The golf ball industry estimates that 300 million golf balls are lost in the United States each year. That kind of blatant disregard for money would drive some people insane, so they prefer to buy used or only play found golf balls. However, the future may be here as it pertains to golf ball technology.
No, it’s not a golf ball that will find every fairway and every green, but OnCore Golf has developed a ball that will be able to be tracked to its exact location with the help of a smartphone. Not only does the OnCore Genius golf ball have a tracking device built into it, it also uses its microchip to deliver stats to the player similar to how a high-grade launch monitor would.
Forbes.com’s Erik Matuszewski explains the full scope of what the Genius ball can do.
A golf ball with GPS embedded in it? OnCore Golf wasn’t going to just stop there given its patented core technologies — the upstart company has plans in place to produce golf’s first Genius Ball.
With the goal of delivering more than a “smart ball” that golfers won’t lose in the woods, OnCore leveraged its unconventional core technology and unique materials experience to embed high-performance electronics within the ball itself. The Buffalo, New York-based company, known originally for its innovative hollow metal core ball, in August was issued a U.S. patent covering the construction of a high-strength and high-stiffness core that can house sensitive electronics and withstand the high-speed impact of a golf club.
The result: a golf ball that will capture and transmit data directly to a mobile device – in real time. OnCore’s Genius Ball will track the ball’s performance and statistics on every shot, from distance and height to ball velocity and course location that’s accurate to within a foot.
“We’re confident that what a launch monitor can do for a golfer on the driving range is what the Genius Ball will do on every hole and for every shot,” says OnCore Golf co-founder Bret Blakely. “Golfers crave technology and information, and our new ‘Ball with a Brain’ will deliver both.”
The Genius Ball is already in the works. OnCore plans to have a fully functional prototype for demonstration at the PGA Show in January 2018. Full manufacturing would begin shortly afterward, with the goal of a commercial launch as soon as Father’s Day in June.
If you balk at the price of a Titleist Pro-V1 (or are prone to hitting the first ball from a new sleeve into a water hazard), let’s face it, OnCore’s Genius Ball probably won’t be right for you. The current plan is to offer 2-ball sleeves for $49.95. Yes, that’s almost $25 per ball.
The price might drop as OnCore considers whether to charge for the use of its app or website, without which the Genius Ball wouldn’t be much different than a normal golf ball. Another factor in minimizing the cost per ball is whether the company is able to generate revenue streams from ads and video content on the Genius Ball app or website.
OnCore is kicking off an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help support the ball’s launch, giving those golfers who get involved the first chance to place orders for the initial production run.
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