July 31, 2007 06:45 AM by Joe Blackmon
Thirty-eight inventors survived three nerve-wracking weeks of panel
auditions on GOLF CHANNEL’s new original series Fore Inventors Only.
Starting today, field testing will be the next obstacle they must
overcome to keep their hopes and dreams alive that they have the next
big idea in golf.
Field testing, the second stage of the competition, will begin Tuesday, July 31 at 10 p.m. ET and continue Aug. 14 at 10 p.m. ET. Six former contestants from the network’s The Big Break reality series will put the inventions to the test and provide feedback to the judges. Throughout the course of the next two episodes, the panel of judges will oversee the field testing and will occasionally try the product themselves before narrowing the field to 10 semifinalists.
The field testers are Mark Farnham (The Big Break I; The Big Break VII: Reunion), Valeria Ochoa (The Big Break III: Ladies Only; The Big Break VII: Reunion), Bart Lower (The Big Break II: Las Vegas; The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe), Charles Calhoun (The Big Break I), Steve Duemig (The Big Break I), and Kim Lewellen (The Big Break V: Hawaii; The Big Break VII: Reunion).
Fore Inventors Only scoured the country interviewing and auditioning more than 1,000 inventors to find the cast who will compete in the series. The judges for the series, PGA TOUR professional Fulton Allem, Golf Digest top-50 golf instructor Bill Harmon and Golf for Women Senior Editor Stina Sternberg, are tasked with critiquing and paring down the initial 103 inventors to five finalists. Ultimately, viewers will cast their votes to determine the winner on the series’ live season finale on Sept. 4. The winner will receive shelf space at golf retailer, Golfsmith, for one year; a fully-developed infomercial and $50,000 worth of commercial and promotional air time on the GOLF CHANNEL.
The inventions advancing to the next stage of the competition include swing training aids, apparel and travel gear, cosmetic aids and high-tech gadgets, among others. The 38 inventions advancing to field testing beginning Tuesday, July 31:
Pro Play Golf Performance System: A small digital recording device that can be used on the golf course to record golf swings for instant feedback. Inventor: Marcus Bohn, Chandler, Ariz., and Tim Kipley, McKinney, Texas
Clean and Drop Club Cleaning Towel: A three-in-one golf towel that cleans and dries golf balls and clubs. Inventors: David Cotton and Vincent Brookins, Cleveland, Ohio.
Strike ‘N Swipe: Reusable impact tape for golf clubs. The impact tape resets when golfers run their fingers over it after hitting a golf shot. Inventor: Victor Camaj, Highland, Mich.
Golf Shoe Bristles: A standard golf shoe with built-in bristles located on the toe and heel areas. Inventor: Ed Coleman, Rochester, N.Y.
Swing Sensor: A device that attaches to the wrist and senses when the wrists are breaking. The device is designed for putting, chipping and a full golf swing. Inventor: Frank Cozza, Santee, Calif.
The Net Return: A practice net that returns the ball to the golfer after each shot and is designed for multi-sport use. Inventors: Paul Crawley, Fair Lawn, N.J. and Matt Crawley, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Power Reactor: A patented piece of fitness equipment designed to increase power for driving distance, flexibility to reduce back stress, accuracy for shot selection and cardiovascular conditioning for course stamina. Inventor: Marcus Curry, San Diego, Calif.
Perfect Putt: A putting training aid device that can be used indoors on carpet or outdoors at a golf course. Inventor: Kyle Dahl, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Twister Golf Ball Cleaner: A portable golf ball cleaning apparatus that clips to a golfer’s bag. Inventor: Alfonzo Dowe, Pedricktown, N.J.
Golf Telebag: A collapsible hard-case travel bag that telescopes into itself to save space. Inventor: Greg Dietrich, Orlando, Fla.
Ego Personal Putting Coach: A putting learning tool that includes a universal attachment to the putter where the device extends from the putter head up to and over the shoulders. Inventor: Mark Diley, Boyds, Md.
The Pillar: Specialty golf spikes that stack to different parts of the foot to keep weight on the inside of the foot. Inventor: Paul Farmer and Holly Kronk, Columbia, Mo.
Timeball: A timing device that helps to enforce the rule of golf that only allows a player five minutes search time for a ball. Inventor: Calum Dunan, Glasgow, Scotland.
