What started as a golf invention to ease the process of picking the ball out of the cup may turn into a solution to a world crisis. Or at least an answer to new guidelines on a course.
That’s the hope of Falcon Golf founder Evan Johnson. A product last year dubbed the “Falcon Golf Pin Attachment” where the cup brought the ball to about waist height has been modified with the “Covid Clip.”
The idea is after sinking a putt, the golfer takes the putter, sets the shaft below the clip, and raises the flagstick attachment using the putter. With the country in a virtual lock down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no need for human contact with the flagstick.
“Nobody wants to touch anything anymore,” Johnson said. “It was a no-brainer to add the device to lift with your putter. This takes out a huge portion of any chances of contact with the stick.”
Courses in the Midwest are starting to open with the weather beginning to cooperate. With the pandemic, most if not all have some sort of adjustment with the cup so the ball won’t drop into the hole.
Johnson’s invention, called the “X1,” is Midwest made with the manufacturing process in Maple Plain, Minn., located west of the Twin Cities. The first model was designed on a 3D printer and Johnson said orders “are starting to fly in from all over the place.”
On Friday, he took calls from Canada and New York.
But not everybody is on board. Count the United States Golf Association as a dissenter. Johnson submitted his first design to the USGA and the response from J. Carter Rich, the senior director of rules and conformance for the USGA, was not favorable.
“So I sent them the clip thinking they have to like this, especially now,” Johnson said. “The guy came back and said the clip can cause additional influence on the ball.”
What is, additional influence on the ball?
“I’m thinking this guy does not have a clue,” Johnson said. “But the golf courses don’t care nowadays, the USGA isn’t paying their green fees. We’re getting excited about it.”