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Could these new inventions become golf's next big thing?

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

The concept that Kickstarter, an online company launched in 2009, has built its business on is pretty simple:
 
If I have an idea for a project -- an invention, maybe, or a film -- I can go to Kickstarter and write a little post about the vision I have for my idea, perhaps make a little video to go along with it, and request however much I think I need to complete my project within a certain timeframe (I'll need $30,000 in the next 30 days, for example).

 
Once that's done, anybody who goes on the website and likes the idea can pledge however much they want to your cause (with a $1 minimum), but there's a catch: If you don't raise the amount you asked for in the time allotted, you don't get any of the money, and the prospective donor keeps what they would have otherwise donated.
 
The concept is called online crowd funding, and Kickstarter has been praised from all corners of the tech industry because of it.
 
What does this have to do with golf? Plenty, it turns out.
 
Recently, increasing numbers of golf inventors, filmmakers and comedians are turning to Kickstarter to help fund their budding projects. We took a look at five notable ideas that have graced the Kickstarter ranks in recent months.


Three ideas that took off:
 
Urban Put Put: Detroit Mini Golf
 
This idea caught fire, reaching its funding goal of $2,000 in just two days and amassing more than $4,000 in the 21-day time period it set for itself. Urban Put Put was an idea from a Lawrence Tech University sculpture class to build a free 18-hole urban-inspired miniature golf course in a grass lot outside Michigan Central Station.
 
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The film "Mulligan"
 
Will Slocombe had already shot and cut his movie before turning to Kickstarter, but raised more than $11,000 (he asked for $10,000) to put the finishing touches on his indie flick, which premiered in April. The plot was simple: Two ex-best friends reunite to hunt for treasure, which they heard was buried under an abandoned golf course in Wisconsin.
 
 
Golf course Serigraphs
 
"Golf art is awful." That's how Jerome Daksiewicz started his successful pitch for $7,000 to mass-produce his minimalist screen prints of some of the world's best golf courses. The prints feature the layout of a selection of golf courses, like Merion, Pine Valley, or Pebble Beach, imposed onto a light grey background.
 

And two that didn't:

ShowMe - The Shot By Shot GPS Scorecard
An interesting idea though it was, the ShowMe GPS scorecard's lofty goal of raising $125,000 in 60 days proved too ambitious for the Kickstarter donor base. The project, which achieved less than $4,000 in pledges by the end of its funding period in May, aimed to track every single shot during a golfer's round, recording stats like driving distance and approach shot accuracy.
 

The Mark iPhone case
 
Another project that proved too ambitious for the Kickstarter funding system, raising only $2,000 of its $75,000 goal during its time period, which ended in July. The solid black iPhone case detaches into two parts, and uses magnets to hold both a pitch mark repair tool and a ball marker.
 

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