Step aside, Jordan Spieth. There’s a new kid in town.
OK, it’s a robot, not a human, but dress it up in a colorful shirt and roomy golf pants and who’s gonna know the difference?
Eldrick, the amazing robotic golfer, just nailed a spectacular hole-in-one during a Phoenix Open event at TPC Scottsdale. Whereas most pro players can wait forever to achieve such a feat, Eldrick needed just five tee-off attempts to sink the ball on the course’s famous 163-yard 16th hole.
The talented bot is the creation of San Diego-based Gene Parente, whose Golf Laboratories company has earned a reputation over the last 20 years as a leading tester of golf gear using state-of-the-art technology.
According to the company’s website, its robots, many of which have been sold to global golf equipment manufacturers, can be programmed to play shots with minute adjustments, and include software that allows them to replicate any player’s specific swing characteristics.
Another Golf Laboratories bot, this time called Jeff, turned up alongside golf star Rory McIlroy a couple of years ago in a one-off challenge. Check it out below.
Following Eldrick’s dazzling triumph, the ecstatic crowd celebrated by launching beer bottles onto the green, a tradition that goes back to 1997 when Tiger Woods – whose first name also happens to be Eldrick – aced the same hole.
When the robots do take over, Eldrick will lead the pro golf rankings. Or possibly Jeff.