US20050250590A1 - Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest - Google Patents

Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest Download PDF

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US20050250590A1
US20050250590A1 US10/838,457 US83845704A US2005250590A1 US 20050250590 A1 US20050250590 A1 US 20050250590A1 US 83845704 A US83845704 A US 83845704A US 2005250590 A1 US2005250590 A1 US 2005250590A1
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golfing
performance
plurality
information
method
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US10/838,457
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Alexandru Doaga
Robert Silzer
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GPS INDUSTRIES LLC
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GPS Ind Inc
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Publication of US20050250590A1 publication Critical patent/US20050250590A1/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2102/00Application of clubs, bats, rackets or the like to the sporting activity ; particular sports involving the use of balls and clubs, bats, rackets, or the like
    • A63B2102/32Golf
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/50Wireless data transmission, e.g. by radio transmitters or telemetry
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B71/0616Means for conducting or scheduling competition, league, tournaments or rankings

Abstract

Golfers on various golf courses enter their respective golfing performance information into a transportable performance entry device. The latter has a wireless communication capability in a preferred embodiment. Such performance information serves to permit identification of that golfer (or those golfers) who achieve a predetermined golfing performance achievement goal (such as, but not limited to, a hole-in-one). This same device can also serve to receive information to update such golfers regarding the present status of a corresponding competition and in particular can signal the conclusion of the competition and/or provide information regarding the winner (or such other corresponding information as may be selected).

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • This invention relates generally to golf courses and more particularly to performance contests relating to golfing performance.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The game of golf comprises a well-understood activity. In general, at each of a series of holes, a golfer utilizes golf clubs to strike a golf ball while at an initial tee area and to continue striking the golf ball until finally causing the golf ball to become disposed within a specific cup. Golfers frequently engage in competitions (both formal and informal) wherein a winner is determined on the basis of which individual golfer (or team of golfers) requires the least number of strokes to effect placement of the golf ball in such cups.
  • By definition, the least number of strokes required to place a golf ball in a cup is one. Though a relatively rare occurrence, such an achievement is typically referred to as a hole-in-one (i.e., placing the golf ball in the hole in one stroke). On occasion, a golf course or other entity will sponsor a hole-in-one contest wherein a first golfer to achieve such a performance event wins a prize. Because such an achievement comprises a relatively rare event, however, it may be many days (or longer) before a golfer achieves such a goal at any given golf course. Such latency between the initiation of a hole-in-one competition and its eventual conclusion can dampen enthusiasm and interest in the competition and render the competition a less effective event.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The above needs are at least partially met through provision of the golf course communication system and method described in the following detailed description, particularly when studied in conjunction with the drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 comprises a flow diagram as configured in accordance with various embodiments of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 comprises a flow diagram as configured in accordance with various embodiments of the invention;
  • FIG. 3 comprises a top plan schematic view of a golf course as configured in accordance with various embodiments of the invention;
  • FIG. 4 comprises a block diagram as configured in accordance with various embodiments of the invention;
  • FIG. 5 comprises a detail block diagram as configured in accordance with various embodiments of the invention; and
  • FIG. 6 comprises a top plan block diagram as configured in accordance with various embodiments of the invention.
  • Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of various embodiments of the present invention. Also, common but well-understood elements that are useful or necessary in a commercially feasible embodiment are sometimes not depicted in order to facilitate a less obstructed view of these various embodiments of the present invention. It will also be understood that the terms and expressions used herein have the ordinary meaning as is usually accorded to such terms and expressions by those skilled in the corresponding respective areas of inquiry and study except where other specific meanings have otherwise been set forth herein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Generally speaking, pursuant to these various embodiments, some or all of a plurality of golfers on each of a plurality of golf courses are provided with a transportable performance entry device having, in a preferred embodiment, a wireless communication capability. Golfing performance information for such golfers is then received (as preferably transmitted by the transportable performance entry device) to provide received golfing performance information. The latter is used to identify a golfer who achieves a particular predetermined golfing performance goal to provide an identified golfer. Information regarding that golfer is then communicated to at least some of the plurality of golfers through use of the transportable performance entry device.
