RFID, Par for the Golf Course
By David Pescovitz, Wed May 26 04:30:00 GMT 2004

RadarGolf has started to offer location enhanced golf balls tagged with RFID chips. You won't lose a ball in the rough anymore, which also means it'll be harder to cheat by claiming a "lucky bounce."

Chris Savarese, amateur golfer and former software sales guy, took a ballsy idea for radio frequency identification tags (RFID) and turned it into a company. RadarGolf is now taking reservations for the first location-enhanced golf balls.

Each regulation ball contains a tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. If you slice a shot off the fairway into the unknown, you simply pull out a handheld RFID reader, point it in the general direction, and start walking. Once the ball is within the 40-100 foot range of the reader, the embedded tag will respond with an electronic beacon. Then it becomes a hide-and-seek game of "hot/cold" with the scanner beeping faster the closer you get.

Savarese expects the system to ship this fall. For US$249, you'll get a dozen Radar Balls and the scanner. Additional balls are US$39 per dozen, but you shouldn't need any, right? Well, maybe so -- after all, they don't float.