By Patrick Tuttle
on 8.24.09

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Sometimes you encounter a product so simplistic in its design that you’re taken aback by how effectively it works.  The first time I saw the RoboCup in action, it struck me as odd that no one had thought of this before.  Let’s first start with a question.  What’s the worst part about practicing your putting?  If you answered, “retrieving your golf balls,” you would be correct.  It’s a pain: walk over, bend over, collect said balls.  The tedium of it all is one of the main reasons I don’t enjoy practice time on the greens.  And therein lies the rub.  Without ample time spent practicing around the greens, you stand little chance of significantly and consistently reducing your scores.

So what does the RoboCup do?  Well, simply put (almost as simply as it works), it returns your golf balls back to you.  Drain a putt and the automated arm of the RoboCup catapults the ball back to you, working at distances up to 14 feet away (further on faster greens).  Four AA batteries power the RoboCup and will buy you up to 12,000 ball returns.  If you want to be a better golfer try burning through a set of batteries in one season.

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The RoboCup installs in either shorter practice cups or in their regulation counterparts and can be set up or adjusted in seconds.  Seriously.  They’ve even thought of your occasional misses by including a collection device called the Caddy Cord that funnels misses into the cup so they can be launched back to you for another go.  The RoboCup itself comes with a zippered, protective case so you can just toss the whole thing in your bag when you’re finished.

My one concern was that using this practice tool would limit me to practicing the same putt over and over again, but I found that by using the Caddy Cord I could actually work from a few angles.  Beyond that, I could rotate the RoboCup or change cups altogether to mix up my practice routine. It was so easy that I scratched this from my list of concerns.

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Do yourself a favor: save your back, save time, and save strokes off your next round with the Robocup.

Cost: $60

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