  • In one embodiment, the predetermined golfing performance goal comprises the making of a hole-in-one on any of the plurality of golf courses. So configured, a multi-golf course hole-in-one contest can be facilitated such that golfers on multiple courses are effectively competing against one another to first achieve a hole-in-one. Because the number of participating golf courses (and the corresponding number of competing golfers) is relatively without limit, the probability that a given golfer will achieve a hole-in-one within some reasonable period of time increases considerably expectations as are ordinarily associated with a single golf course. This, in turn, can increase attention, excitement, and interest in the competition to the general benefit of all concerned.
  • In one embodiment, the transportable performance entry device comprises a handheld device with a form factor at least somewhat akin to a personal digital assistant. Such a device can additionally serve other purposes, such as score-keeping, tournament score display, golf course communications, present-ball-position-to-pin range finding, and other game or course infrastructure-related tasks. Such a device can use a display and/or audible alert to communicate contest status and/or results to a message recipient.
  • So configured, one can detect in at least near-real time manner the golfing performance of a plurality of golfing participants who are playing golf on a plurality of golf courses to provide golfing performance information.
  • This golfing performance information can then be used to identify at least one golfing participant who achieves a particular predetermined golfing performance goal to provide an identified golfing participant. Information regarding the identified golfing participant can then be communicated to other golfers. Such information regarding the participant can be specific (such as the name of the golfer, the golf course where the golfer achieved the hold-in-one, the specific hole where the hole-in-one was achieved, and so forth) or general (such as a message that simple indicates that the corresponding competition has now concluded).
  • Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, a facilitating process 10 provides 11 a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device (or devices) having a wireless communication capability. Pursuant to one approach, each such golfer can be provided with such a device. Pursuant to another approach such a device can be assigned to a plurality of golfers (for example, a single such transportable device may be assigned to two specific golfers (as may share a golf cart with one another), to four specific golfers (who may be playing individual holes as a group), and so forth.
  • The form factor of the transportable performance entry device can vary in accordance with local needs and preferences. Pursuant to one approach, at least some of the transportable performance entry devices can comprise a handheld device. Pursuant to another approach, at least some of the transportable performance entry devices can comprise a golf cart-mounted device. Such form factors and mounting choices are relatively well understood in the art and require no further elaboration here.
  • Regardless of the number of golfers assigned to a single such transportable device, in many instances it will be preferred to affiliate such golfers with their assigned transportable device. Once so affiliated, data transmissions from that device can be correlated more reliably with specific golfers. Such correlation may be important to facilitating the integrity of a competition such as a hole-in-one contest.
  • The process 10 then provides for the reception 12 of golfing performance information for various of the plurality of golfers as transmitted by the transportable performance entry devices. In a preferred approach, the transportable performance entry device serves as an electronic scorecard for one or more golfers. So configured, golfers enter their score for each hole they play (typically, though not necessarily, upon concluding each such hole). For example, upon requiring four strokes to complete play for a given hole on a given golf course, a golfer would enter “4” into the transportable performance entry device. The use of personal digital assistant-like devices for scorekeeping purposes while golfing is generally well-understood and further description in this regard need not be presented here.
  • Also in a preferred approach the transportable performance entry device will transmit such score information to, for example, a club house base station for the golf course. This permits centralized score maintenance. This approach, in turn, further ensures that achievement of a hole-in-one by a given golfer will be centrally reported in a relatively expeditious manner. If desired, of course, general scorekeeping information need not be reported in so rapid a fashion. Instead, a complete set of scores (or only a total cumulative score) can be transmitted at the conclusion of a round of golf (or, if desired, the overall scoring for a given golfer need not be transmitted at all). In such cases, this reception 12 activity can essentially comprise only the reception of hole-in-one information for a corresponding golfer when and as such performance achievements occur.
