Betting On Golf
By R.J. Smiley
The Psychic’s regular foursome had reserved an early tee time for their weekly Saturday round at the muni. After all, the U.S. Open is on NBC all day. Phil, who thrilled the entire group with his victory at the PGA Championship on the island, has an early tee time. Every one of the group plans to get home to watch. As they sat at their table sipping an adult beverage (even if it was still in the AM) the Psychic had a smile on his face. After the group had scrutinized the scorecard, eleven bills with President Washington’s face sat in front of him. No bet larger than a $2, he was proud of his results.
Yes, betting on golf is what it is, what the game is all about, the Psychic thought.
The Psychic knows that the technical advancements that continue to be made in the digital age make even the wildest dreams possible. So, where will betting on golf take the gamblers in the future?
As the television coverage of the Torrey Pines version of the U.S. Open comes to a close on day three, the Psychic reaches for his, very well-worn turban. He gets the stare of a zombie in his eyes as he removes the soft chamois covering from a crystal ball that is already glowing.
The near future comes clearly into view. The Psychic watches as a United States map of states, where gambling on golf is legal, is expanding regularly – state by state. Picking winners or finishers in the top 5 or top 10 is no longer the only game. The Psychic learns that the betting odds of each player winning a tournament change each day. The odds of Phil winning might be +1100 on Thursday prior to the start. If Phil has a bad opening round the odds might shift to +2500 on Friday. Those who wish to bet on golf may continue to place bets on almost everything including whether Phil will make the 8-footer on the final hole, no matter where his position in the field. If the gamblers want to place a bet, there will be algorithms developed to instantly calculate the odds allowing gamblers to make that bet.
As each month passes and technology improves, the more the Psychic sees gambling on everything, on each of the professional golf Tours. The Psychic learns that the number of digital sports betting websites is rapidly increasing. Each sports gaming website is more sophisticated than the last.
In the back of his mind the Psychic wonders, if recreational golfers like himself might be involved in wagering his game against other recreational players who want a little action?
Then the Psychic asked the crystal ball out loud, “Who will keep score? Who will measure the distance from the from the flagstick? Who will make sure that an 11-handicap golfer is the player who is hitting the shot?” The tell-all magic sphere begins to glow. The first thing that the Psychic sees is golf flagsticks with brains; each flagstick communicates with the internet. The flagstick has video cameras that video record everything in sight. As these just recorded videos are processed each raw statistic is cataloged. Once golfers’ stats can be compared to the statistics of another golfer or group of golfers. As the cameras and processing improve and the transmission speed shorten more ways to bet will become available.
“Could a closest to the pin game be contested between golfers in different locations?” Within the crystal ball the Psychic’s concentration is focused as the images of golf balls. Each transparent image, of a just recorded golf ball, is placed on top of the previously hit balls until all players in the contest have played their shot. The closest ball to the hole is easily determined and the golfer who hit the shot is identified.
The Psychic looks deeper into the future and sees each golfer owning a miniature drone. These bumble bee sized silent drones are trained to follow its assigned golfer’s golf ball and record all relevant statistics for his golfer. In addition to gambling with other golfers in yet undetermined ways, in the near future, a golfer will use his drone to learn exact yardage for each club in varying wind and elevations.
As the Psychic pulls away from the crystal ball, he realizes that the sun is rising. “I have lived to see another day,” he thinks. He also realizes that the technology geeks are already working on improving gaming options on golf. “How can I bet my $11 on Phil today and make a fortune?”