R&A | Enabling accurate measurements for golf competition

R&A is a leading body within the world of golf and engages and supports activities to ensure it is a thriving sport for all. They take great care and attention to the atmosphere and quality of golf courses and are always looking for ways to maintain and measure that quality prior to play.

The Business Need

One particlar metric required by professionals is the measurement of the speed of the green. This is done using a Stimp meter and is a measurement of distance of how far the ball rolls. This distance varies depending on terrain conditions or even how long ago the grass was cut.

However, the issue the R&A team faced was that those readings were affected severely by wind.

4c were approached by R&A to realise a project carried out by Strathclyde University where the students had progressed a tunnel concept to Technology Readiness Level 4. With the Golf Open approaching fast in 2022, they wanted a better engineered solution that handled and looked like professional kit in competition.

Activities and Deliverables

We started by reviewing the work carried out by the university and quickly realised that further research was required to identify directions for construction and testing. The tunnel concept was suitable but needed production forethought and usability design to explore feasible options.

4c identified three core directions and a whole host of tests to be carried out to define the scale of the final product. During the research, we also realised a need for an additional component for the Stimp meter as wind affected its function.

With core dimensions identified, we carried out in environment testing. Transit, size and features were reviewed which led to smaller units and removing all features to result in a plastic tunnel. This enabled us to explore simpler manufacturing methods and work with a UK manufacturer for production prototypes.

The Result

Following testing on multiple sites, the new tunnel samples were ready for the Open in St Andrews and successfully delivered accurate measurements for the professionals.

The R&A has another tool at their disposal to continue leading the sport and has engaged us again to improve other areas of data.

Capabilities Utilised

  • Story development
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Concept development
  • Industrial design
  • Brand development
  • Prototyping

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