  • The process 10 then uses 13 this received golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who achieves a particular predetermined golfing performance goal (such as a hole-in-one, either for a particular hole or holes or for any hole of any golf course). In a preferred contest mode, this comprises identification of a golfing participant who achieves the performance goal subsequent to some predetermined start time (for example, a start time for the contest as may be announced and advertised to participants and potential participants through various means).
  • Such identification can be achieved in any of a variety of ways. In a preferred approach, a given transportable performance entry device will be registered to or otherwise affiliated with a given golfer (or golfers) and the transmission of the performance achievement information by the transportable performance entry device will include information both regarding the achievement itself (such as a score of “1” to indicate a hole-in-one) and some specific or alias information that correlates that achievement indicia with the given golfer. This, in turn, will permit the achievement information to be correlated with and accorded to that golfer. Other information of interest can also be provided, of course, including but not limited to the identify of the golf course, the hole where the performance achievement occurred, the time of day, and present local weather conditions, as well as other information regarding the golfer including, but not limited to, the name of the golfer, the golfer's sex or age, the golfer's handicap, and so forth. (It would also be possible, of course, to pre-obtain such information for golfers and to retain such information in an available database.) As yet another example, it would also be possible to permit the golfer who achieves the performance goal, or others who accompany that golfer, to enter text regarding the circumstances of the achievement into the transportable performance entry device for subsequent transmission by the device and reception via the process 10.
  • The process 10 then effects communication 14 of information regarding the identified golfing participant to at least some of the plurality of golfers using the transportable performance entry device. Such information can be as brief or as complete as may be desired and or appropriate to the needs of a given application. For example, such information can simply comprise an expression to indicate that the performance achievement has occurred. This would inform other golfers, for example, that someone has achieved a hold-in-one during a multi-golf course hole-in-one contest without also providing other information regarding that achievement. This approach might be useful, for example, to inform a plurality of golfers that the golfing performance competition has concluded. As another example, such information can include other information such as the name of the golf course where the performance achievement occurred and/or the name of the golfer who achieved the performance goal. Of course, any other information and/or statistics as may be available regarding the golfer, the golf course, the circumstances of achieving the performance goal, or the like can also be provided as may be available.
  • In a preferred embodiment, and referring now to FIG. 2, the transportable performance entry device will effect its own process 20 to support this overall process 10. In particular, this process 20 is suitable for use by a golfer while golfing on a golf course. This process 20 comprises the entry 21 of golfing performance information into the transportable performance entry device by a golfer while golfing on a given golf course and in particular during the course of attempting to achieve a predetermined golfing performance achievement in competition with other golfers (such as achieving a hole-in-one).
  • In an optional approach, the transportable performance entry device can then determine 22 whether the entered performance information indicates achievement of one or more predetermined performance achievement goals. When true (such as when the performance achievement goal comprises achievement of a hole-in-one and the entered performance information indicates such an achievement), the process can the effect automatic transmission 23 of at least the performance achievement information. (In the alternative, instead of automatically transmitting such information, the process 20 can await a specific non-automatic transmit instruction from a user).
  • For example, the device can display a message to a user to indicate its preparedness to transmit a message regarding the golfer's achievement of the performance goal. In such an embodiment, the golfer would have the option of declining to transmit the message if they so wish. Such an approach will support a mode of operation wherein the device is not used to transmit all performance information as entered by a golfer. So configured, the device will essentially only transmit, or be prepared to transmit, information that more specifically relates to achievement of the performance goal and not information regarding other aspects of the golfer's game or performance.
  • This decision 22 mechanism is only an optional approach as noted above. If desired, such a decision step can be eschewed and the transportable performance entry device can optionally automatically (or non-automatically) provide for transmission 23 of entered golfing performance information 21 as is otherwise described above. That is, the device can, in one embodiment, automatically transmit all (or at least predetermined portions of) entered golfing performance information (and leave it to a receiving end to ascertain or otherwise identify when the predetermined golfing performance goal has been achieved as reflected by such information) and, in another embodiment, transmit some or all such data in response to a user-asserted transmission command.
