Entertainment Case Study: TopGolf

May 25, 2011 Impinj
‘Top Golf Case Study

 

TopGolf chose an RFID solution for their driving range facility to increase information available to customers, such as distance driven, and to make a trip to the driving range more fun and interesting.

The RFID solution delivers:

  • Visibility into each drive's stats, including distance and accuracy
  • Scoring information

Challenge

The founders of TopGolf wanted to turn the conventional driving range or traditional golf game into an experience that was more interesting, fun, and accessible for all types of players. To do that, they sought a way to create an authentic golf game that also measured distance and kept score, and with those ideas in mind, TopGolf turned to RFID to help craft this unique experience.

One of the exciting features of TopGolf’s innovative games is that a player’s score for each shot can vary based on past shots. For example, by hitting targets consecutively players can double their score, or lose points, depending on the game they’re playing. Thus, the technology TopGolf chose needed to be sophisticated enough to remember all the targets hit by each player. And with one complex boasting capacity for over 550 people, keeping track of every player’s 20 shots is no easy feat. At full capacity, the RFID system must manage over 10,000 ball reads per hour.

Another enhancement to the TopGolf game is the automated scoring, which contributes to the simplicity of the experience. To deliver this capability, TopGolf needed a scoring system that would not fail. Impinj’s RFID hardware and Rush Tracking System’s solution at the TopGolf location in Allen, TX provided the reliable scoring TopGolf needed to keep their customers coming back.

How It Works

At the TopGolf in Allen, Rush Tracking Systems worked with Callaway Golf to integrate an RFID tag, containing an Impinj Monza RFID tag chip, into each ball. Tags were designed and tested to withstand the rigors of the TopGolf game and a minimum of 600 hits.

At the tee, balls are dispensed when active players wave their golf club in front of a motion sensor. The RFID tag is read, and the ball gets associated with the player and activated for play. Then players hit the ball towards the target greens, and, if contact with a target green is made, the RFID system reads the ball and players receive the appropriate score and distance.

The target greens are holes in the ground that, much like a dart board, are divided into sub-targets that make up different scoring zones, with each sub-target containing an RFID reader antenna. Each sub-target is delineated by a net that filters the balls to the correct RFID read point and determines the appropriate score.

Speedway Revolution 4-port readers power approximately 600-700 read points throughout the complex, at the tees and throughout targets. Readers are housed in National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) enclosures to insulate them from the extremes of Texas weather. The readers control up to 24 antennas at a time with 8-port multiplexers, which connect to the input/output ports of the Revolution readers. Rush Tracking Systems developed an on-reader software application to control the Speedway Revolution readers and multiplexers, and communicate scoring back to the host. Infonaligy provided the software for the system.

Top Golf Case Study

Benefits

RFID technology has helped TopGolf to radically transform the traditional golf game or solo driving range experience into an exciting, interactive competition amongst friends and family. The RFID-enabled automated scoring makes TopGolf’s games easy to play and allows for simple switching between different games. With RFID’s ability to measure and score shots, TopGolf crafts unique games for players of all skill levels. And while the TopGolf experience is great for novices, experienced golfers benefit as well because the system can precisely measure distance and aim of each shot. Finally, the Impinj UHF RFID technology offers read ranges that allow for less maintenance of the targets, greater read reliability, and faster scoring feedback to customers.

TopGolf

TopGolf is a premier golf entertainment complex that offers a leisure experience like no other. By revolutionizing the traditional sport of golf, TopGolf has created innovative games that incorporate concepts from golf, darts, and bowling. TopGolf was founded in the year 2000 in London, England and expanded to the United States in 2005.

At TopGolf, the fairway is made up of close, mid and long-range target greens. Each player gets 20 golf balls and earns points by hitting the balls in the target green with higher points for getting closer to the pin. The player with the most points at the end of 20 balls wins. TopGolf offers different games which have varied scoring based on target and style of game.

 

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