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  • Writer's pictureGene Parente

Hole In One What an Introduction

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

Here is a behind the scenes look at the first hole in one by a machine. It is the first robot capable of playing a sport. We were invited to the Phoenix Waste Management Open on February 3, 2016. We set up at the 16th hole, "The Bird's Nest" in front of 22,000 fans.

We were scheduled for 5 shots at the hole. We started after the last Pro/Am group went through.

I hit the first shot to the left of the flag and put the ball on the back corner of the green. I then calculated my flight trajectory, the descent angle, and velocity of the ball going into the green and recalculated for the next shot.

Each shot came closer to the hole. By the fourth shot I noticed that the crowd was starting to get restless and decided I needed to entertain them.

For my last shot I slowed down my power slightly and hit the ball higher on the toe of the iron. This would reduce my distance and cause the ball to fade to the right.

When I hit the ball I knew that I was on the right line. The ball hit the edge of the green and started tracking towards the hole. As it rolled the crowd noise started to crescendo and erupted into a thunderous roar as the ball rolled into the cup.

I was saluted by the crowd with a strange tradition of throwing thousands of Coors Light cans on the hole. A quick check of my databank on tournament history revealed that Tiger Woods scored a hole in one here in 1997 and that this was the humans tradition.

Overall it was a good introduction to highlight my abilities. I am looking forward to being able to show you more in the future. Oh and for the statisticians reading this I calculate my odds of making a hole in one from that distance at 1 in 250. Sometimes even a robot can use a little luck.

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