  • Regardless of whether and how the transportable performance entry device transmits such information, this process 20 also provides for reception 24 of wirelessly transmitted messages that indicates when another golfer in a competition has achieved the predetermined golfing performance achievement. For example, the device can receive a message indicating that a golfer on another golf course has achieved a hole-in-one. Such a message can be as complete or as sparse as may be desired. Such a message, for example, can simply indicate that the competition is now concluded (thereby inferring that someone has achieved the predetermined goal), or can indicate specifically that someone has achieved the predetermined goal, or can provide specific information regarding the individual or team who achieved the predetermined goal, the golf course where the goal was achieved, and so forth, to name a few of many options in this regard.
  • Such a message, once received, can be accommodated in a variety of ways. For example, in one preferred but optional approach, the device displays 25 the message and/or otherwise provides some alert to draw the attention of the corresponding golfer to the device. Such an alert can be visual (such as a flashing light), audible (such as a beeping tone), tactile (such as a vibrating unit), or any other known or hereafter-developed alert mechanism. Pursuant to another embodiment, if desired, synthesized voice can be used to provide a spoken version of a text message to the user (or, in the alternative, the received wireless message can itself comprise a synthesized or natural speech message that is simply rendered audible by the device).
  • Such a method will readily facilitate a multi-golf course competition wherein golfers compete with one another to, for example, be the first to accomplish a predetermined achievement goal (such as, but not limited to, a hole-in-one, a birdie, an eagle, an initial drive equaling or exceeding some specified minimum, and so forth). Though potentially widely separated geographically, such multiple players can nevertheless participate in the competition with a genuine sense of urgency, timeliness, and real-time competition. This, in turn, can greatly foster interest in and attention to the competition.
  • Such processes as are described above can be facilitated in a variety of ways. A description of at least a few enabling embodiments to support such processes will now be described.
  • With reference to FIG. 3, a typical golf course 30 will comprise one or more holes (each hole being comprised of a tee area, a fairway, and a green and pin (along with various and sundry obstacles, bunkers, traps, and the like) that are arranged within a periphery 31 that defines the boundaries of the golf course 30. The embodiment illustrated depicts a nine hole golf course, but it will be readily understood that these teachings are readily applicable to golf courses of various sizes and designs including both larger and smaller golf courses. The infrastructure of such a golf course 30 will typically include at least one central or main building comprising a club house 32. Such a club house 32 can provide facilities for a so-called pro shop, a dining and/or libations area, meeting areas, maintenance areas, and so forth. Other buildings and man-made structures can also be provided where and as needed or appropriate to the needs of a given golf course embodiment.
  • Pursuant to these embodiments, a plurality of wireless access points 38 are disposed about the golf course. In a typical embodiment, substantially all of the plurality of wireless access points are disposed within the outer periphery 31 of the golf course 30. If desired, however, one or more wireless access points can be disposed to the exterior of this outer periphery 31 as illustrated here by the wireless access point bearing the reference numeral 39.
  • In general, these wireless access points 38 preferably support an appropriate protocol and modulation to permit adequate facilitation of the desired communication load and traffic. For example, 802.11 (a), (b), or (g) (or a combination thereof) compatible wireless communications are readily employed in such a scenario. Such protocols, and the platforms that support them, are well understood in the art and will not be related here in further detail for the sake of brevity and the preservation of clarity except where particularly useful to this description.
  • If desired, a single wireless access point can be used to provide communications access for the entire golf course 30. In many cases, however, a plurality of lower power access points are conveniently and inexpensively deployed for these purposes. For example, the club house 32 (or such other building, shelter, or location of choice) can house a first wireless access point 33 that provides wireless communications within a first corresponding zone of coverage 34. A different portion of the golf course 30 can meanwhile be serviced by a second wireless access point 35 having a second corresponding zone of coverage 36.
