An End To Divots?

Imagine such a thing. Just for one second. A divot deficit. A pristine, uniformed turf without the evidence left behind by blurry-eyed hackers. It's every golfer and superintendents dream, especially during winter months when turf is slower to recover or right before a tournament when visual expectations are highest.

I recently met Damian Kilby who believes he's come up with a product that can help this dream become a reality. He's been gracious enough to allow Turfhugger readers an exclusive first look at the DivotEND.

Turfhugger: Where did the original idea come from?

Damian Kilby: Our inspiration came from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the Home of Golf. Several years ago their management came to the conclusion that the continuous expense to the club and to the environment caused by tens of thousands of divots simply could not be ethically sustained. St Andrews then chose to mandate the use of a synthetic mat for strokes played off all fairways during colder months.

Turfhugger: Is the product approved for regular play?

Damian Kilby: The ROCKET LAUNCHER® was created specifically to improve play for golfers who are playing under Pre-Tournament or Winter play ‘local rule’ situation. If a particular club, for whatever reason, requires the use of a turf protection device during a tournament then the ROCKET LAUNCHER® would be ideal. As a tee it complies with the R&A’s dimension requirements (i.e. no higher than 4 inches) however, as we are concerned only with play under ‘local rules’, we have not sought open tournament approval yet. I suggest you watch this space though as the ROCKET LAUNCHER’s benefits to the golfing world expand far further than just Winter Golf.

Turfhugger: Tell me about your choice in product materials and packaging, how does this lend itself to being "sustainable"?

Damian Kilby: From the commencement of our formal design phase our briefs to the our industrial designers always included, among other performance related requirements, our wish to use materials that are either recycled or recyclable. Our ROCKET LAUNCHER® has two main components; the resilient base and the flexible cartridge inserts. I’m not at liberty to provide proprietary detail on the materials we’ve settled on for now but I can say that our consultants have advised us that they are recyclable. Our goal is continual improvement in sustainability performance so we will continue to seek out even more planet friendly materials as and when they become available.

Our bulk packaging cartons are sourced from a carton recycler. The cartons are second hand and have been turned inside out and restitched. They don’t have the clean appeal of brand new cartons but are certainly far more sustainable. Our philosophy on individual retail packaging is summed up in one word, ‘Less’. Our product is not boxed or wrapped or blister packed. We have attached a card slightly larger than a business card to each ROCKET LAUNCHER®. Oh, the card we use is 100% recycled paper.

Turfhugger: Why do you feel golfers will accept this product as a must use?

Damian Kilby: Where do I start? This is a brand new product concept – there is nothing like it worldwide and it brings with it so many benefits to everyone in the Golfing sector. It is one of the new breed of products that genuinely aims to satisfy the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, Profit.

When a club’s local rule require the use of a turf protection device on the fairways golfers no longer need to chose those soiled, third hand, fat synthetic grass or carpet mats. When using these mats the ball will sit up to 20mm higher than the surface of the grass so, to hit with any success, a golfer needs to change his carefully programmed swing arc. Make a slight miscalculation and these mats grab the club head, magnify impact, possibly damage the shaft or injure hands. The ROCKET LAUNCHER’s® feet are shaped to embed within the blades of the grass so your ball’s at rest height will be a scant millimetre or two above the grass – the perfect fairway lie to launch rockets from.

Other benefits specific to golfers include:
  • No restraint required - hit at full strength again without fear
  • The frictionless, forgiving surface minimizes wear & tear on hands & clubs
  • Backspin, Fade or Draw shots as required without varying technique
  • Self anchoring so no more additional bending over to insert anchoring tees as with mats
  • Roll channels save bending over to place ball - just roll the ball on with your club head
  • Golf balls remain in-situ in the cleverly designed strike point - even on a slope
  • It’s so slender the ball rests a scant millimeter or so above turf height
  • It delivers a pleasing stroke resistance unique to each Club’s turf density
  • No more 4 inch nails deflecting your follow through, littering tee boxes & damaging mowers
  • Our ultra flexible Tee Inserts come in 2 lengths & are adjustable to suit all golfers needs
  • Practice golf without taking divots at home, at school or in the field
  • Befittingly, it is 100% made in Scotland and makes a great gift for the golfer in your life
  • A percentage of profits from all purchases goes to support the Golf Environment Organization
Judge for yourself, on May 1st we will Launch our product internationally through the web site

1 Comments so far

Not sure that would be considered within the rules of golf. Seems like you are building a stance there.