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Other Innovations - Golf On TV

This invention simulates the effect of having a television camera inside a golf ball during its flight through the air from the tee, towards the green.

Essentially, this invention is a cunning optical trick, designed to produce impressive visual effects. Briefly, here's how it works: A set of golf ball detecting, radar units alongside the fairway are linked to a computer, which calculates the successive positions of an ordinary golf ball, with no camera inside it, as it travels through the air. A short computer programme, based on the physics of golf ball flight, then predicts where the golf ball will land. The computer programme also works out which part of the landing zone would be seen if there really had been a camera inside the ball. The programme then looks at an electronically stored picture of the whole of the area around the green and displays on your television screen, just that part of the area which it predicts the imaginary camera would see. The system updates the displayed picture, several times each second.

The most interesting images can be obtained by keeping the physics simple. (What your average rocket scientist would call "simple" anyway.)

By not being too pernickety about allowing for wind, ball spin etc the landing position prediction will have to shift slightly throughout the flight.  This will be more intriguing than an accurate prediction of the landing position made at the moment of teeing off.


Figure 1. An optical illusion gives the television viewer the
impression that a camera inside the golf ball is homing in on
the landing point.

What the viewer is actually seeing is a portion of an aerial photograph of the whole course taken before the tournament began.
Suitable photographs are available from Google Mapping.


Figure 2. An array of radar antennae are required to determine the position of the golf ball as it moves through the air.
Birds crossing the line of flight can be allowed for because they have radically different flight paths to a flying golf ball trajectory.



Patent No. GB2269288

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