True Ympact: An adjustable, dual-hinge swing trainer that affixes to the lead arm to prevent the shaft from flipping beyond the desired impact position. Inventors: Scott Gibbons and Parker Overton, Greenville, S.C.
Shaft Skinz: A form of shrink wrap that fits around the shaft of a golf club to add color and graphics. Inventor: Martin Greeves, Dromore, Northern Ireland.
Fairway Fan: A six-inch portable fan that attaches to a golf cart roof and is powered by the cart battery. Inventor: Diane Gilmer, Wellington, Fla.
Tour Axis: A vest with two small bags that attach under the armpits. The concept is to keep the bags tucked under each arm through the practice swing to achieve a repeatable motion. Inventor: John Haggar, Montrose, Calif., and Matt Baird, Toluca Lake, Calif.
Golf Stand and Sit Bag: A walking golf bag that allows the golfer to rest frequently by quickly folding out from the bag a seat to sit down. Inventor: Dan Hoang, Seattle, Wash.
One Time Training Aid: A stand-alone device that utilizes laser lights to shine dots on various points along a putt to train players to visualize an intermediate target between the ball and the cup. Inventor: Randy James, Little Rock, Ark.
Club Caddie: A clip that attaches to a golf club around the green allowing it to become free-standing in an upright position. Inventor: David Jones, Martinez, Ga.
Golf Kart Kaddy: A device that tethers a bag to a golf cart, leaning the bag out from the cart. Inventor: Pete Juricic, Calumet City, Ill.
Gyro Swing: A swing training aid that utilizes a gyroscope motor attached to the end of a club shaft that automatically places the club on plane. Inventor: Larry Kelly, Brighton, Mich.
Bunker Buddy: A small folding sand rake that attaches to the grip of a golf club for raking sand. Inventor: Ray Kirkpatrick, Springboro, Ohio.
Hill Shot Golf Trainer: A sloped hitting tee used for practicing uphill, downhill and side hill lies. Inventor: Brandi and Larry Koch, Prospect, Ky.
Convert-A-Putter. An upgrade kit that attaches to an existing putter, such as a blade or cavity-back style putter, and brings it up to modern industry standards. Inventor: Aristo Kouldus, Salinas, Calif.
Chipinator: A 2′ x 2′ box with a hole in the middle to chip into with a motor at the bottom of the box that returns the ball back to the golfer. Inventor: Matthew Louie, Los Angeles, Calif.
Light It Up Golf: A training mat is a driving range mat with a built-in light system that marks the divot or contact point of the club head on the grass surface, allowing the player to perfect his or her contact point. Inventor: Rick Marcy, Brewster, Mass.
Sink It: A putting training aid comprised of two guide rails that attach to the toe and heel of a putter. Inventor: Terry McGlaughlin, Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Trunk Chair: A portable chair that can be placed on the back of a truck or a car. Inventor: Darren Newberry, Granada Hills, Calif.
Power Stance: A multi-faceted golf training aid consisting of a foot-retaining head and platform, formed from high density plastic into one unit. Inventor: Joe Pagano, Rochester, N.Y.
Glove Grabber: Clips to golfers’ bags to allow them to hang one or more gloves from it by using the existing Velcro on the glove. Inventor: Jim Paradise, Pinckney, Mich.
Side-kick Putter: A putter designed to be used with both a conventional putting stroke and a side-saddle method. Inventor: Robert Riseley, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Club Glider: A golf travel bag that integrates extendable legs with caster wheels, making the bag easy to push or pull. The wheels fold back into a locked position for easy travel. Inventor: Gary Sherrell, Maple Valley, Wash.
PDR Divot Tool Putter: A putter that includes a divot repair tool on the bottom of the putter. Inventor: Craig and Derrick Stingley, Milwaukee, Wis.
Z-Factor Perfect Putting Machine: A portable putter training aid that guides the user through proper path, face, angle and pendulum swing of the putter. Inventor: Dean Thompson, Boise, Idaho.
Glove Caddie: A clip that attaches to a golfer’s belt where golfers can attach the glove to the glove caddie instead of inserting into the pocket. Inventor: Michelle Teagarden, Sacramento, Calif.
Golf Cradle: An accessory for the golfer who wants to protect his/her clubs for sliding and reduces damage in the back of a car or truck. Inventors: George and Richard Vito, Rochester, N.Y.
Load and Explode: A swing training device that golfers strap to themselves restricting sway and trains hip pivoting. Inventor: Andrew Von Heerden, Redondo Beach, Calif.