player only needs to telephone the call center and the call center does the rest. That is, the call center connects the player to a coach and the coach already knows all the essentials of what the player needs coaching about. For example, if the sport is golf, a player may be presented with a shot about which the player wants coaching. The player pulls out a cell phone, presses a button that connects the player to the call center, a golf professional comes on the line, and the professional is immediately able to coach the player on the shot. The system is able to accomplish this because it already includes a large variety of information about the terrain of the golf course as a function of the location coordinates. When the player telephones the call center, the location coordinates, preferably determined by a GPS system, are automatically uploaded to the call center. The call center only needs to pull up the stored information about the course, and it is able to present to the professional the position of the ball, the terrain at the position of the ball, the distance to the green, the pin, and other hazards. Preferably, the system also has available a large amount of information about the player in a player database. The call center system is able to present this information about the player to the professional prior to any discussion with the player because the player's identification is preferably also automatically uploaded to the call center along with the location coordinates. The call center only needs to use the player ID to retrieve the player information and transmit it to the professional for the professional to have detailed knowledge of the player's abilities. Preferably, even the speed of the green and the local weather are available to the professional before the professional exchanges a word with the player. The system is able to do this because it includes a terrain mapper and course database that stores all information that has been previously entered into the system. As we shall see below, the system according to the invention has a large variety of ways to acquire detailed information about the course and the player.

I was surprised to see the inventors listed on the patent are Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, and Michael Breed; kidding of course!

I try not to give unsolicited advice, but if you ever utter the words “guys go ahead and hit, I have a tough lie and need to get a second opinion from the call center,” please remove yourself from the golf course and destroy your clubs. Thank you.

Dave Dawsey - The Golf Invention Attorney
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