  • At least a portion of the capacity of the resultant wireless communication resource is dedicated to support infrastructure communications for the golf course 30 itself. This portion can be readily utilized to support synchronous or asynchronous communications (as may best comport to the operability of a given wireless infrastructure) that facilitate the transmission and reception actions of the earlier described processes.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, a golf course local area network 41 can be comprised of various components and elements that are networked together in any satisfactory manner. These elements can include computers, printers, scanners, routers, and so forth as is well understood in the art. In one embodiment this local area network 41 also couples to one or more extranets such as the Internet 42. So configured, various ones of the local area network elements have access to other elements, such as remote servers, via this extranet connection. Pursuant to a preferred approach, this system includes at least one golf course base station 43 that serves as a wireless access point (only one such base station is depicted in FIG. 4 for the sake of clarity, but in a preferred embodiment there will tend to be a plurality of such base stations) for the golf course local area network 41.
  • This golf course base 43 supports wireless communications with one or more transportable devices 44. The latter can comprise, for example, hand held or golf cart mounted two-way or one-way units that support voice and/or data communications. In particular, these communications typically comprise golf course infrastructure information. Such communications will typically comprise messages interacting with one or more elements of the golf course local area network 41 (though Internet 42 interaction may also be supported as necessary or appropriate). Such information can comprise any information that relates to real time and/or planned or anticipated data or instructions as pertain to the status, operations, or maintenance of the golf course. Such information can include, but is not limited to, such information as:
      • pin placement information (including present, historical, and/or planned placement);
      • edible consumables ordering information (including available menu items, order making and taking support, order status, and the like);
      • merchandise ordering information (including the purchase or rental of various items of golfing equipment and supplies or souvenirs);
      • score information (including historical or present score information for specific individuals, teams, tournament play, players on other golf courses, and the like); and/or
      • scorecard printing information (including score submission or confirmation messages to facilitate printing of a given scorecard at, for example, a club house or other location of choice).
  • It will be well understood that such golf course infrastructure information 25 can comprise user-initiated transmissions and/or automated transmissions. To illustrate, and as to the latter, pin placement information that comprises relatively new pin placement information can be automatically broadcast pursuant to a first broadcasting schedule while pin placement information that is relatively older can be automatically broadcast pursuant to a different second broadcasting schedule. For example, the first broadcasting schedule can comprise transmission of new pin placement information about every 60 seconds for about five minutes and the second broadcasting schedule can comprise transmission of old pin placement information about once every ten minutes.
  • Pursuant to a preferred approach, this golf course base station 43 also serves to support communications from and to the transportable device 44 as outlined above. In particular, performance information as entered at the transportable device 44 can be wirelessly transmitted to the golf course base station 43 and then relayed via the golf course local area network 41 and the Internet 42 to another location where such performance information is stored, analyzed, and/or otherwise utilized to facilitate a given performance-related competition. Similarly, information regarding that competition can be conveyed via the golf course base station 43 to the transportable device 44.
  • A more detailed illustrative facilitating embodiment will now be presented with reference to FIG. 5. A golf course remotely positioned base station 43 can be comprised of a wireless access point 31 (such as an access point as offered by YDI Wireless, Inc.). Such an access point will readily accommodate, for example, 802.11(a), (b), , (g) or a combination of these protocols. In this embodiment, the base station 43 also comprises a differential global position satellite receiver 53 (such as a BAE Systems Starbox GPS receiver) that receives GPS signals from orbiting global positioning satellites as is well understood in the art. A base station controller 52 operably couples to and aids in controlling the operation of the access point 51 and the DGPS receiver 53. In addition to the base station 43, there can be one or more wireless repeaters 58 (such as Proxim repeaters)deployed with respect to a given golf course to provide adequate coverage and provision of corresponding services. Those skilled in the art will also recognize that such repeaters can differ from one another with respect to number of radios, antenna configuration, and/or antenna steering as well as with respect to average radiated power to accommodate various coverage needs and challenges.
