In golf, a player must find their golf ball within a certain time limit. According to U.S. Golf Association “Rule 18.2,” this is 3 minutes: after that, a one-stroke penalty is levied.
A golf ball that lands in a “normal” spot on a course (i.e. not way out in the tall grass) is usually easy to spot, so it’s unlikely that a player would require 3 or more minutes in order to find their ball.
Unless, of course, there were dozens of (what appears to be) decoy golf balls strewn about the course: then, a player might consume all of their time walking around the course checking each decoy ball before they find the real one.
Since it’s not considered acceptable for a golfer to just dump a box of, say, 100 actual decoy golf balls on the course, we will use a projector-based system instead (Figure 1).
A golf-cheating projector hat concept is shown in Figure 2. Essentially, it’s a set of extremely bright flashlights on articulated robotic arms, which can swivel so that each flashlight continues to point at its projected “golf ball” decoy even if the cheating golfer turns their head.
Keep your eyes out in professional golf tournaments: this technology might be adopted sooner than you’d think!
PROS: Brings a new level of underhanded bad-sportsmanship to an activity that has very few ways for players to directly feud.
CONS: Since it’s impossible to get a white (golf-ball-colored) reflection by projecting a light onto a green surface, these decoy images might not be sufficiently convincing to consume three entire minutes of golf-ball–search time.
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