back to article Forget Tiger Woods – here's Cyber Woods: Robot golfer hits hole-in-one during tournament

A robotic golfer has pulled off a feat that most fleshy humans have never managed – scoring a hole-in-one at one of the most famous golf courses in the US. Youtube Video The robot is called LDRIC (Launch Directional Robot Intelligent Circuitry) as an homage to Tiger Woods' first name of Eldrick, and was the guest star at the …

  1. choleric

    Robotic golfers

    Golfers everywhere should welcome their new robotic overlord...

    If more robots played golf I might actually watch a tournament. And if a few of them had circular saws or thermite lances attached (for use on other robots, not the human contestants obviously) the ratings might even increase.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Robotic golfers

      Can this be weaponized & used in the war against [whatever]?

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Robotic golfers

        "Can this be weaponized & used in the war against [whatever]?" --- allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Isn't that the robotic cricketers ... ?

        * nod to the memory of the genial genius who brought so much pleasure to so many of our lives

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: Robotic golfers

          Oh Belgium man, how could I forget? Here's to DNA.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Robotic golfers - Weaponised?

        Obviously never been hit by a golf ball! No need to weaponise something that can hit 3" hole at 135yds - take one of those in the head your not going to be walking around for a while.

        1. Robert Helpmann??

          Re: Robotic golfers - Weaponised?

          And should the human your cohort manage to overwhelm the 'bot by dint of numbers, the meatbags might find out why they are referred to as "clubs".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Robotic golfers

        "Can this be weaponized & used in the war against [whatever]?"

        Could be useful in the next gulf war?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Robotic golfers

      > "...if a few of them had circular saws or thermite lances..."

      In golf that's called "bad sportsmanship," a skill in which no machine (yet) can best a human.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Robotic golfers

      Yes, but, does it sleep around?

  2. Andy Non Silver badge

    AI Recreation

    Maybe golf should be an intrinsic part of the programming of A.I. That way when robots eventually become self-aware they may be more tempted to chill on the golf course rather than going all terminator on us.

    1. choleric

      Re: AI Recreation

      Or at the very least if they do go all Terminator on us they do it on the golf course first and give the rest of humanity a head start. Call it the benefit of a handicap scoring system.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: AI Recreation

      And start making private deals there? Doesn't sound good to me.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: AI Recreation

      We already have them. They're called Sales Droids.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    One part of human endeavor that I won't mind seeing the robots dominate!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no worries

    This robot is nothing like Tiger, even on the course. It doesn't scream obscenities, it doesn't throw clubs and it doesn't miss cuts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no worries

      Tiger doesn't throw clubs, they are thrown at him, but only by supermodels.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Cricket is safe for now…

    … the RTC counter would overflow and cause a kernel panic before anything interesting happened.

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Reminds me

    of a cartoon in either the Melody Maker or the NME (too long ago to be sure) called Dick. My favourite one is a conversation between Dick and Max Headroom:

    Max: Dick, do you want to play play golf?

    Dick: Er, okay. What's your handicap?

    Max: I've got no legs.

  7. RIBrsiq

    I thought robots preferred Krikkit...?

  8. Herby

    Good walk interrupted...

    This begs the question:

    Why do they call it GOLF?


    Because all the other four letter words were taken.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good walk interrupted...

      Did you know golf balls are very much like eggs? They're white, they're sold by the dozen, and a week later you have to buy more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good walk interrupted...

        Sometimes they aren't what they're cracked up to be either.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Needs work

    Okay, the robot holed-in-one, big whoop. Despite that, its stance was all wrong.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeez - even adding robots doesn't make golf any more interesting

    It's like cricket but only more tedious

  11. Nolveys

    I liked the pitcher bot better...

    ...though this one probably took more skill to make, the pitcher bot was just a modified howitzer.

  12. Hope Spirals

    Have we found a weapon?

    Regarding an earlier post about the return of Robot Wars...

    I like the idea of a Robot armed with a Brassie for long range biffing and a Niblick for the coup de gra

  13. Frumious Bandersnatch


    Never knew that was Tiger's real name. Leaves me wondering if his parents were fans of H. P. Lovecraft (fond of words like "Eldritch") or maybe Sapphire and Steel (characters called Eldred and Rothwyn in one "assignment", though Steel points out that they're hopelessly anachronistic cover names). Tiger's too old for the S&S idea to work, though.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Eldrick?

      He's young enough to possibly come from "The three stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" though.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess there must have been no wind?

    On a windless day, I could see a robotic swing managing a hole in one in a handful of attempts, but if there was much of a wind, especially if it was variable, getting it in only five tries was pure luck.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: I guess there must have been no wind?

      Should be able to correct for wind and air pressure and such. Sensors and/or local weather data. Artillery has been doing that for quite some time now. Calculation methods should be transferable. Data on properties and aerodynamical behaviour of golf ball is probably already availiable or can be researched without too much effort. If real-time calculation on the course is too much for the robot, lookup tables can be prepared beforehand (again, a concept borrowed from artillery).

      This is basically ballistics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I guess there must have been no wind?

        Artillery has been doing that for quite some time now.

        It was the dam busters that gave the world the dimpled golf ball in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Dam busters had nothing to do with it

          Dimples on golf balls predate WW II by several decades.

          That really started back in the latter half of the 1800s, when golf balls were made from gutta percha. Soon after those came into use it was noted that as the ball became beat up and lost its nice smooth surface it flew better, so they deliberately cut them with a crosshatch pattern. When they switched to rubber balls around the turn of the 20th century they first used inverted dimples (i.e. pimples) but within a decade figured out dimples worked better.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Artillery correcting for wind

        Artillery is a LOT heavier than a golf ball so the effect of the wind on it would be less. And matters less, since if you are a few inches off aiming a bomb that's awesome. If you are a few inches off aiming a golf ball you don't get a hole in one.

        I was thinking about snipers when I wrote my first post, but while bullets are more comparable in weight they travel much faster and thus have less time in flight to be affected by wind. While the margin of error might be a bit larger sniping than with a golf shot (even if you are aiming for a headshot) I suppose it isn't all that much larger.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I guess there must have been no wind?

      It's pointed out in the article that the 16th hole is completely surrounded by grandstands so I guess they make good windbreaks.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I guess there must have been no wind?

        Do you people never get out? Wind is sneaky - and fractal! Any obstruction you might imagine is a windbreak is really just something to add more chaos to the system.

  15. Jan 0 Silver badge


    If you're under 50 and play golf, then you might as well be a robot.

    I'm over 50 and I'm still not playing golf, perhaps I'm still a human being!

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. AndrueC Silver badge

    The golf swing is all about repeatability so a robot ought to be good at it. Humans don't guide the club head into the ball - we just hope that our posture during the swing results in it happening. The ball is long gone before the meat inside our skull can do anything about the point of contact.

    As for a hole in one..meh. I did that once on the 12th at Cherwell Edge Golf Club where I'm a member and I'm a 21 handicapper. Reaching the green from the tee on a par three is the definition of a competent golfer. If the ball then rolls into the hole that's just luck. Worth celebrating of course but still luck.

    What would be impressive would be an autonomous robot. Even more impressive a bipedal one since I imagine the balance requirements of swinging a golf club would be difficult to get right.

  18. itzman

    videos dont work

    error 2035 (URL does not exists)

  19. zaax

    and. There are plenty of ranging tables on the net

  20. channel extended

    Business deals...

    What kind of business deals will these robots be able to make? Read robots.txt?

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