  • Such a base station 43 and repeaters 58 communicate via an appropriate link to a computer 55 (in this case, a club house computer; i.e., a computer such as a personal computer that is disposed at the club house for the golf course). In this embodiment, this link comprises a radio frequency channel supported by a transceiver 54 that also supports the wireless protocol used by the base station 43 to transmit its protocol and user data to the computer 55. A YDI WLAN adapter can be used to realize this embodiment. So configured, the base station 43 and the repeaters(s) 58 can readily network with the club house computer 55 to effect the transmission and/or reception of golf course infrastructure information noted above including the performance achievement information as may pertain to a multi-course competition. Such elements as have just been described are well known in the art. Therefore, additional details regarding such elements will not be presented for the sake of clarity and the pursuit of brevity.
  • The club house computer 55 in turn operably couples to the golf course local area network 41 and/or an extranet such as the Internet 42 (with the latter coupling being achieved either via the local area 41 21 and/or via a more direct connection as may be available to the computer 55) (those skilled in the art will recognize that the computer 55 in fact will likely comprise a part of the golf course local area network 41 but these two elements have been shown in discrete fashion here for purposes of explanation).
  • Depending upon the needs of a given application, the club house computer 55 can couple to specific elements such as a club house scorecard printer 56 (where scorecards for playing golfers can be printed and then provided to the golfers and/or retained for record keeping purposes) and/or a kitchen printer 57 (where orders as received from golfers via their two-way data or voice connections can be printed and then acted upon accordingly). Such elements can couple directly to the club house computer 55 as illustrated or can comprise parts of the local area network 41 that are accessible via that network 41 (with such architectural choices being well understood in the art).
  • So configured, a transportable device 44 can readily communicate with the base station(s) 43 via the supported radio frequency communication link to gain access, via the club house computer 55, to desired services such as scorecard printing or food ordering. This same link can also be used to support other infrastructure needs as well, including tournament announcements, score updates, and the like. As another example, when the transportable devices 44 are GPS capable (to permit, for example, range calculation from a present position of a golfer to a given pin), differential GPS correction factors as calculated at a GPS-capable base station 43 such as the one depicted and/or at the club house computer 55 (or such other calculation platform as may be available locally or remotely) can be provided via this link to the transportable device 44 to permit more accurate range calculations in accord with well understood GPS technology and methodology.
  • Also as configured, these same base stations can service the communication needs the above-described competition communications. As one approach, the transportable devices 44 can transmit to and receive messages from a contest server 59 via, for example, the Internet 42 connection that these embodiments provide for the transportable devices 44. Such a contest server 59, in turn, can serve to effect the centralized aspects of the above-described processes and can communicate with various transportable devices on various golf courses 60 to facilitate such processes.
  • It can be important to ensure the integrity of a competition such as a hole-in-one competition as described above. There are various ways that such integrity can be facilitated. Pursuant to one approach, video information regarding at least a portion of the golfing performance can be captured and stored and such video information can be used to confirm a given performance claim.
  • There are various ways to obtain such video information. In a preferred approach, and referring now to FIG. 6, three video cameras 60, 61, and 62 are positioned to capture useful information regarding achievement of a hole-in-one. The cameras themselves can be mounted in any convenient fashion and preferably comprise digital cameras that capture a video image as digital information. In this embodiment, a first camera 60 captures a tee-box view of the tee-box area 63 of a given hole. A second camera 61 captures a green view of the green 64 of this same hole. A third camera 62 captures a close-up pin view of the cup 65 for this hole. So arrayed, simultaneous views of a given golfer's golf swing and the resultant travel of that golfer's golf ball are captured to provide resultant captured video information.
  • By one approach, such video information could be stored locally. For example, each video camera could be essentially self-contained and the captured video retained in/with each camera. It may be helpful in such an approach to record a time code or some similar information along with the video information to facilitate later review for confirmation or auditing purposes.
  • By another approach, such video information can be stored remotely. For example, in the embodiment depicted, each video camera comprises a wireless video camera as known in the art. In a preferred approach these cameras continuously transmit their captured video information via the wireless infrastructure of the golf course. This, in turn, permits such video information to be stored at a recorder 66 as operably couples, for example, to the golf course local area network as described above. In a preferred approach this recorder 66 comprises a digital multi-track recording platform that can separately record and store the video feed from each video camera. Such an approach can facilitate a synchronized review of the captured video information when seeking to verify or audit a particular golfing performance claim. There are various recording platforms that will suffice for such a task. In a preferred approach, however, the recorder 66 comprises a tamper-proof platform such as those used in video-surveillance security systems.
  • The availability of such video information offers other options as well. For example, when someone successfully accomplishes the predetermined golfing achievement, the video information can be forwarded (using, for example, the Internet 42) to other golf courses that host the same competition. When received, the video information as corresponds to the winning performance can then be displayed at the local golfcourse clubhouse and/or transmitted to the transportable devices of other competition participants.
  • Other steps can be taken to aid in ensuring the integrity of such competitions. For example, automatic image analysis and/or recognition technology may be employed to permit a degree of unsupervised integrity confirmation and/or performance achievement alert. As another example, a device such as a wireless cup sensor may be employed to detect the presence of a golf ball. Such detection can be used, for example, to cause storage of video as corresponds to a predetermined window of time (such as ten seconds) that brackets the dropping of the golf ball into the cup. So configured, storage requirements may be reduced since only images relevant to the golfing performance of interest will be stored.
  • Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that such an infrastructure will readily support a method of conducting a multi-golf course performance contest that includes detection, in at least a near-real time manner, of the golfing performance of a plurality of golfing participants who are playing on a plurality of golf courses, the use of such golfing performance information to identify at least one golfing participant who achieves a particular predetermined golfing performance goal, and the communication of corresponding information to at least some of that plurality of golfing participants. As noted above, this general approach is very flexible and accommodates a wide number of variations. This general approach also scales in a friendly fashion to thereby not only permit but encourage a large and widely dispersed user population.
  • Those skilled in the art will recognize that a wide variety of modifications, alterations, and combinations can be made with respect to the above described embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that such modifications, alterations, and combinations are to be viewed as being within the ambit of the inventive concept.

Claims (28)

1. A method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest comprising:
detecting in at least a near-real time manner the golfing performance of a plurality of golfing participants who are playing golf on a plurality of golf courses to provide golfing performance information;
using the golfing performance information to identify at least one golfing participant who achieves a particular predetermined golfing performance goal to provide an identified golfing participant;
communicating information regarding the identified golfing participant.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein detecting includes receiving transmitted messages regarding at least some of the golfing performance of the plurality of golfing participants.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein receiving transmitted messages includes receiving transmitted wireless messages.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the particular predetermined golfing performance goal comprises achieving a hold-in-one.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the particular predetermined golfing performance goal comprises being a first one of the golfing participants to achieve the hole-in-one.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein the particular predetermined golfing performance goal comprises being a first one of the golfing participants to achieve the hole-in-one on any one of the plurality of golf courses.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein communicating information regarding the identified golfing participant includes communicating the information to at least some recipients using a wireless message.
8. The method of claim 1 and further comprising:
capturing video information regarding at least a portion of the golfing performance.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein capturing video information further comprises capturing video information from a plurality of viewing angles.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein capturing video information from a plurality of viewing angles further comprises capturing video information regarding at least one of:
a tee-box view;
a green view;
a close-up pin view.
11. The method of claim 8 wherein capturing video information further comprises wirelessly transmitting the video information to provide transmitted video information.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein capturing video information further comprises storing at least a portion of the transmitted video information.
13. A method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest comprising:
providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device having a wireless communication capability;
receiving golfing performance information for various of the plurality of golfers as transmitted by the transportable performance entry devices to provide received golfing performance information;
using the golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who achieves a particular predetermined golfing performance goal to provide an identified golfing participant;
communicating information regarding the identified golfing participant to at least some of the plurality of golfers using the transportable performance entry device.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device further comprises providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a golf cart-mounted transportable performance entry device.
15. The method of claim 13 wherein providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device further comprises providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a handheld transportable performance entry device.
16. The method of claim 13 wherein providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device further comprises providing each of the plurality of golfers with a transportable performance entry device.
17. The method of claim 13 wherein providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device further comprises providing one of the transportable performance entry devices to an assigned plurality of the golfers.
18. The method of claim 13 wherein providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device further comprises affiliating at least one of the plurality of golfers with one of the transportable performance entry devices.
19. The method of claim 13 wherein providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device having a wireless communication capability further comprises providing a plurality of golfers on a plurality of golf courses with a transportable performance entry device having a wireless communication capability that is compatible with a wireless communications protocol that further operably supports automatically updating golf course infrastructure information.
20. The method of claim 13 wherein using the golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who achieves a particular predetermined golfing performance goal further comprises using the golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who achieves a hole-in-one.
21. The method of claim 20 wherein using the golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who achieves a hole-in-one further comprises using the golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who first achieves a hole-in-one on any of the plurality of golf courses.
22. The method of claim 21 wherein using the golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who first achieves a hole-in-one on any of the plurality of golf courses further comprises using the golfing performance information to identify a golfing participant who first achieves a hole-in-one on any of the plurality of golf courses subsequent to a start time.
23. The method of claim 20 wherein communicating information regarding the identified golfing participant to at least some of the plurality of golfers using the transportable performance entry device further comprises communicating information regarding the golfing performance of the identified golfing participant.
24. The method of claim 20 wherein communicating information regarding the identified golfing participant to at least some of the plurality of golfers using the transportable performance entry device further comprises communicating a conclusion of a golfing performance competition.
25. A method for using a transportable performance entry device having a wireless communication capability by a golfer while golfing on a golf course, comprising:
during the course of attempting to achieve a predetermined golfing performance achievement in competition with other golfers, including other golfers on other golf courses, entering golfing performance information into the transportable performance entry device while golfing on a first golf course;
receiving a wirelessly transmitted message on the transportable performance entry device that indicates that another golfer in the competition has achieved the predetermined golfing performance achievement.
26. The method of claim 25 and further comprising:
wirelessly transmitting, using the transportable performance entry device, the golfing performance information.
27. The method of claim 26 wherein wirelessly transmitting, using the transportable performance entry device, the golfing performance information further comprises automatically wirelessly transmitting, using the transportable performance entry device, the golfing performance information upon entry of the golfing performance information.
28. The method of claim 27 wherein automatically wirelessly transmitting, using the transportable performance entry device, the golfing performance information upon entry of the golfing performance information further comprises automatically wirelessly transmitting, using the transportable performance entry device, the golfing performance information upon entry of the golfing performance information when the golfing performance information indicates achievement of the predetermined golfing performance achievement.
US10/838,457 2004-05-04 2004-05-04 Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest Abandoned US20050250590A1 (en)

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CA002583372A CA2583372A1 (en) 2004-05-04 2005-05-02 Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest
CN 200580014198 CN101001674A (en) 2004-05-04 2005-05-02 Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest
AU2005240555A AU2005240555A1 (en) 2004-05-04 2005-05-02 Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest
JP2007511431A JP2007535992A (en) 2004-05-04 2005-05-02 Method of performing a plurality of golf course grade competition
PCT/US2005/014701 WO2005107888A2 (en) 2004-05-04 2005-05-02 Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest
EP05745295A EP1750814A2 (en) 2004-05-04 2005-05-02 Method for conducting a multi-golf course performance contest

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CA2583372A1 (en) 2005-11-17
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